Malathion out, DeltaGard in for Winnipeg's mosquito fogging program

When skeeter season rolls around, Winnipeg's insect control branch has a new potion to beat the bugs.

City of Winnipeg ran out of malathion last year with no alternative to replace it

The City of Winnipeg plans to use DeltaGuard 20EW to fog mosquitoes this year. (CBC)

When skeeter season rolls around, Winnipeg's insect control branch has a new potion to beat the bugs.

Last summer, the city ran out of malathion, the insecticide it used in its fogging program for more than 30 years, with no alternative in place.

​This year, the city plans to use DeltaGard 20EW, a new product expected to be approved by Health Canada by the end of June.

The product will only be used if control of adult mosquitoes is needed after larviciding, which targets mosquito larvae while they're still in the aquatic stage.

Why DeltaGard?

According to a report set to be presented to the city's committee on protection, community services and parks on Monday, DeltaGard won out over two other candidates considered by the city for fogging in 2017.

The first, malathion, was off the table for a number of reasons, including the fact products containing malathion are not being sold in Canada this year, and the city can't find any existing stock for sale that it's confident will meet Health Canada standards.

The other product, PyrocideULV, was ruled out over health concerns, lack of information regarding effectiveness and cost. The report estimated a single application of the insecticide would cost $500,000, compared to $200,000 for DeltaGard and $100,000 for malathion.

The cost of adult mosquito control isn't included in the insect control branch's operating budget. The branch plans to use its insect control reserve to cover the cost.