Saturday, May 28, 2005

Season’s sorrow: Rains bring flies, mosquitoes

Season’s sorrow: Rains bring flies, mosquitoes
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: These unseasonal rains are a cause of worry to Shubha Ananth, a resident of Basaveshwarnagar. But it is not the rains she fears.

It’s the insects, especially houseflies and mosquitoes that have started to plague her residence.

‘‘There is a sudden increase in the number of flies and mosquitoes. Though I keep the floors absolutely clean, the flies never seem to go away,’’ she complains.

Indiranagar-based pathologist Santosh Kumar says these insects spread a range of diseases, from typhoid, malaria and cholera to hepatitis.

According to residents, swarms of flies, mosquitoes and other harmful insects can now be seen in every nook and corner of the city. They claim that flies have been tormenting them during the day and mosquitoes at night.

‘‘There is nothing to be done. Flies come due to unhygienic conditions,’’ says an exasperated Naveen Kumar Gowda, a Jayanagar resident. His wife adds phenyl to the bucket of water while swabbing the floor. ‘‘But the flies still come,’’ he says.

City doctor Dr. Anand says mosquitoes that appear all of a sudden after rains are commonly called floodwater or temporary pool mosquitoes, and are generally not disease carriers, but certainly are nuisances.

Is there an increase in flies during the monsoon?

Dr. Nagraj Rao who has made a study on this issue clarifies, ‘‘If their wings get wet, flies will not be able to fly. So when it rains, flies hovering around garbage piles, roads and trees enter houses to avoid getting wet. So there is no increase in the number of flies during monsoon. It is just that the rains force them into dry places.’’

He adds, ‘‘Houseflies are also attracted by food stuff left open in houses. Since flies carry pathogens that cause diseases like cholera and typhoid in their guts, food should be kept covered.’’

The BCC says it sprays insecticide on garbage piles and gutters all round the year. But Rao says, ‘‘Unless citizens are aware of the problem it is difficult to curb the menace. If there are garbage piles everywhere, there will be more flies.’’

Shubha says she takes extra care during rains. ‘‘I always keep food covered, and also keep doors and windows shut,’’ she says. Dr. Savitha, another city doctor suggests using detergents to clean floors. ‘‘The smell of detergent can repel insects. Also, drink boiled water,’’ she says.


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