2020 Mosquito Control Program
Larval surveying and monitoring for the City of Whitehorse 2020 Mosquito Control Program is scheduled to begin as early as April 13, 2020, depending on weather conditions. The goal of the annual control program is to reduce adult mosquito annoyance for residents and visitors. Experience from past programs has proven that the best way to achieve this is through effective control of larval mosquito populations.
Control of larval mosquito populations will be completed as required, and where necessary, throughout the season on the basis of mosquito population surveillance. Larvicide applications will be made using aerial (helicopter) and ground-based, hand-broadcast methods. Control program operations will extend throughout the summer and until mid-August.
Larval development occurs with water accumulations from snowmelt and precipitation in depressions and established ponds. Permanent water bodies include stagnant ponds, marshes, non-flowing ditches, depressions and any other natural or man-made containers, which can hold water for several weeks or months. Left unchecked, mosquito larvae will complete their development to adult and be of annoyance. For this reason, control program efforts are focused on the identification and treatment of developing mosquito larvae using the biological larvicide VectoBac 200G which contains the heat-killed bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis var. isrealensis (Bti). This bacterium is specific in its control of mosquitoes and biting flies. It does not reproduce in the environment and has no effect on non-target insects, fish birds or mammals, including humans, livestock and pets. All applications will be directed to infested mosquito development habitat located within, and adjacent to the City of Whitehorse.
Residents can reduce the likelihood of mosquito bites by eliminating mosquito development sources around their property and by using personal protection methods. Regular draining and refilling of wading pools, livestock watering troughs, tires, bird baths and emptying of tarped boats, canoes or wheelbarrows reduce sources of potential mosquito development. Filling of depressions such as tire ruts, borrow pits and excavations prevents water accumulations and the creation of larval mosquito habitat.
While the larval mosquito control program will reduce overall mosquito populations, residents and visitors should still be prepared to protect themselves from adult mosquitos. Ensure window screens are in good condition, and wear loose, light coloured clothing. Be aware of outdoor activities near landscaped areas, marshes, ponds, lake margins and forested or overgrown areas where adult mosquitos may rest; as well as using perfumed skin care products, shampoos and consider using repellents.
The firm responsible for managing control program operations is Duka Environmental Services Ltd., an environmental services firm with over 25 years of providing these specialized services to the Yukon. All mosquito larvicide applications would be completed under the approved conditions of Pesticide Use/Service Permit #21-004. For more information on mosquitos, the control program or VectoBac 200G please visit www.duka.consulting or www.valentbiosciences.com. You can also leave a message for the mosquito control program biologist at City of Whitehorse offices, locally through the ‘BITE’ line 633-BITE (2483), or directly with Duka Ltd. at 1-604-881-4565 or at 1-800-681-3472. Biologists will follow up with a telephone call and on-site property inspection where required.