NEA Decides to Fight Fire with Fire, Unleashes Own Army of Mosquitoes to Fight Zika Virus

If your BMT was at Tekong, you’ll remember fellow recruits joking about commando rats and commando mosquitoes.

Well, it may no longer be a joke. Sort of.

NEA to unleash own mosquitoes to fight Zika Virus

According to an announcement made by National Environment Agency (NEA) on 27 August, they will be releasing thousands of male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes at three former dengue areas.

The affected areas are Tampines Ave 4, Yishun St 21, Jalan Riang and Jalan Sukachita in Serangoon.

Operations will be carried out over 6 months from October 2016. It was only given the go-ahead after extensive risk assessment found it to be safe.

A Field Study

NEA announced that this will be a small-scale field study to investigate the possibility of using this new technology to combat dengue.

They will investigate how high these mosquitoes will fly, their mating habits and their life span in the wild.

Should the study be successful, NEA will carry out large-scale mosquito wars in Singapore to fight dengue in high-risk areas from 2019.

Wolbachia Bacterium

Female mosquitoes are the ones that will spread dengue via bites.

When female mosquitoes mate with released male mosquitoes with Wolbachia bacterium, eggs resulting from their union will not hatch.

With this, NEA hopes that the population of dengue mosquitoes will be drastically decreased.

In addition, it was also stated that this method will help to deal with other mosquito diseases like Zika and Chikungunya.

One-to-Mosquitoes per Residents to be Released in Affected Areas

They will release an average of one to three mosquitoes per resident into areas like staircases, void decks, open spaces between HDB and outside landed properties.

They will not release the mosquitoes directly into homes.

So people living in the area, it might be a good idea to stock up on insect repellent and mopiko.

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Who knew that commando mosquitoes are real.

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