Gatineau to spray for mosquitoes, blackflies
Between April and September, Gatineau will be spraying for mosquitoes in certain sectors of the city. The company GDG Environnement Ltée will be surveying mosquito larvae in Pointe-Gatineau, du Carrefour de l’Hôpital, du Versant, de Bellevue, du Lac-Beauchamp, de la Rivière-Blanche and Masson-Angers. If larvae are present, a bio-pesticide, Bti, will then be applied.
Bti is a chemical that targets mosquitoes and is not toxic to human beings, flora or fauna. It has a history of use in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Michigan, without ill effects. This is a naturally occurring bacteria found in soil and contains spores that affect only the larvae of the mosquito, blackfly and fungus gnat. It has been approved for pest control in organic farming.
The city recommends residents get rid of any stagnant water on their properties -- for example, “clean the gutters regularly to prevent them from becoming blocked and holding water. Empty plates under flower pots, animal water bowls, wading pools, even water on pool coverings and similar items (boilers, barrels, tires). Empty and clean bird baths twice a week. Keep your surroundings clean. Cover your garbage. Maintain your pool. Install a mosquito net on your rainwater tanks. Place fish that eat mosquito larvae in your decorative ponds.”
The city urges citizens to protect themselves from bites because mosquitoes may carry the West Nile Virus or even the Zika Virus. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants outside; fix rips in window screens and doors, tents and camping shelters, and use mosquito repellent. Many gardeners opt to wear mosquito nets over their hats at certain hours of the bug season.
Aylmer will not be sprayed. If residents feel there is a problem and would like their area treated, call 311.