Kyle Kayfish of Chilliwack wants Fraser Valley Regional District officials to consider more effective mosquito control methods for next year.
He contacted The Progress last week to say he’s been completely frustrated and unable to enjoy his back deck since moving into the community last month.
“It’s horrible. I was infested to the point I was unable to go outside,” he told The Progress.
He tried everything from citronella torches, to mosquito coils, but his backyard, located a few blocks from the Hope Slough, was still like the “seventh layer of hell.”
“It is bad. My entire body was becoming pocked with bites and bad reactions.”
Dozens of the insects would scoot into his house whenever he opened a door, and his dog was tormented whenever he hit the grass.
However the mosquito ‘hell’ has been improving since Kayfish purchased a gas-powered vacuum machine called the Mosquito Magnet.
“This device is helping as I can actually go outside now,” he said.
But what about next year? he asked. What if high-water freshet levels are the same or even higher next spring?
He called the FVRD mosquito hot line, and in response, Shaun Calver of Morrow Bioscience showed up to talk about the season.
They’ve received a lot of calls on the hotline this summer, but the big hatch of larvae from about the first week of June is almost done.
“They’re coming to the end of their life cycle,” Calver said.
He chatted with Kayfish and took samples from his CO2-emitting device to see which species of mosquito is plaguing his neighbourhood.
It’s an especially bad year for anyone living near the Fraser River and its tributaries, Calver acknowledged. That’s because the high-water levels of this year’s freshet, came on the heels of two years of very low levels.
But the last time it was this bad for mosquitoes, due to high river levels, was the summer of 2012.
Kayfish is looking into broaching the matter officially with the FVRD, even if nothing can be done this year.
“We can at least look at what can be done next year.”
The standard practice of not spraying for adult mosquitoes, but using a bacterial larvacide treatment instead, as is the FVRD protocol, to target mosquitoes at the larval stage before they hatch, has not worked well at all that well this year, said Kayfish.
But Calver explained that one of the reasons the FVRD does not conduct adult control, and instead focuses on larvacide treatment, is that it would also kill non-targeted species of insects such as dragonflies, which prey on mosquitoes.
“Those guys will disappear. And everything that targets these mosquitoes is also going to disappear.”
Kayfish said later he appreciated the visit from the mosquito expert.
“I just wanted to follow up and show you the steps I am forced to take as a resident under constant harassment from these mosquitoes.”
He figures he is out of pocket for about $400 just trying defend himself, his health and well being.