Miller urges gov’t to sort problems with MRCU

| 12/06/2019 | 80 Comments
Cayman News Service

Mosquito Research & Control Unit plane in action

(CNS): Ezzard Miller is calling on the government to remedy the serious mosquito infestation plaguing his North Side constituency, which appears to be due to a lack of the necessary chemicals to kill the insects. The MLA, who recently resigned from the opposition leadership, said government should immediately fund the purchase of the insecticides needed to control the increasing number, which is preventing the people in the district from going outside even in the daytime.

“In North Side the mosquitoes have not been this thick since the 1960’s,” Miller said in a statement Wednesday. “In some areas residents cannot go outside even in the middle of the day and school children cannot play on the field unless they are covered in bug spray. This is terrible and unacceptable in modern day Cayman.”

Miller said government and the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) need to explain to the public why the spray plane and foggers have not been seen in the last few weeks and questioned why government did not ask for additional funding during last week’s Finance Committee hearing if that was the problem.

“My inquiries indicate that MRCU has no chemicals to spray for mosquitoes and no larvicide to treat the larvae in the water before the mosquitoes hatch,” the North Side representative said. “There can be no excuses since the government has the money. We were informed in Finance Committee last Friday (June 7) that the government has $66 million in surplus funds.”

Miller said he could not accept excuses from Health Minister Dwayne Seymour, whose ministry seems continually plagued with significant problems, and the MRCU for not having the chemicals in stock.

“Such incompetence at all levels cannot and should not be tolerated by Caymanians,” Miller added. He questioned whether the MRCU’s budget had been exhausted on “the unsuccessful genetically-modified mosquito” pilot project in West Bay, which was terminated last year ahead of what should have been a national roll-out because the minister said it did not work.

But MRCU Director Jim McNelly told CNS that the problem was due to a change in supplier. He explained that the ‘adulticide’ inventory, used to spray adult biting mosquitoes, is low so the planes will not be able to spray this week.

“Inventory is low because we were drawing down our stock of one chemical and replacing it with another, from a company we have not done much business with in recent years,” he said. “This is an established vendor in our industry but we needed to provide them with things above and beyond a vendor we deal with consistently. We expect their product to be on island next week.”

He said that some aerial adulticiding did take place several times last week and the trucks continue to spray. “We expect only one week of interruption to aerial adulticiding,” he added.

Following Miller’s statement, GIS issued a short release saying that, with aerial spraying unavailable, the MRCU had “strengthened ground control measures aimed at reducing the mosquito populations on Grand Cayman. As such four fogging trucks have been out around the Island each night since the MRCU plane last sprayed on Friday, 7 June.”

The stoppage to aerial spraying only impacts nuisance mosquitoes because separate measures are in place to control the disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Officials said that the MRCU plane is expected to resume flights on Grand Cayman next Wednesday, weather permitting. Prior to that, aerial larviciding is scheduled to be performed on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman on Monday and Tuesday.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (80)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If you don’t like it then leave the island. Nobody is keeping any of you and we would all like to get rid of the whiners.

    • Anonymous says:

      at 6:20 am
      But Cayman has been my home for my entire life, as well as my ancestors home.
      Who made you a general to tell people what to say and what to do?
      If you prefer some poison on your butter, that is your choice. Don’t tell me what I am to choose.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is that comment directed at Ezzard?

    • Anonymous says:

      @ 6:20

      I am a naturalized US citizen for 25 years. Born and raised in Europe. Lived in Cayman for 7 years. In 2003 when American invaded Iraq, I said to my best friend, an American woman, that I am agains the war, for I don’t want people to die. She went ballistic and basically said that I need to go back to my home country. I was dumbfounded.

      People say here all the time “If you don’t like it here, then leave” instead of accepting there are major issues in this country. So instead of telling people to leave this place, why don’t YOU get the hell out so the country people trying to change for better will benefit from your leaving? There are MORE people that won’t allow you to continue to treat them like second-class citizens.

      So before your purse your lips or curl your fingers to type in some inherited babble about “leave if you don’t like it here,” pack your own bags first. People you want to leave only growing in numbers and getting louder than you have ever been or could ever be. This is their country as much as it is yours. So either work with them or get the XXXX out of the way.

      Feel the love yet?

    • Anonymous says:

      Your whining about whiners but please don’t leave and infect the rest of the world. Whining wanker.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Truly Caymankind. Find something that works and change it so it doesn’t. T Has anyone ever been fired for screwing up. Is it culture , or the lack thereof? While most of the world is evolving this island is returning to the stone age. This is truly pathetic.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians always think that a foreign worker can come in and do a better job than a Caymanian.We had great mosquito control and now we have the worst mosquito problem seen in decades and our children are being poisoned.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mosquitoes are created by the god you so adore, so shut up.

    • Anonymous says:

      What engineer places a fatal flaw in their design? Mosquitoes? Cancer?

      Can you release the software update already?

      • Anonymous says:

        Human Patch Notes v2.0

        Balance Changes
        Human males have had their climax threshold raised by 100. (Was 15)
        Human females have had their climax threshold lowered by 600. (Was 750)
        The soft cap on maximum level has been raised to 250 (was 100), character progression has been smoothed over the duration.
        All new humans start with 15 intelligence and have the walk ability. Speech is now immediately trainable.
        All humans walk 50% faster and run 200% faster. Stamina drain has been reduced by 90% for all activities.

        Bug Fixes

        Fixed a memory leak issue which could occur around level 70.
        Fixed a graphical glitch which would cause facial texture issues starting around level 13.
        Fixed a bug which sometimes caused human males to slowly lose their selected hair loadout.

        Quality of Life Improvements
        The “well rested” effect is now granted after 1 hour of sleep.
        Sleep now activates instantly.
        Hair growth may be toggled on/off.

  4. elijah says:

    The spray truck was up our NS road last night (Wed). Thanks MRCU. Mossies much better today. Spent two hours on my porch this morning, having not used a mozzy spray, and though there were a few around, I never considered going inside or even using the DEET.

    I do occasionally email MRCU when the NS mozzies are bad, and always get an immediate reply, plus a pretty immediate aeroplane spray. Am grateful for the efficiency, thanks MRCU staff.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ask the new Director of MRCU how the Procurement Law impacted the purchase of chemicals from the known and tried vendor….

    • Anonymous says:

      Does this law not apply to all Government Agencies? How come MRCU is the only one claiming it stopped them doing their job? I think a more likely cause is incompetence on the part of the Director and now he is making all sorts of excuses. Did he not blame his staff on News 27 for not finding breeding sites? They appear to have had no problem finding mosquitoes prior to his arrival.

  6. Erin Brokovich says:

    The price you pay for living in “Paradise”.

    – traffic toxic fumes
    – stress from noise
    – stress from sitting in traffic and crazy drivers
    – stress from cruise ships’ crowd occupying your living space
    – The Dump’s biological and chemical contaminants which air, water, birds, insects, and
    rodents spread around
    – Uncontrolled fecal and other contaminants in beach water
    – Uncontrolled and unfiltered incinerator’s emissions
    – Toxic load from mosquitoes control & spraying
    – Biological hazards in sewage and wastewater treatment plant. People living near the plant (and workers) are exposed to particulate matter and bioaerosols via air stripping which may cause respiratory, gastrointestinal problems and nervous system damage when inhaled. (Air-stripping occurs when organisms, chemicals or particles in water find their way into air, where they can subsequently be inhaled. Some organisms pass directly into the bloodstream.)

    No wonder kids are born with cancer, congenital defects, learning disabilities, etc.
    No wonder people die early 60s mostly from cancer when their parents lived to 90-100

    Did you reserve a unit in the Dart’s new building near the Dump? Not yet? Hurry up!
    Did you enroll your child in International school yet?

    • Anonymous says:

      From what I am reading about chlorpyrifos it is brain damage that we need to be worried about. How many kids have been born with autism here. Someone needs to go to jail here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like you should live in Detroit or some other worldly sewer.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Since you are talking about 3 types of mosquitoes, let me remind that you were warned that introduction of GM mosquitoes might have unanticipated consequences. Messing with genetic code of insects, animals or people is dangerous, to say the least.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes we would rather take in cancer causing chemicals.

    • Anon says:

      10.03am The answer is to genetically modify North Siders so that mosquitoes are not attracted to their blood.

      • Sand Whitey says:

        Ha! @11:30 You would like that now wouldn’t you? I’m a North Sider and I’d be more than happy to have you sit in my yard for 20 mins at 12:00 midday. I wouldn’t even put you out there in the night because you wouldn’t even last 2 mins. Easier to avoid them when you live in the concrete jungle where as some of us prefer the real jungle so we wont have to put up with nor see certain people. God knows I’m more than happy yet again because I don’t have to put up with nor see people like you tbh. You’re more than welcome to come by though just to see what its like to be in a very peaceful environment and be annoyed by mosquitoes rather than more simple minded people like yourself.

        Have A Good Day.

        Signed: JAM

    • Anonymous says:

      Ugh, you are so uninformed it’s sad. GM is not as scary as the ignorant websites and non-scientist friends you find your information from.

    • Anonymous says:

      What exactly were we warned of?
      What specifically do you think has happened here?

  8. Anonymous says:

    so much for my organic farming in North Side

  9. Anonymous says:

    So much for the release of GMO’s! Who made the money off that?

    • Anonymous says:

      If we stopped culling iguanas, is it the gun’s fault if we choose to stop using it and their population explodes? You’re naive.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This Government sucks!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Some experts on Island have said that a lot of the problems are because the workers at MRCU don’t like to go out early mornings and after dawn when the mosquitos are heaviest and more can be sprayed. Also, they don’t like to go all the way to NS and EE. If that is the case, Govt needs to address this immediately. Also, it sure smells like they are using harsher chemicals. What has gone seriously wrong?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is untrue. The reason why we have such a huge mosquito problem right now is that the new director changed everything about how they control mosquitoes. The techniques now being used are not working. The pellets that used to be applied to kill larvae have been replaced with ineffective control methods. Blaming field workers is extremely unfair. This problem has been solely caused by management. Since the arrival of the new director most of mrcus control work involves spraying a chemical called chlorpyrifos. This chemical was banned in the US last year as it is thought to cause brain damage such as autism in developing infants, I would rather have mosquitoes than risk the health of my child. Try searching for chlorpyrifos US ban and see what you find.

    • Anonymous says:

      They have a new director who does not know what he is doing.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Dealing with the dump is more important than pandering to the rotten borough of NS.

    • Sand Whitey says:

      Rotten borough? @8:38 The only rotten borough here on island is your brain. No wonder Cayman has turned into a shit pit, we’ve got people like you spreading it every time you open your mouth. Come so see where you live, I can just imagine. You probably one of those who live down in swamp or somewhere just like it. You love going RP on Sundays though don’t ya? Or you would like to but can’t because you can’t afford it eh? It’s ok I understand you’re one of the less fortunate and that’s easy to tell just by the words you chose to use but anyhow Rotten Brain Peace Out Bruh..

      CNS: In Britain a rotten borough is a constituency with a tiny electorate.

      • Sand Whitey says:

        Understandable @CNS but this is Grand Cayman, hence why your establishment is called “Cayman News Service”, just saying. I understand and hopefully you do too.

        CNS: I was merely shining a light on what the anonymous commenter meant. Learning is never a bad thing.

      • Anonymous says:

        You just lost your shit dude

  13. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller should count himself lucky that Northside is not being sprayed. Red Bay was sprayed a few weeks ago but what was sprayed was very different from what they usually spray on us. Whatever it was smelled toxic and stung my eyes. My husband and kids all complained of headaches afterwards. What is it they are now spraying us with?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you ask this question here instead of demanding answers from authorities? Not just BS answers, but hard core verifiable facts. Crime against people’s lives and health could be committed and nobody seem to care. Total anarchy.
      It takes 7-9 years for cancer “seeds” to sprout. Less for a child. Neurological diseases are rampant. Including children.

    • Anonymous says:

      Theoretically :

      The public must be notified in advance about where and when spraying will take place and the kind of pesticide that will be used.

      Chemicals used to kill adult mosquitoes are distributed by spray from trucks and airplanes. In addition, chemical and biological agents used to kill larval (immature) mosquitoes are occasionally distributed by airplane. Because of where larval mosquitoes live, these are distributed over bodies of water, thus, humans are less at risk to come into contact with larval pesticides. Because pesticides are inherently toxic, no pesticide is absolutely risk free. The likelihood of experiencing adverse health effects as result of exposure to any pesticide depends primarily on the amount of pesticide which a person contacts and the amount of time the person is in contact with that pesticide. In addition, a person’s age, sex, genetic makeup, lifestyle and/or general health characteristics can affect his or her likelihood of experiencing adverse health effects as result of exposure to pesticides. Although your chances of experiencing any health effects from spraying are quite low, the following common sense steps will help you reduce possible exposures to pesticides before, during, or after spraying.
      * Children and pregnant women should take care to avoid exposure when practical.
      * If possible, remain inside or avoid the area whenever spraying takes place and for about 30 minutes after spraying.
      * Close windows and doors and turn off window air-conditioning units or close their vents to circulate indoor air before spraying begins. Windows and air-conditioner vents can be reopened about 30 minutes after spraying.
      * Pick homegrown fruits and vegetables you expect to eat soon before spraying takes place. Rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables (in fact, all produce) thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.
      * Cover outdoor tables and play equipment before spraying or wash them off with detergent and water after they have been sprayed.
      * Bring laundry and small toys inside before spraying begins (wash with detergent and water if exposed to pesticides during spraying).
      * Bring pet food and water dishes inside, and cover ornamental fishponds to avoid direct exposure.

  14. Anonymous says:

    -The Dump is spewing its toxic 24×7
    -Traffic nightmare, yet the main solution such as bus transit system not even spoken about.

    And now mosquitos.

    Paradise is lost to incompetence at all levels.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Did not work? It is evident that the new genetic method worked just was too expensive for their liking. Cutting edge cancer treatments start at 200k per person, welcome to the reality of R&D

    • Anonymous says:

      No results shared with the public, emails from within MRCU stating it did not work. Minister Seymour stating it did not work. Lets see the results. We paid for this experiment lets see what we got for our money.

      • Anonymous says:

        emails from within MRCU stating it did not work… as effective as assumed for the cost.

        there’s your caveat

        • Anonymous says:

          No take a look at the genewatch website where his emails have been posted. Very clear he was of the opinion it did not work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just how is it evident? Has any evidence ever been made public. The answer is no which is surprising because if it had worked then I am sure we would have all been told by now.

  16. Don says:

    Yes let’s spray some chemicals from the air over everything but demonize scientists who use a ground breaking method to fight them because it was too expensive to use. I’m still waiting for us to turn into mutants and for the ecological collapse that Dwene and Katalina claimed would happen when they made their case against MRCU public.


    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry Oxitec will soon be back. MRCU just appointed the former Oxitec manager as a manager at mrcu. This was done without advertising the position. With a man inside mrcu I am sure we will get to waste more money on this stupidity.

    • Anonymous says:

      In science I trust. Not.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well then you can die on the Oregon Trail with everyone else who didn’t have the advancements science provides us today. Byeeeeeeee.

    • Anonymous says:

      While I’m not concerned about the genetic mosquito release there is zero evidence that this method has any effect on them. It’s a complete waste of money.

  17. Anonymous says:

    just more cig civil service incompetence…

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess the CIG will need to form a new Ministry or two to work on this issue for a couple of years.
      Thanks Ezzard, little gets done without you addressing issues.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I was at Kaibo this weekend and could not swat the mosquitos away from or off of me fast enough. Every slap required another within a second or less. I eventually had to run (yes, RUN) inside and scratched myself all over for a good 20 minutes. In 30 years in Cayman I have never had that experience and I won’t be repeating it.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The main problem is minister Seymour as the man is not up to these jobs. The Premier just appointed him for a political pay back but he is not at all qualified. Sack him and get a new minister ASAP.

    • Anonymous says:

      No the main problem is with CO Ahearn. As always she is at the source of all problems in this ministry. Why did she appoint this man over the deputy director who has managed to effectively control mosquitoes for so many year? The deputy is more qualified and experienced but did not get the job because he highlighted the failure of oxitec.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seymour is too busy making ridiculous jokes about ‘Gaypril’ and other such foolishness. But he’s getting away with it so who cares? Not him that’s for sure.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Ahearn’s desk again!!!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Not just north side mr. Miller, not just north side. There seems to be now three different types of mosquitoes. The big ones that bite fairly warm, a medium size one with red head and speckle body and they bite hot, whilst the tiny ones with the white cap bites the worst and the pain lingers for hours. Just wondering if the white cap ones are the released GMOs? I hope these types of mosquitoes does not create an epidemic considering other countries refused the release of these mosquitoes. Has anyone realized the increase of respiratory diseases since the release of these GMOs?

    • Anonymous says:

      A rise in cheese sales also saw a rise in cancer.

      By your logic, eating cheese causes cancer.

      Correlation does not imply causation.

      • Alvin Wasserman says:

        “Correlation does not imply causation.” Maybe not always, but SOMETIMES it does!

        • Anonymous says:

          And that is when you have the data to support your claim, which you do not besides conspiracy in a comment box.

          By all means if you have evidence of GMOs causing respiratory disease, go collect your Nobel prize. You’re probably thinking GMOs are the same as aerosols. Do you breathe in the mozzies?

      • Anonymous says:

        Bad analogy. Cheese consumption has been linked to cancer.

    • Swat team says:

      8.30pm You could say the same about our politicians.

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