Canyon County battles growing mosquito infestation caused by flooding

Posted at 6:53 PM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-17 21:04:17-04

High water levels and flooding are causing problems all over the Treasure Valley, but one issue popping up really bites. 

The eggs of Inland Floodwater Mosquitoes are viable in dry soil for seven to ten years. Canyon County Mosquito Abatement Director Ed Burnett says those eggs don't hatch into larvae unless you add water.

"They're in unprecedented numbers," Burnett said. "We haven't seen numbers like this in a long time, and these mosquitoes are hatching in shallow water that's pretty warm." 

Burnett says his team is monitoring the area around Lake Lowell and the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge. Abatement teams have already sprayed larvicide twice around that region and are planning to spray this week near the Boise River.  

"It doesn't harm any other wildlife or aquatic animals or fish," Burnett said. "We've used it a lot; we've used it on the wildlife refuge for years."

The Inland Floodwater Mosquitoes don't carry West Nile Virus, but they do bite. 

"We've already hired on all of our seasonal people; we're fully staffed," Burnett said. "We're at summer levels as far as seasonal staff." 

Even for those who don't live near the water, mosquitoes could prove to be a pesky problem all spring and summer. 

"They can be daytime flyers, and they can fly a long way, up to four to five miles," Burnett said. "They could affect a lot of subdivisions, even areas away from the river."

To protect yourself and your family while outside, Burnett suggests the best thing to do this spring is wear mosquito repellent.