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Cranbrook prepares for mosquito control

The 2012 City of Cranbrook Mosquito Control Program is now underway.

The Mosquito Control Contractor has been undertaking biological control efforts directed at the mosquitoes in the larval stage. This is achieved by identifying and monitoring sites where mosquito larvae are present and applying a granular mosquito larvicide, Aquabac. This larvicide contains a naturally occurring bacterium known as Bti, which targets mosquito larvae, but does not harm birds, mammals, beneficial insects or amphibians. This product is registered for this use in Canada. The mosquito development sites have been carefully monitored and treated with Aquabac. These sites are continually treated throughout the spring and summer. Effective mosquito control must combine the efforts of individual land/homeowners with those of the City of Cranbrook Mosquito Control Program. Rainfall, snow melt and rising river heights in the spring and summer result in the flooding of many low lying areas which can serve as mosquito development sites. Site monitoring by the Mosquito Control Contractor’s staff is conducted on a continuous basis throughout the late spring and summer to determine the species, number and level of maturity of mosquito larvae present during this period. Early monitoring of this year’s larvae population indicates residents of the City of Cranbrook can expect a significantly higher number of mosquitos in 2012, compared to the mosquito population experienced in 2011.

Mosquitoes go through four distinct stages of development during their life: egg, larvae, pupa and adult. Eggs are laid on the surface of standing water or on soil that is prone to flooding. When in contact with water during the spring and summer, the eggs hatch as larvae, which feed on plant material and quickly develop into pupae. The pupae then mature into adult mosquitoes, which emerge from the surface of the water. Following mating, adult females search for a blood meal to complete egg development.

Some places to eliminate standing water include:

• Clogged gutters,

• Trays under flower pots,

• Outside pets’ dishes,

• Children’s pools and toys,

• Bird baths and feeders,

• Canoes / boats,

• Tires

Residents are encouraged to call the Mosquito Hotline at (250) 421-1294 to report potential mosquito development sites or for more information.

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