Kanata North Nuisance Mosquito Program

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Community consultation on the continuation of the Kanata North Nuisance Mosquito Program, which ran from 2016 to 2019. In January 2020, Kanata North residents will have the opportunity to vote whether to continue the mosquito control program and research component for an additional four years.


On October 9, 2019, City Council officially approved Councillor Sudds’ proposal to launch a robust consultation period which will conclude in a community wide vote to determine whether there is support for the continuation of the mosquito control program.

The consultation period will run from October 10, 2019 to January 8, 2020. Throughout the consultation period, Kanata North residents will have the opportunity to express their opinion on the program in person at one of two community meetings and also on this online platform.

The proposed program incorporates lessons learned from the 2016-2019 pilot program. The mosquito control program will continue to only use biological larvicides for mosquito control. It will also include an independent research component to further study possible environmental impacts of this program.

Results from the last four years indicate that the program has the capacity to reduce the mosquito population by 80% in Kanata North, and the new contractor would be required to demonstrate that a minimum 80% reduction is being reached.

Community consultation on the continuation of the Kanata North Nuisance Mosquito Program, which ran from 2016 to 2019. In January 2020, Kanata North residents will have the opportunity to vote whether to continue the mosquito control program and research component for an additional four years.


On October 9, 2019, City Council officially approved Councillor Sudds’ proposal to launch a robust consultation period which will conclude in a community wide vote to determine whether there is support for the continuation of the mosquito control program.

The consultation period will run from October 10, 2019 to January 8, 2020. Throughout the consultation period, Kanata North residents will have the opportunity to express their opinion on the program in person at one of two community meetings and also on this online platform.

The proposed program incorporates lessons learned from the 2016-2019 pilot program. The mosquito control program will continue to only use biological larvicides for mosquito control. It will also include an independent research component to further study possible environmental impacts of this program.

Results from the last four years indicate that the program has the capacity to reduce the mosquito population by 80% in Kanata North, and the new contractor would be required to demonstrate that a minimum 80% reduction is being reached.

  • The Mosquito Program: Years 1-4

    4 days ago
    Mosquito program image

    My team and I have been receiving several emails and phone calls following our mosquito program community consultation meetings. Today I am sharing answers to some of the frequently asked questions to ensure you are all well informed ahead of the January vote when we must decide, as a community, whether the mosquito program continues for another four years.

    As communicated previously, the voting period will begin on January 2nd, 2020 and will conclude on January 22nd at 4pm.

    Please keep reaching out to share your concerns and to send us your feedback and questions:...

    My team and I have been receiving several emails and phone calls following our mosquito program community consultation meetings. Today I am sharing answers to some of the frequently asked questions to ensure you are all well informed ahead of the January vote when we must decide, as a community, whether the mosquito program continues for another four years.

    As communicated previously, the voting period will begin on January 2nd, 2020 and will conclude on January 22nd at 4pm.

    Please keep reaching out to share your concerns and to send us your feedback and questions: Jenna.Sudds@ottawa.ca.

    After completing the first four years of the program, what are the results? By and large, the mosquito program has successfully accomplished its objective, achieving an 80% reduction in mosquitoes during 2016/2017. This 80% reduction is the benchmark set in the contract for the next four years, obligating GDG to hit that target on an annual basis.

    Why was the program less effective in 2018/2019? In 2018, Kanata North had a record rainfall event (200 mm over a few days) that occurred in late July and early August, causing large amounts of mosquito development sites to become active. Given the short window of opportunity for treatment, mosquitoes were able to develop into adults at some treatment sites before they could be treated. Through this experience, GDG learned about these new “flood water” mosquitoes and now understands that they need to treat further up the Carp River flood plain in order to lower overall populations in Kanata North.

    In 2019, GDG also learned that these “flood water” species can fly longer distances and that the Carp River will overflow its banks with less rain than was originally predicted. It has a large catchment basin, meaning it receives lots of water from tributaries causing frequent flooding. 200 hectares have been added to the surface area of the mosquito treatment map in 2019 based on residential feedback and GDG’s mosquito trap data. With this information and these added areas, GDG will have better control in future years and should be able to reach their goal of an 80% mosquito reduction, as they did in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

    Have there been any adverse environmental impacts from the program? There are no demonstrable adverse impacts on local wildlife. A portion of the levy fund will go towards a University of Ottawa research team who will monitor environmental impacts on a regular basis.

    What about dragonflies? There is no evidence to suggest that the larvicide affects dragonflies. In fact, long-term research carried out by teams in Minnesota, France, Sweden, and Germany demonstrated no impact on secondary consumers in targeted areas. Bti’s are considered a discriminant approach as it only affects targeted species.

    What about bats? While bats will opportunistically feed on mosquitoes, research through the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that bats primarily subsist on moths, with only 2% of their stomach contents being mosquitoes. In fact, the average bat would require 600+ mosquitoes in a given day to maintain its caloric and nutritional requirements whereas they only require 160+ moths. While bat diets do vary, it would be disadvantageous for bats to feed primarily on mosquitoes.

    What about honeybees? The impact of Bti on honeybees has been extensively studied. To date, studies have concluded that Bti’s have had no registered negative impact on honeybees or their colonies. Bti’s have caused no behavior abnormalities and have been linked to no diseases or physical abnormalities. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food has confidently stated that Bti is non-toxic to honeybees.

    How about swallows? Of the six species of swallows in Eastern Canada none are currently considered threatened or vulnerable. This is in part due to the versatility of the swallow’s diet. For instance, tree swallows feed from ten different orders, even eating spiders, mollusks, and snails. In fact, a 2013 study indicates that mosquitoes make up roughly 1% of a tree swallow’s stomach contents. Swallows, by virtue of their varied diet and their preference for non-mosquito food sources should not be threatened by decreasing mosquito populations.

    Then why am I seeing less animals? Less birds? Kanata North is in a period of development and expansion. This includes a reduction in green spaces and a disruption to the local wildlife. A reduction in wildlife is an unavoidable result of urbanization, but there is no demonstrable link between the mosquito program and the reduction of species in Kanata’s still vibrant local ecology.

    If it’s so safe, how does it kill mosquitoes? Mosquitoes spend their larval stage in standing or running waters, feeding by absorbing water porously, absorbing what they need from the water.

    Bti is a natural bacterium, which produces a protein crystal. When Bti is present in the waters with the larva they will absorb the microscopic protein crystals. The larva’s digestive system is an alkaline environment, and when the crystals find their way into the larva they dissolve and convert into a state that is exclusively toxic to mosquitoes and blackflies. It then kills the mosquito larva from within, preventing it from reaching maturity.

    Bti’s are used throughout the world due to their discriminate (or targeted) nature and because they quickly and naturally leave the ecosystem.


  • What You Need to Know About the Mosquito Program

    11 days ago
    Mosquito program image

    What is the Mosquito Program? Over the past four years, Kanata North residents have paid an annual levy to fund a mosquito control program in our community.

    The contractor administers quantities of a bioloarvicide called Bti (Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis) in and around our wetlands, stillwaters, and marshes in Kanata North. Bti is found naturally in soils in our environment. This natural bacterium produces a protein that is only toxic to mosquito larva. When ingested by the larva, it causes the insects to expire prematurely, before they can develop into a mosquito.

    Bti is ...

    What is the Mosquito Program? Over the past four years, Kanata North residents have paid an annual levy to fund a mosquito control program in our community.

    The contractor administers quantities of a bioloarvicide called Bti (Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis) in and around our wetlands, stillwaters, and marshes in Kanata North. Bti is found naturally in soils in our environment. This natural bacterium produces a protein that is only toxic to mosquito larva. When ingested by the larva, it causes the insects to expire prematurely, before they can develop into a mosquito.

    Bti is considered a discriminant product, affecting only mosquitos and not other larva such as Chronomidae, black flies, which also develop and mature through water feeding.

    How much will it cost? From 2016 to 2019, the program cost the average homeowner in Kanata North approximately $17.35 per year.

    Thanks to the open and competitive process put in place by my office and the city for the next stage of the program, the cost will be lowered, with the average household paying approximately $16.85 per year.

    Who will be running the program? Why them? The program will be carried out by GDG, who were the successful bidders on an open and public RFP put out through August and September of this year.

    This RFP incorporated our experience with the program over the last four years. For instance, from 2016 to 2019, we learned that it was technically feasible for the program to reduce mosquito populations by 80% in the ward. For the next four years of the program the service provider will be obligated to meet that reduction target.

    As part of the agreement, no costs will be accrued by our residents should the community vote not to continue the program. This is a risk that GDG has accepted.

    Additionally, the levy will fund a research program run independent of GDG that will measure any and all environmental impacts on our community.


  • What You Need to Know About the Vote

    16 days ago
    Mosquito program image

    Over the past four years, residents of Kanata North have paid a levy – an additional cost levied against each household on an annual basis – to fund a mosquito control program in our community.

    Due to our unique greenspaces, stillwaters, and ecological diversity, Kanata North is home to over forty different species of mosquitos, all of which rapidly breed and spread across our community.

    This January, residents will need to decide whether or not our community will continue to pay a levy to fund this program.

    Without a levy, the mosquito program cannot continue. Conversely, if there is no...

    Over the past four years, residents of Kanata North have paid a levy – an additional cost levied against each household on an annual basis – to fund a mosquito control program in our community.

    Due to our unique greenspaces, stillwaters, and ecological diversity, Kanata North is home to over forty different species of mosquitos, all of which rapidly breed and spread across our community.

    This January, residents will need to decide whether or not our community will continue to pay a levy to fund this program.

    Without a levy, the mosquito program cannot continue. Conversely, if there is no support for the mosquito program’s continuation, the levy will no longer be applied on Kanata North residents, and the program will be terminated.

    In the lead-up to the vote, my office has been holding consultations throughout our community with speakers from GDG and research undertaken by University of Ottawa. If you have not been able to make our consultations, you can see their presentations here.

    How will I vote? Kanata North residents will be mailed a package containing:

    · Background information;

    · Instructions on how to vote;

    · A paper ballot with a unique ID number;

    · And a prepaid return envelope

    Residents can either return the ballot by mail or, starting January 2nd, will be able to use the ballot’s unique ID number to cast their vote at https://engage.ottawa.ca/kanata-north-nuisance-mosquito-program

    What’s on the ballot? Working alongside the City Clerk’s office as well as the city’s legal team, the following question was drafted to appear on the ballot. The question is intended to be as clear and concise as possible – and to directly address the question facing our community: will we, as residents, continue to pay a levy to fund the Kanata North Mosquito Program.

    The question will be as follows:

    Do you support the levy to continue the Kanata North Mosquito Program?

    When will we vote? The voting period will begin on January 2nd, 2020 and will conclude on January 22nd at 4pm.

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  • The future of the Kanata North Mosquito Nuisance Program

    about 2 months ago
    Mosquito program image

    This summer marks the end of a four-year trial program to address high levels of nuisance mosquitoes in our community. This program is paid for by the community via a levy on the property tax bills of Kanata North residents. The average household pays approximately $35 a year for this program. It is a unique program as it exists nowhere else in the city.

    I have spent a considerable amount of time this summer working with our current provider to understand the program better and to address large populations of mosquitoes throughout our community. Despite some perceptions, large mosquito populations...

    This summer marks the end of a four-year trial program to address high levels of nuisance mosquitoes in our community. This program is paid for by the community via a levy on the property tax bills of Kanata North residents. The average household pays approximately $35 a year for this program. It is a unique program as it exists nowhere else in the city.

    I have spent a considerable amount of time this summer working with our current provider to understand the program better and to address large populations of mosquitoes throughout our community. Despite some perceptions, large mosquito populations and breeding grounds are not limited to only around the Beaver Pond and Carp River. This is an issue across Kanata North.

    I have always said that I believe the future of this program is a community decision. It’s a unique program to address an uncommon problem, and it is funded directly by you. Therefore, it is the community’s decision whether it should move forward for another four years.

    I am committed to facilitating a fair and transparent process in which the community can make an informed decision about this program. Today I’d like to share a bit more about what that process will look like.

    The first step is a request for proposals to be posted by the city, seeking a supplier to administer the program. This RFP went live on August 27th and can be accessed through Merx. This RFP will be open for 15 days following which the city’s evaluation team will evaluate the proposals and determine who would be the future supplier for this program – if it moves forward. By doing this first, with no commitment of moving forward, the community will have all the information required to make an informed decision and can ask questions directly to the supplier.

    Although the RFP proposes a similar approach to the program as in past years, it does explicitly include a requirement for an 80 percent reduction in the mosquito population. The RFP prescribes how that is to be measured and increases the required number of test sites in calculating this. Further, it does include a three-year research project to study any impact of the program on plant species in the ecosystem.

    Secondly, once the supplier has been identified, I will be hosting public meetings on Tuesday, October 22nd and Tuesday, November 19th of this year. This is an opportunity to ask questions and become informed about the program.

    Lastly, pending Council approval of the program and funding model, I will facilitate a community vote over a two-week period in early 2020 to decide whether this program continues. More details will be shared about this as we get closer and dates are confirmed.

    I expect many conversations about the future of this program in the coming months, and I welcome your feedback at any time. Please reach out directly at Jenna.Sudds@ottawa.ca with any questions or concerns you may have.