FVRD skeeter squad $100,000 over budget

You're not imagining things, the mosquitoes are bad this year.

But not the worst they've ever been, says Dirk Lewis, the mosquito man at the Fraser Valley Regional District and biologist at Morrow BioScience.

You're not imagining things

You’re not imagining things, the mosquitoes are bad this year.

But not the worst they’ve ever been, says Dirk Lewis, the mosquito man at the Fraser Valley Regional District and biologist at Morrow BioScience.

Morrow’s been chasing skeeters in the Fraser Valley since 1989.

“This has been an extraordinary year,” he says, sounding a little worn-out during an interview Tuesday at the regional district. “We’ve been going non-stop since late May.”

“The mass of the mosquitoes is coming from the islands,” he says.

But there is also more standing water in farmers’ fields this year, the result of “seepage,” he says, as ground water is pushed up and out by the high river level and with additional bouts of heavy rain.

Perfect breeding conditions for mosquitoes.

Morrow and a team of four assistants have been wading and paddling into these swampy areas using a bacterial product that kills mosquitoes in the larval stage but is otherwise harmless.

A helicopter is used to treat larger areas, but aerial “fogging” is no longer done.

Also, the pesticide being used is “not residual” so it must be re-applied if there is a surge in the water level and breeding areas re-created. There are residual pesticides on the market, but none registered for safe use in Canada.

All of which means valley residents have been inundated by hungry mosquitoes and the regional district “bombarded” with their complaints.

“How can you plan for a river that has been high for the past six weeks,” said George Murray, the FVRD’s exasperated finance director.

“We’re already spending $100,000 more than budgeted,” he said, and estimated the total will hit $260,000 this year.

That’s not chicken feed.

Lewis said there are various anti-mosquito products on the market, but the best defense is a physical barrier – long sleeves, light-colored clothing.

He said the worst year for mosquitoes in his experience was 1999, but their numbers must have been unimaginable before the shallow Sumas Lake was drained and no longer a huge breeding ground.

Just Posted

Agassiz teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

AESS student say they had the experience of a life time

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

Chilliwack teen to take on the world after winning Canadian junior dog-handling national championship

Chilliwack’s Kayla Penney is heading to Crufts to compete for her first international title

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

WikiLeaks chief could see charges, US court filing suggests

Charges against Julian Assange could help illuminate the question of whether Russia co-ordinated with the Trump campaign

Federal MPs denounce controversial Facebook post targeting Sajjan

Okanagan Conservatives apologize for controversial Facebook post

Canada has enough pipelines to get the moon

Pipelines totalling 840,000 kilometres run across Canada

Migrants streaming into Tijuana, but now face long stay

U.S. border inspectors are processing about 100 asylum claims a day at the main border crossing with San Diego

One month after legalization, illicit cannabis shops doing brisk business

When asked what has changed since Canada legalized on Oct. 17, one staffer said: “We’re just busier.”

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

Most Read