The City of Moose Jaw utilizes integrated pest management to control the mosquito population. All standing water within a 5 km radius of the city is surveyed once a week during mosquito breeding season. When larvae are found in a water body, it is treated with Vectobac (Bacillus thuringienses). This biological control agent is a bacterium that acts as a stomach poison to the mosquito larvae. It does not affect fish, birds, mammals, amphibians or other species of invertebrates.
By using a targeted larvicide such as Vectobac, mosquito populations can be kept at low levels without harming mosquito predators and minimizing the impact on the environment. Areas where Vectobac is used have up to 100 times fewer adult mosquitoes than areas where control is not used. Fogging or spraying adult mosquitoes (adulticiding)also kills non-target species that prey on mosquitoes and could lead to chemically resistant mosquitoes. Therefore, the City of Moose Jaw avoids the use of adulticiding but is prepared to use chemical fogs against adult mosquitoes should concerns about West Nile Virus or other mosquito-borne diseases warrant it. This decision will be made in consultation with Moose Jaw Public Health using the data gathered through the provincial mosquito surveillance program.
What can homeowners do to prevent mosquitoes?
To further reduce mosquito levels, residents are encouraged to remove standing water from their property, regularly clean birdbaths and paddling pools and cover rain barrels with mesh. Common sources of standing water are plant saucers, tires, and pails. Drain or fill all puddles and cut your grass frequently to reduce areas for mosquitoes to rest.
What can I do to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes?
- Apply an insect repellent
- Wear light colored clothing
- Cover up with long sleeves, long pants and socks
- Avoid outdoor activity at dawn and twilight
For more information, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department.