PHILIPSBURG--The Health Ministry’s Collective Prevention Services (CPS) urges residents to help stem the spread of mosquitoes by checking their yards regularly and to be on alert for potential mosquito breeding sites.

CPS said in a recent press release that the female vector Aedes aegypti mosquito spreads mosquito-borne diseases. The mosquito is distinguished by its markings such as alternate black and white horizontal stripes.

Vectors are small organisms that carry serious diseases. Just one bite from an infected mosquito can be a threat to a person’s way of living.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito lays its eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg, to larvae to pupae and to adult mosquito.

Residents were urged to actively dispose of tin cans, old tires, empty paint cans, buckets, old saucers, flowerpots, cemetery urns/vases, old pet dishes, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. “Empty and turn over containers that hold water; remove debris from rain gutters and downspouts regularly; drain or fill low places on your property where water collects and stands for more than five to seven days and make sure permanent water containers in your yard are tightly covered and insect-proof.”

Residents were also urged to fix leaky pipes and outdoor faucets; cover trash containers/garbage cans to keep rainwater from accumulating; drain old tires by recycling them and to keep boats and canoes/kayaks drained, covered or overturned.”

CPS said the hurricane season has not yet ended and every household and business must do its part in keeping the country mosquito free. “During the hurricane season, weather systems such as tropical waves, storms and hurricanes bring rain and if you have items in your yard and around your business which can collect water, that has the potential of becoming a mosquito breeding site. Therefore, it is very important to check around your yard at home or around your business to make sure there is no clear/clean standing water after a rain event,” CPS said. “Keep Sint Maarten mosquito free and avoid mosquito bites.”