The city ramped up its battle against those pesky mosquitoes this week, with fogging beginning last night north of Victoria Avenue, and continuing south of Victoria tonight.
City hall saw a spike in buffer zone requests after they announced crews would be fogging the pests this week.
As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, there were 88 buffer zones registered, compared to 30 on Tuesday — 49 north of Victoria Avenue, and so far, 39 south of Victoria.
Last year, there were 174 buffer zones registered.
All areas north of Victoria Avenue were slated to be fogged Wednesday, while all areas south of Victoria Avenue will be fogged tonight, beginning at approximately 10 p.m. and running until 6 a.m.
The decision to fog came after mosquito count numbers soared. The daily average trap count on July 7 was more than 1,000 — with one trap at the city’s parks office catching nearly 3,300 mosquitoes in one day. Either of those counts alone would be enough to trigger fogging with malathion.
"Although larviciding was ... successful, there’s just so much standing water that we just physically can’t get to it," city manager Scott Hildebrand said. "We knew (the numbers) were going to jump, and then when we looked at the forecast we decided … we’re going to move forward with this fogging plan because it’s going to be a beautiful weekend and it’ll only get worse."
Two years ago, the city’s buffer zones were posted on a map so residents could see if their property would be impacted.
Hildebrand said they stopped doing that due to privacy concerns.
"Some people didn’t want to share that information publicly, which according to FIPPA, that made sense to them," he said.
For residents wanting to know if their property falls within an accepted buffer zone, they now must call the city’s community services office at 204-729-2148. Upon presenting their address, they will receive a "Yes" or "No" answer only.
The insecticide product that will be used for the ground-based spraying is malathion, dispersed by an ultra-low volume cold aerosol sprayer.
The city requires written or in-person buffer zone applications with a proof of address prior to 7 p.m. on the night of fogging. Applications can be made online at brandon.ca/mosquito. Buffer zones have to be renewed every year.
» Brandon Sun
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 10, 2014