Tapu Haldar, a resident of the extended Pallabi residential area in the capital's Mirpur, has been living in the same house with his family for 18 years. But, he has not seen such an increase in mosquitoes.
"I have not seen such proliferation of mosquitoes before. Earlier, the city corporation would spray insecticide several times, but now no such activity is seen. It has become difficult to stay at home even during daytime due to the mosquito menace," said Tapu.
Mosquitoes are rampant everywhere, especially in Mohammadpur, Shyamoli, Mirpur, Uttara, Khilgaon, Mohakhali, Gulshan, Badda, Rampura, Shakhari Bazar, Shanir Akhra and Donia areas, according to the residents of the areas.
Rahat Sikder, a resident of Kathalbagan, told The Business Standard that he was afraid of contracting mosquito-borne diseases like dengue or chikungunya.
"I was not afraid of mosquitoes before. But after suffering from chikungunya, I feel scared of mosquitoes. The menace has increased for around a month. I live on the ninth floor. Usually, we do not see mosquitos here. But now the situation is different. There is no way to sleep without using a mosquito net nowadays," said Rahat.
The lakes and waterbodies in several areas like Kalyanpur, Gulshan, Banani and Baridhara have become mosquito breeding grounds.
As the waterbodies are not cleaned regularly, foul smell comes from there during the dry season. Even if insecticide is sprayed there, it does not work, according to locals.
Jabed Iqbal, a resident of Kalyanpur Khal Par area, said, "It is apparent that when water decreases in the canal during winter, mosquitos breed there. But still sufficient initiatives to kill the mosquitos are not visible. So mosquitos have made our life miserable."
He urged the city corporation to take initiatives to clean the canals.
Meanwhile, the city dwellers and experts are blaming the mismanagement and failure of the two city corporations for the proliferation of mosquitoes.
However, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) is going to intensify its mosquito eradication programme. The corporation has taken the initiative to conduct combing operations. Besides, raising mass awareness is on its priority list.
"There is no alternative to raising civic awareness to get rid of mosquito infestation. It is true that the mosquito population has increased a bit. But, instead of being panicked, we have to be careful. Our actions to address the problem are going on," said Brig Gen Md Jubaidur Rahman, chief health officer of the DNCC.
The city corporation is carrying out regular mosquito eradication activities as well as taking additional initiatives to provide relief to the city dwellers.
The combing operation is supposed to be conducted from today (20 February) to 26 February. It will be conducted regularly in different areas.
The DNCC started applying fourth generation larvicide from last October to control Culex mosquitoes during the winter season. The DNCC then said that the granular pesticide, novaluron, was effective for about 90 days once applied.
Under the supervision of entomologists of Jahangirnagar University and management of the North City Corporation, after successful experimentation for three months, the application of this pesticide started at the field level.
But experts think that still the reproduction of Culex is relatively high this winter.
Kabirul Basar, Professor of Jahangirnagar University, said that mosquito menace had increased.
"Since Culex breeds in dirty water, mosquitoes are less likely to be eradicated until there are rainstorms. However, the reproduction of Culex will naturally decrease in March. Before that, waterbodies, ponds and lakes as well as houses should be kept clean," said Prof Basar.
He also advised to continue spraying insecticide throughout the year.
If the crash programmes were interrupted, it would not be effective, he said.
"Despite the manpower crisis, these programmes have to be kept running, and then the spraying of larvicide will bring good results," he added.
People concerned say that after a major outbreak in 2019, the Aedes mosquito was under control in 2020 due to a joint initiative of the ministry concerned and the two city corporations.
Although there is no outbreak of Aedes mosquito now, other species of mosquitoes have increased.
Meanwhile, the eighth inter-ministerial meeting was held on 21 January to review the activities of city corporations and other ministries and agencies for dengue prevention across the country, including Dhaka metropolis.
At the meeting, Local Government and Rural Development Minister Md Tajul Islam considering the importance of mosquito menace gave directives to take immediate actions in this regard.