July 23, 2012, 2:19 p.m.
Historic high water levels on the Fraser River this spring have led to more swarms of mosquitoes in the Fraser Valley.
The insects are a nuisance every year, but high water levels over the past few months have left pools of standing water throughout the region — the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
"Every year, the Fraser River comes up, floods areas that are typically dry, and that’s where eggs from previous years have been laid," said Shaun Calver with Morrow BioScience, the company hired by the regional district to tackle the problem.
"The water comes up, hits the eggs, and turns them into mosquito larvae."
Michelle Muirhead, an attendant at Island 22 Park and Boat Launch, said it’s a big problem this year.
"This is probably one of the worst years," she said.
"[Saturday] morning was absolutely treacherous. The gentleman came and mowed the lawn, and there was an enormous amount of mosquitoes."
Calver’s company is working to kill the larvae before the next generation of mosquitoes can hatch by dispensing small pellets of larvicide by helicopter along the banks of the Fraser River.
"It’s a corn-based product with a bacterium infused into it, and that’s what we apply to standing water," he said.
Despite the efforts of the regional district, officials said the area won't be rid of most mosquitoes for at least four weeks.
Officials recommend residents take a few precautions to avoid prevent mosquito bites — avoid being outside at dusk and dawns, wear light-coloured clothing with long sleeves, and use an insect repellant.