It’s illegal to let mosquitoes breed
People repeatedly found with mosquitoes breeding on their premises could find themselves before the law courts.
Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Desmond King recently stated that under the Health Services Mosquito Regulations of 1970, anyone found having mosquito breeding sources and mosquito larvae on their premises on repeated occasions could be formally charged and fined $5 000 and/or 12 months in prison.
King added that there was an additional $200 daily fine which would accumulate for each day that the offence continued after the conviction had been laid.
Homeowners are informed through a notice sent by the department and they are given a stipulated time to rectify the problem. Failing that, the individual would be formally charged.
King disclosed that within the last five years the Environmental Health Department had taken at least five people to court for being found in contravention of the regulations.
He said the health inspector would issue a verbal warning in “one-off cases”. However, those who were found with mosquitoes breeding repeatedly would be issued a written notice.
King said the use of the law would be a last resort.
“We do not want people to do things out of fear, but because it is the correct thing to do. The laws are there for persons who continue to fall outside of the law.”
King added that it was important to the department that all persons understood the cost of health care and the extreme burden that dealing with dengue fever and mosquitoes had placed on the country.
Additionally, King said the island was presented as a tourist destination and there was a heavy reliance on tourism, but if Barbados was continually seen as a destination that had high cases of dengue fever, people would seek other places to vacation as they wanted to visit Barbados and the Caribbean to have a good time, not to get sick.
King reiterated that recourse to the law would be a last resort. (LK)