The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) understands the concerns being raised regarding the mosquito problem within the Saratoga/Miracle area of Electoral Area C. The CVRD has no legal authority to apply mosquito control to the area or throughout the region. We do not have required access to private property, provincial parks, roads or ditches. This authority applies throughout the region not just Miracle and Saratoga Beach neighbourhoods. Without a service set up with the authority to tax residents for a service, the CVRD has no expertise or the resources required.

Several studies were completed the last few years to help as this fell within our permitted authority. The studies looked at potential breeding areas within the Miracle Beach and Saratoga Beach regions all of which would be helpful for those that manage the subject properties. 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.

To try and assist with the issue, bat boxes were installed within the CVRD Driftwood Marine Park and currently have resident bat populations present.

Affected residents are encouraged to undertake individual actions to reduce mosquito populations around their homes. Some simple measures 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.

The CVRD is currently working with SAMBRA advocating for residents to senior level governments on potential solutions to the problem. The CVRD will continue to monitor the mosquito problem in the Saratoga/Miracle Beach area. Residents with concerns are encouraged to call 250-334-6000 or email to have their concerns logged.

Frequently Asked Questions
As a resident what can I do?

Affected residents are encouraged to undertake individual actions to reduce mosquito populations around their homes. Some simple measures 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.
What is being done by the CVRD?

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) does not have a mosquito abatement service or authority over private properties, provincial parks, road or ditches. The CVRD is currently working with SAMBRA advocating for residents to senior level governments on potential solutions to the problem.

The CVRD will continue to monitor the problem and requests concerned residents to call 250-334-6000 or email to have their concerns logged.

Are there any human health concerns such as West Nile Virus?

When the 2017 study was conducted there was no confirmed presence of West Nile virus on Vancouver Island. CVRD staff have recently followed up with Island Health and there is no serious threat associated with mosquito-borne diseases at this time.

Has the CVRD conducted a spraying program in the past to control mosquito infestations?

Within the last 10 years no spraying has occurred. Options for mosquito control are limited due to the widespread sources of mosquito breeding habitat in the Saratoga Miracle/Beach community and the environmentally sensitive salt marsh ecosystems located in the area. It should also be noted that the CVRD does not have authority over private properties, provincial parks, road or ditches.

What is the status of the CVRD bat boxes?

All three bat houses that were installed by the CVRD in Driftwood Park appear to have resident bat populations residing in them.