The Environmental Department is confirming that there are indeed more mosquitoes buzzing and breeding around the island.
Senior Environmental Health Officer, Dale Holligan said such as she pleaded with Barbadians to do better to keep their surroundings clean, especially since COVID.
The onus is on householders, generally, to do inspections on their homes
While acknowledging that the weekly fogging schedule had been put on pause during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic due to respiratory concerns, Ms. Holligan said citizens still had a responsibility to do their part to prevent an increase in vector-borne illnesses.
She added that the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ fogging programme still continued on a smaller scale, as officers respond to areas where they receive complaints for mosquitoes. However, the Senior Environmental Health Officer reminded the public that fogging only killed adult mosquitoes.
“Since the weekly fogging stopped, we’ve had an increase in mosquitoes. People are more negligent; we are finding a lot more breeding sites that were not normally found before. So yes, you would see an increase in the mosquito population but that does not mean it is a direct result from the cessation of fogging; human practices are involved.
“The onus is on householders, generally, to do inspections on their homes by looking for stagnant water. We have also been monitoring the wetlands where you can have mosquito proliferation. We have even encountered new areas that would not normally have water that we’re finding with water.
So, we are doing treatment; we’re doing biological and we use Aquatain, which covers the surface of the water to stop them from breeding. Those are the two methods we use in the Ministry of Health,” she explained.
Despite the cessation of the regular fogging schedule, the Ministry only recorded 47 cases of dengue fever in 2022. Holligan shared that there were plans to restart the weekly fogging schedule, though she could not say how soon.
There are three types of mosquitoes of public health significance that have been identified in Barbados, the anopheles, culex, and aedes aegypti.