Mosquito population grows, proving costly for Canyon County

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jun 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-19 19:21:27-04

While the Treasure Valley is experiencing a mosquito infestation, one area in particular is feeling their bite in a different way. 

Canyon County just finished treating 500 acres just west of Caldwell for the growing number of mosquitoes and they say their work is far from done. 

High water levels and flooding are increasing the mosquito population around the Treasure Valley. In Canyon County, mosquito abatement teams began larvicide in early April. To date, they've covered more than 3,000 acres.

"As of right now, we're at about 3,400 acres we've treated," said Ed Burnett, Canyon County Mosquito Abatement Director. "That's about the amount that we treat during a normal year."

However, this mosquito season has been anything but normal. Canyon County's 14-person crew is seeing an increase in mosquito larvae, which means they need a lot of larvicide.

The crew uses a granular bacteria to get rid of the eggs and so far, they've used about 18,000 lbs. of it. 

"We are running a little bit over budget in terms of mosquito larvae control applications, as far as chemicals cost," Burnett said. "But that's to be expected this time of the year. I don't think we're that much over now, but it could pick up over the next few weeks."

Crews estimate that by the end of this mosquito season, they'll use about 30,000 lbs. of larvicide. 

Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus are present in Canyon County. To protect yourself, wear long sleeves and mosquito repellent.