Wednesday, 15 August 2012


Here on the island, we have mosquitoes, especially in our rainy season, which happens to be now.
It is imperative that you keep your surroundings clean and try  to alleviate all places where mosquitoes can breed. To this end, I'm always cutting grass and shrubs, making sure my plant pot saucers are not brimming over after watering, checking garbage items, tossing anything that may be construed as  a receptacle for water, since mosquitoes are very clever creatures, and extremely clever at hiding.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the PITA mosquito that is causing all the problems here.
It prefers to feed on humans, and does so even in the daytime.
The mosquitoes spread dengue fever.  Dengue fever is a disease caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes.
In its efforts to reduce the high prevalence of mosquitoes around this time of the year, the Ministry of Health (Vector Control Unit) has instituted an island-wide program of fogging.
What is this fogging that I speak of...let me explain.
Fogging entails using a fogging machine on a truck which then drives through all the districts on the island disbursing the "fog."
Announcements of the fogging schedule are aired on radio and tv, as well as advertised in the local daily news. There is also a vehicle with a loud speaker that comes around the day before the fogging is to be carried out, announcing the times and the rules to follow during the fogging procedure.
These include opening windows/doors for the fog to penetrate the building. Persons with respiratory problems and asthma  (like me) should exercise extra caution to protect themselves from inhaling the fog, and children should not be allowed to play in the fog.
Still want to know more about the fogging?
What do you think is being used to fog the mosquito-ridden areas?  Give up?
Malathion....yes, that's what I said.
Malathion is an organo phosphate insecticide used for mosquito control. It is used in conjunction with diesel fuel to fog where there is an infestation of mosquitoes.  Yes, you read correctly.......malathion mixed with diesel fuel.
Mind you the fogging only attacks adult mosquitoes. It causes no harm to the eggs which I learned can last 3-5 years without water.
So where does this leave us?  We are fogging the adult mosquitoes only, which in my opinion only seem to fly away from the fog and head to safer ground.  I have never seen a pile of dead mosquitoes anywhere after a fogging exercise.
Yesterday evening when I heard the loud speaker announcements for my area, I knew I would be closing up my windows and doors extra early today before the fogging exercise began.....who in their right minds would want to have that putrid smell in their homes.....invading everywhere and everything........making you gag and splutter way to shortness of breath and bad feels........
Looking out from my patio I see that they are on time, and they begin at 4.30pm as announced..

Yes, that is the fog being dispensed in the neighbourhood adjacent to mine.

Here it comes, enveloping everything in its path.

It'll be coming 'round the mountain when it comes.........

There are men on the back of the truck keeping check on the proceedings.

Here are the children that have been warned NOT to play in the fog, and also a van driver trying his best to drive faster before he is enveloped in the fog.

Not sure what purpose the helmets are serving, but the respirators are indeed necessary for a job like this.

Here is another lady running away so she is not caught in the

Mosquitoes or not, I never want that chemical circulating in my home.
I guess in retrospect, fogging is the lesser of the two evils, since we would not want a dengue fever epidemic here on the island. The fact remains that dengue fever is the world's fastest growing mosquito-borne disease. We have to keep on top of the situation, so as not to contribute higher numbers to the worldwide death statistics for this disease.
Over the years, this is the only way that the Ministry of Health has been fighting the mosquitoes, along with house to house health inspection, which isn't done that much anymore.
I'm always in mosquito attack mode at this time of the year.....there is always a large can of BOP (local insecticide) and an electrical mosquito swatter at hand to combat those PITA's.


  1. This post has made me realise once again the advantages of living in temperate climates. I occasionally encounter mozzies in New Zealand but they are no more than an irritation at the moment. Like the midges here on Lewis which can be a severe irritation. Some people react badly but rarely if ever are the reactions severe - just uncomfortable. Perhaps I should use this as my Thankful Thursday theme.

  2. Yes, we have mosquitoes that are not only annoying, but can also be deadly too. It's mostly in the rainy season though. When the months are cooler, they are almost non-existent (just like ticks and fleas).
    Go ahead and use as your Thankful Thursday know I have no problem with that.

  3. Oh my, this brings back childhood memories! They used to fog our neighborhoods here in Central Florida when I was a girl. And yes, sometimes my sisters and I would run joyfully through the cloud, even though we had been warned. I will surely die of cancer anyday. Can't believe I was so foolish. Fortunately, we no longer see this fog here where I live. : ) But we do see a whole lot more mosquitoes than we did back in those days. My oldest son developed dengue fever after a trip to South America a few years ago. He had a rash while in Ecuador and thought it was a soap allergy. When he got home, a worse rash appeared, along with fever and vomiting. Not fun, but he did recover fine.

    1. My dear Floridagirl, I hope you won't die of cancer as a result of childhood follies.
      I'm glad your son recovered from the dengue fever, because it can be quite hard to cure sometimes, especially if it becomes the haemorrhagic fever. Had no idea that it presented itself as a rash too. Very interesting. We have had a few deaths, but mainly because folks did not seek medical attention early.
      From my research, I see they still fog in Canada, US, and most of the Caribbean islands.

  4. This all sounds so very familiar. We have exactly the same problem here with the Aedes aegypti mosquito and outbreaks of dengue fever. The council also does on site inspections of properties to make sure there are no water-filled containers and other places that allow the mosquito to breed. Fogging has been used here, but only as a last resort.

  5. Bernie, with the economy the way it is, government has had to cut back on some of its spending, making health house visits a "once upon a time" event.
    I may be keeping my surroundings clean, but then there are others who don't give a rat's tail about anything. Sometimes it feels like a losing battle..thank goodness it's only in the rainy months that the fogging occurs.

  6. Wow, I didn't realise that this sort of thing still happened. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near any organo phosphates! I presume that this will also kill off any other insects and fish in the area. No wonder there are not as many butterflies around as there used to be.

  7. Nick, so nice of you to visit.
    You are correct in your presumption of the killing off of other beneficial insects, although we have been told not.
    I have only seen one single lady bird in the past few years, and what used to be a meadow of fireflies in the evenings has been reduced to maybe five or's really sad. I do still see butterflies but not the large numbers like before.


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