Mon, Mar 11, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Eradicating moss gets rid of biting midges
小黑蚊沒天敵 清青苔除幼蟲

A man sprays mosquito repellent on his arm in Taipei on Sept. 9 last year.
一名男士去年九月九日於台北在手臂上噴灑防蚊液。

Photo: Chen Wei-tzu, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者陳慰慈

Mosquitoes are wreaking havoc throughout the Taitung area. There is not any natural enemy to fight the vermin and a successful strategy for preventing mosquitoes has yet to be found. Health and environmental agencies are urging individuals to take the necessary precautions in protecting themselves, saying that by getting rid of moss, the primary breeding grounds for mosquitoes, you can keep mosquito larvae from spreading.

“It’s terrible. Getting bitten is really painful. My lower leg is completely covered with inflamed red bites,” says a local resident named Yu Li-min. Every afternoon when she goes outside to clean and sweep the area around her house, in just half an hour she has bites all over her body, particularly her lower leg. Spraying mosquito repellent does not help, either, so she simply stays indoors.

The Taitung City Office has sent personnel out to exterminate extensively, which has proven ineffective. The forcipomyia taiwana, a biting midge native to Taiwan, is an ecological problem, not a health problem, according to the local government, which says that without a natural enemy, the best preventative method is taking away the food source of both the larvae and the pupae. Spraying pesticides or disinfectant only works to control the problem without solving it, and could possibly result in the insect building up a resistance. The government urges people to keep their surroundings clean and protect themselves by wearing long-sleeve shirts, pants, socks and shoes, and avoid staying under shady trees, in halls, pavilions or arcades during peak times when mosquitoes are out feeding.

Taitung Public Health Bureau Director Daniel Lu says that the Taiwanese mosquito is different from other mosquitoes. Although it does consume blood, there is currently no medical record of it spreading malaria, dengue fever or any other viruses. The larvae of forcipomyia taiwana mainly subsist on moss, so getting rid of moss can keep them from gestating and reproducing and reduce their numbers. The female biting midge usually goes out to feed between noon and dusk, and typically flies low to the ground, biting people’s lower leg, the back of the arm and elbows. Some people experience itching and inflammation after being bitten, while allergic reactions occur in severe cases.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. vermin n.

害蟲 (hai4 chong2)

例: The dilapidated house is full of roaches and other vermin.

(破舊不堪的房屋裡充滿蟑螂與其他害蟲。)

2. moss n.

青苔 (qing1 tai2)

例: The huge stone at the foot of the hill is covered in moss.

(丘陵下面的巨大石頭全生苔。)

3. ecological adj.

生態的 (sheng1 tai4 de5)

例: The ecological impact of deforestation has been devastating.

(砍伐森林的生態破壞影響很大。)


Lu would like to remind people not to scratch the bites after being bitten so as to avoid breaking the skin and it becoming infected. You can apply mosquito repellant, green oil or mint oil ointments to stop the itching, or use medicine approved by your physician, he says.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

「太恐怖了,感覺叮咬疼痛,整個小腿就已布滿紅腫包!」婦女尤麗敏說,每逢下午在戶外清掃住家環境,不到半個鐘頭,全身就被叮咬多處,尤其是小腿,噴了防蚊液也沒用,她都不敢亂出門。

台東市公所數度動員全面消毒,但成效有限。縣環保局表示,學名為台灣鋏蠓的小黑蚊為台灣原生種,屬生態問題,非環境衛生問題,由於無天敵,最好的防治方法就是阻斷成蟲及幼蟲的食物來源,噴藥消毒治標不治本,還可能造成抗藥性,但仍呼籲民眾做好個人防護及環境整理,包括穿著長袖、長褲及鞋襪,避開小黑蚊吸血時段進入樹蔭、走廊、涼亭、騎樓等場所。

衛生局長盧道揚表示,小黑蚊不同於其他蚊子,雖然嗜血,但截至目前尚未發現有傳染虐疾、登革熱及其他疫情的病例;小黑蚊幼蟲的孳生主要來自青苔,清除青苔可避免造成產卵繁殖環境及減量。小黑蚊雌蟲嗜血,出沒時間約在中午至傍晚時段,習性低飛,多叮人體小腿、手背、手肘等部位;部分被叮咬民眾會產生奇癢、紅腫等症狀,嚴重者則會有過敏反應。

他並提醒民眾被叮咬時切勿搓抓,以免抓破皮造成感染,可擦抹防蚊液或綠油精、薄荷油等藥膏止癢,或在醫師指示下用藥。

(自由時報記者陳賢義)

This story has been viewed 2086 times.
TOP top