- Published on Friday, 13 July 2012 11:36
- Written by Michael James | © DrumhellerMail.com
Drumheller is besieged. After a perfect combination of weather it seems no where is safe from the mosquito hordes that lurk in every corner of town.
However, Town of Drumheller officials say the blight of mosquitoes won’t last.
“All of the standing water in town right now has been sprayed,” assured Mayor Terry Yemen. “Residents should notice a difference by the end of the week.”
Since the last major rainfall, crews have been working diligently to spray standing water throughout town. Sampling has confirmed minimal larva counts.
An unseasonably wet spring and early summer left an abundance of standing water throughout town, ideal for laying eggs. Two helicopter spraying programs have been done, with the last being two and a half weeks ago. No more helicopter sprayings are expected for the rest of the year.
Significant rainfall after the last aerial application, created more ponds to serve as breeding grounds. More rain could result in more surges in mosquito numbers.
“We’re looking at $40,000 for each helicopter trip and we’ve done it twice. That’s pretty much tapped out our budget as far as the aerial application goes. We can still do it by hand, but it’s not as effective. If we continue to get lots of rain, we’ll have to apply on the ground, because we don’t have a budget left for aerial applications.”
Residents should be prepared when going outside, as mosquitoes can carry the potentially lethal West Nile virus. Alberta Health Services warns residents need to protect themselves.
Although there were no cases of West Nile virus in Alberta in 2011, there were 102 cases confirmed in Canada.
Dr. Gerry Predy, Alberta Health Services Senior Medical Officer of Health said residents should not take the risk of West Nile virus lightly.
“West Nile virus infection can cause severe illness with debilitating, lifelong effects, particularly in older adults. I urge all Albertans to continue to fight the bite,” said Predy.
Residents can protect themselves by covering up; wearing light coloured long sleeve shirts, pants and hats can help protect the skin. So can mosquito repellents that contain DEET. Residents could consider staying indoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.