Morrow BioScience mosquito technician looks for larvae in still water. (Morrow BioScience)

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

The flooding followed by extreme heat in B.C. has spurred an uptick in mosquitoes dispersing from their hatching grounds and heading straight for open skin.

Dirk Lewis, known as the “mosquito guy” at Morrow BioScience in Rossland, told Black Press Media that this year seems to be particularly favourable for the tiny midge-like flies after flooding hit cities including Grand Forks, Chilliwack and Kelowna.

“We are hearing from residents in many areas of the province, wondering what they can do about the mosquito annoyance,” Lewis said.

Female mosquitoes look to lay their eggs in soil that is protected from risks but prone to flooding, like near rivers and creeks. They average about 1,000 eggs in a lifetime. As eggs cannot hatch until they get wet, each tiny egg can remain dormant for as long as 10 years, waiting for perfect conditions.

Cue the floodwaters reaching near-historic levels in parts of the Lower Mainland and the Interior last month.

READ MORE: Floods create ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes

READ MORE: Get ready, mosquitoes are on their way

“Most areas close to the Fraser River from Langley through Chilliwack are experiencing elevated adult mosquito populations right now, with some areas worse than others,” Lewis said.

Meanwhile, warm waters sped the development of a hatched larval to adult mosquito in the southern Interior, Boundary region and east Kootenay ahead of the flooding season in May.

There is good news: The recent heat wave will determine how long the pesky biters stick around.

“Hot and dry weather will accelerate their demise,” Lewis said, predicting there will be fewer of them by Canada Day.

In the meantime, he suggested people remove and replace the standing water around their homes including stale bird baths, as well as getting rid of water sources in clogged gutters or inside the rim of old tires.

“Sometimes finding these sources of water requires a bit of detective work,” he said.

The best advice he has is to wear long and loose fitting clothing in light colours; have good, screened windows; and repellent that’s undergone standardized testing and carries a PCP number on the bottle.

“If you are noticing significantly more mosquitoes than normal, then it is worth calling your local government to see if you have a mosquito control program in your area,” he said. “Field technicians are usually keen to discover new places that mosquitoes may be coming from.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Pulled cattle guards going back in place despite B.C. Interior First Nations moose hunt protest

Forests minister Donaldson and TNG Chief Alphonse discuss situation, agree on path forward, ministry says

UBCM passes historic resolution brought forth by CCRD

If the resolution is successfully realized, it will mean groundbreaking change for local governments

TNG block roads, question gov’t on moose hunt

Chief Joe Alphonse confirmed Thursday they’ve deactivated the Raven Lake Road and the Mackin Creek Road just before the Island Lake turnoff

Bella Coola RCMP appeal for public’s help in wake of suspicious fires

Four suspicious fires in the span of four months prompted local RCMP to bring in fire specialist

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres in B.C.

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

Most Read