The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen’s annual nuisance mosquito control program is underway from Spring until September 2021. (Black Press file)

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen’s annual nuisance mosquito control program is underway from Spring until September 2021. (Black Press file)

South Okanagan mosquito control program gets underway

Control crew surveys proprieties to eliminate mosquito and biting black fly at the larval stage

Are you spending more time in the summers swatting and scratching than actually enjoying the outdoors? If so, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) can help.

The district’s annual “nuisance mosquito control program” is now underway and will continue until September.

The service, launched in 1974, is driven by property owner request and operates on private lands only. Owners of regularly controlled sites are contacted annually by mail prior to commencement to allow treatment to take place as soon as the right conditions occur.

READ MORE: First week of spring brings sun and showers to Okanagan Valley

The RDOS’ mosquito control crew will evaluate standing water on properties throughout the region, looking for the presence of mosquito larvae.

If the site requires treatment, a naturally occurring granular bacterial larvicide called Bacillus Turingiensis Isrealensis (Bt-i) is applied to the water. The bacteria kills mosquito and biting black fly at their larval stage.

The larvacide does not kill adult mosquitoes or harm non-target species such as insects, amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds or mammals.

When identified sites are too large to treat manually, a helicopter is deployed to achieve adequate coverage.

If you reside in the RDOS Electoral Areas or municipalities listed below, are not registered with the program and have areas of standing, stagnant water bodies too large to drain on your own, call the RDOS Mosquito Control Program at 1-877-610-3737 ext. 4142 or 250-490-4142.

The program covers properties within the City of Penticton, District of Summerland, and Towns of Oliver and Osoyoos as well as electoral areas “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” “F,” “G,” “H,” and “I”.

To reduce mosquitoes around your home, the RDOS suggests the following:

  • Make sure to mend screens
  • Clean and unclog gutters,
  • Remove water from any depressions on your roof
  • Refresh outdoor pet dishes and birdbaths daily
  • Remove any standing water from items such as pails, boats, hot tubs and pool covers, tires, plant pots, small troughs, rain barrels, and tarps
  • Inspect your property for anything that can hold one inch of water as it will provide an excellent habitat for developing mosquitoes
  • Storm water catch basins, ephemeral ponds and wading pools are all places that can harbour breeding mosquitoes

To register your property for the Mosquito Control Program call 250-490-4142.

For information on mosquitoes, brochures, annual reports and more visit the district’s pest control webpage.

READ MORE: Two South Okanagan communities among top searched Airbnb destinations in Canada

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