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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich calls for applicants to join Housing Strategy task force

Council to appoint ‘diverse group’ to tackle housing challenges

B.C. ends short experiment with growler fills at restaurants

Province extends take-out sales of six-packs, wine

VicPD seeking witnesses for fatal crash on Hillside Avenue

A pedestrian was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, where she later died

North Saanich submits ALR exclusion despite large opposition

Opposed North Saanich residents now shift their attention to ALC after 6-1 council vote

Study suggests 8 times more people in B.C. infected with virus than confirmed

The study looked at anonymous blood samples collected for reasons unrelated to COVID-19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Victoria baseball club’s new Nanaimo rival team unveils NightOwls name

West Coast League baseball club will play ball under the lights next season

‘We’re not busting ghosts’: Northern B.C. paranormal investigators check out bistro

Paranormal North Coast British Columbia recently checked out PF Bistro at City Centre Mall.

Russian hackers seeking to steal COVID-19 vaccine data: intel agencies

It is believed APT29, also known as ‘the Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bear’ was responsible

Twitter racing to unravel mystery cyberattack

Some of the world’s most prominent names had their Twitter accounts post invitations for an apparent Bitcoin scam

B.C. announces funding to support post-secondary students with disabilities

The province is investing $275,000 in the new BCcampus website

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Most Read