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Mosquito Wars

The Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU)'s distinctive red plane will soon be up in the air again as the unit starts a low-level aerial operation this week Wednesday, 26 October.

Moving towards the end of mosquito season, the aircraft will disperse larvicidal pellets (Altosid) into stagnant and standing water throughout the swamps, targeting the prime breeding sites for certain species of mosquitoes.

The pellets, when wetted by tides or rainfall, will release a chemical for several months at a time which will specifically kill mosquito larvae emerging from hatched eggs. The larvicide is EPA approved and does not present a threat to humans, pets or wildlife.

The MRCU aircraft, a custom designed Ayers Turbo Thrush, is fitted with precise equipment which, alongside the on-board navigational system, will provide accurate placement of the pellets into swampy areas.

This type of application provides long-term control which is two-fold: The amount of mosquitoes hatching will be significantly reduced which means there will be fewer mosquitoes to lay eggs back into the swamp, reducing the subsequent number of eggs in those areas.

This type of control not only lessens the nuisance of biting mosquitoes, but also reduces the need for adulticiding spray chemicals to be applied later.

The daytime campaign in Grand Cayman should be completed within a couple of weeks. The operation will then shift to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman where a similar campaign last year proved highly successful.

MRCU scientists will monitor the application's effectiveness on the ground throughout the operations.

For any further information or enquiries please contact MRCU (Main Office) on 949-2557.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver