The hot weather, the water crisis in Bulawayo, and the city’s failure to spray hatcheries have resulted in residents saying it is the worst mosquito crisis in years.
As soon as the sun goes down, the parasites invade homes and create a buzzing cacophony that disrupts sleep.
The situation was made worse by light showers received last week. Life has become a nightmare due to itchy bites in both residential areas and at work.
Bulawayo City Council insists that the city only has “pesky mosquitos” that do not transmit mosquito-borne diseases, but that is little comfort for residents who endure sleepless nights.
The mosquitoes found in the city are mainly Culex species, which bite terribly at night and because of these people lose sleep, but are not harmful to health.
Health reports often state that female Anopheles mosquitoes, which spread malaria, are only found in the country’s eight rural provinces and have not been detected in the metropolitan areas of Bulawayo and Harare.
Health experts told Chronicle yesterday that the number of mosquitoes appears to have increased significantly between August and April compared to the previous season.
A pharmacist in town who refused to be named said there was evidence that there may be more mosquitoes this year as sales of repellents and creams to relieve bites have increased.
Dr. Edwin Sibanda, director of the BCC health service, said several factors could have caused the city to suffer from blood-sucking parasites, including a scarcity of resources.
Dr. Edwin Sibanda He said the council had not been able to fumigate the usual mosquito breeding grounds.
“First and foremost, we have teams looking for breeding sites to spray the larvae and destroy the mosquitoes. Recently, however, we have faced challenges in sourcing chemicals to kill the larvae in the hatchery has contributed to the increase in mosquitoes, and second, heat is felt; and third, channel eruptions due to lack of water have made the situation worse as they have created breeding grounds for mosquitoes, “he said.
“We have challenges in terms of resources to get the chemicals we need. We don’t have the financial resources to do the procurement. Second, the changes in the monetary system where everyone bills everything in US dollars have made it very difficult for the Council to what gets local currency through and large from interest payers. ”
Dr. Sibanda could not reveal how much was needed to get the fumigant chemicals.
However, he said the council has started clearing streams that contain water that creates breeding space for mosquitoes. Dr. Sibanda asked the residents to clear possible mosquito breeding ponds in their premises.
“A mosquito does not travel long distances and the mosquito may breed in its own yards. Keep in mind that we have had some showers around town recently and water is pooling in many areas, gutters, used tires in yards and some Chop down old cars or anything that collects water.
“It doesn’t take 2 liters of water to breed mosquitoes. Even if it’s less than 100 millimeters, everything is a good breeding ground for mosquitoes.
“So residents have to empty their gutters, clear out and throw away all the cans,” said Dr. Sibanda.
While the local council does not have fumigation chemicals, residents who wish to spray their homes can contact the pest control unit. The device recommends the chemicals that residents should purchase before calculating transportation and labor costs based on the size of the home.
The city health department charges residents $ 1,414 for fumigating a standard home in the western areas if residents purchase their own chemicals. One chemist told Chronicle that chemicals used to spray mosquitoes include Bug Stop, Insect-o-Kill, and Icon, and are available at local agrochemical stores.
“The chemicals cost about $ 5 a bag and residents may have to purchase more than one depending on the size of the areas to be sprayed,” said the chemist, who asked not to be named.
The chemicals, the chemist said, have a residual lethal effect, which means they kill parasites for weeks or even months after being used.
A general practitioner in the city advised residents to wear long-sleeved clothing, wear insect repellant, sleep under mosquito nets, and use sprays to avoid bites, especially at night.
“There seem to be more mosquitos. Some people develop allergic reactions to bites or develop wounds that can become skeptical.
“Just use repellants and nets to avoid discomfort and medical fees,” the doctor said.