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Usage of 'elephant mosquitoes' shows positive results in reducing aedes

Usage of 'elephant mosquitoes' shows positive results in reducing aedes
The usage of the Toxorhynchites mosquito, or the elephant mosquitoes, to combat dengue has shown positive results in Subang.
KUALA LUMPUR: The usage of the Toxorhynchites mosquito, or the ‘elephant mosquitoes’, to combat dengue has shown positive results in Subang.

The first study site for the Aedes breeding control programme in the area had recorded a “significant decrease” in dengue cases.

According to the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ), no dengue cases had been reported between August 2012 and July 2013 in Kg. Sri Aman,.

Kg Sri Aman was chosen as the first area for the study since the project began in June 2011 as it suffered one of the worst outbreaks in 2011.
The Toxo mosquitoes were released five times between Oct 2011 and July 2013.

Toxo mosquito larvae work by eating the larvae of Aedes mosquitoes thus restricting the cause of the deadly dengue fever.
Its larva lifecycle is 30 days and during that time, it can devour up to 400 Aedes larvae.

A Toxo mosquito can grow up to 1.9cm in length, making it three times larger than the Aedes mosquito.

These Elephant mosquitoes do not suck blood and as such are not harmful to humans as they only feed on plant nectar.

In a statement issued today, MPSJ said that it hoped to expand its Toxo programme in its locality, which recorded one of the highest number of dengue cases in the country.

As of Feb 22, areas under the council recorded 1,646 cases, an increase of almost 900% if compared to 2013 (168 cases) and 161 cases in 2012.

"Of the 1,646 cases of dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever reported, 1,298 cases involved the 38 hotspots," according to a statement from MPSJ.

MPSJ said various actions have also been taken in accordance with Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) guideline, including 'search and destroy' operations, fumigation to kill adult mosquitoes and exterminating of larvae using chemical and biological agents.

"Controlling the dengue fever outbreak requires the cooperation from all parties. Cooperation from the public remains low especially during while inspection and fumigation operations were being carried out,” it said.

MPSJ said all parties should be more aware of the outbreak, especially at home and potential Aedes mosquito breeding grounds.