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

Massive fire destroys Agassiz dairy barn

Reports say at least one cow died in the blaze

First court date in Chilliwack for man accused of murdering Belgian tourist

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance Wednesday

Another successful year for Chilliwack’s ‘We Got Your Back’ backpack program

Sponsored by local businesses, program stocks backpacks with school supplies for students in need

Group forms in Hope to respond to homelessness, trauma and addictions

Homelessness Action Response Table (HART) full of local, regional, provincial movers and shakers

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

VIDEO: Woman files complaint over treatment of cat with two broken legs

Ariel Johnston of Abbotsford says her pet was sent home without pain medication

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

VIDEO: Dozens line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Most Read