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

Faulty wiring blamed for Chilliwack barn fire Sunday morning

One civilian injured attempting to extinguish blaze on Ballam Road

GW Graham seniors bow out of football playoffs as juniors move on

The senior Grizzlies fell to the John Barsby Bulldogs in a AA playoff game last Saturday.

Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema leads Canada to FIFA U-17 World Cup quarter-finals

Canada has gone 2-0 in the tournament with wins over Colombia and the Korean Republic.

Chilliwack Chiefs rally from three down to beat Powell River Kings

The Chiefs followed the come-from-behind win with a loss Sunday afternoon versus Alberni Valley.

11 years sought for Burnaby man who killed girlfriend with hammer, burned her body

Manslaughter sentencing hearing starts Monday in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack for Ryan Armstrong

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Second person dies following head-on collision in Surrey

Paige Nagata of Abbotsford was in crash on Nov. 4 that also killed maternity nurse

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Most Read