• John Jantak

Senneville unsure whether it will implement mosquito control program for 2016


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Senneville Mayor Jane Guest told residents at the January 25, Monday evening council meeting that the village still hasn’t decided whether it will proceed with its mosquito control program in 2016.

The southern Quebec region may be deep in throes of winter, but some Senneville residents are already concerned about the eventual return of spring and the annual mosquito problem that regularly affects the community when the issue as to whether the village would continue to implement its mosquito control program was raised during question period at the Monday council meeting, January 25.

The question of whether to spray or not to spray has become a controversial and contentious issue amongst some homeowners who insist the village should keep the program intact so that mosquitoes are kept to a minimum, and the village’s administration who question the effectiveness of the program considering it can only be applied to land under the municipality’s jurisdiction, and not on private property.

Mayor Jane Guest told residents that in order for a mosquito control program to be effective, it would also have to be applied to the Morgan Arboretum and Braeside Golf Course, both areas which have a lot of standing water. But since both sites are private property, the village has no jurisdiction when it comes to mosquito control options.

The problem with the village’s current approach to tackling the mosquito situation is that mosquitoes don’t differentiate between private and public lands, said Guest. Mosquitoes that breed on private lands easily stray into public lands that have been treated, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the larvicide used by the village to control the mosquito population within its jurisdiction.

Controversy arose when the town decided not to proceed with its annual mosquito control program in 2014, which also happened to be an extremely wet summer. Some residents felt the combination of wet weather and the lack of spraying spawned more mosquitoes because of the moratorium that year. When spraying resumed in 2015, it happened to coincide with a very dry summer, which resulted in less mosquitoes, said Guest.

“It’s very hard to compare one year to the next,” Guest told Your Local Journal. “You can have a very wet season and the next year it can be very dry. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. You don’t know if you haven’t had many mosquitoes because it was dry or because an area was sprayed.”

While council adopted a resolution to allocate at least $25,000 to spray for mosquito larvae as part of its 2016 municipal operating budget in December, the village still hasn’t decided whether it will proceed with the program this year.

The village is planning to become more proactive by sensitizing its residents on the importance of preventing stagnant pools of water from forming on private properties by conducting a public information campaign early in the season. Guest said residents will be advised on what they can do to drastically reduce standing water, which is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

“There are lots of things that people can do on their properties such as cleaning out their eaves troughs, removing old tires that may accumulate water, keeping their drainage areas clear and free of debris, and draining their pools,” said Guest. “It’s an education process and we hope people will become more compliant.”

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