Two local schools benefitted from the expertise of the Mosquito Team at the Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa on Monday, 20 June. The team from the 5-star resort visited the schools to educate the students and teachers on sustainable mosquito prevention and how to spot and eliminate mosquito breeding grounds on the schools’ premises.
The school visits included a detailed and interactive presentation followed by a hands-on “mosquito hunt” around the school premises where students were able to identify and help eliminate mosquito breeding sites.
Director of the Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa, Adele Garbutt, suggested that the method of mosquito prevention be shared with schools as the process was extremely successful at the luxury resort.
“Mosquito prevention has to be a community effort and education plays a major role,” Garbutt said. “It is only when everyone does their part in eliminating places where mosquitoes breed in their yards and neighborhoods, that we can truly see a change in the number of mosquitoes and we can lessen incidences of mosquito borne diseases.”
Garbutt is hopeful that knowledge of mosquito prevention among the youth will be an effective method of spreading awareness throughout the entire island.
Principal of the Belair Government School, Linda Sam, was pleased by the visit as it highlighted some mosquito breeding grounds that were not readily identifiable.
“Our school compound is kept very tidy, yet we still had a mosquito problem,” Sam said. “This visit helped us to see that there are natural areas on the compound that could be mosquito breeding sites, such as the hole in a large tree on the grounds and some of our palm trees were also collecting water.”
Each presentation and school visit seeks to provide knowledge of mosquito biology and ecology and increase students’ ability to identify the Aedes aegypti mosquito and its biting habits; identify mosquito breeding grounds and ways to reduce potential mosquito breeding grounds around their homes; understand why fogging is not a sustainable mosquito prevention option; and to change the general mind-frame and attitude towards mosquito prevention.
Schools are also advised on natural methods of mosquito prevention such as the use of salt in areas where water settles to prevent mosquito breeding, and the refilling of open spaces in trees, crab holes or decorative tires with earth or sand.