(Black Press Media files)

Get ready for mosquito season

Fraser Valley Regionsl District has already taken measures to curb the number of mosquitos

It’s mosquito season again!

Mosquito control contractors for the Fraser Valley Regional District, Morrow BioScience Ltd. have been applying the bacterial larvicide by ground since mid-May. Helicopter treatments occurred along the Fraser River foreshore and Fraser River islands during the second week of June.

Aerial and ground treatments may continue through the summer, as dictated by environmental conditions necessary for floodwater mosquito development.

Residents may notice mosquito control contractors in brightly coloured vests sampling the flood and seepage waters for mosquito larvae, the life stage targeted during mosquito control operations.

Within the Lower Mainland, mosquito eggs laid in previous years along the banks and seepage sites of the Fraser River are beginning to hatch. Floodwater mosquitoes are triggered to hatch in the presence of water, typically from the freshet, when the weather starts warming up and snow melt increases the Fraser River levels.

Once the mosquito eggs have hatched and the larvae have started to develop, mosquito control contractors apply a bacterial larvicide to the seepage water to kill the larvae. The larvicide is made up of toxin from bacterial spores that target mosquitoes. When the mosquito eats the bacteria, it dies quickly.

Mosquito development sites within the region will be monitored once or twice weekly through early August or as needed depending on water levels.

The larvicide being applied is not toxic to people, wildlife, or pets.

“We are doing our very best to reduce floodwater mosquitoes so that they remain at tolerable levels and allow residents to be able to enjoy outdoor activities,” said Dirk Lewis, lead biologist.

Lewis advises residents to help reduce mosquito breeding sites around their properties by removing or refreshing standing water daily. These areas include bird baths, old tires, clogged gutters, animal troughs, and kiddy pools, to name a few.

Residents are encouraged to reduce their exposure to mosquito bites through personal protective measures such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, choosing light-coloured clothing, using insect repellent, deploying mosquito netting at home, and ensuring window screens are properly installed and maintained.