It’s been a bad year for mosquitoes in the Fraser Valley. (Black Press Media files)

It’s been a bad year for mosquitoes in the Fraser Valley. (Black Press Media files)

‘Perfect storm’ led to bad year for mosquitos near Fraser River

High river levels and lots of rain meant many eggs hatched this year

If you want to become an involuntary blood donor this year, go for a walk near the Fraser River, and the mosquitoes will gladly oblige.

It’s one of the worst summers for mosquitoes in years, and multiple episodes of high water on the river is being blamed, having left behind pools and puddles that are prime breeding ground for the insects.

“The mosquitoes are bad in Fort Langley with the extended high water,” said Cheryl MacIntosh, commodore of the Fort Langley Canoe Club.

Although the club has shut down its group activities due to the coronavirus pandemic, individual members are still paddling about alone or in family groups. But getting into the water isn’t that much fun right now, MacIntosh said.

“Preparing the boat, loading and unloading by the water are the difficult times,” she said. “Once on the water and moving they are not as bad, as long as you keep moving.”

Morrow BioScience is running the nuisance mosquito program for Metro Vancouver again this year.

“It’s not been a particularly good year for mosquitoes,” said Shaun Calver, Morrow’s operations manager.

In fact, a combination of a rather damp July and multiple high-water events on the Fraser River have resulted in what he called a “perfect storm” for mosquitoes.

Each rainfall, and especially the high water levels, created conditions for more mosquito eggs to hatch, and more larvae to become blood-sucking adults.

However, the end is near.

“It is tapering off,” Calver said.

The mosquitoes live several weeks in their adult form, depending on the temperature.

“The hotter the weather, the quicker they die off,” he said.

Morrow BioScience applies bacterial larvicide to water bodies to try to cut down on the numbers of the biting insects, as well as monitoring larva levels and conducting public education on mosquito prevention.

The company is finished with its larvae control efforts for the year, barring another unlikely rise in river levels, Calver said.

Local municipalities and Metro Vancouver have long advocated for people to help control mosquitoes by removing unnecessary standing water on their properties, particularly items like old tires, blocked gutters, bird baths, or buckets that can hold stagnant rainwater.

Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn, and are attracted to dark and intense colours. To avoid them, try to wear light coloured clothing, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, and tightly-woven materials. Mesh “bug jackets” or “bug hats” may be needed during extreme conditions.

Morrow also recommends using an insect repellent containing DEET.

Fort LangleyFraser RiverLangleyMetro VancouverPaddling

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey city councillors complain not enough public input in committees

City has gone ‘exactly the opposite direction,’ Councillor Brenda Locke charges

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a Surrey high-intensity rehabilitation unit, Laurel Place. On Dec. 22, 2020, Fraser Health said four patients and two staff members have tested positive for the virus. (Image: Google Street View)
Fraser Health says COVID-19 outbreak over at Laurel Place in Surrey

Health authority declared outbreak over Jan. 16

Tsawwassen resident Angeline Splockton won $100,000 from a Luxury Crossword Scratch & Win ticket. (BCLC photo)
Nightly ritual turns into $100K win for Tsawwassen woman

Angeline Splockton uncovered 11 words on her Luxury Crossword Scratch & Win ticket

A Transit Police officer and another driver were injured on Nov. 4 in a traffic crash while the officer was responding to another officers call for help catching a man who escaped custody. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Police watchdog investigating Surrey crash that injured transit cop, another driver

Crash happened 11 p.m. Nov. 4, at 128th Street and 93rd Avenue in Cedar Hills

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read