Residents and visitors of the Cayman Islands should expect significantly higher numbers of mosquitoes in the coming days due to increased rainfall over the past few weeks.
Typical mitigation efforts by The Mosquito Research & Control Unit (MRCU) were limited through mid-April due to high winds and rainfall. The MRCU has since been conducting aerial larviciding operations in most areas flooded by rain. However, adult mosquitoes are expected to be emerging over the next 10 days. A large day-biting mosquito species known as Psorophora colombiae has already emerged from flooded grassland areas, and adults of the Black Saltmarsh mosquito (Aedes taeniorhynchus) are expected to start causing a biting nuisance from Sunday, 1 May onwards. This species can occur in very high numbers and is the primary nuisance mosquito in the Cayman Islands.
The MRCU will continue aerial larviciding operations (against mosquito larvae) but plans to switch its operations to target adult biting mosquitoes starting today Monday, 2 May. However, numbers are expected to remain high for at least seven days (through 9 May). During this period, members of the public are advised to minimise outdoor activities between 7 and 9 p.m. If people need to go outside, they are recommended to apply a DEET or Picaridin based repellent. The public is also reminded that Dog Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes and poses a significant health risk to dogs.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this emergence, but we can assure the public that the MRCU is actively working to minimise the impact of mosquitoes”, MRCU Director Alan Wheeler said.
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