Summer Island Maldives has started implementing an eco-friendly strategy to eliminate mosquitoes without chemical fogging or the use of harmful pesticides.
The revolutionary ‘Integrated Mosquito Management System’ devised by Dr Bart Knols, managing director of science and conservation at Soneva resorts, targets mosquitoes at different stages during their life cycle by setting traps and getting rid of potential breeding sites.
Dr Knols and his team deployed 42 carbon dioxide traps around the island, which attract mosquitos by releasing CO2 to imitate the scent of human breathing and then sucks them into the trap.
“Summer Island has many advantages such as its small size, which makes it a little bit easier to attempt elimination. I feel confident that we can completely eradicate mosquitoes from many parts of the Maldives by using this integrated model based on traps, instead of fogging,” said Dr Knols. “Pesticides merely cause mosquitoes to become resistant, destroy all other insect biodiversity on pristine Maldivian islands, and are highly toxic to marine life and corals. Guests also dislike the smell and sound of fogging. For all these reasons we should move away from fogging.”
Summer Island has posted information sheets across the resort explaining how mosquitos breed in stagnant water and urging guests and staff to properly dispose of objects that could collect water.
“This project is not just about creating a mosquito-free environment for our guests,” said Summer Island’s Resort Manager Mari Shareef. “We want to show that these kinds of things can be done in a way where we don’t have to resort to harmful pesticides and chemicals.”
Summer Island hopes to see the return of dragonflies, honey bees and other pollinators – whose populations dwindled due to fogging – to restore balance in the ecosystem.