Flooding creating Lake Lowell mosquito concerns

Posted at 11:42 AM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-17 13:42:56-04

Flooding along the Boise River and Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge is producing substantial numbers of mosquito larvae according to Ed Burnett, Director of Canyon County Mosquito Abatement District. “We are seeing extremely high concentrated numbers of mosquito larvae and as temperatures warm up. The mosquito larvae may turn into swarms of biting adult mosquitoes.”   

The Canyon County Mosquito Abatement District is fighting the large mosquito larvae populations by applying the larvae suppressing bacteria Bacillus theragnosis israelensis (also known as Bti) to flooded areas around Lake Lowell and the Boise River.  “We are in the process now of mapping out the high-density larvae areas and setting up treatments with Bti by aircraft. Areas which normally can be accessed by ground teams are too dangerous to enter. However, it is not stopping the hatching of mosquito larvae which fortunately are not (carriers) of diseases such as West Nile virus.  West Nile virus carrying mosquitoes become active when the air temperatures reach the 90s," Burnett said.

Aerial treatments are now being scheduled around the southside of Lake Lowell and south of Middleton along the Boise River.  Other areas will be scheduled when water levels allow access by inspection teams.

“If you live around Lake Lowell or near the river, expect to see low flying aircraft performing mosquito larval control treatments.  Also, because of the makeup of the bacteria, there are no human, fish, or other animal adverse health effects,” Burnett added.

Experts say the mosquitoes which have hatched and now in their juvenile larvae stage, are not disease carriers; however, these species are very aggressive and will swarm in very high numbers.

District abatement efforts now are geared towards larvae control which help reduce the number of adult mosquitoes that are likely to appear when day and night time temperatures increase.