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Questions about the NEA, mosquitos and the compound court

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aussiemeg
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Questions about the NEA, mosquitos and the compound court

Postby aussiemeg » Tue, 26 Jan 2010 8:48 am

hi All

We have lived in our house for 4 years and have it fogged every week on a friday. We have the gardeners come weekly and we have a mosquito magnet machine. We do this not for any moral or legal reason but because we hate mosquitoes.

We have jsut been on a long trip to the UK and on Dec 4 we had our place maintained as usual. On Dec 8 the NEA officers made thier regular 6 weekly visit (not the lcitizens next door only receive this visit bi monthly) where they usually comment on my children's toys etc. We have never had a problem in the past but on this date they asked my helper where her employers were and when she said they were overseas they found some water in a pail.

We subsequently received a fine which at $200 is hardly worth worrying about except for the principle. The facts are this

1. We had the place pest controlled and gardened on Dec 4
2. The inspection occurred on Dec 8
3. It rained significantly on Dec 5,6 and 7
4. We were issued with a fine on Dec 17
5. I have requested the lab report and photos
6. The photos and lab reports have not been provided because I am the wife of the employee of the company to which the house is let
7. The company has requested the information and it is still not forthcoming

My questions are this

1. If the NEA cannot provide the information to the person present on the premises then are they allowed to enter the premises without the express permission of the registered tenant if they have no suspicion of mosquito breeding

2. If I take this matter to court and lose will I receive a conviction that could jeopardise my dependents pass

3. It is my argument that this fine is not under the intent of the law as we can prove that we exceed the control procedures of the avaerage singapore 10 fold. Further if this fine is upheld we will reduce our vigilance to the bare minium which in fact means the fine will do detriment to the mosquito management system.

4. What can I do with regard to the vacant land that is never inspected by the NEA when I have lodged formal request with both the NEA and the SLA.

Any help and comments would be great.

Cheers

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Postby jpatokal » Tue, 26 Jan 2010 10:28 am

Demand the lab report. If it shows mosquito larvae, you're at fault, so pay up. If it doesn't, you may have a case... but how much stress is this worth, and what are you hoping to accomplish? This is Singapore, and when it comes to any conflict between you and the Government, the Government is always right -- even when it's wrong.
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Postby ksl » Tue, 26 Jan 2010 1:34 pm

I would just write an appeal on the fine, and explain your circumstance and send the proof of how you manage the property on pest control.

Still water is the problem, and mossies eggs hatch within two or 3 days and the cycle can take from 8 to 17 days for the mossies to get flying depending on weather conditions.

Being away only 10 days, with the reports of your pest control may well be enough to get the fine waived. But explain that you do know the life cycle of the mossie and you were in full control of the situation.

http://www.mozziebusters.com.au/about-mosquitoes.htm

Even if the lab reports show eggs, you can still prove you had control, if you smoked the area on your return, if not the mossies would be flying

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 26 Jan 2010 2:28 pm

It is unfortunate to say the least, but.....

If you had any sort of containers outside that could/would store water or for that matter, even inside of the house, and they were not overturned to prevent the collection of water or had a long term BTI block within that would be sufficient for the duration of your trip, the sadly, the fine is warranted. Be thankful it's only the first one as the 2nd one is $1000. Dengue is a nasty bugger and there is much to be said for NEA and their attempts to eradicate it.

Often, places you wouldn't even think of can harbour mozzie larva. Even the gala pole holders you see under the kitchen windows of all HDB flats can harbour them. That why they now distribute plastic covers to go over them to keep water from getting inside. Even an overturned plastic bucket will give larva a place to thrive in the lip, so they should be stored inside or tilted on an angle so that the lip can drain as well.

If you had a maid there, then she wasn't instructed well or she just didn't bother. If it were the latter, well, I'd think about her service. If it was the former, hope a lesson has been learned.

3. It is my argument that this fine is not under the intent of the law as we can prove that we exceed the control procedures of the avaerage singapore 10 fold. Further if this fine is upheld we will reduce our vigilance to the bare minium which in fact means the fine will do detriment to the mosquito management system.


The only thing that threat will do is having them inspect twice as often and fine you for the slight infraction. Additionally, if you do the bare minimum, you won't have any mozzies anyway. 10x is nothing but overkill and it was obvious your system had a hole in it somewhere. Also, you will just put your family at risk. Pay the fine.

If I sound unforgiving, I am, I almost lost my BiL to Dengue a couple of years ago. I am also the HR & Finance Mgr of a rather large Pest Control Company who is often seen working along side of NEA on large outbreaks of dengue, rats and other vector borne outbreaks. :-|

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Postby aussiemeg » Tue, 26 Jan 2010 5:02 pm

Thanks for your input, it was not my maid's fault nor was it my pest company nor the gardeners. Bascially it is impossible for mosquito breeding to airborne to occur within 7 days which is the maximum amount of time between visit of my wonderful pest control and since the gardeners come in between it was even less than that.

I have no problem paying the fine in fact I would spend more than that on a good bottle of wine and I also have had a family member with Dengue and had ross river myself hence our vigilance.

My issue is the lack of understnading of the intent of the law, the resistance to providing lab reports and evidence should I wish to challenge it in court and flawed arguments with regard to the use of the official secrets act and entry onto people's property...in short the inability to perform or think of anything outside of the box by an agency to whom we are supposed to trust our health whilst we have to remain in this place.

Rant almost over ; )

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Postby road.not.taken » Tue, 26 Jan 2010 5:14 pm

I feel your pain aussiemeg. We too have a landlord-provided pest control company plus a mosquito-eater service and gardeners who come 5 times a month. Still we have a big mosquito problem, due in part I'm sure to the vacant space on 2 sides of the property. We are diligent about standing water, but there is only so much you can do on your own property, never mind uninhabited land which borders your space. I have had dengue and never want to relive that again, which is why I slather myself in Off lotion whenever I'm outside or in the kitchen.

I wish I could pay someone to come in and conduct a thorough inspection, then, say give us 3 days to comply ~ it seems a much better way to combat this problem. I'm sure we've missed some trouble spots, but it's not for lack of trying. But what to do about the jungle next door? :roll:

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 26 Jan 2010 9:48 pm

aussiemeg wrote:Thanks for your input, it was not my maid's fault nor was it my pest company nor the gardeners. Bascially it is impossible for mosquito breeding to airborne to occur within 7 days which is the maximum amount of time between visit of my wonderful pest control and since the gardeners come in between it was even less than that.


The above is a pretty strong assumption you your part. Without knowing the pest control company, and their reputation, I can only assume, like you, that they were doing their job.

However, having been in this industry for the past 5 years and picking up lots of contracts from companies that have defaulted or cheated clients with watered down fogging, and other negligent behaviour usually at the behest of their bosses, I know for a fact that often you do not get what you pay for.

I'm not saying that this is the case here, but one of two things has happened here. Firstly, I would assume that the NEA officers showed the evidence to you maid. They always do if there is someone at home and she would have had to let the in the property to inspect (and no she cannot refuse). Secondly, larva were found on your premises. So, it doesn't matter how many mozzies enter your compound from the vacant lot. The larva didn't swim from that lot to your compound. They don't even have to be hatching. For that matter, they don't even have to be larva, they could be a raft of mozzie eggs - it still constitutes breeding. And finally, your post almost sounded like you are calling the government inspectors a bunch of liars who deliberately planted mosquito larva in a pail they found on your property.

Oh, one other thing, they don't need to find a whole cycle. All they need are the eggs or the larva or pupua. Any or all is sufficient to warrant a fine. That's why they recommend refilling vases daily or every other day max.

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Re: Questions about the NEA, mosquitos and the compound court

Postby Exodus001 » Sat, 14 Jul 2018 9:56 am

The Govt should post report of how many findings regarding breeding sites in public places vs. private landed properties vs. public housing vs. construction sites vs. others. Previously the checks are only limited to vector zones but continued unopposed re-election of key govt officers /lack of checks and balances in parliament means state powers applied indiscriminately. The life cycle of the mosquito is act of god. There are big reservoirs, parks and nature reserves, is Govt. going to fog them too? "Search warrant" type entries into private residence premises are generally uncalled for, and unconstitutional law created due to general disregard of basic civic rights that would be expected in any other country.

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Re: Questions about the NEA, mosquitos and the compound court

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 14 Jul 2018 11:38 am

In nature standing water is normally quickly absorbed by the earth, unless there is trash and/or other things that make the soil impermeable so the water doesn't drain. Big reservoirs do not create any problems due to the wildlife contained therein (fish primarily) who will eliminate any larva or even eggs. However, pots, pails, cans, open jars, open vases with stagnant water in them provides perfect breeding grounds for mozzies. Therefore, the vast marjority of breeding sites are found in and around where people live with bad habits regarding standing water. With Dengue Hemmoragaic Fever, the Zika Virus & Chikungunya, all vector borne diseases, Search warrant types of entries are perfectly reasonable if signs of mozzies are found around the premises. Oh, and this isn't "any other country". Deal with it.

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Re: Questions about the NEA, mosquitos and the compound court

Postby Exodus001 » Sat, 14 Jul 2018 1:02 pm

@sundaymorningstaple - And that's your just own opinion on what is reasonable. So deal with it your good self.

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Re: Questions about the NEA, mosquitos and the compound court

Postby PNGMK » Sat, 14 Jul 2018 2:47 pm

Exodus001 wrote:@sundaymorningstaple - And that's your just own opinion on what is reasonable. So deal with it your good self.

Someone got a pole in the eye with an NEA fine me thinks. You do realize Exodus that SMS runs an actual pest control company and knows far more about this that you do?
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Re: Questions about the NEA, mosquitos and the compound court

Postby x9200 » Sat, 14 Jul 2018 7:07 pm

Exodus001 wrote:@sundaymorningstaple - And that's your just own opinion on what is reasonable. So deal with it your good self.

Your whining here is the best proof of the gov practices to be not only reasonable but necessary and targeted at the right places.

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Re: Questions about the NEA, mosquitos and the compound court

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 16 Jul 2018 12:38 pm

Nothing left for me to say.... ;-)


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