British Columbia

Seeing more mosquitoes around this fall? They won't bite, says expert

A local pest expert says a rain-soaked October paired with relatively mild temperatures makes for an ideal breeding combination for mosquitoes.

Wet and warm weather means a return of fall mosquitoes to the Lower Mainland

Mosquito expert Michael Jackson says the mosquitoes popping up around Metro Vancouver in recent weeks are just looking to hibernate and won't sting you. (HO-Sean McCann/CP)

Pesky mosquitoes are typically a late spring or early summer problem, but many people have been noticing swarms of them around Metro Vancouver this autumn.

That's because the conditions are ripe for a higher than usual number of mosquitoes looking to hibernate right now, according to the head of a local pest control company.

Michael Jackson, president of Burnaby-based Culex Environmental, says a rain-soaked October paired with relatively mild temperatures makes for an ideal breeding combination.

"It's unusual to have an awful lot of mosquitoes at this time of year — it's only normally just a few — but obviously this weather has given them an opportunity, and they've taken it," Jackson said.

Mild weather has mosquitoes out in droves

Jackson says the bugs we're seeing now are called Culex mosquitoes, also known as the common house mosquito.

"It has been pretty warm and wet, which has probably helped the final generation coming through at the end of the year because they can lay their eggs and hatch out."

He says they're different than the ones we generally see in June.

"Normally in the spring and the summer, you're talking about completely different types of mosquitoes," Jackson said. "They're the floodplain mosquitoes, which can be very annoying and they can bite very aggressively."

But the good news with these ones we're seeing now, he says, is that they don't bite.

"You find them very often near houses and gardens at this time of year, and they're just looking for somewhere basically to hole up for the winter months ahead and they hibernate."

Jackson says we should notice them disappear soon as the conditions get cooler and the days get shorter.