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Central Okanagan calling for public help to fight ‘perfect storm’ during mosquito season

Central Okanagan calling for public help to fight ‘perfect storm’ during mosquito season - image
AP File Photo / Felipe Dana

The Regional District of Central Okanagan is asking for the public’s help dealing with what could be a bad mosquito season in the region.

Standing water left behind by recent rain or flooding helps create extra habitat for the pesky insects to breed, and the warm weather could also help encourage mosquitoes.

“With the cooler temperatures during April, mosquito larva generation is a little behind. But with more recent seasonal temperatures, [the mosquito control program is] expecting to see more mosquitoes larva and potentially more mosquitoes hatching,” the district said in a media release.
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Officials say the public can help prevent the annoying insects from proliferating by getting rid of standing water that becomes a breeding ground.

“Just a few millimetres of water is all that’s needed for mosquito larva to survive,” said regional district spokesperson Bruce Smith.

Suggestions from the regional district to help control mosquitoes:

– Get rid of items that collect standing water
– Cover rain barrels
– Drain standing water from plant pots and garbage cans twice a week
– Change the water in birdbaths, wading pools and pet bowls twice a week
– Remove standing water in unused swimming pools or pool covers
– Aerate water in ponds or add fish to eat mosquito larvae

Regional district mosquito control

The regional district’s annual mosquito control efforts are also ongoing. The regional government contracts a private firm to minimize the nuisance caused by mosquitos. Through the spring and summer months they check for larvae in standing water.

“If larvae are found, environmentally-friendly pellets containing Bti are seeded into the water, which kills the larvae within 48 hours,” explains a regional district media release.

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The district says Bti is “a bacterial extract that is ingested by the larval stage of the mosquito. The extract contains a protein that when ingested, ruptures the gut of the mosquito larvae. The product is sort acting (approximately 24 hours) and not toxic.”

Last year over 748 kilograms of Bti was used in the Central Okanagan.

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