The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) understands the concerns raised regarding the mosquito problem within the Saratoga/Miracle area of Electoral Area C. Several studies have been completed to help guide next steps. The studies looked at potential breeding areas within the Miracle Beach and Saratoga Beach regions. The findings located various breeding sites with standing water present. As well it has been advised that climate related factors may also adjust the mosquito population including precipitation, temperatures and tide heights.

The findings within the study work indicated there is the potential for a mosquito control program within this selected area. An Integrated Pest Management Plan is under development focusing on BTI larvicide (Bti) and requires Provincial approval prior to implementation. If the PMP is approved the next step would be to create a service through an Alternative Approval Process.

Bti occurs naturally in soil and has safely been used as a mosquito control for 30 years. VectoBac (Bti) has been listed by the Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI) as certified organic in the United States. Canadian organic registration is currently under review.

CVRD staff presented a detailed report to the Electoral Area Services Committee on January 11, 2021 regarding next steps for developing a Saratoga Mosquito Management Service and proposed Alternative Approval Process to fund this service occurring in May/June 2021. The total cost of the program is estimated at $32,000 per year funded through an annual tax requisition. It is expected the cost to be approximately $40 per household within service area.

EASC - January 11, 2021 Staff Report

Online Community Update:

Residents in the affected area were invited to participate in an online session on March 10, 2021. Residents particiated by viewing a presentation about a new pest management service, Alternative Approval Process (AAP) and costs for the service as well as a vibrant Q&A. A recording of the meeting can be viewed below. 

Next Steps:

  • January/February 2021: Develop an Integrated Pest Management Plan (PMP). Residents within the affected area should contact Duka Consulting at Tel: 604-881-4565 or email with concerns or if they requiring more information regarding PMP.
    For VectoBac or Vectolex product information please see the manufacturer’s website: www.valentbiosciences.com 
  • April 2021: Approved Pest Management Plan presented to the Electoral Area Services Committee along with details regarding Alternative Approval Process. Learn more about the Alternative Approval Process here
  • May/June 2021: Alternate Approval Process
  • June 2021: Pending the successful conclusion of a PMP and AAP the CVRD will work with SAMBRA for implementation of the mosquito control program in 2021.

Simple measures residents can do around their homes include:

  • Walk your property after a rain event and look for areas in the landscape that are not draining well. If you find puddles that remain for four or more days, regrade or fill in the area.
  • Remove water-holding containers. Bird baths, non-chlorinated wading pools/footpaths, garbage can lids and pottery all will attract breeding mosquitos if left longer than two days.
  • Replace water in bird baths and animal troughs twice per week.
  • Clear clogged gutters, drains and ditches
  •  Store boats, canoes, wheelbarrows to avoid water collection.
  • As well, homeowners can consider installing bat boxes and swallow nesting boxes to help reduce populations.