Initiated in 2017 on Virgin Gorda, this community-driven programme reduces the breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that causes diseases such as Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. Outreach education, clean ups and community participation are integrated into safe, data driven vector control operations. We continue to partner with Government to expand mosquito awareness and community action throughout the BVI.
How we do it
SAFE VECTOR CONTROL
Driven by our Community Vector Control Officers, and developed by some of the world’s best minds on mosquito control efforts, we work to deliver effective, state-of-the-art, and environmentally safe mosquito control efforts. This includes the minimal use of chemical interventions such as larvicides, clean-ups, removal of standing water, repair of infrastructure, and other innovative methods such as the Wolbachia tool.
Outreach activities include monthly clean ups, presentations and door to door engagements where we work one on one with homeowners or businesses. All our outreach activities are designed to facilitate pride and ownership of looking after Virgin Gorda and keeping it clean and safe. Click on the link to find out more about our OUTREACH PROGRAMMES.
The BugOut programme has created a unique mobile software Application to manage internal and external workflows. Ongoing surveillance and live time data ensures systematic methods to suppress hotspots and eliminate breeding sites. In addition, annual Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Surveys are conducted.
MOSQUITO TRAPS DEPLOYED
REDUCTION IN HIGH RISK PARCELS FROM 2016 BASELINE (VG)
OVERALL REDUCTION IN BREEDING SITES FROM 2016 BASELINE (VG)
TEAM MEMBERS INTERNATIONALLY CERTIFIED
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Click on the tiles below to learn how to reduce mosquitoes and keep you, your family & your neighbours safe:
Make your home a mosquito-free zone! You have the power!
We believe that everyone must play a role in local mosquito control and disease prevention efforts – starting at home! BugOut provides the necessary education and support to make everyone a participant. Our BugOut Vector Control team in Virgin Gorda are working with residents and homeowners to directly assist with mosquito control in and around their properties. We have a great list of resources for residents and homeowners, including checklists to help you ensure your home is protected against mosquitoes! – click here to find out about controlling mosquitoes at home and more!
Businesses and workplaces large and small play a vital role in the prevention of vector-borne diseases. Each business on Virgin Gorda should have an action plan for reducing or eliminating Aedes aegypti breeding grounds. This helps improve the safety of both employees and customers! Businesses should follow BugOut’s three C’s:
- Clean-up: Create a dedicated team comprised of ownership and employees to help find and reduce breeding sites on your property;
- Communicate: Post information posters in and around your business property that highlight breeding sites and how to prevent bites;
- Cover-up: Talk about Aedes mosquitoes with your employees and customers – make sure everyone knows where they lay eggs and what they can do to prevent bites.
We know students and education play one of the most important roles in fighting mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases. BugOut is committed to visiting schools routinely throughout the year, presenting creative presentations to school children of all ages to educate, excite, and inspire them to play a direct role in mosquito larval breeding site reduction and overall awareness. Click here for our on our teacher resources. If you want our team to visit, contact us and we’ll send a BugOut representative to your school.
Click on the tiles below to find out more:
SUCCESS ON VG
We are proud to see the fruits of our labour after many years of the BugOut Programme on Virgin Gorda. Together with the community, we have significantly reduced high risk mosquito breeding sites through a combination of community engagement activities and targeted vector control operations. These efforts have in turn, reduced the chances of the spread of mosquito related diseases, keeping VG residents and visitors safer with the added benefit of a cleaner, greener island.
Our unique app provides real-timed data on breeding spots throughout Virgin Gorda. This ensures that our vector control operations are targeted to the highest risk areas increasing our effectiveness, productivity and success.
On Virgin Gorda, BVI, Green VI’s BugOut Team has, for several years, successfully reduced mosquitoes, which can carry dengue and other diseases, by 59%. To further reduce disease-carrying mosquitoes, we are implementing a non-toxic, non-genetically modified method using Wolbachia, a naturally occurring bacteria commonly found in many local insects.
Green VI has partnered with Verily, a precision health company with Wolbachia Debug projects in Singapore, Australia, California and Puerto Rico. BugOut Wolbachia is a project approved by the BVI Ministry of Health, and we are working closely with the Virgin Gorda community to evaluate and implement this tool.
- The Aedes aegypti mosquito, an invasive species to the BVI, originates from West Africa and is not an original part of the Territory’s natural ecosystem food chain.
- Wolbachia is a bacteria that occurs naturally in 60% of the global insect population, including the BVI. Based on technology developed and used successfully since the 1960’s, Wolbachia mosquito reduction methods do not involve the use of chemicals, irradiation or genetic modification. Unlike the use of insecticides, this method only impacts the target species, Aedes aegypti, and has no effect on other living creatures.
- Our BugOut Team will release non-biting, incompatible male mosquitoes to target wild, biting, female Aedes aegypti. When these Wolbachia-containing males mate with females, the eggs produced will not hatch, thereby reducing the number of disease carrying mosquitoes over time.
- Wolbachia is a bacterium that naturally lives in most insects, including many insects found naturally in the BVI, and is not found in humans. It cannot be given to people or animals through an insect bite or contact with an insect.
- Protect health of residents & visitors from dengue, chikungunya and Zika
- Establish BVI as a leader in cutting edge vector control technology
- Enhance tourism product via low risk of Aedes aegypti-vectored disease
Progress to date
- We’re excited to now have a Laboratory on Virgin Gorda for scientifically evaluating new mosquito control tools such as Wolbachia.
- Outreach programs, community meetings and data gathering are on-going on Virgin Gorda and a Community Steering Committee has been established.
- Successful Mark, Release & Recapture (MRR) studies were completed on Virgin Gorda in September 2022 proving that the Wolbachia male mosquitoes dispersed well and survived.
- As of October 2023 there has been a 83% reduction in biting Aedes aegypti females in treated areas of Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. More details can be found at this link: Virgin Gorda BugOut Wolbachia Tool Update.
PARTNERING WITH GOVERNMENT
After the success of BugOut on Virgin Gorda, we’re now working closely with the BVI Government to roll out a BugOut Pilot on Tortola, funded by the Pan American Health Organisation. Partnering with the BVI Government, our BugOut team assisted and trained Environmental Health Staff in the methods, procedures, and systems of the BugOut Program. The joint team collected, aggregated, analyzed, and reported key vector-related indices, metrics, outcomes, and data including any new data inputs not measured by government today.
Following the East End Pilot, we continue to partner with the BVI government to implement the program objectives, methodologies and technology model to provide support and increase capacity for vector control, surveillance, and community activation and education in accordance with the government’s National Strategic Plan for Health.
Teaching regenerative agriculture, increasing locally grown food and decreasing organic waste dumped are the overarching goals of Green VI’s Garden Project. Through enriched education and hands-on farming activities, our gardens foster students and community members to be mindful of their health, well being, environment and social history.