The Dhaka South City Corporation’s recent initiative to farm frogs, ducks and fishes to control mosquitoes biologically would not be effective in the urban areas as aedes would not be controlled through such initiatives while the rainy season threatens dengue outbreak, said entomologists.
They said that aedes, responsible for dengue fever, usually breeds in clean stagnant water in places where frog, duck and fish farming is not possible but it could help a bit in culex control which is already almost over.
Entomologist Touhid Uddin Ahmed, also the former chief scientific officer of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, said that in urban areas biological control of mosquito would hardly be effective.
‘Biological tools are effective to a certain extent in controlling culex mosquitoes as they breed in the dirty water of ponds, canals and other water bodies, whereas aedes breed in clean, stagnant water mostly inside residential and commercial complexes,’ he told New Age on Wednesday.
Dhaka South City Corporation chief executive officer ABM Amin Ullah Nuri said that DSCC have started frog, duck and tilapia fish cultivation in 10 water bodies, including Dhanmondi Lake, Khilgaon Jheel, the pond adjacent to Mahanagar Nattamancha, Outfall Pond at Maniknagar and WASA treatment pond at Kadamtoli on an experiment basis.
DSCC zonal executive officer for zone IV Md Haidar Ali said that in two phases 40 ducks were released at Shikkatuli Pond but all died due to bad water quality.
‘Now we are thinking of refilling the pond with fresh water,’ he said.
DSCC zonal executive officer for zone VI Md Mohammad Shawkat Hossain Sarker said that he was planning to release ducks at a Nandipara pond after cleaning it.
Former president of the Zoological Society Bangladesh and also an entomologist Manjur A Chowdhury said that the concept of controlling mosquito by farming ducks and tilapia fishes and releasing frogs in water bodies was totally a misplaced one.
He emphasised the need for cleanliness and suggested that properly trained workers are imperative to control mosquitoes while experienced experts are needed for proper planning.
‘Ducks do not feed on mosquitoes,’ he said, adding that so much misinformation are circulated by so-called experts who do not know what actually mosquito control is.
He said that culex season is over and aedes season was right around the corner, so the authorities should focus on aedes.
Entomologist Touhid Uddin Ahmed suggested that regular anti-mosquito drives should be resumed following a proper plan to control the insect.
Dhaka North City Corporation chief executive officer Md Selim Reza said that DNCC would not go for such biological control of aedes which was not proven in Dhaka’s context.
He said that DNCC held a preparation meeting on Wednesday as aedes menace is right around the corner since the rainy season will soon begin.
He said that DNCC decided to carry out a crash programme, which would include special cleanliness and awareness-building programmes, continuous surveillance for hot spot identification and mobile court for punishing errant house owners.
DSCC officials said that they would also start different programmes for controlling aedes soon.