Pest control experts from private firms in the city mooted several innovative ideas for tackling mosquito menace.

The civic body is likely to initiate some of the innovative measures shortly.

The ideas include import of pyrethrum, used as an insecticide, directly from Kenya at around 50 per cent of its price in India; use of Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium that serves as a biological pesticide; and modification of motorcycles for fogging operations.

According to participants of a meeting organised by the Chennai Corporation in Anna Nagar, the procurement of pyrethrum consignments from Kenya would help the health department focus on labour contract for pest control.

A few plant species that contain active insecticidal components have been commercially exploited to the optimum level in Kenya. Pyrethrum, the most widely-used botanical insecticide for mosquito control in Chennai, is derived from the flowers of a plant in the genus Chrysanthemum, grown in Kenya.

The active constituents in the insecticide are collectively called pyrethrins which account for the kill and knockdown properties of pyrethrum extract.

“Use of motorcycle exhaust pipe for fogging is an innovative option,” said B.M. Rex, entomologist, Spartan Enterprises.

The civic body, a few months ago, asked private companies to shoulder the responsibility of mosquito-control operations in the city. The decision was taken following a rise in mosquito menace in a number of localities. Companies with experience in mosquito and rat control participated in the meeting on Friday.

Residents in a number of wards have been reporting an increase in mosquito menace on account of intermittent rains. A chunk of the 200 wards in the city reported dengue cases this year.

Some of the representatives at the meeting stressed the need for penalising residents who contribute to mosquito breeding.

They also pointed to other civic bodies that receive an undertaking from the architect to design buildings that do not facilitate mosquito breeding.

Keywords: mosquito menace

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