Watch out for Mosquito Man

by admin on April 26, 2012

The first time I heard the drone of the fogging machines it was somewhat terrifying. First, the noise like the low hum of aircraft approaching in an air raid in World War 2; then the menacing cloud appeared like the black smoke from ‘Lost’, except white, getting bigger and bigger and heading in our direction, filling the air with its lingering chemical poison smell. Finally Mosquito Man (as my daughter named him) appeared, dwarfed by the great white cloud surrounding him. He was carrying a machine that looked like a leaf-blower, spewing bucket loads of smoke.

Its mission (and the mission of the Singapore government): to poison, and therefore, in theory eradicate mosquitos which spread Dengue Fever, a potentially deadly disease for which there is no vaccine, but obliterating everything else in its wake, bugs, butterflies in fact any thing that moves. If it does that it can’t be good for us humans. You rarely see birds or gheckos here because there’s nothing for them to eat.

Twice a week the smoke comes to our condo. People scatter, children run screaming. Ok so I exaggerate (although one of Miss C’s friends does get hysterical every time she hears the hum) and some people do just stand there and disappear in the smoke as it engulfs them. It makes me want to grab my children and run, not wanting them to inhale it into their their young lungs. The noise in unmistakable and as soon as the faint hum is heard in the distance, it’s time to frantically shut doors and windows, turn off the air con (and roast for half an hour) and take clothes down off washing line, before the smoke reaches the 5th floor. Yet it somehow still finds it way in.

I’m understand the need to prevent an outbreak of Dengue Fever, but at what price? I do worry about my children breathing in this noxious stuff or it even getting on their skin, especially as some research has linked the insecticides used to tumours in rats, despite being approved by the WHO. Each condo is responsible for its own mosquito management, but I wonder if twice a week is a bit OTT? Perhaps the MOE need to set stricter guidelines.

A while ago, I got together with some mums and campaigned for the fogging to stop in our condo, because of the health risk to our children and babies. For a while, it did as they changed it to misting (spraying the plants), but for now, it seems the dreaded fogging is back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

{ 1 comment }

Claire T April 26, 2012 at 10:05 am

Twice a week is real overkill. The condos in our road all fog monthly! We do get the odd mossie but we also have lots of birds and other bugs. I know what I prefer.

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