Mosquitoes in Winnipeg, Manitoba : opinions, alternatives, education, and opportunities
Henderson, Julie K. J. Price
Mosquito control is a topic of interest both locally and globally. Problems created by mosquitoes are threefold and include the nuisance factor, disease transmission, and problems stemming from mosquito control efforts. For many years, Winnipeg citizens have debated the merits of the current local abatement program. To date, North America has not experienced the incidence of mosquito-borne-pathogens to the extent of other regions, though the arrival of West Nile virus in 1999 to the continent has increased the focus of scientists and the general public on mosquito control issues. Integrated pest Management (IPM) is the current method of choice for mosquito control. This thesis contains the results of research, initiated in January of 2001, to address some specific issues surrounding mosquito control in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The objectives of this thesis research were fourfold: a) gather and analyze information from Winnipeg residents regarding their knowledge of mosquitoes and their control; b) identify non-toxic mosquito control methods and test them for effectiveness and viabilty in an urban setting; c) create an annotated bibliography of mosquito educational tools appropriate for middle-years school children; d) based on the findings make recommendations for improvement to the Winnipeg IPM mosquito abatement program. The research was conducted through a literature review of key concepts, primary and secondary data review, semi-structured interviews, quantitative measurements and testing, participant feedback and participation. Data from Winnipeg residents were analyzed for themes and triangulated with literature review findings. Statistical evaluation was used to analyze non-toxic mosquito control product effectiveness. Recommendations for improvements to the Winnipeg program were formulated from information gathered from residents, product testing results, the annotated bibliography project outcomes, and from the literature review. Following a review of candidate mosquito control or repellent products, the Mosquito Magnet TM and Mosquito & Gnat Repellent were chosen for testing. Neither product was effective in reducing the number of mosquitoes collected in traps or the biting activity in the application area. There were correlations between the number of mosquitoes and environmental variables including; person effect, wind, temperature and cloud cover...