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

New ‘meowyoral’ race featuring felines announced by Chilliwack animal shelter

Organizers hope the cat election will generate attention for both the shelter and municipal election

VIDEO: Education Minister talks SOGI 123 and the Chilliwack school board election

He said people are making ‘noise about side issues but student safety is important’

Chilliwack athletes win provincial titles at Cultus Lake Triathlon

Close to 700 athletes competed in several distances, with action starting at Cultus Lake Park.

Chilliwack Chiefs add defenceman Alexander Marrocco

Marrocco is the younger brother of PJ Marrocco, a forward from last spring’s RBC Cup champions.

Rally in the Valley in Chilliwack to talk stewardship

It’s an event to connect interested locals with groups making a difference with species at risk

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Possible shooting on Abbotsford street near Aldergrove

Witnesses report what sounded like 4 shots fired Tuesday evening, but that has not been confirmed

5 to start your day

B.C. parents sue after toddler dies in unlicensed daycare, vehicle explodes in Pitt Meadows and more

B.C. woman facing animal cruelty charges after emaciated dog seized

Kira, a Rottweiler, had kidney and bladder infections

Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too

Kim promised to accept international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and to visit Seoul soon.

Dozens speak at Vancouver hearing that could see duplexes replace single homes

The city clerk says 73 people signed up to speak at the hearing that began early Tuesday evening and adjourned hours later with 34 speakers still waiting.

North Carolina gov pleads with storm evacuees to be patient

The death toll rose to at least 37 in three states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina.

North and South Korea say they plan to bid for 2032 Olympics

Moon and Kim announced a sweeping set of agreements including a vow to work together to host the Summer Olympics in 2032.

Russia’s reinstatement after doping scandal goes to a vote

The World Anti-Doping Agency is due to vote Thursday Sept. 20, 2018, on possible reinstatement of Russia.

Most Read