RDOS Mosquito Control Team Seeing Large Numbers of Mosquitos Throughout 2021 – Penticton News

Photo: RDOS

Over 600 acres of land were haunted by the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Ward’s Mosquito Control Program for 2021, which began in mid-March and lasted through September.

A year-end report, included on the RDOS agenda, provides details of the work of the group.

That year, the first hatch took place on March 15th and the Dale Meadows field was treated as a dip with over 150 larvae.

“High larval numbers are an indication of any early hatching, and most early treatments are done in locations where there is still snow and ice. The water surface melts during the day and freezes overnight, which means that the larvicide gets to the mosquitoes that hatch early, ”the report said.

The RDOS distributes a larvicide that focuses on attacking only the mosquito species that they are trying to destroy.

With warmer temperatures in the third week of April, an early melt of all snowpack at low to medium elevation was produced, prompting the first helicopter flight of the year across a large area, including the lands of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, on April 28th.

The control program also led to another flight on May 6th, due to the “extraordinarily high” larvae numbers with huge flooded areas.

While Okanagan Lake subsided deep that year in preparation for the higher snowmelt, the area experienced very little spring rain, resulting in lower lake and river levels.

“All of the sites on the south side of Okanagan Lake saw larval levels in pre-existing ephemeral ponds and ancient river branches that were cut off from the main course of the river.”

As a result, the Okanagan River Channel caused no flooding that year and no helicopter flights were flown by the team in the Okanagan area that year.

But the Similkameen River basin experienced a second higher tide of floods, creating another wave of high larval numbers as they hatched and spread into flooded areas. The team responded with a third helicopter flight on May 21.

In record-breaking heat in June, the water sources dried up and some produced hatches after hatching “summer” mosquitoes.

“The relentless heat and the ability of these mosquito species to use all standing water sources kept the crew very busy treating and educating the residents.”

This season, a new product with the same environmental standard as the BTI larvicide, a BT product called Vectolex, was tested at two test sites.

The results together with the positive reactions from local property owners showed that the new product is very effective. Further locations will be checked for suitability in 2022.

During this season, over 2200 kg of the larvicide was applied to 409 locations, making a total of 396 hectares of treated mosquito breeding habitat. In addition, nearly 1,250 kg was applied to 208 hectares of land on the Lower Similkameen Indian Band.

The 2021 mosquito season ended in late September as larval activity remained high enough to treat it until the last week.

The full report will be presented to the RDOS on Thursday.

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