Understanding the Law
July 9, 2010
The Mosquito scourge

Mosquitoes here! Mosquitoes there! Mosquitoes everywhere! I do not think there is any part of SVG that is not affected by these persistent tormentors.{{more}} Locals and foreigners alike are victims of their stinging bites. It is not unusual to see visitors at the airport leaving with swollen spotted mosquito bitten feet. It forces one to ask: Is enough being done to rid our country of this scourge?

Mosquitoes are known to transmit diseases such as dengue fever, malaria and yellow fever. The mosquito was the exterminator of the past. Diseases such as yellow fever and malaria transmitted by mosquitoes killed many of the early colonizers in the Caribbean. One source claims that it has killed more people than all the wars put together. We do not hear of death by mosquito related diseases in SVG, but prevention is better than cure.

We all know that mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. We also know that with the rainy season, water can collect in any kind of receptacle that is left lying about in our surroundings. We have to take the time to make sure that there are no receptacles around us that are capable of collecting water. It is said that mosquitoes do not go far from their breeding place, so there could very well be a breeding place on your property or that of your neighbors. Take the time to make a tour of your premises. Your non-action could be the source of your neighbors’ torment. Eradicating the mosquitoes should be our focus to improve the quality of life for all.

Playing your part

Do you have a mosquito hatchery and hideout on your property? After the eggs are hatched, the young mosquitoes set out to hide out until they can pounce on you. They seek refuge wherever they can find a dark spot. That dark spot might be somewhere in your house – in your wardrobe, under your bed, behind furniture on black cloth, in a storeroom. Outside they can hide out in bushy areas, pit toilets or sewage tanks. Make sure you do not provide the conditions for the perpetuation of the mosquito species. Do not provide the hospitality for these virulent pests. Cut down the bushes around you, seal your sewage pit properly, cover pit toilets, spread lighter colors on dark garment or bring dark colors to lighter areas

The human factor is part of the survival scheme for mosquitoes. The female mosquitoes have to suck your blood to fertilize their eggs. When they do so, they pump their venomous fluid into your blood stream. They leave behind a painful spot that swells and festers.

The Vector Control Unit

The valence of so many mosquitoes means that not enough action is being taken to rid the country of this pest. Action must be taken to control stagnant edges of rivers and ponds. Field officers need to visit premises regularly to inspect, to advise about cutting down bushy areas, and to get rid of receptacles capable of collecting water. There is need for greater vigilance and more action. Fogging does not provide the solution to this problem.

Eradication of this pest is possible and the answer lies with all of us, along with the co-operation of the Vector Control Unit. Let us do it today.

Ada Johnson is a solicitor and barrister-at-law.

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