Edmonton city council reinstates aerial mosquito control program

A program that aims to fight the mosquito population by air, which was originally cancelled this year, has been reinstated.

Earlier this year, the City of Edmonton decided it would not use the aerial mosquito control program for a couple of reasons — the main one being its cost.

On April 29, the city’s pest management coordinator Mike Jenkins said the city wanted to keep costs down due to the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jenkins also said the city likely wouldn’t have used it anyway because the dry season so far this year hasn’t yet created a large mosquito population.

Read more: Edmonton anticipates fewer mosquitoes this year after dry winter, spring

However, during the city’s May 3 council meeting, the program was reinstated.

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Council decided it was important to reinstate the program because there is a possibility of a 40 per cent increase in mosquito populations in outer areas of the city should wetter weather occur.

Council also considered the fact that more people will be outdoors as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“This is a one-time decision and the program will be reviewed again in future budget considerations,” City of Edmonton spokesperson Derek Logan said in a statement.

“Spraying by helicopter in control areas around Edmonton will take place if/when conditions become wetter this season. Current dry conditions do not require aerial spraying. Spraying in ditches and other natural mosquito larvae habitats have been underway since April.”

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The cost of the program is $507,000.

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