JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Health is imploring householders to be vigilant in preventing the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus
  • The Aedes aegypti mosquito lays her eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days, the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg to larva to pupa and to adult mosquito.
  • According to the Medical Entomologist, the mosquito will lay eggs around the rim of containers where it detects water or senses that water will settle there in the future.

The Ministry of Health is imploring householders to be vigilant in preventing the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus.

Speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, Medical Entomologist in the Ministry, Sherine Huntley Jones, noted that the mosquito breeds when water gets trapped in containers in and around the home.

As such, she said, they must regularly check areas for mosquito larvae. Cans, bottles, pots, jars and other vessels that will hold even very small quantities of water, dishes of water placed under legs of refrigerators, and unused toilet bowls or tanks are potential breeding sites for the mosquito.

“A lot of the control regarding this vector really remains in our hands at the household level,” Mrs. Huntley Jones said.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito lays her eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days, the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg to larva to pupa and to adult mosquito.

According to the Medical Entomologist, the mosquito will lay eggs around the rim of containers where it detects water or senses that water will settle there in the future.

“Once water comes those eggs become flooded and there is a hatch-out. It should also be noted that when the eggs are laid, they can remain there for up to a year waiting for water to hatch,” she explained.

She informed that the adult female mosquito needs a “blood meal” to lay her eggs. “She generally has to bite three people to get one blood meal and takes a blood meal every three to five days. This would explain why many persons in one household were afflicted with Chikungunya,” she pointed out. Stressing the need for vigilance in keeping the insect at bay, Mrs. Huntley Jones said it very adaptable can even survive in a refrigerator. She said it is very important to make distinction between the vector and general mosquito population.

“The Aedes aegypti is one of 68 species of mosquito. Of that number, just two are vectors, the Aedes aegypti, which is the vector for Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika and the Anopholes albumanus, which is the vector for malaria. All others are called nuisance mosquitoes and are not vectors. They will bite but are not currently transmitters of diseases,” she informed.