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Red Deer Reality Rant #17 - Pest Control

Hello, I am back this sultry, soggy Monday for another Red Deer Reality Rant! I generally don’t yak too much about the weather even though it’s a major point of discussion here in Alberta. I’m sure that there’s better things to talk about in other locales but Alberta takes the cake for unpredictable weather and as a result of all the precipitation I have more fodder for today’s rant. I’m not much of a fan of summer time temperatures but rain, although usually a good thing as brought a ridiculous amount of loathsome critters here!

Mosquitoes. That is what I will discuss today, to rant, and rant I shall. I almost got eaten alive on Friday here in town even being a kilometre from the nearest waterway. I must not be the only one because at the stores I can’t seem to be able to find bug spray. Normally, I don’t need bug spray but these critters this summer are desperate likely because of the sheer volume of them, likely thanks to the damp clime we’ve had so far.

City of Red Deer has tried a bit to help with their Integrated Pest Management programs, but really I wish they would do more. Pesticides aren’t a great answer though, the city has been using some that are less detrimental but it doesn’t seem to be working up to par. In previous years, Red Deer has used some more natural ways to combat bugs and they need to bring back those programs pronto! Dragonfly eggs dumped off at local waterfronts and wet areas are a great way to help control mosquitoes and I know that the city has done this in years past.

What is going on this year? did a story about 6 days ago saying that we should expect more dragonflies to be around in the coming weeks but did not mention if the city is implementing any programs related to natural pest control. We all know that there’s other creatures that feast on mosquitoes but dragonflies and damselflies make the most sense. Kerrywood Nature Centre has been helping conserve bats in the area, and I am one of those people who think bats are cool. Although bats do eat lots of mosquitoes I don’t think it’s expedient to have tons of bats flying around.

Dragonflies and damselflies on the other hand, can co exist peacefully with humans in large numbers. Sure, some of them are quite ugly but they are very useful creatures to have around. Personally, I think that having a bunch of extra bugs that don’t bite or ruin human endeavours like gardening is not a bad thing. Some of the damselflies are very beautiful in my opinion and like I said, they don’t bite. So what exactly is the problem? I have read that some researchers think that dragonflies aren’t as effective as pesticides.

Well, too bad! Pesticides are awful: harmful to human health, harmful to other wildlife, and we are still learning about long term effects. In summers past here in Red Deer I have co existed with mosquito eating critters and have had summers without a single mosquito bite. These skeeters are desperate this year, drastic times call for drastic measures. Or you could just bring in some dragonfly eggs and while you are at it, stock the Red Deer river with some fish, they are hungry for bugs too!


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