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

Warm weather ahead for Okanagan-Shuswap

Environment Canada says no snow at lower altitudes until Wednesday night

Car crash on hwy 97 closes lanes

Officers are directing traffic around the incident that closed lanes heading toward Armstrong.

Yellow Vest movement rallied in Vernon Saturday

Protesters took to the steps of the Vernon courthouse Saturday.

Nature’s Fare Markets has recertified as a B Corp for third time

This B.C. family-owned company is being recognized for their commitment to sustainability.

Japanese Women’s Auxiliary supports Light A Bulb campaign

This gift is the Auxiliary’s 16th donation since 1995.

Yellow Vest movement rallied in Vernon Saturday

Protesters took to the steps of the Vernon courthouse Saturday.

White: Don’t be a Scrooge like me

It gets to the point where you simply can’t avoid Christmas no matter how hard you try.

Kelowna Gospel Mission celebrates Grandpa Lloyd’s success

In a video it shares how an outreach worker helped get Lloyd off the streets

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

VIDEO: Craft growers will add to recreational market, cannabis producer says

Two B.C. men say their expertise in running small legal medical grow-ops a benefit to recreational market

Christmas wish for Mirielle: love and carpets

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

Most Read