Work is underway to keep the mosquitos at bay in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.
“This is the earliest we’ve started the mosquito control program and that’s because of the last two years of unprecedented flooding and it’s been a surprise to even us us that even though there is still snow on the ground in the high levels, even though there is still ice forming on some of the ponds the mosquito larva are actually in second and third stage,” said Zoe Kirk, public works special projects for the RDOS.
Kirk said work started in Eastgate last week to treat standing water with larvicide.
“We were up there cracking the ice to put the stuff in,” she said.
Kirk brought a cup full of mosquito larva to last Thursday’s RDOS meeting. The sample was collected in the Oliver area. The larva were vigorously swimming. Within an hour of putting larvicide in the cup, they all were dead.
Dirk Lewis, known as the “mosquito guy” at Morrow BioScience, a “mosquito management” firm in Rossland told Black Press recently that a dry April could mean fewer mosquitos this summer. He said with minimal flooding fewer eggs will hatch and hot weather will accelerate the mosquitos demise.
Kirk agreed with Lewis but noted “it all depends on geography.”
“In the Okanagan and Similkameen we went into fall and winter with groundwater saturation levels. We still have lakes and ponds up in Willowbrook. We still have water that never drained in Eastgate and places like that, so therefore that biomass that was laid is going to hatch and it may put pressure on the mosquito control program for the first couple of months and then if we have a dryer spring and works into a summer of drought that that might shift the closing date of the mosquito control program,” she said.
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