An Explosion of Mosquitoes

Posted By: Marty

An Explosion of Mosquitoes - 06/16/20 10:55 AM

An explosion of mosquitoes was felt everywhere on Friday evening and the rest of the weekend. Somehow, the mosquitoes felt more aggressive and seemed to be more intense. So today, we caught up with the Head of the Vector Control Unit at the Ministry of Health, Kim Bautista who says that there are two species of mosquitoes that have increased population along the coast of Belize and Mexico. These mosquitoes laid their eggs during the drought and the recent rains provided a breeding ground causing them to multiply. Bautista goes into details.

Kim Bautista, Head, Vector Control Unit, Ministry of Health

“With the intense heat that we had and that dry spell, it is a natural response for mosquitoes to try and lay as much eggs as possible. So what you have around this time of the year is that you would have certain mosquito species that aren’t really laying eggs in containers that are around the yard. You have mosquito species such as the sorophara ciliate, which are those big black ones that the public is seeing in the coastal areas. And there is also another species that tends to be in brackish to salt water type environments, aedes tenerencus and those tend to lay eggs indiscriminately—in grasses, shrubs. And so when you get your first rains or tides that are higher than usual, that process starts with the development and then you get a sudden explosion in the population, which is what we saw in places like Caye Caulker, San Pedro, Belize City, Corozal—those coastal areas. The similar reports we are receiving from Mexico as well. So those species aren’t really vectors of any mosquito-borne diseases, but because of their aggressive biting habits, they are a nuisance. And it is not only biting during early dawn or late evenings, after sunset, you get biting throughout the day and of course it intensifies between six and seven.”

Relief on the Way; Spraying for Mosquitoes Commences

But there is soon to be some relief because starting today, spraying by the vector control unit began across the country.

Kim Bautista, Head, Vector Control Unit, Ministry of Health

“Spraying will commence today; this evening. In some areas like Corozal and Orange Walk, we never stopped spraying; I think we have been spraying constantly almost for eighteen months or so in the north, simply because of the dengue situation that we were seeing. But the spraying will occur starting this afternoon in areas such as Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize and Cayo. The anticipation is that after a couple sprays, we should see some significant relief and those activities will be intensified in the coming weeks once the rest of our supplies start being delivered in our country.”

Bautista says that they are also awaiting supplies, including malathion pesticide, which are to arrive on July sixth.

Nuisance Mosquitoes Are Not Disease-Borne Vectors

These mosquitoes are not to be confused with the aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the vector for dengue or Chikungunya. Head of Vector Control Unit, Kim Bautista says that the statistics for 2020 shows that the cases of dengue in Belize are down drastically when compared to 2019.

Kim Bautista, Head, Vector Control Unit, Ministry of Health

Last year, we had the highest record number of dengue in the region, including Belize. But what we are seeing at the start of this year, we did see some elevated numbers. But we were running the figures this evening and when we were looking at a period of the past eleven weeks, for the past eleven weeks, we have seen a decline. For 2020, over the past eleven weeks, we’ve recorded one hundred and two cases of dengue countrywide. For that same reporting period for 2019, we have three hundred and thirty-one cases so we are not really seeing that amount of dengue cases over the past couple months. That could change as the rainy season starts now, but the public shouldn’t be alarmed that with the increase in nuisance mosquitoes that we are seeing that it will translate to an increase in dengue cases.”

Channel 5
Posted By: Marty

Re: An Explosion of Mosquitoes - 06/17/20 11:08 AM

As if the Covid-19 endemic is not alarming enough, there are other issues that Belize is looking at including malaria and dengue. Recent days have seen an increase in mosquitoes with many residents calling for the Ministry of Health to provide some relief through the spraying of malathion. According to Dr Manzanero the Vector Control Unit is assessing the situation around the country.

Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services:We have noted the particular increase in numbers that are being reported to us. Vector Control is aware and Vector Control is monitoring the situation not only in Belize City where most of the concerns were initially from but across the country. Please note also that we’re doing this following Dengue patterns so this seems to be not just as I said in urban Belize City but across all rural communities. We are also trying to do more targeted spraying ideally we would want to spray everywhere but you would understand that we have limited resources in terms of trucks and human resources and the schedule because it’s not spraying one time but you need to factor that you’ll have to come back and spray at a specific time. So we’re also monitoring where the Dengue cases are happening and those are becoming the priority areas where we’re actually going to go and do the specific spraying process and that’s going to be across the country so it’s not only specific to a given area where we’re having this situation. How effective will the spraying be now that it is raining ? Well that’s also a factor that needs to be taken into account that you cannot be doing spraying when it’s actually raining so you need to be able to factor in when your schedules are going to be in terms of that. Beyond that I think we need to stress also because we keep hearing about spraying but understand that spraying is not the only solution to the mosquito situation, if we don’t put our role as a community if you recall last year when we highlighted the Dengue situation we’re going to face earlier this year we said we have the potential same situation that could happen but it has gotten caught up in the COVID-19 discussion. We had ten deaths last year we can have the same amount of deaths this year if we don’t do a collective effort in trying to curtail the mosquito population so I would also call on the communities to be actively involved in the elimination of breeding sites rather than just anticipating and waiting that the truck is going to come around to do the spraying.”

Posted By: Marty

Re: An Explosion of Mosquitoes - 06/17/20 05:20 PM

I finally figured out why the mosquitoes are so bad. It’s been bugging me! (Pun intended) She thought it might be because all the resorts are not spraying. I think she’s 100% correct. We used to spray all the time at Capricorn to control them. The coast line is basically all resorts. I’ve been here 14 years and never have I seen mosquitoes like this. At least now it makes sense.

Doesn’t explain why they are so bad in Belize City though...ugh! They are terrible all over.

Normally mosquito populations balloon after a period of drought. Once the rain comes, boom

From Facebook:

Posted By: Marty

Re: An Explosion of Mosquitoes - 06/18/20 10:55 AM

Mosquito situation on the island prompts residents to consider aerial spraying of malathion

As the rainy season continues, islanders are now battling the issue of mosquitoes, which has been worsening over the past weeks. Although the Department of Health on the island began fumigating malathion a few weeks ago, the continuous rains have not helped the situation. Residents are concerned about the potential outbreak of vector-borne diseases like Dengue, Zika, or Malaria, and a group of them have pitched the idea of aerial spraying over the island to tackle the mosquito problem.

The continual rains have contributed to flooding in most of the subdivisions around San Pedro Town, giving way to stagnant water. This environment is perfect for the reproduction of mosquitoes. Some residents have taken the initiative to help the health personnel spraying by cleaning their areas and pouring oil in the standing water. This is expected to kill the mosquito larvae, but so far, the swarms of blood-sucking insects continue to grow as the days go by. A group of islanders believe that having an airplane spray Malathion over the island to kill mosquitoes is the best option at this point. Detractors are not convinced this is a good idea, as they believe it will affect the local ecosystem and marine life.

Islander Peter Lawrence explained the spraying process during the morning show on Reef TV. He stated that the aircraft would fly at the height of about 50 feet, and it would not spray on mangrove areas but rather only on landmass. The spraying is expected to take place over an area under 1,500 acres, and less than one liter of Malathion will be used per acre. If this were to take place, the spraying would be above residential areas, and people will be informed in advance when the flyover would take place. The spraying is expected to take place three times within four days to get rid of the mosquitoes for a couple of months.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
Posted By: Marty

Re: An Explosion of Mosquitoes - 06/23/20 10:37 AM

The Rise Of The "Mega-Moscas"

With the heavy rains, come the mosquitoes, but have you noticed that this year there are some especially big mosquitoes? And, boy, do they bite!

Well, your eyes are not deceiving you - there are some giant mosquitoes in circulation, like these ones we captured in San Pedro Village, Corozal.

The Ministry of Health says the whole coastline is being infested with them - and that they come down from Mexico. It's not your usual Aedes aegypti; these ones are known scientifically as "Sorohforah silliyata", or gallinippers in the states. Here, we'll just use the Spanish word for mosquito and call them, "mega-moscas".

The good news is that apart from the aggressive bite, they are just a nuisance and do not spread dengue, malaria or any disease.

Channel 7

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