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Havixbeck would phase out malathion for biodegradable pesticide

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Mayoral candidate Paula Havixbeck pledged to phase out malathion in favour of a mosquito-killing agent she considers friendlier to the environment by 2016.

Standing at Vimy Ridge Park, Havixbeck pledged to stop fogging for mosquitos with malathion and begin using Pyrocide, a biodegradable pesticide.

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Pyrocide includes the crysanthemum-based neurotoxin pyrethrin and piperonyl butoxide, a sassafras derivative that turns off enzymes that allow mosquitoes to fight off chemical attacks. The city has tested Pyrocide in small amounts.

Havixbeck said if she's elected mayor, she would ensure only areas of the city with high trap counts are fogged, rather than blanketing the city.

She also pledged to extend larviciding further outside city limits, from two to four kilometres to up to 12 kilometres into neighbouring municipalities. She said she would approach RMs to see whether they would fund such an expansion.

The total cost of ‎these changes to the city's insect-control program would be $6 million, over and above existing budgets, Havixbeck said.

She dismissed a pair of polls that suggested she's running fifth in Winnipeg's mayoral race, after Judy Wasylycia-Leis, Gord Steeves, Brian Bowman and Robert-Falcon Ouellette.

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