Wet weather brings more mosquitoes

The Mosquito Research and Control Unit says it expects mosquito numbers to grow in the coming days.

“We are stepping up our operations in response to the recent showers,” said MRCU director Dr. James McNelly. “Those showers coincided with high tides, which has exacerbated the situation.”

Plans to thwart the expected increase are already under way. First, the MRCU hopes to deploy larvicides in the ponds, swamps and pasture lands in the more-developed areas. While this is expected to put a dent in the numbers of mosquitoes, McNelly said, it won’t prevent the overall increase in the mosquito population.

“There are some 9,000 acres of untouched swamps, which we do not have access to,” said McNelly. “Some of these areas are also protected wetlands and serve as an active breeding ground for mosquitoes.”

Once the larvae become adult mosquitoes and they begin to fly, they will be able to target people living in North Side, Bodden Town and George Town, which will trigger phase two of the MRCU’s plan.

“We will deploy our trucks and planes to release insecticides that will target the grown mosquitoes,” said McNelly. “Mosquitoes grown in buckets don’t really travel that far, maybe 200 or 300 metres. However, mosquitoes produced in the swamps are strong fliers, and can travel far, especially with the wind.”

Tips to staying bite-free

  • Wear long trousers, as well as long-sleeved clothes.
  • Use insect repellent with DEET.
  • Avoid going outside during peak feeding times (6-8am and 6-8pm).
  • Host event indoors where possible.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now