Dengue fever is on the rise, so it pays to keep your home safe with these tips.
The Five-Step Mozzie Wipeout
Get rid of aedes mosquitoes and you get rid of dengue fever; it’s that simple. And the main way to do this is to remove standing water where they breed. It takes vigilance and diligence but it definitely pays off especially if you live in a dengue-prone zone.
- Prevent water from collecting by overturning and/or covering receptacles that can collect water such as basins and bamboo pole holders.
- Empty and clean out plant and water vases at least once every two days.
- Remove air conditioner trays and ensure water isn’t collecting in or around them. If possible, have the water ducted to the bathroom instead.
- Avoid disposing of unwanted cups and bottles in the open to prevent them from collecting rain water. Bagging them up and disposing of them at the appropriate rubbish collection points will ensure that they are taken care of immediately.
- Check drains and piping to ensure it isn’t clogged and water is being drained properly.
National Servicemen will know this one well. Citronella oil, mosquito coils and repellent sprays are extremely effective at keeping mosquitoes away. While it’s normally marketed as a generic insect repellent, various studies have proven the effectiveness of citronella against the aedes aegypti mosquito. Burning citronella sticks and coils might not be the safest idea due to the potential fire hazard it presents, but electronic oil burners are just as effective. Save the coils for outdoors use instead. Growing citronella plants at home is also possible for a more eco-friendly solution, especially if you have a small garden.
The most common usage of mosquito nets is to drape it over beds to protect against night-time mosquito bites. While this is effective against the malaria-carrying anopheles mosquito, it is not as effective for the aedes mosquito which is most active during the day. Hence, the netting is best used over doorways and windows to prevent mosquitoes from getting in. Mosquito netting is still useful for putting over your bed, especially if you live in high-risk mosquito bite zones.
Notify the Council
Every town council is responsible for removing potential breeding sites around HDB estates. As we know, every wet season introduces new breeding sites whenever it rains. Any poorly drained areas or blocked drains will lead to pools of stagnant water. While most councils conduct seasonal fumigation and oil spraying (spraying oil into drains and other water collection areas suffocates mosquito larvae), it’s also possible for them to prevent mosquito breeding sites from forming at all. You can report blocked drains and public areas that collect water to help prevent new breeding sites from appearing.
In today’s digital age, we now have access to more tools and gadgets to help us fight mosquitoes. Aside from the usual gadgets such as bug zappers, bug lamps and electronic insect repellents, we now have insect repellent technology on our phones too. Electronic Mosquito Repellents or EMRs have been around for a while. They normally come in the form of devices that emit a high-pitched ultrasonic frequency pulse that is supposed to repel female mosquitoes. However, such things are now available in app form. One such app is the Mosquito Repeller. It uses your phone speakers to emit the repellent sound. There is a caveat; science does not support the use of these apps. According to scientists, ultrasonic apps simply do not work. But, if you’ve tried everything else and you simply can’t keep the mozzies at bay, why not give this a shot.