Tampines residents killed non-biting male Wolbachia contaminated mosquitoes: NEA – Mothership.SG


You may have seen news in just a month that a Tampines at Blk 509 Tampines Central 1 323 eradicated mosquitos found in their home.

Resident Jen documented the sheer volume by storing and separating the carcasses in Ziploc bags, each labeled with the total number of people killed in a week.

In the week of November 20, Jen said she caught a “record number” of 103 mosquitos.

She explained that the buzzing insects affected the quality of life of her “family” and suspected that they were breeding in an “overgrown tree” outside her home.

The Aedes mosquito population has decreased since the release of Wolbachia mosquitoes

In response to Mothership’s questions, the National Environment Agency (NEA) found that the large swarm of insects likely consists of male Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes.

These mosquitoes do not bite and were released as part of the Agency’s efforts to contain the Aedes people in the area.

Male Wolbachia Aedes mosquitoes are sterile and when released, mate with female Aedes mosquitoes, resulting in unfertilized eggs.

The Wolbachia mosquitoes were first released in the Tampines East constituency in February 2020, according to NEA.

Since then, the population of Aedes mosquitoes in the constituency has generally declined.

The average of three to four female Aedes mosquitoes caught every 10 Gravitraps per week has dropped to around one female Aedes mosquito by November 2020.

In the district where Blk 509 is located, around four to five female Aedes mosquitoes were caught with the Gravitrap monitoring system for every 10 Gravitraps per week.

Since the release of male Wolbachia mosquitoes in May 2020, the number of dengue mosquitoes caught per 10 Gravitraps per week has halved to two to three female dengue mosquitoes.

However, recently there has still been a small group of two dengue cases in the area.

To prevent further dengue outbreaks, NEA will continue to release male Wolbachia mosquitoes in the area. The aim is to achieve a 90 percent suppression of the Aedes mosquito population.

Adjusts the distribution of Wolbachia mosquito release

NEA explained that sometimes the male mosquitoes swarm in an area which Jen was experiencing.

The agency added that they reached out to Jen.

NEA officials have also inspected her home and advised her to spray insecticides to kill adult mosquitoes.

They added that they will work with Jen to obtain mosquito samples to further investigate the matter and will continue to work closely with the Tampines City Council for feedback on the tree in front of Jen’s house.

“We understand the inconvenience some residents in Project Wolbachia areas have,” NEA said.

In order to minimize such swarming events, the distribution of the mosquito release is adjusted.

NEA warned residents could encounter more male Wolbachia mosquitoes on Monday and Friday mornings when the mosquitoes are released.

In response to feedback on the mosquito bite in the area, officials conducted two rounds of controls on November 24 and December 8.

The officials uncovered two habitats for the mosquito brood in a ravine trap and a flower pot.

NEA said:

“The NEA would like to remind residents that public vigilance and action in the fight against dengue continues to be of vital importance as the Aedes aegyptimosquitos thrive in the urban environment and most mosquito breeding habitats are still in homes can be found. “

They urged residents to continue with the Mozzie wipeout and remove any standing water sources.

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Top photo by Stomp and Getty Images

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