The bloodsuckers are particularly bad in parts of Langley this year. (Black Press files)

The bloodsuckers are particularly bad in parts of Langley this year. (Black Press files)

Mosquitoes take a bite out of Fort Langley

It's a good year for the flying bloodsuckers, but control measures are underway.

The mosquitoes are back with a vengeance in Fort Langley, though locals are hoping it’s a temporary issue.

“They seem a little better today,” said Eric Woodward, president of the Fort Langley Business Improvement Association.

About a week earlier, the mosquitoes started biting in and around the Fort.

Because Fort Langley lies on the Fraser River floodplain, surrounded by flat fields, it can be ideal mosquito breeding territory.

Woodward said it hasn’t been this bad in the past five years.

That’s confirmed by Michael Jackson, president of Culex Environmental, the company that does mosquito control work for Langley Township and Metro Vancouver Parks.

There are two major varieties of mosquito that live in the Fraser Valley, said Jackson, the common Aedes vexans, and the less-common Aedes sticticus.

The sticticus is having a bit of a population explosion this year, according to Culex monitoring efforts.

“That is a much more aggressive species,” he said. “This year the numbers are much higher than in previous years for that species.”

It’s also just a bad year for mosquitoes thanks to the weather patterns. The high river and heavy rains of mid-June left a lot of standing water, which warmed up abruptly last week. That let mosquito larvae mature and take flight from their ponds.

However, things are expected to get better.

“They are spraying today,” Woodward said Thursday.

Metro Vancouver Parks and Langley Township conducted their third round of aerial control efforts June 29, hitting alocal areas with larvicide treatments. The treatment isn’t a spray, said Jackson, but a granular formation that’s scattered into standing water. It releases a targeted bacteria that infects and kills mosquito larvae.

Between the change in weather and the control efforts, the number of mosquitoes is expected to decline.

“The worst is definitely over,” said Jackson.

The larvicide is an environmentally friendly substance that is not harmful to humans.

The Township is also reminding residents to practice the four Ds.

• Drain your property of standing water (in which mosquitoes lay their eggs)

• Dusk/Dawn are the times of day when you need to take extra care

• Dress appropriately, with light coloured and loose fitting clothing with long sleeves

• Defend yourself by using repellents wisely – read the labels first

Questions can be directed to Culex Environmental, the Township’s regional mosquito control contractor, at 604-872-1912.

Langley Advance

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