Malathion supply will not be renewed in Winnipeg after this year

The city of Winnipeg currently has just enough malathion to fog for mosquitoes this summer, but thanks to new clause in the agreement with the manufacturer, the city will have to look for alternative adult mosquito control.

The city refuses to sign a clause with malathion supplier which means supply will run out

Once Winnipeg runs out of its malathion supply, it will not renew it because of an indemnification clause the supplier insists the city sign. (CBC)

The city of Winnipeg won't be purchasing any more malathion after this year's supply runs out.

Right now the city has enough of the chemical to fog the city for one normal summer according to Ken Nawolsky, Winnipeg's superintendent of insect control.
Ken Nawolsky said the city's lawyers advised it against signing a clause with a malathion supplier. (Sean Kavanagh/CBC)

Recently the city said it could purchase more if it was needed, but Nawolsky said that changed when the manufacturer insisted the city sign an indemnification clause that would release the manufacturer from any liability for perceived or actual damage from the product.

"We got advice from our legal department that we should not sign this kind of an agreement and as a result the city will not be purchasing malathion," Nawolsky said.
So far, Winnipeg's mosquito numbers are low for 2015. ((Canadian Press))

But he said there is no reason to worry about swarms of mosquitoes just yet.

"We do have enough malathion in stock for treating one season and it depends on the season, and so far things look good and we don't require an adult mosquito control program. So if we don't use it this year, it could be possibly used next year," Nawolsky said. 

This August, the city will test a new product called DeltaGard, which is considered a more environmentally friendly alternative to malathion, but is also much more expensive.

It has been approved in the United States, but will not be approved in Canada until 2017.

So what happens in 2016 if the malathion supplies run out and the mosquitoes are bad?

Nawolsky said the city does have access to use a product called Pyrocide ULV, which is approved in Canada, but according to materials safety data sheets, it causes cancer in rats and is two to three times as expensive as malathion.

The insect control branch does have a contingency fund it can access if it needs to use the more expensive product before 2017.


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