Mosquito control contractors have been applying the bacterial larvicide by ground since late April. (Black Press files)

Mosquito control contractors have been applying the bacterial larvicide by ground since late April. (Black Press files)

Pest control experts keeping mosquitoes at bay along the Fraser River

Bacterial larvicide has been used along the shores in Maple Ridge, Langley, and Pitt Meadows

With ‘June-uary’ in full swing, communities along the Fraser know to expect a familiar buzzing in the ear, as well as the odd bite, within a few weeks.

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 mosquito larvae are triggered in the presence of water, typically from the freshet, when the weather starts warming up and snow melt increases the Fraser River levels.

Tasked with keeping the pesky bugs at bay, mosquito control contractors, Morrow Bioscience Ltd., have been applying bacterial larvicide by ground since late April, and helicopter treatments occurred along the Fraser River shore and Fraser River islands on Saturday, 12 June.

The company has been conducting mosquito control within the province for four decades, and servicing the Lower Mainland for 20 years.

Operations Manager Shaun Calver said the larvicide is made up of toxic bacterial spores that target mosquitoes.

“When the mosquito eats the bacteria, it dies quickly,” he said. “But, the larvicide is not toxic to people, wildlife, or pets.”

The soil born bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis, is naturally occurring and is not harmful to fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, or most other insects.

READ MORE: ‘Perfect storm’ led to bad year for mosquitos in Maple Ridge

READ MORE: Plan hatched to recon Fraser River mosquito hideaway

Residents can help by reducing mosquito breeding sites around their properties, such as removing or refreshing standing water daily. These areas include bird baths, old tires, clogged gutters, animal troughs, and kiddy pools, to name a few.

“We also encourage residents 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,” said Calver.

To report standing water or adult mosquitoes, residents of Coquitlam, Langley, Surrey, Maple Ridge, and Pitt Meadows can call the Metro Vancouver Regional District mosquito hotline at 1-604-432-6228, or email info@morrowbioscience.com.


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