Buffer zones bug Winnipeg residents bitten by mosquitoes

While some Winnipeggers are upset about the city's efforts to kill off mosquitos, one Winnipeg woman is upset her home is not getting fogged.

Two St. Boniface residents are upset their homes fall within buffer zones they didn't agree to

This is what a 90 meter buffer zone looks like. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)
While some Winnipeggers are upset about the city's efforts to kill off mosquitoes, one Winnipeg woman is upset her home is not getting fogged. 

St. Boniface resident Jennifer Carlson said the bugs swarm her two children every time they step outside, and she doesn't like it one bit. 

"So the second we come outside with them, they're attacked by mosquitoes and it's impossible for them to play outside," she said. 

Her four-year-old's arms and legs are covered in bites. Sofia said mosquitoes make her miserable. 

"They bite me all day when I sleep," she said. 

St. Boniface resident Jennifer Carlson said she's upset at least two homes on her street applied for a buffer zone, meaning her property hasn't been fogged. She said mosquitoes are ruining her summer because of all the bites her children have had. (CBC)
Carlson called the city to find out why her street, Deschambault Street, wasn't being fogged. She learned that at least two homes on the street have signed up for buffer zones. 

A city spokesperson would only confirm "multiple buffer zone registrants on Deschambault St."

That means the city can't use malathion within 90 metres of those homes, and Carlson's home is located in that radius. 

Carlson wanted to know exactly where the zone extended to, but the city won't provide that information, citing privacy concerns.  A spokesperson said the city can only tell homeowners if they are in a protected zone. 

Four-year-old Sofia Carlson said mosquitoes bite her all the time. (CBC)
Carlson said it's not fair. 

"I understand why some people would complain and I do understand their point of view," she told CBC News. "But we can't come outside. So we would like to be able to enjoy what's left of our summer with the kids outside." 

Carlson's neighbour, Ashley Pluta, agreed. 

Her son, Noah, has a string of mosquito bites on his cheek.

Sofia Carlson, 4, shows off how many mosquito bites she has. (CBC)
"I want them to be sprayed," she said. "I don't want mosquitoes. If I could, I would make it so they never existed."

Pluta said homeowners should get a rebate if they're not getting a service they pay for. 

"We aren't getting sprayed, so why are we still paying for it?" she said. "Shouldn't we be getting some of our property tax back if we're in a buffer zone?"

The city zapped down that idea, saying a tax rebate is not possible. 

It said the only recourse for itchy homeowners in buffer zones is to purchase anti-mosquito products themselves and fog their own properties.


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