Water Quality Research Journal of Canada

Vol. 44 (1): 103 - 110 (2009). Innovative Approaches to Stormwater Management in Canada

Culex Mosquitoes, West Nile Virus, and the Application of Innovative Management in the Design and Management of Stormwater Retention Ponds in Canada

   Michael J. Jackson, Jennifer L. Gow, Michelle J. Evelyn, Neil E. Meikleham, T.J. Scott McMahon, Erin Koga, Tim J. Howay, Laura Wang, Evan Yan

Stormwater best management practices have helped to address environmental concerns regarding peak water flows and accumulation of sediment and contamination by pollutants, but often overlook potential public health repercussions such as creating habitat for virus-carrying mosquitoes. Retention ponds frequently hold standing water for more than two weeks during the mosquito breeding season, creating development habitat for the aquatic stages of West Nile virus vectors. To avoid this problem, knowledge of vector ecology should be incorporated in the design of best management practices and integrated stormwater management plans. An integrated approach that incorporates hydrological management of water depth, flow, and surface agitation combined with manipulation of native biota and habitats based on the unique ecology and behaviour of the vector species can deter egg-laying mosquitoes by mimicking natural processes. Such an approach could help prevent disease transmission and alleviate the need for widespread application of pesticides.

Culex pipiens, Culex restuans, Culex tarsalis, West Nile virus, integrated mosquito management, stormwater

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