The Virgin Islands Ministry of Health is urging residents to take steps to reduce mosquito breeding sites in the territory. 

Due to the damage caused by recent storms, the Environmental Health Division will not be in a position to conduct fogging, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Development.

The agency is now encouraging the community to reduce mosquito breeding sites.

Officials from the Environmental Health Division told the National Emergency Operations Centre that as a result of the impact of Hurricane Irma, the natural environment, a buffer during fogging, has been severely compromised.  Fogging the community under these conditions would cause direct human exposure to the chemicals used, according to a press release from the Ministry of Health.

The division will be treating stagnant bodies of water such as ponds, drains and ditches. Regular premise-to-premise inspections will resume "very shortly," according to the Ministry of Health press release.

Meanwhile, residents are asked to assist with the reduction of mosquito breeding by doing the following: 

• Mesh all cistern overflows;

• keep cistern manholes covered, including storage containers, buckets, drums and bottles 

• Remove all other containers that can collect water

• Drain any holes, puddles or stagnant water

• Flush ornamental pools, fountains and roof gutters

• Fill depressions in the ground with dirt, gravel, and stones where possible.

If your cistern is breeding mosquitoes, please call 852-7525 or 852-7679 for assistance between the hours of 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday to Friday.