Mosquitoes multiplying as swamps flood

| 09/03/2012

aedes_vexans (226x300).jpg(CNS): Experts from the government’s Mosquito Research & Control Unit (MRCU) are warning of an increase in the numbers of mosquitoes over the next week after high seas and rain have combined to flood the swamps. MRCU Director Dr. William Petrie explained that the higher than normal population of swamp mosquitoes is because of the favourable breeding conditions created by this flooding. Although the unit is equipped and ready for the surge in numbers of the pest Petrie asked for the public’s patience as his staff go on the attack both on the ground and in the air to reduce the numbers.

“Staff are prepared to deal with the issue but at the same time we want to advise residents on Grand Cayman to expect a higher presence of mosquitoes for the next week or so,” Petrie added.

Tides in Grand Cayman have been rising over the last few months and are now at a level that produces flooding in the swamps, he explained. Tidal fluctuations plus a recent rainfall event have led to favorable breeding conditions for the swamp mosquito.

The swamp mosquitoes (Aedes taeniorhynchus) lay eggs in the swamp mud which may survive in a dormant state for long periods of time. Rainfall and tidal increases inundate the eggs which hatch into larvae very quickly. Larvae will feed and grow and within 7 to 10 days pupate and emerge as adult mosquitoes. The male mosquitoes do not bite and only survive for a couple of days. The female mosquitoes, which do bite and become a nuisance to the public, can survive for up to 15 days. The females seek blood for egg production and will lay numerous eggs back onto the swamp mud.

The director said that the MRCU has a proactive surveillance program that monitors the swamps for favorable breeding conditions and the presence of mosquito larvae. MRCU operational staff will deal with the mosquito emergence utilizing a fleet of truck-mounted foggers and the customized spray plane.

The Aedes taeniorhynchus mosquitoes migrate into residential areas during the evening after sunset and the early morning before sunrise. Truck-mounted fogging and aerial spraying target the Aedes taeniorhynchus mosquitoes during these high activity periods when the female mosquitoes are seeking a blood meal and biting ferociously.

MRCU will be monitoring the emergence closely and scheduling appropriate island-wide control activities during the week and into the weekend. For any questions or to report high levels of nuisance biting in your residential area contact MRCU on 949-2557.


Category: Science and Nature

Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Well, one night I heard a lot of squacking so I went outside and looked.  Lo and behold but a poor crab catcher was being lifted into the air by the biggest mosquito I've ever seen.  Ok, that's a little exaggerated but I don't live near a swamp and mosquitoes are in my house every night.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A family member of mine who lives in BT district was bitten by one of these pest. After several days, he had pains in his right shoulder and arm. He couldn't move them because of the joint pain he had. I tried everything to relieve him of the pain. Went to GT Hospital and they couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. Then took blood and x-ray. A doctor told him it could have been a nerve caused by a splintered bone. But this happened after he went into the bush and got bit by a small flying insect like mosquitoe bite. The Hospital place a ban to hold up his arm and he was given medication for pain. Further appointments were made to see a specialist. But after some weeks and unable to work, the pain went away and the stiffness symtoms and joint pains went away. Mysteriously they went away. Went back to the doctor and he stated that he shouldnt worry about it again. This was a year ago and ever since he has not had any recurrence. But I truly believe it could have been one of those mosqutoes that bite him.  

  3. Anonymous says:

    The birth rate also rises in about 7-9 months from now.

  4. BART simpson says:

    Is it the MRCU guys giving all the thumbs down to the 1st three comments on this story? For those who may not be aware of the fact that Cayman is one of just a few places that let this experiment be done in their Country just Google dangers of G M Mosquitoes and read of the dangers for yourself.

    • Anonymous says:

      The GM field experiment is not applicable to swamp mosquitoes which is what this press release is all about. Dimbo!


    • Anonymous says:

      There is no point in having territories if they are not to be used for such tests for British companies.

  5. Anonymous says:

    bs…. before the flooding ….its the first time ever i have been bitten in february……

    • Anonymous says:

      Can the mosquitoes spread the flue virus also?  Where did this flue virus originate from? Many people are now ill  with it and i don't hear a thing from the health service about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Newbie. "its the first time ever i have been bitten in february….". I don't suppose you know who Dr. Giglioli was, or that you ever saw a fogging machine in action.

  6. BART simpson says:

    Ah Ha! Here comes the Genetically Modified mosquitoes, and the MRCU has no idea what to do!!!  "TYPICAL OF HOW WE DO THINGS IN THIS ISLAND"

  7. Anonymous says:

    genetically clones misquitoes, here we come!