Thu, Jul 09, 2009 - Page 2 News List

EPA identifies worst areas affected by midges

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Biting midges are found all over the country except in Pingtung and Taitung in the south, while three areas in Taichung City, Changhua County and Tainan County have been found to have the highest concentrations of the insect, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said on Tuesday.

The EPA listed the areas worst-affected by the blood-sucking insects, citing a nationwide field survey on midge concentrations conducted by National Chung Hsing University and Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology last month.

The survey found that the highest concentration — calculated by the number of midge bites on a naked leg within a 20-minute period — was at an earth god temple in the Mingzheng neighborhood of Taichung City's Dakeng District (大坑), with 587 bites detected.

Yienchu Village in Changhua County's Huatan Township (花壇) and Shalun Village (沙崙) in Tainan County's Gueijen Township (歸仁) were also in the top three places for midge concentrations.

Yuan Shao-ying (袁紹英), director-general of the Department of Environmental Sanitation and Toxic Substances, said humans had introduced midges from remote townships and villages to urban areas, probably by unwittingly bringing them home in their cars after visiting infested areas.

The EPA urged the public to keep their homes free of moss and wet soil to reduce the chances of the insects breeding.

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