Mosquito Control Program
The City of Prince George operates a Nuisance Mosquito Abatement program to reduce mosquito annoyance for residents of and visitors to the City.
The immediate and most urgent responsibility of the program is to control nuisance mosquitoes at a level that is tolerable to visitors, residents and livestock, especially during the peak mosquito season in April, May and June. A list of known breeding sites has been compiled and is used as the back bone for monitoring and treatment activities.
Larviciding relies on a biological larvicide (Bti), which is applied both by ground and air to known breeding sites.
All questions about the program are welcomed. Inquiries can be made to the program coordinator, Claire Watkins at 614-7818
2012 Program Updates
The City of Prince George employees and BWP Consulting, the City contractor, started monitoring for mosquito larvae on April 27. The first aerial portion of our mosquito program occurred on May 9,10, and 11, 2012 on swamps in College Heights, Cranbrook Hill and the Hart highway. Monitoring and treatment have commenced in all areas of the City. We will be treating sites both by ground and air when larvae reach threshold levels. Snow pack levels are in the high range this year and the predictions of flooding are weather dependant. The rate at which the snow melts can have an impact on mosquito levels, faster melting creates more pools that can contain larvae. A second aerial application is predicted based on river flooding at Fraser Vista, North Nechako and the Denicola subdivision.
There are more than 350 identified treatment sites and we continue to add to this list. Residents can help by removing all standing water from their property. An area as small as a footprint full of water can breed thousands of mosquitoes.
The treatment of flood plains is regulated by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Treatment can be done only after the pools and channels have disconnected from the main river channel. If the river level falls quickly the treatment will take place before the mosquitoes have time to develop into adult mosquitoes. If the river level falls slowly and disconnects slowly from the pools and channels the mosquitoes will have time to fully develop into adults.
Some of the larger clusters of breeding sites in the North and Northeast portions of the City will be treated with aerial applications of larvicide at the optimum life stage of the mosquito larva. Flood plains connected to the rivers cannot be treated until the river level drops and the channels connecting the flood pools and the river disconnect.
Increased environmental awareness and IPM education has guided the City toward an Integrated Pest Management approach to mosquito control. This approach heavily favors prevention and reduction of breeding sites and protection of natural predators in addition to biological control.
Breeding Site Elimination
One tire thrown in a back yard will hold enough warm water to breed 100,000 mosquitoes. To ensure an effective control program, early spring yard clean up is necessary. Clean or remove poorly maintained pools, wading pools, old tires, rain barrels, troughs and other similar containers that collect rain water.
Don't forget flower pots, buckets, plastic covers, bird baths and other similar containers. Mosquitoes can breed in any amount of water that sits for 4 days.
Decorative pools should have a pump installed to ensure that the water has constant movement. Mosquitoes will not breed in moving water.
Don't forget to look high as well. Clogged gutters are prime habitat for a female looking to lay her eggs.
The multitude of swamps and bogs that exist in the Prince George vicinity have been ideal breeding habitat for thousands of years. The diaries of early explorers document the terrible suffering inflicted on them by dreaded mosquitoes and black flies. Early settlers and their animals were plagued by these insects as they cleared and cultivated their homesteads. Still today, outdoor activities are ruined by swarms of mosquitoes, especially near ponds or back eddies where the pests breed.
To enhance the quality of life for residents, the City of Prince George has been carrying out a Mosquito Control Program since 1986. Over the years, a variety of City departments and outside contractors have operated the program. As of this writing, the Parks and Solid Waste Services Division oversees operation of the program and coordinates the activities of the City contractor.
New Provincial regulations require the City to operate within a Provincially approved Pest Management Plan. The plan was completed early in 2011 and now guides the delivery of Mosquito Control Services.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is a list of frequently asked questions available.
West Nile Virus
The City will continue operating the Mosquito Control Program as a “nuisance control program” unless there is evidence to support the threat of West Nile Virus. If it is determined by the City of Prince George and the Northern Health Authority that this threat exists, the program will change to target “vector control”.
There are only a few mosquito species capable of transmitting the virus, the two most likely being Culex tarsalis and Culex pipiens.
Have a question about West Nile Virus? There is a list of frequently asked questions available.