Central Okanagan Effort to Reduce Mosquito Bites
Central Okanagan property owners are being asked to help ‘fight the bite’ and reduce mosquito breeding habitat.
This month’s wet weather has provided more standing water than usual and with some seasonal temperatures, it won’t take long before we start to see increased mosquito larva hatching.
As part of the Regional District Nuisance Mosquito Control program, monitoring and treatment is underway of known mosquito breeding locations on public lands within the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas, the District of Lake Country, City of Kelowna and a small section of West Kelowna Estates in the District of West Kelowna.
Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “At least once a week these known breeding locations are visited to monitor and minimize mosquito larval development. Residents in these participating areas can report mosquito concerns on public land by calling 1-866-679-8473.”
BWP Consulting Inc. is contracted to conduct all larval mosquito control within participating areas of the Regional District. BWP’s Cheryl Phippen says, “This spring’s wet weather interspersed with periods of warm temperatures has resulted in extensive flooding and larger larval development habitats and we are seeing high densities of mosquito larvae. Residents should expect higher than normal numbers of nuisance mosquitoes throughout the summer. Individuals should be protecting themselves by wearing mosquito repellant containing DEET and light coloured clothing with long sleeves and long pants, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are at their worst.”
This year the Regional District is solely funding the Mosquito Control program as previously provided funds from the Province are no longer available. The program attempts to control the mosquito larvae including the specific species that are capable of transmitting West Nile Virus as well as those that are known to be significant human nuisance. This monitoring and treatment is being done in over 365 known surface water habitats as well as nearly 9,000 roadside catch basins in the participating areas.
Individuals have an important role to play in reducing standing water and potential breeding sites on their property. Remove standing water sources and any unused items that collect water such as old tires. Cover rain barrels and at least twice a week drain standing water from items like pool covers, saucers under plant pots or garbage cans. Mosquito larvae can also develop in birdbaths, wading pools or pet bowls, so water should be changed at least two times a week. Remove water that gathers in unused swimming pools and on swimming pool covers and aerate water in ponds or add fish that will eat mosquito larvae.
There are excellent resources available to help you and your family during the mosquito season. Visit the Mosquito Control page on the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/
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