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

Kent-Harrison Foundation celebrates 25 years

The foundation started in 1994 on the promise of a two-for-one donation deal

Bucket-list flight for Chilliwack grandmother

Hampton House resident treated to a beautiful plane ride in Moments that Matter

Lagoon improvements, but no safety audit recommendations, coming to Harrison

The lagoon will see electrical upgrades, a new flag pole and fencing, but no life jackets or signs

UFV introduces first mindfulness graduate program in Canada

Most of the University of the Fraser Valley program is offered online

Chilliwack churns out new generation of wildfire fighters

School district partners with B.C. Wildfire Service to prep Grade 12s for careers

Harrison Hot Springs students bring ‘Twelfth Night’ to life

The adaption of Shakespeare’s classic comedy include songs and phrases from Canada’s east coast

VIDEO: Giants take a 1-0 playoff series lead

Vancouver beat Seattle 7-1 in game one of the best-of-seven Western Conference series in Langley

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Six ‘distraction thefts’ in two days spark warning to seniors by Vancouver police

Distraction thefts are used to steal jewelry off the necks of unsuspecting women

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Most Read