This is a full version of NEA’s reply issued to the media agency; published in Lianhe Zaobao, 15 Jun 2022.
Fogging should be used judiciously and not as a routine mosquito-control measure
We thank the writer Xu Bing for the letter on dengue, “Is there no better way to eradicate mosquitoes?” (9 Jun).
The key strategy for dengue prevention is vector control to suppress the Aedes mosquito population, and this is aligned with World Health Organisation’s guidelines. The National Environment Agency (NEA) emphasises source reduction to remove possible breeding habitats of the Aedes mosquito as the primary focus of our mosquito control efforts. Along with other measures, fogging may be carried out at dengue cluster areas where there are high mosquito populations in order to eliminate infected mosquitoes. The effects of thermal fogging are transient as it does not eliminate the source of the mosquitoes, thus, it is necessary to complement thermal fogging with removal of mosquito breeding habitats.
Thermal fogging should be used judiciously and not as a routine mosquito-control measure. Indiscriminate use of fogging can impact non-targeted insects and may also lead to insecticide resistance in the local mosquito population, rendering these insecticides ineffective for future outbreak control.
Singapore is currently facing a serious dengue situation. Everyone has an important role to play in the removal of mosquito breeding habitats and prevention of dengue. We urge residents to continue practising the Mozzie Wipeout steps to prevent mosquito breeding. For those living and working in dengue cluster areas, they should spray insecticide in dark corners around the house, apply insect repellent regularly and wear long sleeves and long pants for personal protection.
Mr Tony Teo
Environmental Public Health Operations
National Environment Agency