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

Nomination date set for Kelowna- Lake Country Conservatives

March 2 is the deadline for anyone who wants to run for the federal nomination

Rutland pride spills over

Reaction to a story this weekend was clear and worth a second read

Benches made from wood that posed a fire risk in Lake Country

The parks team is making benches from the trees removed from the Jack Seaton Park

Family Day move a welcome change: poll

Okanagan readers voted that the new date for Family Day in B.C. is a positive change

Huge crack and bang heard as Wood Lake fractures

β€˜It was roaring across the lake,’ Lake Country woman recounts sound of crack in Wood Lake ice

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

B.C. father and sons launch new trunk-sharing system, ‘Trunkit’

Smiths say peer-to-peer shipping service offers an affordable, green alternative

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Review: Joie de Vivre a celebration of homegrown talent

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra concert featured Ernst Schneider

Bashful Balladeers bring voices to Vernon

Despite hiding behind masks, talent shines with this group

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Most Read