The City of North Battleford engages in a larvicide program using the commercial product Vectobac to control mosquito populations in the City. Vectobac uses the biological control agent Bacillus thuringiensis, commonly referred to as Bti, a bacterium found naturally in soils. This product is applied to standing water within the City every Wednesday during the Spring and Summer.
During the spore-forming stage of its life cycle, the Bti bacterium produces a protein crystal which is toxic only to mosquito and black fly larvae. These microscopic crystals are ingested by insect larvae when they are feeding. The crystals are dissolved and converted into toxic protein molecules that destroy the walls of the insect's stomach. The insect usually stops feeding within hours and dies within days.1
This form of mosquito control is the most efficient, effective, safe and ecologically responsible method of mosquito control.
The increased rains and higher river water levels have left more standing water in the river valley and surrounding the City, prime breeding areas for mosquitoes.
The City of North Battleford does not engage in spraying (fogging) as a means to control mosquitoes as it is less effective than a larvicide program. Spraying is also an indiscriminate form of insect control, meaning it destroys pollinators like bees and butterflies as well as mosquito predators like dragonflies.
Residents can help control the mosquito population by removing breeding sites:
Removing standing water from their yards
plugged eaves troughs
exposed rain barrels
Keeping grass cut short
Individuals can reduce their attractiveness to mosquitoes by wearing light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants, use mosquito nets over infant playpens and strollers, apply insect repellent with DEET (do not use DEET on children under six months old). Reducing your outdoor time between dusk and dawn, and ensure all windows and doors are tight-fitting and properly screened will help avoid a mosquito bite.
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