The Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting Tuesday unanimously approved a $13,200 contract with a Branford-based ecological management firm to put mosquito larvicide in New Canaan’s storm drains.
Representatives from All Habitat Services LLC will come to town to dump a product called Vectolex into some 2,540 catch basins in town, Parks Superintendent John Howe told the board.
“They come on scooters, take a scoop of Vectolex, and dump it into each catch basin as they drive around town,” Howe said at the meeting, held in Town Hall.
These scooters are installed with GPS so that they can be easily tracked, according to Howe.
In addition to mosquito traps installed by the state to monitor pest counts, All Habitat Services will track the mosquitos in town to see if they’re carrying viruses.
“Treating catch basins is not a cure-all,” Howe said. “But it does control a lot of the mosquitos that carry West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.”
A few years ago, the budget for New Canaan mosquito management transferred back from the Health Department to the Parks, part of the Department of Public Works.
“I think it was decided this way because I hold four different pesticide licenses,” Howe said. “I’d probably be the best person in town to oversee.”
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams voted in favor of the contract.
Devereaux asked for further information regarding the specifics of Vectolex, which is classified as a biological larvicide.
According to Howe, the bacteria is a naturally occuring microbe that works better than a standard BTI because it does not flush through the catch basins as easily.
“It does not take a lot for the material to get caught in the corners of the basins and reproduce, giving us four to six weeks of mosquito control,” he said.
Summer, prime time for these insects, also comes with regular thunderstorms which can strip the drains of their protective properties without the proper product, he said.
“Otherwise, we could apply the BTI today, have heavy rain tonight, and it’d flush out leaving us not at all protected,” Howe said.