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Metro Vancouver seeing biggest spike in mosquitoes in nearly a decade

Higher numbers of mosquitoes in B.C. this season
Higher numbers of mosquitoes in B.C. this season

If you think mosquito season in Metro Vancouver has been particularly bad this year, it’s not your imagination.

Metro Vancouver is seeing the biggest spike in mosquitoes in nearly a decade.

Shaun Calver, who specializes in mosquito control with Morrow Bioscience, attributes the spike on the weather and rising water levels in the Fraser River.

“The river has done some crazy things this year in terms of having multiple peaks with each peak in the Fraser being larger than the previous peak,” he said.

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Each peak creates another hatch of mosquitoes as females look to lay their eggs along the shore.

How mosquitoes shaped human history
How mosquitoes shaped human history

An egg can lay dormant for as long as 10 years and can only hatch when it gets wet.

Calver and his colleagues are working to get rid of flood water mosquitoes in the Fraser Valley by spreading a non-toxic larvicide by hand, boat and helicopter.

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“We do get about 80 to 90 per cent of them but in such a high-water year with all these multiple peaks in the Fraser it is translating to a higher than normal number of mosquitoes out there,” he said.

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While mosquitoes are a nuisance, they are not dangerous, Calver says.

Mosquito spike in Winnipeg
Mosquito spike in Winnipeg

He said the worst is likely over, but he expects “several more weeks of not pleasant mosquito conditions.”

Calver recommends avoiding being outside at dawn or dusk when you’re more likely to be bitten by a mosquito. He also suggests wearing a DEET-based repellent and light-coloured clothing.