Let the slapping begin.
Mosquito season has arrived in Chilliwack and across the Fraser Valley, but experts say not to worry.
Mosquito control crews have been hard at work treating mosquito larvae, said FVRD contractor and biologist Dirk Lewis of Morrow Bioscience.
“We never really know what kind of season we’re facing until the snow is all gone,” said Lewis. “But the river is not going get very high, and the mosquito season is strongly correlated with the river levels.”
So it shouldn’t be too bad a season for 2014. Certainly not as bad as the high water seasons of 2011 and 2012.
“Last year was about average, and this year we expect the same,” he said.
Every spring they zero in on the largest source of nuisance mosquitoes in the region – those hatching along the Fraser River corridor as levels start to rise. Their job is to monitor, map, and treat mosquito breeding sites, and they’ll continue throughout the season.
As part of the annual Nuisance Mosquito Control Program by FVRD, floodwater sites are treated with a non-toxic bacterial larvacide that specifically targets bloodsuckers in the larval stage before they can fly.
When the water levels rise, they do aerial treatments as well as ground treatment.
It’s been an early melt year.
“A fair bit of flood water habitat was activated,” said Lewis.
They targeted more of the islands found in the Fraser for 2014.
“We actually have a boat this year,” he added.
The bacterial larvacide that they use is considered an effective and environmentally-friendly method of controlling nuisance mosquitoes without harming other species. Fogging or spraying chemicals to kill flying adults is not part of the program, and is not permitted.
While the FVRD mosquito control is effective at reducing mosquito populations, residents can also help by:
• eliminating sources of standing water like saucers under flower pots, bird baths, old tires, pet dishes, gutters, pool covers, trampolines, tarps, etc.
• maintaining and chlorinating swimming pools.
• emptying kiddie pools when not in use.
• covering rain barrels with fine mesh.
For mosquito control inquiries or to report mosquito breeding sites within the Fraser River corridor, please call the FVRD’s Mosquito Hotline at 1-888-733-2333 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents can also stay informed by following Morrow Bioscience on Twitter (@morrowmosquito) or on Facebook (facebook/com/morrowmosquito).