Earliest start ever to South Okanagan mosquito control program | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Earliest start ever to South Okanagan mosquito control program

A sample of larvicide and mosquito larvae already hatching in regional district waters.

PENTICTON - Snow has barely disappeared from the valley floor in the South Okanagan, but the regional district has already begun its mosquito control program for 2019.

Zoe Kirk with the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen told directors at a board meeting today, April 4, it's the earliest start ever to the mosquito control program with treatment underway in areas with snow still on the ground.

Kirk said mosquito larvae was found under the ice in the Eastgate area in second and third stage, prompting technicians to crack the ice to apply larvicide.

“We’re hopeful we can get at larvae dips like this and avoid having to deal with big hatches like we have in past years,” she said. 

Kirk said mosquito larvae has to be at a certain stage in order for treatment to be effective. She said the Eastgate larvae were found in the top three inches of the water’s surface and were able to hatch and survive even with a thin layer of ice reforming overnight.

Kirk said control operations began on March 15, a month earlier than last year, and over two months earlier than normal.

The regional district’s mosquito control program budget has increased from $170,000 two years ago to $190,000 this year, following two years of high water in the district.

As part of the mosquito control budget, the board approved a five-year agreement for helicopter services with Eclipse Helicopters at a cost this year of $35,000.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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