NEA warns of recent increase in mosquito breeding sites

SINGAPORE - The National Environment Agency (NEA) said it has detected a recent 15 per cent increase in the number of cases of mosquito breeding in homes and an increase of 30 per cent in construction sites in early October.

This upward trend may be related to the onset of the rainy season, NEA said. The agency warned that this may cause an elevation in the incidence of dengue. Almost 500 dengue cases were reported last week.

In the year up till October 5, 2013, NEA said it has carried out more than four million inspections in homes and over 9,000 inspections in construction sites.

NEA added that it has stepped up inspections at construction sites, and 34 contractors have been charged in court. Twenty contractors have been penalised with fines totalling $1.3 million.

NEA has also issued 18 stop work orders at sites with multiple breeding habitats and poor housekeeping practices.

In view of the deteriorating situation, NEA announced that it will step up enforcement actions against errant contractors.

NEA said it will work with the Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL) to implement appropriate mosquito control regimes within construction sites.

NEA noted that It is not possible for the agency to inspect every single home and construction site every week, and that increased fines and court prosecutions cannot be the primary solution.

"Consequently, we need increased vigilance by everyone to eliminate mosquito breeding in their homes, worksites and neighbourhoods," it said in a statement.

Homeowners are also reminded to mosquito-proof their homes before they travel overseas or go on holiday.