Sun | Mar 24, 2019

Use biology to wipe out mosquitoes

Published:Saturday | February 9, 2019 | 1:16 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

We have been besieged by chik-V, Zika, and now a resurgence of dengue. We have poisoned them (and ourselves and other animals) so much with pesticides, such as Malathion, that the mosquitoes are becoming immune to the pesticides.

Why don’t we use a biological, natural way of eradicating the Aedes aegypti (dengue) mosquito?

I ran across a highly effective method of essentially wiping out the vector mosquito using a tiny pinhead size animal called a copepod (megacyclops) in a magazine.

Essentially, you have children put some water containing the megacyclops into every puddle or container of water where the mosquito larvae are living and the copepods will eat them.

I suggested to the unit studying mosquito control at The University of the West Indies (UWI) that we should see if we have this variety of the copepods here to see if it might be a viable way of wiping out the Aedes aegypti, but months later I am told they didn’t do anything about it. A serious disappointment.

So I approached Dr Eric Hyslop at the Department of Life Sciences of the UWI, who was more receptive and is now looking into it.

Maybe we can wipe out the mosquitoes without poisoning ourselves.

HOWARD CHIN

Member Jamaica Institution of Engineers