June 23, 2014 - 9:39 AM
KAMLOOPS - High waters and low temperatures have given mosquitoes a safe haven in the Thompson Nicola Regional District this year but the peak is almost over and we can expect to see them die off soon.
“Right now is prime time, through the July long weekend,” Cheryl Phippen of BWP Consulting says. “This year has been just perfect for mosquitoes.”
Counts early in the season had Phippen predicting an ‘armageddon’ with well over 1,000 mosquitoes counted per 300 ml dip.
“We killed 99.1 per cent of them,” she says, “But that still leaves millions of mosquitoes.”
She notes mosquitoes lay eggs in the soil as the water recedes and those eggs can live up to 30 years. In years of extreme floods the waters can reach eggs that have been stockpiled for years, resulting in a lot more larvae.
The larvicide company has treated the 400 known sites within the regional program (along the rivers from Kamloops to Vavenby and Chase to Cherry Creek, as well as Sun Peaks and Logan Lake) with a focus on the flood waters along the North Thompson River.
Her team has spent as much as 18 hours a day while the river was high and now the water has receded they are not finding much in the way of larvae and they are averaging about 7.5 hours per day.
“A lot of our sites can be multiple hectares,” she says. “We’ve use more than 10,000 kg of larvicide and treated more than 2,000 hectares.”
Phippen says she has heard from many people who are unhappy with the number of mosquitoes this year but without the sun or hot spells we usually have by this time in the season the mosquitoes have not been dying.
She notes mosquitoes typically live 10 days in warmer weather but can live up to three weeks in cooler weather. The good news is we are reaching the end of the season and we can expect to see it ‘all collapse at once.’
At this point in the season Phippen says people must take personal precautions, such as wearing DEET, long sleeves and light coloured clothing. Now is also the time to get rid of standing water, which container breeders prefer.
“Our program is not a replacement for insect repellant, especially during this time of year.”
The good news? The mosquitoes here are typically short lived. They bite once and die.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014