City takes on Mosquitoes

City of Edmonton crews are ready to tackle this season's nuisance mosquito population. Weather permitting, crews will begin treating standing water by helicopter within the City's 1,400 square kilometer mosquito control boundary this week.

“Edmonton is privileged to be one of only a few municipalities in Canada that funds a mosquito control program,” said James Wilke, Director of Animal Care and Pest Management. “A lot of work and expertise goes into our program each season.”

The City of Edmonton focuses on reducing mosquito populations at the larval stage, before they emerge as adults. Mosquito larvae are found in the highest concentrations in standing water, such as roadside ditches and non-permanent pools of water. Crews target these areas by helicopter, by truck and on foot. For speed and efficiency, more than 90 per cent of the treatment areas are done by a contracted helicopter service that applies dry, granular larvicide to standing bodies of water within the City's mosquito control boundary.

“Our most successful method for reducing pest populations is to attack the immature stages of the pest's life cycle when they are most vulnerable,” said Mike Jenkins, biological sciences technician with the City of Edmonton. “Experience has shown that controlling larvae is more effective because it reduces the number of mosquitoes that actually hatch into adults.”

Treating mosquitoes at the larval stage is also a safer and more environmentally-friendly approach than controlling adult mosquitoes. Managing adult mosquitoes through wide-scale fogging is undesirable because it affects beneficial insects like dragonflies and unnecessarily exposes people and animals to mosquito control products. 

All products used for the City's mosquito control program are approved by Health Canada and deemed safe for their intended use. City mosquito control staff are certified by Alberta Environment and meet stringent standards for the application of mosquito control products.

For more information on pest management and tips on how you can protect yourself from mosquitoes, visit edmonton.ca/mosquito.