Local Authorities Urged to Spray for Mosquitoes

YERUSHALAYIM -
An Aedes aegypti mosquito, the mosquito behind the Zika virus. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

Spring has sprung, and with it Israel’s annual “portion” of — mosquitoes. The annoying vampire-like creatures plague the country especially between mid-April and June, as the weather turns warm enough for them to nest while the winter’s moisture has not yet completely dissipated.

The Environment Ministry has appealed to all local authorities to step up efforts to prevent the spread of the scourge, both by spraying and cleaning up standing bodies of water where the pests nest. The reason for the extra concern this year is less concern for the annoying buzzing that the bugs bring, and more to prevent the spread of diseases carried by mosquitoes — specifically West Nile virus and Zika. The former has been common in Israel in recent years, but the latter has yet to be seen — and officials would like to keep it that way.

Ministry instructions to local authorities include a requirement that they map specific nesting areas and devise a plan to eliminate, or at least control, the mosquito population. Local authorities are also being instructed to locate standing water and remove it, in order to prevent further nesting. For residents, the Ministry recommends draining standing water — and if all else fails, to stock up on mosquito repellent.