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Experts warn spike in mosquito population

MOSQUITO density in Shanghai last month was almost 25 percent more than the same period last year, said officials at the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

A quick rise in temperature in recent weeks is ideal for mosquito breeding. Mosquito eggs have been found in standing waters across the city, the officials said today as they launched a citywide anti-pest campaign.

"Though last winter was colder and longer than usual, mosquito breeding was not affected," said Dr Leng Peien, director of the center's vector control department. "A plethora of mosquitoes survived the cold winter by staying in warm and moist places like garages, subway stations and office buildings. They start to breed when the temperature reaches 15 degrees Celsius."

Standing water offers perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Getting rid of standing water is the best way to control mosquito density before the peak season comes in summer, Leng said.

While the mosquito density is on rise, the density of flies last month was 15.09 percent lower compared with the same month last year thanks to a sanitation campaign carried out in the districts.

Officials found 10.81 percent of local wet markets, groceries, food factories, restaurants and hospitals showed traces of rats, way above the maximum 3 percent allowed by the local rules.

Poor management is to blame as only 79 percent of the venues have rat-control devices, less than the 95 percent as required by the rules, officials said.


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