HRM to take a look at integrated pest management strategy
Species of interest include giant hogweed, wild parsnip, European fire ants
Municipal staff is recommending the Halifax Regional Municipality adopt an integrated pest management strategy.
Species of interest noted in the staff report to be presented to council on Tuesday include giant hogweed, wild parsnip, European fire ants, ticks, aquatic plants, rodents and the emerald ash borer.
"The principles of an integrated pest management plan would promote using a combination of appropriate strategies to address the pest problem and apply pesticides only when necessary according to set pest thresholds," the report noted.
The municipality currently doesn't have a strategy, but the report notes components of one are in place.
Staff said a strategy would help let the public know who does what when it comes to pest control in the municipality.
The municipality's parks and recreation, transportation and public works and planning and development departments pay a role in the control of "problematic species."
For example, the report notes, sap from the giant hogweed and wild parsnip can cause severe burns. These plants are controlled through "mechanical removal" and is a "safety hazard."
In cases where the species can have "severe human impacts" like burns or blindness, pesticides may be considered to control populations.
The development of a pest management strategy can be handled in the existing municipal budget, staff noted.
But "as the species-specific plans are developed, the costs for these plans will be identified and addressed in future staff reports to be considered by council."
Staff said there are no significant risks associated with the recommendations in its report.