FEHD responds to media reports on gravidtrap index for Aedes albopictus

     In response to media reports on the monthly gravidtrap index for Aedes albopictus for May, a spokesman for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) provided the following response today (June 28):

     The overall trend of the gravidtrap index for Aedes albopictus this year is similar to that of last year.  As a matter of fact, there is a significant relationship between local mosquito infestation and seasonal changes.  Mosquito infestation in autumn and winter is relatively mild while the gravidtrap index in various survey areas would be relatively higher during hot and rainy spring and summer months (i.e. from May to September).  The monthly gravidtrap index for Aedes albopictus for June might increase due to the continuous rainy days early this month.
     From January to May this year, the FEHD has eliminated over 22 600 mosquito breeding places and initiated 63 prosecutions against mosquito breeding.  The inter-departmental Pest Control Steering Committee (PCSC) also held its 13th meeting on June 22 to discuss the enhanced measures on pest control being adopted by the Government, as well as the strategies in response to the recent situation of mosquito infestation.
     Among the 64 survey areas, the area gravidtrap index in six areas exceeded the alert level of 20 per cent last month.  The concerned gravidtraps were mostly located in the vicinity of public and private residential areas, schools, recreational and sports facilities and public places. The FEHD has collaborated with relevant government departments and stakeholders by taking immediate actions to strengthen mosquito prevention and control work in the areas concerned.

     In view of the increase of gravitrap index in individual survey areas, the FEHD has also immediately activated the inter-departmental anti-mosquito response mechanism to co-ordinate relevant departments and stakeholders to strengthen mosquito prevention and control measures.  Relevant departments have also notified the bodies concerned under individual survey areas that had voluntarily subscribed to the gravidtrap Rapid Alert System to post specially designed alert notices in the common areas of their premises to remind occupants and staff to carry out anti-mosquito measures promptly. 

     The spokesman said, "Effective mosquito control requires the sustained effort of all parties concerned. The FEHD and relevant government departments will continue to intensify their mosquito prevention and control work covering areas under their purview and strengthen publicity and education."
     The spokesman stressed that the FEHD will continue to closely monitor the change in gravidtrap index and take appropriate action. He also appealed to members of the public to work together and continue to carry out effective mosquito prevention and control measures at their homes and surroundings.
     The public should also take heed of the following advice on mosquito control:
• Thoroughly check all gully traps, roof gutters, surface channels and drains to prevent blockage;
• Scrub and clean drains and surface channels with an alkaline detergent compound at least once a week to remove any deposited mosquito eggs;
• Properly dispose of refuse, such as soft drink cans, empty bottles and boxes, in covered litter containers;
• Completely change the water of flowers and plants at least once a week. The use of saucers should be avoided if possible;
• Level irregular ground surfaces before the rainy season;
• Avoid staying in shrubby areas; and
• Take personal protective measures such as wearing light-coloured long-sleeved clothes and trousers and apply insect repellent containing DEET to clothing or uncovered areas of the body when doing outdoor activities.

Ends/Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Issued at HKT 23:08