SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – This week is Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week (CMAW), the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) said on Friday.
The theme is: “Small Bite Big Threat,” and the slogan, “Tiny…but deadly. Don’t Wait…Eradicate.”
CMAW runs from May 9-15 and brings the Caribbean region together to protect communities against diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
At the 17th Special Session of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government on public health threats in November 2014, the Heads approved a proposal for the establishment of an annual "Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week”, to be observed by Member States with support of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), CARICOM Secretariat in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
The annual event is a collaborative initiative between the CARPHA, CARICOM, and PAHO, and is designed to strengthen existing initiatives in the Region and mobilize the public and communities to take action and eliminate mosquito breeding sites.
CPS, is calling on residents to help stop the spread of mosquitoes by preventing them from breeding in your backyard or garden after rainfall events.
The best way to manage a mosquito problem is to tackle it at its source: keep the mosquitoes from breeding.
After every rainfall event take action and end the breeding by not letting your home be a breeding site for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes also need to feed in order to reproduce, so avoid being bitten by joining the fight to stop the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.
Source reduction is the key to decreasing the mosquito population. Due to the tropical nature of our climate, breeding habitats are in abundance, and many of them are unfortunately man-made.
A bite by an infectious Aedes aegypti mosquito, spreads diseases, and therefore it is crucial for every household to prevent its breeding.
Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a half-inch of water. This isn’t a lot of water, and plant saucers are one of those unassuming places that can gather a small amount and still be a huge breeding site for your backyard mosquito.
Breeding sites include anywhere that water can settle for a certain time undisturbed from garbage to your flowers/plants. This includes tin cans, old tires, empty paint cans, buckets, old saucers, flowerpots, cemetery urns/vase, old pet dishes, unused plastic swimming pools, boats on dry dock, used food containers or other containers that collect and hold water.
Once again, it is very important to check around your yard to make sure there is no standing water after a rainfall event, especially during the hurricane season when the country experiences more rainfall due to passing tropical weather systems.
A few tips/reminders: Get rid of any unused pots or bins or turn them upside down, so they don’t collect water; Keep trash and recycling bins covered. If you can, try drilling drain holes into the bottom of them; keep a fine-mesh screen over rain barrels, water tanks and cisterns. Also if possible, screen off your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.
Take a look at your plants, once your plants are collecting water in between the leaves and the stem, these too pose as a breeding site.
Let us not wait! come, join hands together as a community to eradicate mosquitoes by removing mosquito breeding sites; let’s keep mosquito borne diseases low!