No, you’re not in Kansas. That is a yellow road in Regina, although it isn’t bricks that have taken over, but dandelions.
The city appears awash in a sea of yellow as the pesky weed takes over green spaces, parks and medians.
In large part, it is because of the city’s continued reduction in the use of pesticides, as well the pest control budget taking a $63,000 hit.
“We have had some provincial cutbacks,” said Russell Eirich, manager of forestry and pest control, to reporters Tuesday.
But Eirich explained the treatment of dandelions typically is done later on in the year as a preventative step.
“We have not sprayed yet, our spray programs are typically done in the fall anyways,” Eirich said.
Given the limited resources available, Eirich and his team will instead focus on major parks, like Victoria Park in Regina’s downtown, and the spaces most used by the public.
“What we’re going to focus on is our athletic fields, our ball diamonds, our soccer fields, our football pitches that are grass areas,” Eirich said. “We want to maintain the playability and the safety of the players.”
But Eirich admits homeowners may get frustrated as they too fight dandelions that have blown in from the same weed-covered city parks.
“Our programs are going to focus on noxious weeds, not nuisance weeds and that’s what dandelions are,” Eirich said.
Starting this week, pest control crews will begin spraying for tent caterpillars and canker worms.
Numbers are expected to be above-average as the winter simply hasn’t been cold enough to kill off the eggs.
Around 10,000 trees will be sprayed in older neighbourhoods dominated by elm trees, like Old Lakeview and North Central. Those are the trees loved by cankerworms.
Newer neighbourhoods like Greens on Gardiner and Harbour Landing, with newer shrubs and trees enjoyed by tent caterpillars, will be sprayed as well.
The city uses Dipel, a Bt-based organic product that won’t harm you, your pets, your cars or wildlife.
Mosquitoes counts begin
As is done each year to help monitor mosquito numbers, 12 traps have been set up across the city.
So far only two mosquitoes have been caught, the average for this time of the year.
As the summer begins and the nights get longer and warmer, those numbers are expected to increase.