Mosquitoes, worst ever

Published in Forum items

Despite the local authorities' attempts to control mosquitoes with pesticides, many have complained that the mosquitoes on the island are more virulent than ever.

 A couple of examples from the Eco Hvar in-box:

"We have been visiting the island on a regular basis for the last ten years and have just returned to England after three weeks in Jelsa.
This has been by far the worst visit in terms of mosquito bites. The incidence seems to be rising year on year. I understand that before our visit the streets were sprayed twice with a strong mixture of poisons in the space of just over a month. Whatever is being done, clearly isn’t working and it is, in fact, having the opposite effect from what is needed." Lynne, UK, e-mail 20th August 2014.

"Some friends who visited Pitve have told me that the mosquitoes were a real problem. Their ten-year-old daughter was so badly bitten on her face that she wanted to go back to Vienna immediately." S., Vienna, e-mail August 2014.

Eco Hvar. There are other, more promising approaches to the mosquito problem:

Some countries are studying the problem with care and choosing ecologically sound solutions. Brazil, which was following on from experiments in Australia, released tens of thousands of mosquitoes infected with a bacterium (called Wolbachiapipientis) which acts as a vaccine against dengue feverin a preventive programme, which started in 2012. The aim was to reduce the number of mosquitoes carrying the dengue fever virus, which in Brazil affected some 3.2 million people, with 800 deaths between 2009 and 2014. The programme in Australia was proven to be effective in reducing the number of disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Another approach, pioneered by British biotechnology firm Oxitec, has been to breed genetically modified mutant male mosquitoes whose offspring die before adulthood, therefore reducing the numbers of disease-carrying mosquitoes. Experimental release of millions of these insects was done in secrecy in various countries, starting on Grand Cayman Island,a nd later in India, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Panama among others. In places where mosquito-borne diseases are not a particular threat, the policy of releasing genetically modified mosquitoes has come under question. In early 2015, plans were under discussion to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes three times a week in Florida as a preventive measure. There was particular concern about the possible effects if a human should be bitten by one of these mosquitoes, although Oxitec claimed it would do its utmost to release only male mosquitoes, which do not bite humans.

Personal preventive measures

A strong immune system is vital defence against mosquito-borne diseases as al other infecetions. So a healthy diet, combined with regular exercise and adequate rest are mandatory. One should avoid, or at least minimize debilitating factors such as processed foods and drinks, refined sugar and flour, caffeine and alcohol. Personal hygiene, especially frequent hand washing, is an essential part of infection prevention.

You are here: Home forum items Mosquitoes, worst ever

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Alaskans have been enjoying free, organic meat for the past 50 years. Should other places stop turning their nose up?

    My mother texts me four photos of a dead moose the week I leave Alaska. It is freshly hit. The pebbled pink brains fanning across the pavement have not yet grayed in the brisk autumn air. The animal will not go to waste. For the past 50 years, Alaska has been the only state where virtually every piece of large roadkill is eaten.

    Every year, between 600 and 800 moose are killed in Alaska by cars, leaving up to 250,000lb of organic, free-range meat on the road. State troopers who respond to these collisions keep a list of charities and families who have agreed to drive to the scene of an accident at any time, in any weather, to haul away and butcher the body.

    Continue reading...

  • As Hitachi and Toshiba abandon plans for new British nuclear reactors, Damian Carrington assesses the merits of the technology

    All sources of electricity face the same trilemma in the 21st century: carbon emissions, continuity of supply and cost. The UK government has placed a big bet on nuclear power, but reactors meet only two of the three challenges. Nuclear power is low carbon and a secure source of electricity – but it is hugely expensive.

    In the era of climate change, generating power without belching out carbon emissions is vital. While building nuclear plants and fuelling them requires concrete, transport and so on, the overall emissions are similar to windand solar power. All produce far less carbon than coal or gas-powered stations.

    Continue reading...

  • A complete overhaul of what we eat may be the only way to meet the needs of a planet in crisis. So what’s on – and off – the menu?

    The world faces many challenges over the coming decades, but one of the most significant will be how to feed its expanding global population. By 2050, there will be about 10 billion of us, and how to feed us all, healthily and from sustainable food sources, is something that is already being looked at. The Norway-based thinktank Eat and the British journal the Lancet have teamed up to commission an in-depth, worldwide study, which launches at 35 different locations around the world today, into what it would take to solve this problem – and the ambition is huge.

    The commissioners lay out important caveats. Their solution is contingent on global efforts to stabilise population growth, the achievement of the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement on climate change and stemming worldwide changes in land use, among other things. But they are clear that it depends on far more than just these basic requirements. The initial report presents a flexible daily diet for all food groups based on the best health science, which also limits the impact of food production on the planet.

    Continue reading...

  • Paris agreement for the sea recommended as rates of plastic pollution to skyrocket

    A new global agreement to protect the seas should be a priority for the government to stop our seas becoming a “sewer”, according to a cross-party group of MPs.

    Plastic pollution is set to treble in the next decade, the environmental audit committee warned, while overfishing is denuding vital marine habitats of fish, and climate change is causing harmful warming of the oceans as well as deoxygenation and acidification.

    Continue reading...

  • Scientist Brad Lister returned to Puerto Rican rainforest after 35 years to find 98% of ground insects had vanished

    “We knew that something was amiss in the first couple days,” said Brad Lister. “We were driving into the forest and at the same time both Andres and I said: ‘Where are all the birds?’ There was nothing.”

    His return to the Luquillo rainforest in Puerto Rico after 35 years was to reveal an appalling discovery. The insect population that once provided plentiful food for birds throughout the mountainous national park had collapsed. On the ground, 98% had gone. Up in the leafy canopy, 80% had vanished. The most likely culprit by far is global warming.

    Continue reading...

  • Rising temperatures can be charted back to the late 1950s, and the last five years were the five hottest on record

    Last year was the hottest ever measured, continuing an upward trend that is a direct result of manmade greenhouse gas emissions.

    The key to the measurements is the oceans. Oceans absorb more than 90% of the heat that results from greenhouse gases, so if you want to measure global warming you really have to measure ocean warming.

    Continue reading...

  • Kew scientists’ analysis of 124 wild species shows 60% facing possible extinction, risking viability of commercial stock

    Wild coffee species are under threat, with 60% of them facing possible extinction, including Arabica, the original of the world’s most popular form of coffee, researchers say.

    Most coffee species are found in the forests of Africa and Madagascar. They are threatened by climate change and the loss of natural habitat, as well as by the spread of diseases and pests.

    Continue reading...

  • Campaigners say it will cut pollution, but opponents claim it will hit poor people hardest

    “I’m just really glad the ULEZ is coming. Children’s lungs can’t wait,” says Jemima Hartshorn, a Brixton resident who helped set up campaign group Mums For Lungs.

    Continue reading...

  • The continent’s largest land mammal plays crucial role in spiritual lives of the tribes

    On 5,000 hectares of unploughed prairie in north-eastern Montana, hundreds of wild bison roam once again. But this herd is not in a national park or a protected sanctuary – they are on tribal lands. Belonging to the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of Fort Peck Reservation, the 340 bison is the largest conservation herd in the ongoing bison restoration efforts by North America’s Indigenous people.

    The bison – or as Native Americans call them, buffalo – are not just “sustenance,” according to Leroy Little Bear, a professor at the University of Lethbridge and a leader in the bison restoration efforts with the Blood Tribe. The continent’s largest land mammal plays a major role in the spiritual and cultural lives of numerous Native American tribes, an “integrated relationship,” he said.

    Continue reading...

  • Prospects for species look dire as federal science body finds that only one of the country’s 16 populations is believed to be stable

    Half of Canada’s chinook salmon are endangered, with nearly all other populations in precarious decline, according to a new report, confirming fears that prospects for the species remain dire.

    The reportby the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada concluded that eight of the country’s 16 populations are considered endangered, four are threatened, one is of special concern and the health of two remain unknown.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds