MOSQUITOS The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is working to control mosquito populations in the area. (File photo)

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen works to control mosquito populations

Control efforts in the region have been starting earlier each year

Mosquito control remains a challenge for the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

At the regional district’s Environment and Infrastructure Committee meeting on Sept. 19, Zoe Kirk, public works coordinator and Cindy Boehm, pest control assistant, said efforts to control mosquito populations are beginning earlier each year.

This year, work began on March 11.

Boehm said mosquitos are more than simply pests in the region.

West Nile Virus was first detected in British Columbia in 2009. Since that time, five human cases, all acquired in the Okanagan, have been reported.

READ ALSO: Interior Health warns of increased West Nile virus risk through August

READ ALSO: Horse tests positive for West Nile Virus in Princeton, B.C.

Earlier this year, a horse tested positive for West Nile Virus near Princeton.

This year, in February she noticed water rising in the fields west of the Dale Meadows Sports Complex in Summerland. The rising water created a breeding area for mosquitos, she said.

Throughout the summer, she continued to observe wet areas with mosquito populations.

In mid-August, she noticed an area of standing water near Osoyoos. Tests showed mosquito larvae in this area. The combination of hot summer temperatures and stagnant water creates an ideal environment for mosquitos, she said.

“We have the heat and we have water pools everywhere,” she said, adding that crews are working to control mosquito populations as quickly as possible.

The regional district has been gathering data on mosquito sites and has mapping to show areas of infestation.

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