11 July 2024

Global warming has increased the number of mosquitoes, because a rise in mean temperature of just 1oC speeds up their life cycle, from egg to an adult, to just slightly over a week, instead of 12-15 days. This means a commensurate increase in mosquito-related diseases, such as dengue fever, malaria, meningitis and Zika.

An entomologist at the Department of Disease Control, Dr. Piti Mongklangkul, said that a mosquito has four life stages, from egg, to larva, to pupa to adult. Global warming has shortened this life cycle to a little more than a week, so we see more mosquitoes in the environment and an increased chance of mosquito bites and infections.

He disclosed that about 17,000 people suffered from dengue fever over the first five months of this year and 17 people died, but he predicted more cases next month, attributing this to more mosquitoes and the tendency for mosquitoes to be hungry more often and thirst for blood, due to the effects global warming has on the metabolic system of adult mosquitoes.

Fumigation is the best way to get rid of mosquitoes, said Dr. Piti, as he suggested that people make their own insecticide to deal with mosquitoes in their households by using dish washing liquid mixed with water.

He said that a spray of dish washing liquid, which is waxy, will dampen the wings of the mosquitoes and leave them unable to fly. The spray may also adversely affect their respiratory system.