You may have read in the news this week about residents who live near Kizell Pond in Kanata who want the city to do something to reduce the number of mosquitoes in their area.
CBC Ottawa reported that over 300 people signed a petition asking the city to take action. “When you open your screen door or get out of your car, it’s just instantly, you get a [swarm] of mosquitoes just attacking you,” said Lianne Zhou, who started the petition.
Councillor Marianne Wilkinson revealed a few plans of her own in in an email update to residents:
Although mosquitoes are an increasing nuisance in the communities surrounding the Kizell Wetlands, this provincially protected wetland cannot be stripped clean of producer species (such as mosquitoes), which sustain the food chain. Chemical spraying would require provincial licensing and agreement by all the affiliated landowner(s), including the wetlands in question which are designated as provincially significant. According to GDG (a company that is hired by the City to treat catch basins and storm water ponds for mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus, an immediate solution is not possible for a treatment option – it would be at least a year away.
However there are some things that can be done now. I have obtained 20 bat boxes that will soon be installed along the edge of the wetlands so that the bats (that are already in the area) will eat mosquitoes closer to people’s homes. We may also be able to increase the number of dragonflies, although they eat many types of insects so it isn’t a total solution. Individual homeowners can take action as well by ensuring no standing water (check your rain barrels, eavestrough, wading pools etc to ensure they are dry or have a screen at the surface to stop mosquitoes from laying larvae. Commercial products such as the Mosquito Magnet, concentrated garlic spray, fogging materials are available at local hardware stores.
I contacted a senior entomologist in Winnipeg (mosquito capital of the world!) and I am getting some information on another effective way for homeowners to get rid of most of the mosquitoes. I will pass on that information once received.
I have met with City staff and they have agreed to move forward to build the Kizell Wetlands pathway but construction will not happen until at least next year. The first step – activating the project – is now underway. The other pathway, between Kanata Estates and Richardson Ridge, which will connect to the Kizell Wetlands pathway, is to be built by the developers of the Richardson Ridge community.