MRCU beats back mosquito menace

Efforts
of the Mosquito Research and Control Unit have brought Grand Cayman’s recent
mosquito problem under control, Director William Petrie said.

Mr.
Petrie said the unexpected heavy mid-April rains accelerated the hatching of
mosquito larvae in the swamps across Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands. 

“This
rain flooded all grasslands and swamps, resulting in the mass breeding of
mosquitoes,” he said. “So we went from having no mosquitoes, to having a
serious problem on the three islands.”

Mr.
Petrie said the problem was not caused by budget cuts and pointed out that in
previous years; MRCU treated the swamps with pellets in May, in anticipation of
the June rains.  They heavy rains in
April happened before that scheduled treatment could be done.

“We
would not have treated the swamps in April, as that was before the normal heavy
rains,” he said. “We have to apply the pellets at just the right time, for
maximum effect.”

To
control the mosquitoes, MRCU has been conducting conventional spraying and
ground operations on all three islands. Residents might have noticed that the
MRCU air plane has been very active, completing seven aerial spray operations
in Grand Cayman since April.   Also in
Grand Cayman, 18 ground-fogging operations have been carried out, and the areas
identified as having small mosquito populations are being retreated as necessary.  In Cayman Brac, the MRCU has completed 28
ground operations and 14 in Little Cayman.

Mr.
Petrie said there are still two or three localised areas in Grand Cayman with
small mosquito populations, but that these were not the dengue-carrying Aedes
aegypti, mosquitoes.

“We
will continue to work around-the-clock to manage the situation, and we will
keep the public abreast of all developments,” he said.

Mosquito

The Mosquito Re-search and Control Unit plane has been active in the fight against the mossies.
Photo: Submitted
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