Complaints about mosquitoes in the Fraser Valley are so frequent that the regional district operates a hotline to collect calls from the public.
But in the decade-plus lifespan of the hotline, the FVRD had never fielded a concern quite like the one received earlier this year, when a member of the public suggested that perhaps there were too few mosquitoes.
The complaint, such as it was, suggested that dragonflies and spiders might not have enough to eat, according to a report to an FVRD committee. It was good-natured, the report noted, but highlighted 2016’s general lack of mosquitoes.
Indeed, low snowpack levels, an early spring, little rainfall and ongoing mosquito spraying combined to result in one of the best years in recent memory.
The conditions led to the FVRD’s hotline receiving just 13 calls, all of which were inquiries, rather than complaints about the level of mosquitoes.
By comparison, in 2011, the hotline received nearly 300 calls and in 2007 more than 400 calls were recorded.
The district also sprayed the Stave Lake area for the first time to eradicate the floodwater mosquito larvae there. The treatment cost $10,000 and could increase in future years, depending on water releases from the dam, which block a section of the river creating ideal mosquito-breeding territory. According to the FVRD report, BC Hydro was asked to provide money, but refused.