SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Ministry of Public Health and the Collection Prevention Services would like to remind and motivate the public to be vigilant in preventing and eliminating mosquito-breeding sites.
Due to recent heavy rainfalls, mosquito-breeding sites may have increased. Vector control teams have been responding to support inquiries from the community. The department would like to remind the community that one of the most important actions to take against mosquito-breeding sites is to remove any stagnant water you have around your property.
“Empty pots, tarps, tools and trash cans of any water that has collected as they are all breeding grounds for mosquitoes. If a mosquito problem already exists, CPS recommends controlling adult mosquitoes through mosquito traps, space sprays and vegetation management. Mosquitoes can also be kept out of the home by keeping windows, doors and porches tightly screened.”
Weather permitting, the following districts will be fogged in the upcoming weeks; Suckergarden, Middle Region, Dutch Quarter, Defiance, Illdige Road, Over The Bank, Guana Bay, Cay Hill, Mary Fancy, Cape Bay and Maho. These districts have been determined based on assessments by the vector control and will be carried out for a limited period.
The fogging, a chemical control method is executed based on epidemic containment and is a temporary method, which does not have full effect on the mosquito breeding and elimination process. Some of the limitations of fogging include; effects primarily adult mosquitos that come in contact with the fog, thus limiting the reach and repeated application is required which in turn can cause resistance to the chemical effects on the mosquitos.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of VSA and CPS conducted several community-based vector control programs, including a collaborative clean-up campaign within the communities. Several homes and properties were assessed for mosquito-breeding sites and clean-up assistance was provided to dispose of hurricane debris and any bulky waste, such as fridges, stoves, tires, containers, etc.
These campaigns were in-part funded by the World Bank, which also created temporary jobs for unemployed persons. The Ministry and CPS will be hosting follow-up campaigns as part of its prevention and awareness actions to the community.
CPS reminds the public to practice the THREE D’s of mosquito prevention — Drain, Dress and Defend:
- Drain: Empty out water containers at least once per week
- Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
- Defend: Properly apply an approved repellent such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535