Mosquitoes are proving less of a menace in most of the Lower Mainland due to the exceptionally dry summer.

Drought means fewer mosquitoes this summer

Lower Mainland enjoys reprieve from mosquitoes as breeding areas dry up in most of the region

The hot dry spring and summer has helped swat down most of the Lower Mainland’s mosquitoes by denying them their usual prime breeding sites.

SFU mosquitoe biologist Carl Lowenberger said the drought has translated into a nice reprieve from the pests in most areas.

“As a result of the dry spell, we have fewer pots of standing water, therefore nowhere to lay eggs, which equals reduced populations,” he said.

Some mosquitoe species lay eggs on land that must get flooded the next spring to hatch – usually from snowmelt or rivers overflowing their banks.

Because of the drought, this year’s low snowpack and the lack of flooding of lowlands by the Fraser, those species are “doing nothing” this year, Lowenberger said.

But the eggs can survive a couple of years, so those mosquitoes could still emerge next year if conditions are wetter.

Other types of mosquitoes, such as the Culex species, overwinter as adults and can begin breeding immediately in the spring, provided they find water.

“They like dark, dank, dirty conditions,” Lowenberger said, adding they often find a haven in storm drains and dtiches in agricultural areas.

Despite the drought, he’s heard complaints of many mosquitoes in pockets of Delta, Richmond and parts of the Fraser Valley.

Lowenberger suspects some Lower Mainland municipalities are no longer treating storm drains and other breeding grounds as aggressively with bacterial insecticides as concern about West Nile virus waned.

“West Nile is on the back burner now, nobody’s concerned about it, so it seems they might have let that go,” he said. “If they’re coming from the storm drains, they’re probably not being treated.”

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Man in mid-20s killed in targeted shooting in Abbotsford

Location of shooting the same as where innocent bystander Ping Shun Ao killed in 2015

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

Downtown Mission: Ready to revitalize

With the bidding process underway, construction could start by mid-March

‘Compassion club’ operator loses bid to have pot-trafficking charges thrown out

Bob Woolsey of Mission argues that laws were not valid at the time of alleged offences

Location eyed for possible collector well

New estimate puts price tag of new water source at $81 million

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Vancouver hoping free public Wi-Fi expansion will drive tourism dollars

Mayor Gregor Robertson says expansion bolsters its “leading Smart City” status

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Giants fall in six-round shootout

Visiting Victoria squad beats Vancouver 4-3 at Langley Events Centre

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Most Read