Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mosquitoes breeding in plants and trees (eg. Alocasia, palm trees, etc)

Sent to NEA:

The following extracted from Channel News Asia report of 12 Sept 2005:

"Experts believe the mosquito has adapted its breeding skills to Singapore's high rise living and may also be breeding outdoors, such as trees, instead of the traditional breeding ground in homes."
(link, ).

There have also been reports that plants and trees (eg palm trees) may be another source of breeding. Way back in January 2004, I had written in to the press (ST, 9 Jan 2004) about the possibility of mosquito breeding in Alocasia plants found publicly throughout Singapore (because we had found larvae in the Alocasia plants in the condo where I live) but NParks dismissed such a possibility (ST, 31 Jan 2004 attached).

Please confirm which types of trees and plants are favourite breeding grounds for these mosquitoes. Thanks.

Jeff Ho

================================================================== Straits Times, JAN 31, 2004

No mosquito danger from Alocasia plants

WE REFER to the letter by Mr Jeffrey Ho about the danger of mosquitoes breeding in Alocasia plants (ST,Jan 9). Alocasia plants are indigenous plants that grow naturally in various parts of Singapore. The NationalParks Board (NParks) has also planted some in landscaped settings, and they have generally not been found to breed mosquitoes. We would appreciate it if Mr Ho could contact us on1800-471-7300 to provide more details regarding his observations. We would like to assure the public that our officers do look out for mosquito breeding in areas under NParks' charge when they carry out routine field inspections.

Director, Parks Management
National Parks Board

Ltr from Jeff Ho published in The Straits Times, 9 Jan 2004:

LAST year saw a record number of cases of dengue fever in Singapore, with some fatalities.

While efforts to curtail the breeding of mosquitoes have been directed at homes by ensuring there is no stagnant water around, there is at least one area that has been overlooked.
Recently, it was found that the Alocasia plant (a yam-like plant with giant leaves) in the condominium where I live was also another breeding ground for mosquitoes.
It contains big and deep pockets between the leaves and the stem, and if water trapped in them does not evaporate, it can remain stagnant for weeks, ideal for mosquitoes to propagate. It was cut down.

However, the plant can also be seen growing along expressways. Action is needed to curb this source of mosquito breeding.


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