Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Get predators to fight mosquitoes

Published:Wednesday | October 22, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: In the recent upsurge of mosquitoes, mosquito-related diseases, and the urgent importance of mosquito control, very little has been said about the encouragement of natural predators to assist us in this effort.

Of concern is the much-maligned fruit bat, or 'rat bat', which is a voracious consumer of mosquitoes. Whereas Jamaicans are not foolish enough to put the fruit bat on the menu, as in West Africa, we are also not smart enough to encourage its presence among us.

We take the humble tree lizard for granted, the little brown bush lizard that works all day killing insects. He is relieved by his cousin, the croaker, at night. Then there are the whistling frogs and the bull frogs, with the added bonus of tadpoles that kill the mosquito larvae in water.

Additionally, we have the grass snakes, often killed by gardeners, and the 'tiki-tiki' fish, which will clean the larvae out of ponds and containers. Spiders are often cleaned out of areas of the home. Undisturbed, their webs can trap hundreds of mosquitoes a day.

Undisturbed, our natural predators will provide their services FREE OF COST. Why don't we invite them into our homes and make use of them?

E. MARILYN DUFF (Dr)

duff@flowja.com

Kingston 8