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

Comox Valley medical cannabis business growing despite impending legalization

With nearly a month to go until new cannabis legalization laws come… Continue reading

Humpback whales visit Cape Lazo

Peter Hamilton with Lifeforce Ocean Friends snapped these photos of some humpback… Continue reading

Valley Father-daughter duo share a special bond over a kidney

Annual kidney walk is set for Sept. 23 at Simms Park

Stolen Victoria vehicle crashes in Black Creek

On Sept. 15, 2018 at approximately 10:45 p.m., the Comox Valley RCMP… Continue reading

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Most Read