Mosquito numbers expected to drop over Christmas

The Christmas season could bring with it fewer mosquitoes.

“It’s really an all or nothing situation,” Mosquito Research and Control Unit Assistant Director Alan Wheeler said.

Cayman’s rainy season, which coincides with the hurricane season, concludes at the end of November. Fewer showers coupled with cooler temperatures reduce mosquito breeding.

“Typically, we find that Christmas does bring about fewer mosquitoes, because of less than favourable breading conditions,” Wheeler said. “However, it is hard to predict the percentage that the mosquito numbers will fall by, because the Adese Taenoirhynchus (swamp or nuisance mosquito) breeds in batches.”

Wheeler says a sporadic shower, or unusually high tide, could lead to a boom in the numbers. However, typically there are fewer mosquitoes this time of the year.

In light of the expected decrease in the number of mosquitoes, the MRCU is also scaling back its control efforts.

“There are various indicators, like mosquito traps, that we use when deciding our control efforts,” said Wheeler. “So going into the Christmas season we will decrease our spraying.”

Wheeler also said the MRCU will be monitoring the traps, so should an increase in mosquitoes occurs, they will be ready to combat them.