As area residents struggle to control water flowing across low lying areas around Okanagan lakes, rivers and streams there’s one creature poised to flourish — mosquitos.
“Mosquito control is starting a bit later than normal because of the cooler weather conditions, but the problem with the flooding is that the water can accumulate 50 to 70 metres away from the river,” said Curtis Fediuk, president of Duka Environmental Ltd., which provides all larval mosquito control within the participating funding areas under contract with the Central Okanagan Regional District.
Since early April, crews have been out monitoring and treating mosquito larvae in about 200 known breeding locations across the Central Okanagan as part of the Regional District Mosquito Control Program.
Right now there doesn’t seem to be a big issue, but there will be countless more areas with pools of water.
Once the water levels recede, that’s when it will become clear whether this will be a record year for mosquito populations.
“How much water is left behind and how long it sits, that’s what will make the difference,” Fediuk said, adding he doesn’t have a crystal ball, but the conditions are ideal for mosquito reproduction.
Residents can help reduce mosquito populations by removing potential places for the bugs to hang out around their properties.
Remove any standing water sources and unused items that collect water such as old tires. Just a few millimetres of water is all that’s needed for mosquito larva to survive and hatch into biting mosquitoes.
Rain barrels should be covered with a screen to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in the water.
At least twice a week, drain standing water from containers under plant pots or in garbage cans and change the water in birdbaths, wading pools and pet bowls. And remove any water that sits in unused swimming pools, on swimming pool covers and aerate water in ponds or add fish that will feed on mosquito larvae.”
Residents in the participating areas of the program (City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, Central Okanagan East and a small section of West Kelowna Estates in the City of West Kelowna) can report mosquito concerns by calling Duka Environmental Ltd. at 1-800-681-3472 or go to regionaldistrict.com/mosquitoes and fill out an online form.
Learn how you and your family can fight back and protect against mosquitoes by checking out the resources available on the Mosquito Control page on the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/mosquitoes.