The Turks and Caicos Islands Environmental Health Department has announced that fogging to eliminate mosquito nuisance is being done in earnest.
Speaking with NewslineTCI, Director Kenrick Neely said random fogging was being done across the Turks and Caicos Islands, and additional fogging was carried out when residents lodge mosquito complaints.
“We have been fogging in Middle and North Caicos since September. We have not gotten official complaints,” he said. “We have fogged twice on Providenciales so far, as we received one official complaint, which was in regard to fogging. We have fogged in Grand Turk.”
He said fogging must be done at certain times of the day, lest it becomes ineffective. He said it is recommended that fogging be done at dusk or before sunrise.
“We cannot fog on the weekends because of the breeze. Wind over 10 miles per hour would stop us from fogging because it is not going to be effective. You cannot fog in broad daylight, when the sun is up, after 8 o’clock because the fogging is not going to be effective at that time. The fog would just disappear into the atmosphere and will not achieve what you want it to achieve,” he disclosed.
He revealed that the fogging team is now more equipped than ever with fogging know-how, having undergone a virtual Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) training in May.
“During the month, my team also did a vector management training with CARPHA…it was an online training that was done with all vector-control officers,” he said, noting other non-fogging team members also sat in the training.
He said as a result of the training, the Environmental Health Department has established short- and medium-term goals that it would like to reach.
“Out of that, we have some goals, short term and medium term. One of the short term goals is to check to see if our chemicals are effective,” Neely pointed out.
He said testing has been done, especially on the mosquito larvae, which he disclosed is the important stage to prevent mosquito breeding. He said the testing showed that the chemicals have been effective.
“It (chemical testing) shows that within an hour some of our chemical half killed the larvae. The longest it took was 72-hours. Why? Because there are four stages of the larvae stage alone before turning into a pupa.
“So, within those four stages, 72 hours of applying the chemical killed the larvae completely without it turning into a pupa or turning into an adult,” he said.
He said the Environmental Health Department has been monitoring the over 200 swamps across the Turks and Caicos Islands, to ensure that they do not breed mosquitoes. He pointed out that Mosquito fish has been placed into some of those swamps to stymy breeding, which he said has been effective.
“We have over 200-plus swamps throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands, and each one of those swamps is monitored on a regular basis,” he said.