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MRCU Controls Mosquitoes

The MRCU fogger has been  very busy.

Although there are two or three localised areas in Grand Cayman with small mosquito populations, Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) Director Dr. William Petrie said the recent problem has been brought largely under control.

Clarifying that the problem has not been caused by budget cuts, Dr. Petrie said the unexpected heavy mid-April rains accelerated the hatching of mosquito larvae in the swamps across Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands.

"This rain flooded all grasslands and swamps, resulting in the mass breeding of mosquitoes. So we went from having no mosquitoes, to having a serious problem on the three islands," Dr. Petrie explained.

He said that in previous years, MRCU treated the swamps with pellets in May, in anticipation of the June rains. This was done in order to significantly reduce the emergence of the pest.

But there were heavy rains in April, before that scheduled treatment could be done.

"We would not have treated the swamps in April, as that was before the normal heavy rains. We have to apply the pellets at just the right time, for maximum effect, "Dr. Petrie said.

To control the mosquitoes, MRCU has been conducting conventional spraying and ground operations on all three islands.

Residents have noticed that the airplane has been very active, he acknowledged, completing seven aerial spray operations in Grand Cayman since April. Also in Grand Cayman, 18 ground-fogging operations have been carried out, and the areas identified as having small mosquito populations are being retreated as necessary.

In Cayman Brac, the MRCU has completed 28 ground operations and 14 in Little Cayman.

"We will continue to work around-the-clock to manage the situation, and we will keep the public abreast of all developments," Dr. Petrie said.

He noted that these mosquitoes are not related to the dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Prudence Barnes