Stronger buzz than usual this year

Moisture makes for Mosquito glut

Talk with most anyone who enjoys the outdoors and you’re certain to get around to the subject of this year’s mosquito population.Chris Barlow, Castlegar’s director of transportation and civic works, said there’s a perfectly good explanation as to why the buzzing annoyances are in abundance.

“This year has seen higher water levels and more moisture. The population requires a certain level of water to help them to mature. If you see more moisture in any given year you will see an increase in the mosquito population,” Barlow explained.

Although this year’s population is anecdotally high, it’s uncertain as to exactly how many mosquitos are in the area.“We did no monitoring of the catch basins this year,” said Barlow.Nor has the city sprayed for mosquitos.“We traditionally sprayed, but the provincial government stopped funding those programs two years ago,” added Barlow.And despite your scratching, slapping and swatting, that may be a good thing.

Lynn Wescott, a Castlegar resident and entomologist said that not all mosquitos are created equal and while the biting kind aren’t appreciated, there are other species which serve a valuable purpose.“

In B.C. alone there are over 60 species and not all of those 60 will bite humans. Some of those will only take their blood meal from birds, and some of those will only take their blood meal from amphibians. Not all mosquitos are bad and not all of them are nuisance species,” explained Wescott.So, what happens is that quite often, humans in their desire to rid themselves of the nuisance species, will also rid themselves of the kind which help in ecological balance.

“In foggers and such they use pesticides which tend to be broad spectrum and you could be targeting other [non-nuisance] mosquitos. Those mosquitos are a primary food source for birds and bats,” Westcott concluded.

Interior Health does have some suggestions to help decrease the mosquito population:Eliminate mosquito habitat (standing water) around homes.Clean out and empty eaves troughs, pool covers, old tires or any other materials that can collect water. Empty and clean bird baths weekly, install aeration pumps on ornamental ponds and water gardens.Fit rain barrels with tight lids or screens and empty saucers under flower pots.Install good screens on doors and windows. Check them to ensure they fit snugly into the frame and that there are no holes or tears.

Personal protection:

Try to avoid outdoor activities around dusk and dawn when mosquitos are most active.Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and a hat – weather permitting.Choose light-coloured clothing since dark colours attract mosquitos.  Use repellent containing DEET or other suitable alternatives. Follow label instructions for use.

 

Just Posted

Craft cannabis development planned for Castlegar

Plans are underway for one of the first craft cannabis industrial parks in the province.

Andrew Bellerby out as RDCK’s regional fire chief

Bellerby held the job since January 2016

Castlegar already well on path to energy-wise future, says community activist

Eco-Society executive director asks council to take 100-per-cent-renewable-energy pledge

Annual Columbia Basin Culture tour coming up Aug 10 and 11

There are locations across the region participating

Rossland council passes plastic bag ban despite legal questions

Appeal court ruling threw bylaw in limbo, but council voted to move forward

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Highway 1 closed to due fatal accident east of Revelstoke

A dump truck lost control and the driver was ejected

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read