A RECENT increase in insects in homes near the Umhlatuzana River could be attributed to rising temperatures and not pollution, the eThekwini Municipality has said. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Durban - A recent increase in insects in homes near the Umhlatuzana River could be attributed to rising global temperatures and not pollution, the eThekwini Municipality has said.

Residents of Malvern, Queensburgh and Kharwastan said they had noticed an increase in mosquitoes in their homes and surroundings. They blamed the infestation on leaks from broken wastewater pipes.

Prakash Khanayia said residents on either side of the stream between Falcon and Penguin streets experienced the same problem.

“Thankfully the stream is clear now after the rain over the past few days. There still are a few crane flies getting into the houses, but nothing like the infestations we were experiencing.”

Malvern resident Marion Kisten said the area was infested with mosquitoes. “They sit like veils on the cars and windows,” he said.

Ward councillor Samantha Windvogel said an urgent warning was sent to residents on social media in Malvern and Queensburgh, and Corne/Carrick, Spence, Daisy and surrounding roads. The message described it as an extremely hazardous, unbearable issue.

“It seems this infestation has resurfaced after previous reports were made in July,” she said.

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the city’s Health Department had attended to the complaint and an entomologist was tasked to investigate the matter.

The entomologist’s report states that the insects are non-biting midges and are completely harmless, despite their mosquito-like appearance. The adult insects are attracted to lights in homes and can become a nuisance.

“In early spring, when temperatures are on the rise, the larvae pupate and adults emerge,” said Mayisela.

He said the Umhlathuzana River and wastewater treatment plant were sprayed by the vector control section in an attempt to reduce the infestation.

Mayisela said residents could get information about the insects at the Natural Science Museum.

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