Residents snapping up insect repellents in stores

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Mosquito repellents have been popular purchases for island residents because of the discovery of two local cases of dengue.

Following a report that mosquito repellent including sprays, wristbands, and coil are running low on store shelves, PNC hit the streets to find out more.

Guam has declared a state of emergency, authorizing immediate response and procurement of resources relative to preventing any outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases.

While the government is working to mitigate the effects of the dengue virus, some residents have raised concerns about the accessibility of insect repellents.

Wholesalers on the island are seemingly sold out of mosquito repellents. It won’t be a surprise to the average consumer that once those shelves are restocked, prices will go up.

There are laws in place to protect consumers from having to pay an arm and a leg for essential commodities during natural disasters. However, a release out of the Attorney General’s office states that Guam’s price gouging laws cover Condition of Readiness rather than state of emergencies, which is the case here.

According to Speaker Tina Muna Barnes, she has received several complaints on price increases for mosquito repellents. In response, the Speaker is seeking to draft new legislation to expand the statute, and encompass other threats to Guam so that certain products can be protected.

“Many of our most vulnerable in our community live in homes that don’t even have air conditioning and it just makes them more susceptible to dengue fever. I just want to make sure that their lives do not get jeopardized because of a vendor’s greed,” the Speaker said.

As access to insect repellents decrease on the island, some residents who may not want to pay higher prices are seeking alternative methods, such as home remedies and herbal infusions. Residents are also urged to get rid of sources of standing water, such as tires or flower pots, to decrease mosquito populations in their area.

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