Leave Bedok midges alone

Straits Times Forum 6 Feb 13;

AS A resident living near Bedok Reservoir Park, I watch in astonishment as the authorities wage an all-out war against midges during their mating season.

Twice a day, all-round fogging of the reservoir is carried out, making it difficult for joggers and park users to breathe.

Now, unsightly blue nets have been erected all around the perimeter of the reservoir, blocking our views of the park.

Like plankton in the ocean, midges form the base food source of many land creatures such as bats and swallows. It is no wonder that the annual migration of swallows from temperate countries in the north coincides with the mating season of the midges here.

All over the world, where there are water bodies and greenery, there will be midges. There is no effective way to rid of them, and there is also no need to.

The midges found here are non-biting and do not spread diseases.

Home owners who wish to live near nature should learn to be tolerant of the occasional wildlife visitor, instead of trying to destroy them for the sake of "cleanliness".

Most land areas in Singapore are catchment areas, which means most chemicals, such as fogging agents, released into the environment will inevitably end up in our reservoirs.

We should leave the midges well alone.

Milton Yap Yang Ming

Midges are a menace
Straits Times Forum 12 Feb 13;

I LIVE at West Coast Drive and have been suffering from the midge epidemic silently and patiently for over two years, so I disagree with Mr Milton Yap Yang Ming's call to do nothing about midge infestations ("Leave Bedok midges alone"; last Wednesday).

In late 2006, when I first moved to West Coast, and for many years after, there were never any midges. I suspect the deterioration of our public health regime gave rise to the menace.

Unlike in Bedok, the West Coast midges are aggressive. They feast on faeces and rubbish, and then pay uninvited visits to raw and cooked food. Worse, they love flying into damp places such as nostrils, ear chambers, and eyelids.

In short, they are not quite the harmless creatures as suggested by Mr Yap.

It is well and good to have researchers identify the midge species ("Scientists identify pesky midges"; Dec 15). But it is so much more important for the National Environment Agency to tell the people when they can expect to have the midge problem resolved, or at least under effective control.

Cheang Peng Wah

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