Mosquitos: Efforts to find a solution

Well, the pests seem to have retreted a bit as days and nights are cooler, but the efforts to eliminate a repeat of this year’s plague are continuing. Below is a kind of a timeline and excerpts of ongoing dialogues that we all hope will lead to some effective remedial actions to reduce or even eliminate the miserable intrusion of clouds of mosqitoes into our life.

  • The type of mosquito that is pestering us has been identified, and it’s not pretty:

This from Jill Hatfield P.Ag
Regional Agrologist
BC Minisrty of Agriculture

…our entomologist, Tracy Hueppelsheuser, sent you the email (below)…
From the information below it looks like your area is perfect habitat for this particular pest.

+++ Ae. (Oc) dorsalis and melanimon are very similar species producing up to two generations a year in saline pools and flooded pastures in the interior of the Province. Ae. dorsalis is also found in coastal salt marshes around the Georgia Strait and south to CA. It is known to feed on birds occasionally.

  • Understanding our adversary…
    http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~insects/sp14.htm
  • If you read more about this type of mosquito you’ll notice that it is around full of life and bite from March until FREEZING. I could have sworn that I saw a few of them  last Winter in Kye Bay
  • Comox Council met on September 3 and had Rosalin Creed’s letter on the agenda. A Video of the Council meeting can eventually be viewed here. (Posting delayed because of vacation.)
  • Testing on the Kye Bay swamp to begin, initiated by Comox.
  • Sieffert’s mosquito samples were mailed to the Abbotsford entomologist on Sept. 8. Sieffert’shad difficulty retaining their workers this summer, because they were being eaten alive by mosquitoes while working in the fields.
  • A dialogue continues with Kathie, the intrepid mosquito sample catcher and initiator of the effort to get some action on this problem.
    Barbara Price writes briefly:
    “At the last council (Regional District) meeting when it came up, the mayor said staff were working on the issue and going to produce a report. I asked that the Central Saanich Integrated Pest Management Report be part of it to see if it’s something we could do here. Al Fraser, Comox Parks, is part of that work. [The Kye Bay swamp] looks like a likely spot. Fisheries need to be part of the picture also”
  • Scary story about the effects of mosquitoes in the New York Times:
    Mosquito-Borne Viruses Hit Japan and the U.S.

If you have a story to illustrate the impact the mosquito plague has had on your life this summer, or any time, please add your comment to this post. Better yet, if your business has been impacted or your and your kids couldn’t play outside, write to the Regional District or Comox Town about it. Let’s keep the momentum going and get a plan in place to combat this pest next year.

Mosquitoes: From Nuisance to Plague

This from a neighbour on upper Kye Bay Road, Kathie: Last evening I walked through the Claddagh Estates. At the Simon Crescent cul de sac, I was met with mosquitoes that rather aggressively followed me for the two long blocks back to the lift station on Kye Bay Rd.  A Claddagh neighbour was walking her two dogs and all 3 were being swarmed, so much so, that she was reluctant to stop to let the dogs do their business!

Today I spoke to Bob Sieffert who called a Department of Agriculture rep because he is plagued with possibly the same new species of mosquito. They swarm and attack his field workers even in the wind. Samples were collected and he is awaiting the results.

I’ve spoken to neighbours of the Kye Bay Beach swamp, who have observed that the swamp has recently evolved into serious mosquito breeding ground.

I’m trying to encourage someone with a small dugout adjacent to Claddagh Estates, to put Mosquito Dunks in his pond. He, as I have mentioned, has developed Staph infection from reaction to mosquito bites and is on antibiotics. Now I hear that nearby, there are larger, deeper dugouts behind the coastguard wetlands on Simon Crescent. The new storm sewers at Claddagh Estates are also probable breeding grounds. So many hotspots up here!

I’d also like to talk to a neighbour down on Kye Bay and Simon Crescent who lives next to a swamp on that corner. He may have some expertise as he is a greenskeeper on a local golf course…

Kathie has done a lot of research on this subject and started an email campaign and dialogue with various people at Comox, Regional District, VIHA to raise awareness of this problem and affect some remedial action at least for next year. For example, here is what Saanich did this year, as per an article in The Times Colonist.

***

I’ve lived in Kye Bay since 1995 and never saw mosquitoes, beach flies, but not mosquitoes.That changed last year when they suddenly become a nuisance and this year they became a plague.

This aggressive mosquito population probably originates from the brackish slew by the Park. Visitors and residents alike have not been able to sit or walk outside without taking some counter-measures. Clouds of the critters rise from the ground when you walk in the grass.Thick clouds assembled and swarmed at dusk earlier in the year. So while we had a close to perfect summer, many couldn’t fully enjoy the outdoors.

Several Kye Bay residents have written their comment to the Kye Bay community. I am sure we are not alone. You, as a Kye Bay visitor, resident, or Comox Valley visitor or resident, are invited comment and add your mosquito story to this post. We would like to be able to convince decision makers to put in place a plan for mosquito prevention by convincing them that this is not a nuisance but a plague.

Here is a National Geographic article on the critters.

Mosquito Invasion in Kye Bay

Marsh MosquitoThere is a mosquito invasion in Kye Bay. Clouds of pale mosquitoes hover in the grass in Elk’s Park, and everywhere else. It started last year and this year those critters are particularly aggressive and numerous. The marshy area in front of the park is probably the source for the invasion.

When I saw a parent circling two children playing in the sand, rhythmically beating the air with a towel to keep those blood suckers away from them, I thought it’s time to put out a warning. Come to Kye Bay prepared, bring with you some effective mosquito repellents, you will need them here.