Slap on the bug spray and stay indoors at dusk, the worst of the summer mosquito season is upon us.
For the next couple of weeks there will literally be millions of mosquitoes buzzing around the region feeding on hapless residents, said Burke Phippen of BWP Consulting, which contracts mosquito control with the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
Local rivers peaked within the last two weeks. Phippen said the most intolerable time for mosquitoes is in the 14 days that follow high water
"This should be the absolute worst it's going to be," he said. "Any larvae associated with that (river) peak should have hatched by now, especially with all this heat."
Fortunately mosquitoes don't thrive in warm weather, so the hotter it gets and the longer it stays warm, the faster the insect will die, said Phippen.
Now that summer is in full swing, farmers have begun to cut hay, which is where male mosquitoes take refuge during the heat of the day. This too will hasten the bug's demise.
"Heat is really our best alley right now. Heat and time," Phippen said.
This year's horde wasn't left to chance. With the wet spring, it was clear there would be a bumper crop of mosquitoes. BWP responded accordingly, spraying anything and everything.
Phippen knows his crews have been effective because there are few active mosquitoes during the day, but they out there.
"When you've got billions of mosquitoes and you kill 99.9 per cent of them, you've still got millions of mosquitoes," he said.
There are plenty of repellants out there to ward off the insect. Phippen said the best ones contain DEET.
Most people only need products containing six per cent of the chemical. He said tree planters and other outdoor types use something with as much as 40 per cent of the product.
Bug spray is the order of the day at Kamloops Golf and Country Club, where greenskeepers start work early in the morning when mosquitoes are active.
"At 5:30 in the morning, they are pretty deadly," said mechanic Quinton Harasemchuk.
His employers provide staff with Off, which contains DEET, and it's effective. Harasemchuk said a little bit keeps the mosquitoes away.
Gloria Lamberton also recommends Off to guests at her Knouff Lake Resort. The new Clip Off, which attaches to a belt or jacket, is popular among fishermen, who often become targets on the water.
Although protected by heavy long pants and shirts, firefighters with the B.C. Forest Service still find themselves swatting the bugs away.
Fire information officer Michaela Swan said personnel are issued bug spray and mosquito netting to combat mosquitoes, but firefighters have also developed a few tricks of their own.
"If you need a break, you walk into the cloud of smoke," she said.
Phippen said people need to be reasonable. At this time of year, it's impossible to sit on the deck and enjoy a sunset without being munched on.
"That's going to be a fact of life for the next week to 10 days," he said.
He suggests staying in doors but, if people want to be outside at dusk, it's best to stay active and keep moving. He said mosquitoes aren't fast fliers.
"Go for a jog or ride a bike."