News / Winnipeg

Winnipeg pushes for rushed approval of new mosquito killer

The city has asked Health Canada to approve DeltaGard in time for summer 2017.

AP

Winnipeg’s manager of insect control hopes the city will get the all-clear to use a new mosquito-killing product by May.

Ken Nawolsky anticipates that’s roughly when Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) will announce its approval of DeltaGard 20EW. 

The city plans for this new eco-friendly product to replace Malathion—a chemical insecticide the city has been using to fog mosquitoes since 1985.

But time is of the essence when it comes to planning for the 2017 program, Nawolsky said. That’s why the city is searching for a DeltaGard supplier, even while the product is pending federal approval. 

“We want to ensure we have the product so we're ready in case we have significant mosquito population,” he said in a recent interview.

Nawolsky said it typically takes up to three years for a new product to be approved and registered in Canada.

But he said the city sent a letter to the PMRA last November, requesting an expedited approval of DeltaGard.

A Health Canada spokesperson said that approval is still pending as the consultation period part of the process runs until April 14.

Once that closes, it will take another two to three weeks for the PMRA to publish a decision, then another six to eight weeks for the city to award a supplier contract and receive a shipment of the product, said Nawolsky.

That means the latest the city should have DeltaGard on stock is the end of June.

But that’s still cutting it close considering the city has started mosquito-fogging by mid-June the past two years.

Nawolsky is confident Health Canada will give DeltaGard the greenlight because its active ingredient in Deltamethrin, a commonly used synthetic insecticide. 

For its initial order, the city wants to buy 5,000 litres of DeltaGard, with the option of purchasing 3,000 litres more incrementally. 

Nawolsky praised the product as less risky and more environmentally friendly than Malathion because it requires smaller quantities to work effectively. DeltaGard is said to be highly effective at killing mosquitos, with no harmful effects on humans.

It also has no expiry date, he added.

That’s worth noting because the city ran into trouble last summer when it learned Malathion couldn’t be used if stored for more than one year, which meant 2,000 litres of product recently purchased from the province was no good. 

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