The City of Lethbridge mosquito abatement program consists of treating standing water with larvicide each year. This is done by a full-time mosquito technician throughout the spring and summer.
The larvicide is environmentally-friendly and does not affect mice, birds, fish, pets or other animals.
Wet conditions like we have experienced this spring quickly overwhelm our efforts. During a normal season we may be successful in reducing populations by killing millions of larvae, which in turn do not become millions of reproducing adults. In current conditions, however, killing millions of larvae is not as successful as previous years considering the billions that have hatched.
We do not spray for adult mosquitoes in Lethbridge for a number of reasons:
- Insecticide must contact adults to be effective and does not work when mosquitoes shelter beneath grass blades and leaves.
- Many beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings are killed collaterally by spraying.
- Acetyl-cholinesterase inhibitors (nerve blockers), the active ingredients in insecticides, are extremely toxic to humans.
Alberta Heath Services reminds Albertans that some mosquitos carry the West Nile Virus, so it is best to avoid being bitten at all.
- Use an insect repellent with DEET.
- Wear light-coloured long-sleeved shirts and a hat.
- Consider staying indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.