On Friday afternoon, the Manitoba government announced a new initiative that seeks to address the growing mosquito population by employing hundreds of conservation officers in a new humane ‘catch and release’ program.
“Here in Manitoba, we’re all about harm reduction and sustainability,” said Gary Boyd, head of the new program. “Our goal is not to kill any mosquitos, but simply to collect them and release them in an area where they’ll be less disruptive to hard-working Manitobans.”
Boyd says Manitobans need to stop thinking of mosquitos as a nuisance and, instead, greet them as a welcome addition to the Manitoba mosaic.
“Mosquitos are just one of the things that make Manitoba great,” said Boyd. “At the same time, we know that not everyone wants them in their backyard. So, we’re going to set up traps all over Manitoba and then release them somewhere along the Ontario border. We’re hoping they’ll just keep heading eastward.”
The program also bans any Manitoban from swatting or spraying mosquitos that happen to land on your bare arm and/or leg.
“You can shoo it away or ask it politely to leave your property,” said Boyd. “But absolutely no lethal action will be tolerated. If you’ve got a problem, please call us and we’ll come and collect them and release them a little past Falcon Lake somewhere.”
If successful, the government plans to extend the ‘no kill’ policy to include house flies, wood ticks, and tent caterpillars.
(photo credit: by Mount Rainier NPS/CC)