Leduc does not run a mosquito control program.
This is in line with the practices of other municipalities in the Capital Region in dealing with this nuisance pest. The city feels the potential environmental, health and economic impacts of a mass spraying program are not in the best interest of Leduc residents. While the city understands that mosquitoes can be a severe annoyance, there are many reasons why spraying for mosquitoes is not the best choice at this time:
- Spraying for adult mosquitoes is very costly and has limited effects. Mosquitoes only live for about 2 weeks, meaning that to be an effective method of control, spraying would need to be done on a continual basis. Additionally, spraying only kills mosquitoes which are in flight, so the percentage of mosquitoes killed can be quite small.
- Disease-carrying mosquitoes are a relatively small problem in Alberta. The huge costs of running a mosquito control program are not justified considering the small potential of disease.
- Spraying is often more harmful to mosquito predators than to the mosquitoes themselves. This means important natural controls of mosquitoes are eliminated, ultimately resulting in greater mosquito levels.
- Spraying can kill important members of the ecosystem including bees and other pollinators.
While the city does not spray for mosquitoes, it does undertake preventative/cultural and biological controls to suppress population levels. In collaboration with the City of Edmonton, mosquito type and abundance is regularly tested and monitored. Along with this, man-made water bodies are regularly monitored for mosquito populations. Efforts are made to eliminate habitats such as standing water which allow mosquito larvae to thrive. Additionally, two bat houses are located near Telford Lake. Bats are a natural predator of insects and help to keep pest populations in check.
The City of Leduc is piloting a natural mosquito control spray at Lede Park where a new environmentally-friendly garlic spray was used during spring operations.
Natural Mosquito Control
- Fans: Mosquitoes are so light-weight that fans blowing at 2 miles per hour can overpower them. Strategically placing fans around your patio and deck can create a mosquito-free zone to enjoy.
- Plant some mosquito deterring plants in your garden or pots:
- Thai lemongrass contains citronella oil which has a strong scent to deter mosquitoes and other pests.
- Marigolds are a common annual flowering plant whose strong smell deters mosquitoes along with other bugs.
- Lavender is a beautiful addition to any garden and is a deterrent to pests.
- Garlic is a natural mosquito repellent. Plant garlic and/or try spraying yourself with a mixture of 1 part garlic to 5 parts water.
- Dress appropriately: Mosquitoes are attracted to heat and dark colours like black, blue and red. Wearing cool and light-coloured clothing will help you to avoid mosquitoes. Wear long sleeves and pants, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Change light bulbs on your deck or patio: LED, yellow 'bug lights' and sodium lamps do not attract the swarm of mosquitoes that standard light bulbs will.
- Use catnip as a mosquito repellent: The essential oil in catnip deters mosquitoes 10 times more effectively than DEET.
- Make friends with bats: In just 1 hour, bats can eat hundreds of insects. Hang a bat house in a well-ventilated area and let your new neighbours eat those mosquitoes for you.
- Eliminate standing water: Mosquitoes breed in standing water.
- Drain or fill low-laying areas in yards.
- Make sure eaves troughs are unclogged and allow water to flow properly.
- Inspect containers such as rain barrels regularly for mosquito larvae.
- Remove old items from your yard capable of collecting water, such as tires.
- Change the water in kiddie pools, animal water dishes, and bird baths twice a week.
- Ensure rain barrels have a screen or cover.