Perfect storm for skeeters

It's a perfect storm for mosquitoes in the Okanagan this spring – again.

For the second year in a row, high creek flows and rising lake levels have combined to produce swarms of the pesky insects.

In the Central Okanagan, regional district crews have been monitoring and treating 230 known larva breeding sites.

“We encourage residents to help us fight mosquitoes by removing any standing water sources and unused items that collect water such as old tires,” says spokesman Bruce Smith.

"It only takes a few millimetres of water for mosquito larva to survive and hatch into biting mosquitoes.”  

Rain barrels should be covered with a screen, and residents should drain standing water from containers under plant pots, in garbage cans, birdbaths, and pet bowls at least twice a week. Ponds should be aerated, or owners can add fish that feed on mosquito larvae.

Duka Environmental Ltd. provides mosquito control under contract to the RDCO. 

President Curtis Fediuk says standing water in low-lying areas has created the perfect conditions for mosquito breeding.

"Where observed, developing mosquito larvae are being controlled using a bio-rational, bacterial larvicide called VectoBac 200G," he says.

“We usually see mosquitoes peak between mid-June and the end of July," he added

More than 10,000 roadside catch basins will be checked and treated as needed.

Last year, 1,240 kilograms of Bti larvicide was applied in the regional district.

Bti stands for Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis, a bacterial extract that is ingested by the mosquito larva. The product is short acting (approximately 24 hours) and is non-toxic. As a precaution, it may not be applied to water that is permanently connected to a fish-bearing stream.

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