An increase in rain coupled with sudden hot temperatures has seen an increase in bugs according to acting head of the health services Irodotous Irodotou.
“There has been a lot of rain this winter, and there is still a lot of stagnant water. Suddenly it was 40 degrees. When it is hot mosquitoes and other bugs mature quicker and produce more generations,” he said.
People in recent days have indeed observed there are more bugs around, invading their gardens and finding their way into people’s homes and even offices. One of them is Kypros Nicolaou, who lives near the Pedieos river, which until a few days ago still had stagnant water in places.
“I have never seen such a big variety of bugs in my life. Not mosquitoes, there are hardly any. There are different ones, different sizes, different species. In the past we only had those coming through the drains. This is a whole new world,” he said.
But not only those living near rivers or lakes have seen the difference.
‘I was working late at the office one night last week with the window open and there were dozens of little midges and other insects attracted by the lights. They were landing on my head, crawling on my arms and flocking to my computer screen. There were scores of them on the wall. My choice was to work in the dark or work without fresh air. I chose the former. I’ve had bugs and mosquitos fly into my office many times over the years but I’ve never seen that many,” said Yianna Demetriou who works in an office in central Nicosia.
“We thought we were under attack,” said Maria Avraamides who described the influx into her living room as a ‘swarm’. “Our entire kitchen was covered…but our cat was having a field day.”
The health services tackle mosquito larva and not other insects such as flies, which explains why people are seeing such an abundance of them.
Since the beginning of March, the services have sprayed areas where mosquitoes breed every 15 days, which is the life cycle of a mosquito, using a biospray which kills the larvae.
In addition, the area near the salt lakes in Larnaca is sprayed using an aircraft in April or May each year, and the spraying is repeated two or three times a year, Irodotou said.
The same is being done near the British bases in Limassol which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, Irodotou added.