As the temperatures start to rise, creating ideal conditions for mosquitoes, residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are being reminded to fight the bite.
So far this year, there have been fewer nuisance calls about mosquitoes as B.C. had a drier spring and lower freshet. But residents are being urged to report standing water to the mosquito control hotline to ensure a bite-free summer.
When you call the hotline to report standing water, Culex Environmental, which operates Metro Vancouver’s mosquito control program in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, responds within 48 hours to treat it with a natural bacterial larvicide to kill any mosquito larvae before they hatch.
It’s the best way to help us, said Scott McMahon, project manager with Culex, which currently monitors 41 sites in Maple Ridge and 32 in Pitt Meadows.
So far this year, the hotline has fielded only one call from Pitt Meadows and around three from Maple Ridge. Most of the calls to the hotline are coming from Fort Langley, across the Fraser River.
Fortunately, the mosquitoes that have hatched this year aren’t the kind that carry West Nile Virus.
McMahon said they are classified as nuisance mosquitoes and are more of an annoyance than a public health risk.
To avoid getting bit by mosquitoes, Fraser Health recommends wearing loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing, using a DEET-based or Picaridin insect repellent, and avoid being outside at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
There have been no cases of the West Nile virus anywhere in B.C. for several years and Fraser Health wants the trend to continue.
Residents can help by getting rid of standing water on their properties. Common culprits are water in flower pots, in garbage can lids, in empty bottles on sun decks, and in children’s toys and patio furniture that have been sitting outside all year.
To report stagnant water, call the Nuisance Mosquito Control Hotline at 604-872-1912.