New breeding spots for Aedes

Look deeper: Dr Chitra explaining how water collected in-between plants such as banana trees and pandan can be breeding spots for the mosquitoes.

AEDES mosquitoes are ‘going green’ as they are now choosing trees and plants as their breeding spots.

The part where leaves of the banana tree, daun pandan (screw pine) and the bromeliad plant connects to the trunk can serve as a cup that holds water, making it an ideal spot for mosquitoes to breed.

Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Health and Environment Department director Dr Chitra Davi N. Vadivellu said the larvae of the Aedes mosquito was found in such palm-like plants or trees that could hold water.

“Our search and wipe out programme that targets common mosquito breeding spots such as rain gutters, covered drains, flower pots, plates and dish drainers are being carried out in various neighbourhoods week after week.

“But there seems to be a shift, mosquitoes now lay eggs at the contact point of the leaves and trunk of the plants,” she added.

Dr Chitra said as the fight to control the spread of dengue intensified “it seems like the Aedes mosquitoes are choosing a guerrilla warfare tactic” in going for odd places to breed.

“The crown of the banana tree leaves can hold at least 300ml of water and this is ideal breeding spot for mosquitoes where there is ample shade from sunlight. Another common plant that collects water at its stem is the daun pandan,” she said.

Dr Chitra advised that salt be sprinkle on such plants to kill the mosquito larvae.

Councillor in charge of PJS1 and PJS3, Raja Fairuz Raja Mazlan said they had several gotong-royong at Flat Medan 32 with 60 voluteers, Flat Petaling Utama Block A & B with 40 residents, and Camelia Apartments Block F & G in Desa Perangsang PJS3 with another 40 residents. I believe the message to keep the area clean has reached them,” he said.

In South Klang, the council’s health department had ordered their cleaning contractors to remove banana trees and daun pandan plants growing on road reserves to reduce Aedes mosquito breeding spots.

A month ago, the council removed a cluster of banana trees at the junction of Jalan Teluk Pulai and Jalan Jambu Air following several dengue cases in the immediate neighbourhood.

Klang Municipal Council president Datuk Mohammad Yacob urged residents to be more pro-active in ensuring their homes are thoroughly cleaned.

“People must stop dumping domestic or even garden refuse by the roadside,” he added.

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