Mosquito menace bites into Dubai Silicon Oasis' fair-weather joy for residents

Community's pools and fountains provide breeding grounds for insects to multiply

The mosquitoe menace has been plaguing the residents of Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) for more than two months now.

"We did not have this issue till two months ago. It has started recently. Every time we open the door they just rush in. The situation is so bad now that I have to use an electric mosquito repellant,” says Alita Desouza, a resident of the community.

The DSO residents have been complaining of an increasing number of mosquitoes plaguing the community. Their population has been increasing over the past two months, agree residents.

"The number of mosquitoes seems to be growing day-by-day," says Kavi Ramnani, who has been living in the community for the past 11 months.

"We have some families in the building and the children go out to play in the park every day. But each time they come back with 2 or 3 bites on the exposed body parts. We do not send them out anymore without applying mosquito repellant."

The park seems to be a common playground for the mosquitoes. As there are water bodies such as pools and fountains, mosquitoes have enough in terms of breeding grounds.

Justin Francis, another resident who lives in the DSO says most of the insects come from a nearby water body in a park. “Right at the entrance of DSO from the Academic City side there is a small park. You can see small kids playing around there in the evenings. The place is full of mosquitoes. Obviously the pond there must be a breeding ground for mosquitoes."

But according to Nauman Muzaffar, who has been living in DSO for the past 14 months the problem is not confined to DSO only. "I feel it is the breeding time for mosquitoes. When the weather changes their population increases."

What might make DSO residents more vulnerable to the mosquito invasion is the relatively active outside life, as many villas in the community come with a terrace and the park is nearby.

"You cannot even sit outside for five minutes," says Nauman. "Sometimes I want to enjoy the fresh air and sit on my terrace. But you cannot sit in your t-shirt, especially not in the evenings."

In order to control the mosquito population, chemical fogging takes place once a week in the Semmer Villas. During the fogging process, residents are advised to keep children and pets inside. This has caused worry among the residents, who fear the chemical fogging could compromise their health.

But according to Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) there is no need to worry. "The procedure has been approved by Dubai Municipality and is harmless," confirms a DSOA spokesperson.

Furthermore, it has helped in reducing the mosquito population, says the same source, adding that it is the time of the year when mosquitoes are on the rise and DSO is not any different than other parts of the emirate. "They are attracted to the water sources in the park."

But for DSO residents the problem has encompassed their indoor and outdoor lives. Outside as well as inside the house the mosquitoes seem to be eager to accompany the residents of the community.

"I recently purchased this electric bat which kills mosquitoes and most evenings are a time for exercise, I spend at least 30 minutes swinging my bat to catch them,” says Francis.

Nauman adds that it deprives him from sleeping. "It wakes me up in the middle of the night. I go after them, because I fear I might get some infection from them."

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