• Stripping and Grading

Weed & Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a decision-making model used to prevent and manage pest problems. IPM promotes the use of various management practices (cultural, biological, mechanical, chemical, legal, and genetic) to improve plant health, and to prevent and manage pest infestations. 

Originally created in 2008, the plan was updated and accepted by Okotoks Town Council in 2016. The updated plan provides strategies and goals for the management and maintenance of weeds, nuisances, pests, and animals within Okotoks. The plan aligns with federal, provincial, and municipal acts, regulations, and bylaws. 

Herbicide Use

The Town must consider a range of challenges and issues when implementing weed and pest management in landscape and park environments, including:
  • Health, Safety, and Water Quality
  • Aesthetics versus Need
  • Education and Notification
  • Administrative and Political
  • Construction and Disturbed Sites

How Does the Town Determine When Herbicide will be Applied?

A certified pesticide applicator assesses all manicured turf areas for weeds. The acceptable level of weeds in neighborhood parks is 15% and 5% on sports fields. Where weed coverage exceeds thresholds, the site may be prescribed herbicide control.

As weeds tend to proliferate in unhealthy turf or non-irrigated turf, other Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices need to be considered. The dominant turf species in manicured turf is Kentucky Blue Grass, which has a high water requirement. When the grass is dormant, the weeds have less competition and have a better chance to take over.

Aside from increased irrigation, IPM measures that may help turf resist weeds include:

  • seeding in more drought tolerant turf species
  • increasing organic matter in soil by topdressing with compost
  • amended topsoil or increased topsoil depth

All of these practices are being utilized where budget and resources permit.

For more information, please see FAQ below.

Mosquito Q&A

​Q: Does the Town of Okotoks have a mosquito monitoring and control program?

A: Yes, mosquito larvae are sampled and controlled in surface waters on public lands.

Q: What is the control method used for mosquito control?

A: A biological control agent is released into the water to control mosquito larvae. The product is the dead spores of Bacillus
thuringiensis
, a natural soil bacterium.

Q: Is chemical fogging of adult mosquitoes performed?

A: No, the Town does not fog adult mosquitoes.

Q: Will aerating storm ponds reduce mosquito populations?

A: No, storm ponds have extremely low mosquito larvae populations already that they currently do not require treatment.

Q: If not storm ponds, where do mosquitoes come from?

A: Roadside ditches are the main culprit for harbouring large populations of mosquitoes and other small stagnant sources of water are the main sources of mosquitoes.

Q: Is West Nile Virus a concern for Okotoks?

A: The threat of people contracting West Nile virus is low in central Alberta. Mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus require a longer warmer season than is typical in this region, however, a long, hot summer can increase the risk.

Q: What can residents do to help?

A: Ensure no standing water is left in yards such as spare tires, plant trays, pails, blocked swales, etc. Ensure water is refreshed in rain barrels and bird baths regularly. 

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