The Town of Coaldale operations team has been busy implementing preventative measures to keep mosquito populations in the area down to a minimum. So far, the Town has budgeted for several management tactics including:
- Treating the Town’s storm ponds located near Birds of Prey and Malloy storm ponds
- Placing temperature and level sensors in the water to monitor conditions and prevent breeding ground habitats
- Hiring a pest control company to inspect and test the water for larvae
The water levels in the Town’s storm ponds are currently below operating levels for storm management purposes. Refilling these ponds at the beginning of next month will be advantageous for controlling mosquito populations as higher water levels keep temperatures cooler and increase water flow which disturbs breeding zones.
Depending on the test results from the pest control company, further treatment may be required for these local water sources after they have been refilled. However, the company has found little activity within the ponds in the past week due to a vibrant natural habitat with minnows and other predators.
Mosquito management is important to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne viruses such as the West Nile Virus. West Nile Virus is usually spread by the bite of a mosquito that has fed on an infected bird. The virus has a complicated life cycle that requires amplification in birds and mosquitoes before being transmitted to people and other mammals.
There are several preventative measures that residents can take to reduce the chance of any mosquito habitats forming around their homes. Mosquitos lay their eggs in shallow water that does not move or flow, so it is important to get rid of any standing water that may be near your area. The following recommendations are cited from the Government of Alberta Health web page:
- Clean eavestroughs regularly to prevent clogs that trap water
- Replace water in outdoor pet dishes and bird baths at least 2 times per week
- Tip fishing boats and gear onto their sides to drain
- Drain or dry off water in:
- Old tires
- Rainwater barrels
- Children’s toys
- Wading pools
“Covering or emptying small items such as kiddie pools and bird baths that hold standing water goes a long way,” says Terry May, Operations Supervisor at the Town of Coaldale. “The Town is optimistic that implementing these preventative measures will continue to have positive long-term effects on controlling populations in the area.”