Kevin Lagudis wades along the submerged pathway in the flooded Beach Park. This year's high water is creating new challenges for the district's mosquito control contractor.

High water in Sicamous creates new challenges for mosquito control

Mosquito control contractor asks that public report new areas impacted by high water.



With lake levels coming up higher than last year, Sicamous residents could be in for a repeat of last year’s mosquito situation.

High water was a key factor behind last year’s mosquito outbreak  – considered by many as one of the worst the district has seen in years.

This year Shuswap and Mara Lakes have already risen above last year’s high mark, and will continue to rise for another week.

“Last year we had a high water situation; this year it’s a state of emergency,” says Cheryl Phippen of BWP Consulting, the company been contracted to oversee the district’s mosquito control program. “They’re not even in the same league. This is so much worse.”

Phippen says the water has overflowed berms, is seeping up into fields and in areas that haven’t been reached for years.

“As water comes up it wets the eggs, and the water has just  gotten so huge now we’ve been continuously treating the edges… for five to eight days,” says Phippen. “We’ve been treating all of them as it creeps up. Now the water is so massive, we’re really having a hard time finding larvae. So what do you treat? You know they have to be there, but where? It’s a lake.”

Along with her ground crews, Phippen said Thursday, June 21, that two helicopters have already been over Sicamous for aerial applications of larvicide, and she was expecting a third aerial application that day. But one of the problems Phippen has is not knowing where the high water has is bringing out new hatches of mosquitoes.

“There’s lot of locals stopping our staff and saying, ‘There’s water here; did you know about the water here?’ Which is helpful right now. Because, the sites that we have mapped, they’re blown out and flowing and now there’s this water that’s never been mapped… and it’s warm water, and if it’s a field, it’s shallow, and those mosquitoes are developing super fast,” says Phippen. “If anyone is finding this seepage water in their fields, give us a call immediately, don’t wait. Don’t call after the adults are out; that’s too long. We need to know the water is there and we need to know in the next few days to get the larvae treated.”

Residents needing to get in contact with BWP can reach them toll-free at 1-879-679-8473.

Phippen will be meeting with Mayor Darrell Trouton Friday to discuss the situation. As of Thursday, however, Trouton said he would be surprised if the district sees a repeat of last year. He said the contractor is hitting areas that weren’t hit before and, as the water continues to rise, the plan is to keep on hitting them.

“It’s not like they’re waiting like they were before,” says Trouton of the larvae. “They’ve already been treated.”

Phippen will be meeting with Trouton Friday to discuss the situation.

In the meantime, Phippen says her crew will continue to keep working at it but, with the high water, it’s difficult to say for sure which way things will go.

“We’ve done everything we can, we’re not really finding larvae,” says Phippen. “Which could be a good thing or it could be that it’s just too big to find them. So we’ll find out in the next couple of weeks.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Enderby issues flood caution reminder

Rain in Sunday weather forecast could increase water levels and flow

Rain in Sunday forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Environment Canada calling for 15-20 millimetres in regions

Salmon Arm man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Ken Derkach apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Preparations for flooding in the Shuswap accelerate

A sandbagging machine and a crew to run it have been set up in Silver Creek.

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

PHOTOS: Okanagan residents capture epic lightning show

A look at some of the best shots of the storm on May 30

Big White Ski Resort to offer rebate for pass holders after early closure

Next year’s pass will include a 20 per cent rebate

‘No tick is a good tick’: Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

The foundation’s president said all ticks that attach to humans and pets can carry various diseases

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Most Read