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Marathon mosquito season in South Okanagan

The South Okangan's mosquito spraying program is continuing late into August as crews try to control mosquitos carrying the West Nile virus.
Image Credit: BWP Consulting
August 24, 2018 - 3:30 PM

PENTICTON - If you’re feeling like this year’s mosquito season is never-ending, you’re not alone.

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen public works projects coordinator Zoe Kirk says two consecutive years of flooding have put considerable pressure on the South Okanagan’s mosquito crews as they treat new sites in addition to existing problem areas.

“It was a bumper year for us. Crews are still out patrolling, doing mosquito control, even though we got on it early and hard this year,” Kirk says.

It’s late August and hordes of mosquitoes are still harassing human populations. Kirk says the crews are finding the Culex mosquito, a smaller version of the insect that is responsible for transmitting the West Nile virus and is prevalent this time of year, are developing more of an appetite for humans.

“That’s why we’re still out treating,” she says.

Kirk says the regional district crews use 30 per cent DEET on their outer clothing to keep themselves safe while performing their duties.

“The Culex mosquito is normally not that fond of humans, but they are getting desperate as the end of the season approaches and things dry out. They want to get their blood meal and lay their eggs before all the water dries up,” Kirk says, adding the eggs can last 10 years in the wild and still be viable.

The first cases of West Nile carrying birds in B.C. this year were discovered in the Kootenays earlier this month.

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