The Roar of the Fogging Machine Sends Me Running

Aedes aegypti in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Image via Wikipedia

Every Tuesday about 11am, the dogs and I head out for a brief potty break. This is when our condo’s fogging is done each week.  Our doors are not 100% sealed and the chemical cloud makes its way into our apartment. The stench makes me wonder what is happening to my body and my dogs’. It gets so thick that visibility is reduced to zero on the days where there is no wind to disperse the fog. 

So as soon as I hear the roar of the fogging machine, I leash up my dogs and head out. Even before I can see the fog, I can smell it. Today, Blackspot let out a few sneezes as we reached the front gate. Our condo management staff was already standing across the street, soon to be followed by the condo cleaner. I wonder how the other residents can stand the smell. The fogging guy must be wearing a mask for a health reason.

Fogging is supposed to break the reproductive cycles of the Aedes mosquito which carries the potentially deadly dengue virus. Once endemic to the tropics and subtropics, with global warming, it’s now spread to Latin America and the southern belts of the United States, making it a global concern.

I know of two people who had dengue fever. One was my would-be bridesmaid who was stationed in Cambodia at the time. The symptoms are very similar to the flu but can get much worse. In the 2005 epidemic, 19 people died in Singapore, with almost 14,000 cases reported.

So part of the campaign against dengue fever is regular fogging, and making sure your home isn’t a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Offenders get fined and potential jail time if they fail the inspection. Once a case of dengue fever is reported, the area is searched for the source. Our neighbour recently got fined. A vacant apartment, with flower pots, is a prime target. We didn’t have dengue here but the government also does random checks, especially of construction sites. We are right behind one.

They say that peak biting times for mosquitoes are dawn and dusk so that’s when they are the most active? I wonder about that because hardly anyone fogs at those times.

Learn more about Dengue Fever from Singapore’s National Environmental Agency – Campaign Against Dengue Fever

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