Provincial grants the TNRD has relied on to keep disease-carrying mosquitoes at bay have been cut, leaving the region vulnerable to what has been a forecasted heavy year for the nuisance insect.
But Cheryl Pippen of BWP Consulting, the company charged with fending off the bug, told Thompson-Nicola Regional District directors at a meeting Thursday those early predications haven't yet come true.
"So far the weather has been co-operating," Pippen said.
She said 2011 was an especially bad year for mosquitoes because of a prolonged stretch of wet and cool weather that lasted into July. As a result, conditions were ideal for mosquitoes to breed.
"We had an unbelievable density (of mosquitoes) that year," she said.
Snow pack levels for 2012 suggest a similar infestation again this summer, said Pippen. And, had this spring experienced similar weather as last, it would be.
So far periods of cool, wet weather have been broken up with brief hot spells. She said this has slowed the melt and dried up bodies of standing water, making it easier to control the insect population.
Pippen provided TNRD directors with an update on the mosquito-control program that has gone on in the region the last seven years. She said the $300,000 West Nile Risk Reduction grant has been cut.
The grant provided funding for a campaign that included information booths and educational brochures plus trapping and monitoring of the insects and extermination through biological agents, said Pippen.
Now, the TNRD will only be able to control the bug in areas with a high concentration of the nuisance insect, she said.
Limited cases of West Nile have been reported in the Okanagan but none in the TNRD. Director Willow Macdonald asked if the region's weather was responsible, but Pippen said the weather here is ideal for mosquitoes, which is why West Nile has been such a concern.
Director Tim Pennell asked if there could be an education campaign to advise businesses that allow stacks of tires to build up about how this can become a breeding ground for the mosquito.
Pippen said such information campaigns were carried out under the West Nile Risk Reduction grant.