Some Winnipeg residents are not waiting for mosquito fogging trucks to roll through their neighbourhoods, but are instead waging their own bug battles in their yards.

The City of Winnipeg began fogging for adult nuisance mosquitoes on Saturday and will continue sending out trucks with the insecticide malathion every night, weather permitting.

But mosquito-killing products are flying off the shelves at stores like Poulin's Pest Control, snapped up by customers who either live within a city buffer zone and can't handle the bugs, or can't wait for the fogging trucks to come to their neighbourhoods.


A mosquito fogging truck drives down a Winnipeg street in 2013, spraying malathion. (CBC)

"They're vicious!" said Jeff Allan, who bought a fogger and some malathion on Monday to rid his own backyard of mosquitoes.

"It's nice to know that I'm killing them before they're chewing on me," he added with a chuckle.

Former City of Winnipeg entomologist Taz Stuart, who is now director of technical operations at Poulin's, said a growing number of homeowners are fighting the mosquitoes themselves.

"We still have foggers, we still have malathion, we still have permethrin. But if you want to come down and purchase it, the reality is we may start to be out of products soon," he said.

Won't be an easy fight

City fogging trucks are scheduled to be out again Monday night in parts of the city, as well as in the nearby Rural Municipality of West St. Paul.

But with recent heavy rainfall this summer, battling the bugs won't be easy.

Stuart said areas that were treated with malathion over the weekend will likely see no relief because of new generations of mosquitoes that will emerge soon.

"It may take two, three, four times in an area to start knocking down a large number because it's still in the emergence phase," he said.

Stuart said a perfect program would be to fog every other day across the entire city, but that option isn't feasible.

As for those who want to fog their own yards, Stuart said it's safe to use pesticide products, even in areas that have already been sprayed by the city, as long as they follow the instructions properly.

Where are the buffer zones?

So far this year, at least 700 Winnipeg residents have registered with the city for a buffer zone to keep mosquito fogging trucks away from their homes. 

As of 11 a.m. on Monday, there are registered buffer zones in the following areas:

  • R2C — 25
  • R2G — 32
  • R2H — 61
  • R2J — 37
  • R2K — 41
  • R2L — 18
  • R2M — 52
  • R2N — 32
  • R2P — 3
  • R2R — 4
  • R2V — 35
  • R2W — 52
  • R2X — 14
  • R2Y — 18
  • R3A — 2
  • R3B — 11
  • R3C — 23
  • R3E — 22
  • R3G — 186
  • R3H — 0
  • R3J — 49
  • R3K — 11
  • R3L — 59
  • R3M — 90
  • R3N — 51
  • R3P — 27
  • R3R — 30
  • R3S — 2
  • R3T — 87
  • R3V — 6
  • R3W — 3
  • R3X — 15
  • R3Y — 17