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Duka Environmental Services was the first company to implement a predictive method in their fight to quell mosquitos. Duka President Curtis Feduik was in Merritt this week to make a presentation to Council.

“We were the first to identify and develop the concept of predictive indices for larval development onset, occurrence and species distributions,” said Fediuk. “So, by that what we mean is that we use snow pack accumulation, the melt, river levels, precipitation and temperatures and we track the larval species that we collect and where we collect them. The reason we’re doing that, is we’re trying to be able predict the onset of mosquito development.”

“We’re looking for surface water habitats near water bodies and they can be ditches, ponds, marshes, some that are temporary and some that are permanent. We treat it either from the ground or air,” said Fediuk. “We only focus on controlling the larvae, there is no adult spraying anymore, it’s hardly done at all in BC if anywhere."

“We try to visit every site every six to eight to ten days because mosquitos take anywhere from seven to fourteen days to completely develop. So, that's our goal and that’s why the predictive stuff is so important for us, we’re making sure we aren’t missing any hatches so we’re always on top of things,” said Feduik.

Feduik described the immense number of mosquitos that can be hatched in a given year. The dip he refers to is the size of a coffee cup.

“If you get one mosquito per dip in a pond the size of a backyard swimming pool, that's 10,000 mosquitos, so that’s a 16x32 foot pool. So, when you get 50 or 60 per dip and you start magnifying that up and down the valley it’s bazillions,” said Feduik.

“Every time the water goes up and goes down it re-hatches those mosquitos, which had been laid on the soil and waiting for that exactly to happen,” said Feduik.

As far as this year is concerned, Feduik is already finding larval.

“We are starting see larval developments early, probably the earliest we’ve ever seen it,” said Feduik. “Based on the snowpack right now it looks like it will probably be an average year.”

 

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