Fort Stevens State Park has hired Three Rivers Mosquito and Vector Control to remove mosquito larvae in and near the campground this spring and summer. Three Rivers, based out of Klamath Falls, will apply larvicide to standing water sources--common mosquito breeding areas--April-August, 2017. The company has worked with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department in the past to control mosquitos in two southern Oregon state parks.
In 2016, an uncommonly large mosquito infestation pestered Fort Stevens visitors, which caused some campers to leave the park and park staff saw an increase in mosquito complaints. A mosquito larvae survey in late February 2017 revealed the potential for another bad mosquito season this year. Park Manager Justin Parker hired Three Rivers to begin larvicide application now and stave off another mosquito invasion.
"Last year's mosquito problem wasn't fun for anybody," said Parker. "We're getting ahead of it this year so visitors and campers can enjoy the park without hearing the annoying mosquito buzz or swat the air to fend off the pests."
Parker added that safety concerns were also a consideration in hiring a vector control company. Mosquitos can carry and transmit diseases such as West Nile Virus that can affect people.
Signs will be posted in the park prior to each spraying and park visitors may see workers applying the larvicide with backpack sprayers or placing insecticide pellets in areas with standing water. The larvicide won't harm other animals, including people, pets, bats or other insects.
The spraying project will cost less than $3,000. Park staff will drain standing water when and where they can, in addition to the spraying.
Parker encourages campers, visitors and the local community to visit the Three Rivers website specific to this project at www.stateparksmosquito.org. The site includes additional information about the larvicide and application procedures, as well as frequently asked questions and the schedule for treatment. Visitors may also call Three Rivers at (541) 238-2272.