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Fogging Doesn’t Really Kill Mosquitos But It Can Harm Bee Colonies, And We Need Better Solutions

Fogging Doesn’t Really Kill Mosquitos But It Can Harm Bee Colonies, And We Need Better Solutions

Indiscriminate mosquito fogging harms nature’s important pollinators and our health in the long run.

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Mosquitoes are annoying. However, our mosquito fogging method also kills other important pollinators such as bees, ladybirds and butterflies. This in turn harms our biodiversity and causes ecological imbalance.

A Twitter user Munira (@MuniraMustaffa) shared her disappointment when she found that most of her bee colony was wiped out by indiscriminate mosquito fogging.

While she acknowledges that mosquito fogging was done to prevent the spread of dengue, she hopes there’s a more sustainable way to keep dengue cases down.

Despite the sad turn of events, she’s going to continue beekeeping.

Mosquito fogging isn’t completely effective

Based on a letter published in Malaysiakini, studies have shown that fogging is only effective when the chemicals come in direct contact with mosquitoes.

Mosquito fogging doesn’t truly work to keep dengue cases down because some mosquitoes are able to escape the toxic fumes while fogging work is underway. Fogging doesn’t kill mosquito larvae either.

Image: TRP File

There are also worries that indiscriminate fogging will give rise to strains of “super mosquitoes” that are resistant to insecticides.

The chemicals can harm our health because the chemicals used in fogging are neurotoxins that can affect our nervous systems.

Sadly, the reason why continue to carry out mosquito fogging is that it gives us a false sense of security. It is a visible act that creates the impression that we are doing something to combat mosquito-borne diseases.

A better way to get rid of mosquitoes

If mosquito fogging is bad, what can we do to drive down the mosquito population? The best way to get rid of mosquitoes requires a bit of legwork but it’s inexpensive and pesticide-free.

A sure way to keep mosquito numbers down is to eliminate mosquito breeding sites such as areas with stagnant water. Stagnant water can be found in gutters, damp bathroom floors, septic tanks and flower pots.

A Twitter user Bang Tani (@petanirumah) shared a similar and effective method to combat mosquito breeding.

He starts by placing a container filled with water in shaded areas in the garden and the house that are frequented by mosquitoes.

After 6 days, there would be mosquito larvae in the water-filled container. Filter the contents of the container through a sieve and dump the larvae onto the dry ground to kill them or feed them to fishes.

He then uses the water from before to start his mosquito trap again.

Introducing native fishes, frogs, dragonflies and bats that feed on mosquitoes and their larvae into parks and gardens will help keep mosquito numbers down too.

Another promising method is to release genetically-modified mosquitoes to suppress mosquito reproduction.

However, this method would probably only bear results in a few years before we can conclusively determine if it’s completely effective and safe for the ecosystem.

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