Local crews tackle risk of West Nile

Larvicides used to control West Nile virus in Vernon

The fight against West Nile virus is well underway in Vernon.

A contractor is using larvicides to control the mosquito population, which has expanded its breeding ground because of recent rain.

“There’s been a lot of standing water leading to additional mosquitoes,” said Jessica Rayner, the city’s environmental planning assistant.

In 2010, the mosquito variety that transmits West Nile virus was found in catch basins, while four habitat sites were identified — the pond behind London Drugs, just to the north of Rona, the end of the Marshall Field parking lot and Polson Park.

The sites will be treated this year if necessary.

“None of the sites are connected to lakes or rivers so there are no consequential environmental impacts,” said Rayner.

Coun. Buffy Baumbrough is convinced the use of chemicals is necessary to reduce the possible spread of the virus.

“From what I understand, the two products used are specific to mosquitoes. They won’t impact other species,” said Baumbrough.

“We’re not doing it (chemical applications) on a large scale and there’s no impact to human health.”

The two larvicides used are VectoLex WSP and Aquabec 200G.

“The active ingredient in Aquabec 200G is certified for organic gardening,” said Rayner.

“It has no residual action, only killing mosquito larvae at the time of application.”

 

The city’s West Nile virus risk reduction program is being funded by a $28,311 provincial grant.