By Andrea Arnold

During the Feb 13th McBride Council meeting, Dirk Lewis from Morrow BioScience presented an outline for nuisance mosquito control.

Lewis said that in order for a community to proceed with a program, a feasibility study needs to occur and the area surveyed to determine which areas are the most likely to act as hatching grounds for mosquitoes. He said there are different types of mosquitoes, and they focus specifically on those that breed in floodwaters during snow melt.

“Mosquitoes travel up to 10km to find food sources,” said Lewis. “So if the community proceeds with action, you would need to look at treating a very large area in order to be effective.”

He said that treatment of the area does not mean there will be no mosquitoes, but that a good program would result in less mosquitoes.
Councillor Joe Kolida expressed concern about the use of pesticides and the overall effect on the ecosystem. Lewis assured council that the agent they use, Bacillus thuringiensis or BTI, is only effective on the targeted population. He said that the amount of BTI they use is small enough that it does not affect other living organisms.

Also, Lewis pointed out that there are different types of mosquitoes. The processes used to combat floodwater/freshet mosquitoes would not have an effect on those that hatch from ponds further from flood zones. This means that those that provide a food source for birds and other animals would still hatch, and not have an effect on the food pyramid.

The steps prior to having a pest management program in place takes about 6 months and includes the feasibility study, effective scope and establishing community sentiment (elector asset process). As the area that would need to be treated around McBride includes Regional District jurisdiction, an agreement would have to be reached with them as well.

The cost for a program varies drastically due to land size and treatment needed, but Lewis said that on average, treatment runs about $90,000/year.