Biological Control of Biting Insects
What is it about?
CFR offers biological control of biting insects services using a selective bio larvicide known as BTI. The problematic hydric areas, where mosquito larvae develop, are pulverised manually, terrestrially or aerially using helicopters and drones. The treated areas are in most cases several square kilometers and are highly variable depending on the characteristics of the terrain and the general conditions of the zone.
Many cities have used our services to lower the general nuisance caused by black flies (simuliidae) and mosquitoes. Since 2012, CFR has also been lending its expertise in hydroelectric construction sites and camps along the Romaine river for Hydro-Quebec.
What species are affected by the treatments?
Because BTI is selective, only black flies and mosquitoes are affected by the treatments. Tics, midges and domestic flies are not affected by the product.
Effects on the environment
Is it harmful to animals?
More than 100 scientific papers have proved that BTI is not harmful to non-targeted organisms like micro-invertebrates and macro-invertebrates, fish species, amphibians and other vertebrates.
Is it harmful to fishes?
(“Predators (E.g. Odonata, Plecoptera, Trichoptera, Hemiptera, Coleoptera, tadpoles and fishes) and detritivores (E.g. Crustacea, Ephemeroptera and Plecoptera) consume dead mosquito and black fly larvae that have been affected by BTI without any effect to their development or emergence cycle.” Sebastien et Brust 1881; Lacey et Dame 1982; Olejnicek et Maryskova 1986; Aly et Mulla 1987; Leclair et al. 1988; Mulla 1990; Wipfli et al. 1994; Wipfli et Merritt 1994a, 1994b)
" BTI has no effect on other insect species such as honey bees, fish or birds or mammals. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assesses that the risk of BTI on non-targeted species is unsubstantial or inexistent.” (Health Canada 2013)
Does it affect water supplies?
“ARLA estimates that treatments using homologated BTI products in water tables used for human consumption does not represent any danger on human health and security.” (Health Canada 2013)
Here at CFR, we believe that the use of pesticides in drinkable water pools used for human consumption is unacceptable in any form. This is why we always make sure, before any treatment, that the treated sites are not used for stocking potable water. We always have the proper approval and certificates of authorisation from the MDDELCC before the beginning of any operation.
Long term effects of BTI
“In general, mosquito larvae hatch from their eggs three to four days after a BTI treatment in their habitat.” http://www.mddelcc.gouv.qc.ca/pesticides/virus-nil/bti/chap5.htm
“The insecticide’s toxins are rapidly biodegraded in their environment by solar rays and microorganisms.” ( (Health Canada 2013)
Is it dangerous for humans and animals?
“Ingestion of BTI in traces amounts found in aquatic systems poses no threat to human health.”
Does it have any significant effect on the food cycle of insectivore birds?
No. Because of the sensitive nature of the subject, many scientific researches are being conducted to study the long-term effects of the BTI treatments in nature. When analysing the results of such researches, it has been proven that birds adapt well to a reduction in mosquito and black flies populations because they end up consuming the same number of invertebrates as birds that are out of the treatment zones. This is due to the fact that other insects will replace the undesirable species affected by BTI in their ecological niche.
What we do
- Prospection : Using innovative techniques such as satellite imagery, high resolution aerial imagery, drone imagery, terrestrial prospection and by communicating with clients, we pinpoint areas that are favourable to mosquitos and black flies reproductive cycle.
- Identification : Identifying the species that are captured, we are able to determine the frequency and intensity required to treat the at-risk areas properly.
- Treatments : The spreading of BTI in treated areas is completed using an efficient and safe methodology. Our trained forestry technicians use adapted equipment for every kind of terrain and situation. Each treated site is georeferenced on GPS using mapping programs (GIS).
- Quality Control : Following each treatment, we validate the quality of the operations on site after less than 24 hours. We also complete regular nuisance tests to get a general idea of the efficiency of the treatments. By comparing the level of biting insects in treated and non-treated areas, we are able to estimate the level of reduction of nuisance in the city. Generally, our operations lower the level of nuisance by 80% to 90% from non-treated areas. It is to be noted that it is technically impossible and non-desirable to eliminate 100% of the problematic insects in a given area.
What makes us different
- Impeccable customer service: We strongly believe that communication with our clients and citizens is the key to success. Nobody knows their area better than those living in it.
- Innovation ! : Using our imagination to higher the quality of our treatments, we have come up with innovative new ways of working. As an example, we have developed and used larvicide spreading drones.
- Keeping it green: Our main priority here at CFR is to preserve an environmental equilibrium. Science is in constant advancement and we stay informed on new development and discoveries in the BTI field in order to adjust our practice and have a positive impact on the treated areas
The BTI (Bacillus Thuringiensis var. Israelensis)
- Is a toxic bacterium that affects specific dipteran species such as mosquitos and black flies.
- Larvae affected by BTI ingest the bacteria in water and suffer from digestive poisonings that kill them upon ingestion.
- Researches have proven that BTI can be found in natural microbial fauna.
Links to extern articles
Principal source of information : http://www.mddelcc.gouv.qc.ca/pesticides/virus-nil/bti/chap5.htm
Interesting article on Bti : http://www.mddelcc.gouv.qc.ca/pesticides/virus-nil/bti/bti.pdf
Interesting project: https://quebecoiseaux.org/index.php/dossiers/...
CBC News report: http://ici.radio-canada.ca/regions/saguenay-lac/...