TNRD gets ready for mosquito season

TNRD expecting higher-than-normal mosquito populations.

 A helicopter has its seeder filled with larvicide in Knutsford. Aerial applications are done when there is extensive mosquito larval habitat.

 A helicopter has its seeder filled with larvicide in Knutsford. Aerial applications are done when there is extensive mosquito larval habitat.

Black Press

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District is gearing up for what promises to be another higher-than-normal mosquito season. Rivers in the TNRD have already started flooding and the accumulated snowpack in the North and South Thompson watersheds is well above normal. Environment Canada is forecasting a heat wave, which could translate into significant flooding in the next month and hundreds of hectares of water left standing, potentially teeming with mosquito larvae. Although crews will be working up to seven days per week, residents should expect higher than normal numbers of mosquitoes this summer.

Nuisance Mosquito Control Program

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District currently operates the Nuisance Mosquito Control Program in Electoral Areas “A” (Wells Gray Country), “O” (Lower North Thompson), “P” (Rivers and The Peaks), “J” (Copper Desert Country), “L,” and in the municipalities of Sun Peaks, Kamloops, Barriere, Clearwater, Chase and Logan Lake. The program operations are run by BWP Consulting Inc.

The majority of the Nuisance Mosquito Control Program is focused on floodwaters of the North and South Thompson rivers and early spring snowmelt pools in the grasslands around Pritchard, Pinantan, Logan Lake, Knutsford, Paul Lake and Lac Le Jeune.

Control of nuisance mosquitoes is accomplished by treating them in their larval stages with a larvicide containing a metabolite of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis (Bti). The larvicide is harmless to non-target organisms, including amphibians, birds, fish, reptiles, mammals and even other insects.

BWP Consulting certified technicians apply the larvicide by hand from backpack applicators and from the air using a helicopter seeder.

West Nile Virus

prevention program cut back

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District was recently informed that funding for the West Nile Virus (WNv) Risk Reduction programs, which includes comprehensive larviciding throughout the region, as well as education and surveillance programs, will not be available this year.

This is because it has been determined that WNv levels in British Columbia are unlikely to reach those seen in other areas of North America that have experienced large, protracted outbreaks.

As a consequence of this funding cut there will be no mosquito control in areas outside the boundaries of the TNRD Nuisance Mosquito Control Program. This includes the Upper and Lower Nicola Valley, Quilchena, Cache Creek, Ashcroft, Lytton as well as Clinton and surrounding areas.

Mosquito prevention

At this time of year, residents and property owners are encouraged to think about places around their properties where mosquito larvae may be present. Any water-holding containers should be emptied, rain barrels should be covered with screens to prevent mosquitoes from flying in and laying eggs, and eavestroughs should be checked for proper drainage. Also, owners of swimming pools should drain water sitting on top of pool covers. This water can be capable of supporting thousands of mosquito larvae.

For more information contact Cheryl Phippen at bwp@shaw.ca or call the 24-hour mosquito advisory line at 250-372-5700. Additional information can be found online at tnrd.ca