Chief Environmental Officer Alex Riley explained the objective of the week.
“If you look carefully, over the past couple of weeks/months, you will realize that we’ve been having a lot of rainfall,” Mr. Riley noted. “The Environmental Health Department and the Ministry of Health decided to plan a week of activities to see how we can assist the public in terms of ensuring that we don’t have mosquito breeding, thus reducing the number of incidents of dengue and chikungunya in the upcoming year.”
The first of its kind, Mosquito Eradication Week will see Environmental Health and Vector Control Officers visiting homes in the Federation and advising homeowners on ways to eliminate mosquito breeding sites. There will also be thermal fogging at evenings to kill adult mosquitoes. Public Service Announcements promoting mosquito eradication, along with a video pertaining to dengue and chikungunya prevention will also be released during the week.
Mr. Riley informed that the Environmental Health Officers will be easily identified by their Environmental Health Department Identification (ID) tags, which will be affixed to their clothing. He explained that mosquitoes are capable of breeding in a very small amount of water.
“A lot of people don’t see where the mosquitoes are breeding because they are not aware of some of the breeding sites,” Mr. Riley emphasized. “Some of the breeding sites are roof gutters, cans, even overturned bottle covers. You also have people who store water for plant purposes. It’s alright to do that, but we advise you on what to do to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.”
Homeowners have the option of purchasing specific chemicals or using things found in their kitchens.
“For those persons who store water for plant purposes, we will encourage you to use abate or themophos or you could just get some olive oil or vegetable oil and just throw it in the water,” Mr. Riley advised. “It will be safe for the plants when you water them, but it will stop the mosquito larvae from getting to the surface for air.”
The Chief Environmental Officer revealed that if there is standing water such as a garden pond, as long as there are fish in the water there will be no need to throw anything in the water because the fish will eat the mosquito larvae.