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Thursday, December 1, 2022
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Mosquito population expected to increase

MARIGOT: Recent rainfall related to the passage of storms Earl and Fiona could increase the mosquito population, which is one of the main nuisances perceived by the inhabitants of Saint-Martin and tourists.

The territory has experienced heavy rainfall in recent weeks due to the passage of tropical storm Earl and the more recent storm Fiona, resulting in a large increase in mosquitoes and breeding sites. Although there are several species of mosquitoes in St. Martin, only one is capable of transmitting human diseases, often causing serious epidemics: the Aedesaegypti, of which the tiger mosquito is a member.

A bite by an infectious Aedesaegypti mosquito can cause diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and zika. Not to mention heartworm disease, which can be fatal for dogs and cats. It is therefore crucial that each citizen participates in preventing its reproduction.unstable atmospheric conditions also contribute to the proliferation of these pests on the island, shaking the meteorological epidemic risk. For example, after the passage of cyclone Luis, an increase of 25% in the number of mosquito breeding sites carrying dengue fever was recorded.

The best way to manage a mosquito problem is therefore to attack its source: prevent them from reproducing. Aedesaegyptis breeds primarily in artificial breeding sites, in small collections of clear water, in or around homes.Plant saucers are one of those unassuming places that can collect a small amount of water and still be a huge breeding site for mosquitoes. Vases, old tires, empty paint cans, buckets or any other container that can hold water are the first things to check and get rid of if not used.

Lodges can also form naturally in the hollow of a rock, a hole in a tree, a bamboo tree or even your own plants. If these collect water between the leaves and the stem, they will become an ideal breeding site for mosquitoes. The ARS, in conjunction with the prefect and the local authorities, which defines the surveillance program for mosquitoes that carry human diseases and the actions to be taken, calls for the social mobilization of citizens in terms of collective prevention. Eliminating breeding sites in and around homes is the most effective way to reduce mosquito density.

In order to avoid bites, there are also individual means of protection, such as wearing long and loose clothing, installing mosquito nets, using an electric diffuser to protect your home and repellents even though the Aedesaegypti has developed strong resistance to chemical insecticides. No measure is 100% effective, but it is the sum of individual and collective measures that allows us to fight against the transmission of diseases.

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