Although recent rains have brought much relief to people from the scorching heatwave, the weather has created fertile breeding grounds for mosquitoes, insects and flies. Mosquito bites can spread infectious diseases through blood, such as dengue and chikungunya. There are simple tips to keep mosquitoes away and make your home dengue free.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOME DENGUE-FREE
Do you know a female mosquito is capable of laying 100 eggs at a time? No one knows when a mosquito will bite. It is best to be prepared and take appropriate preventive measures to keep your homes mosquito-free. Also, the recent outbreak of dengue fever has compelled people to look for tips on how to prevent dengue mosquitoes from breeding. Here are a few tips to make your home dengue-free.
- Remove stagnant water
- Seal all entry points
- Keep a herb garden
- Use citronella candles
- Maintain a fish pond
- Make your own mosquito repellent
Let us discuss each of these in detail. But first, it is important to know where and how dengue-carrying mosquitoes breed.
TIS THE SEASON FOR MOSQUITOES
One of the major breeding grounds for mosquitoes is stagnant water. During the rainy season, this issue exacerbates. Dengue-carrying mosquitoes lay its eggs on water, which includes any stored rainwater in containers lying outside the house. Any kind of stagnant water is a perfect place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.
The eggs can survive dry weather conditions and hatch when they come in contact with water. A female dengue-carrying mosquito lays dozens of eggs up to 5 times during its lifetime.
Adult mosquitoes rest indoors in dark spots. Under the bed, behind the closet where it can easily hide away from fumigation and insecticide sprays.
TIPS TO KEEP DENGUE-CARRYING MOSQUITOES AT BAY
As mentioned above, there are quite a few tips to control the spread of dengue mosquitoes. Let’s check them out.
REMOVE STAGNANT WATER
Discard empty bottles, containers or used tyres lying outside your house that can hold rainwater. Keep your sewerage lines clean so that it doesn’t clog which can have a multiplier effect on the growth of mosquitoes.
Check for damp areas in your house. Make sure you take a good look at the common areas where water can stagnate. The area beneath the refrigerator, standing dishes on the kitchen sink, air cooler, flower vase and your garden may have some standing water or dampness that can become a breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes. We must make sure to keep the toilet seats covered, especially during the season when mosquitoes thrive the most.
SEAL ALL ENTRY POINTS
It is important to close all entry and exit points in the house so that mosquitoes and flies can’t find any place to enter the house. You can use automatic door closing mechanism so that doors automatically close behind as you walk in. Use wire mesh or a net screen to prevent these pests from entering your house.
If you already have net placed on your windows, make sure there are no holes in them. If you find any hole, repair it. Remember, only one dengue-carrying mosquito is enough to cause life-threatening dengue fever.
KEEP A HERB GARDEN
Having even a small herb patch can act as a natural mosquito repellent. Mosquitoes dislike garlic, spring onion, basil and peppermint. Why not grow a kitchen garden on your window sill? This will deter mosquitoes and keep them at bay. You can also place these herb plants at strategic points – on each window or sill near doors – to keep these disease-carrying pests away.
Remember to check the soil first before watering plants so that there are no damp areas in the house that can facilitate the breeding of mosquitoes. Burning off dried neem leaves also wards off mosquitoes. If you have a neem tree in the backyard of your house, then get hold of a bunch of leaves and dry them out in the sun. Fill them in a clay container and burn them. The fumes emitting from neem leaves will ward off mosquitoes. Make sure the fumes enter every corner of the house.
USE CITRONELLA CANDLES
Citronella is a plant that repels dengue mosquitoes. An essential oil named after the plant is also extracted from it. There are citronella candles that can be bought from any organic product store. All you have to do is to light these candles in the house. This is a natural mosquito repellent.
According to World Health Organisation, dengue-carrying mosquitoes, aedes aegypti, usually bite during the early hours of the day or in the evening. So, in order to specifically keep dengue mosquitoes away, light these candles in during the day.
You can also rub a small amount of citronella essential oil on doors and windows which is the best way to keep mosquitoes away.
MAINTAIN A FISH POND
To fight off mosquitoes, you should befriend animals that can kill these pests. For instance, lizard or a frog prey on insects. Take full advantage of these animals who are only supporting you in your fight against mosquitoes.
An aquarium or a small fish pond is a perfect way to repel mosquitoes. How? Well, fish eat up the mosquito larvae. Having a fish pond that will not only look beautiful but the fish present in the pond will feed on mosquito larvae before they hatch and spread deadly diseases.
MAKE YOUR OWN MOSQUITO REPELLENT
Do you know mosquitoes hate oranges and the smell of citrus? Well, you can make your own mosquito repellent by burning orange peels. The oil present in the citrus is flammable and releases a smell that mosquitoes don’t like. You can also use orange peels and pour boiling water over them. Let it cool. Store the water in a spray bottle and use it as a natural mosquito repellent spray in corners and under the bed.
You can also use essential oils, like neem oil, peppermint oil and lemongrass oil to keep mosquitoes away. Use ten drops of neem oil in a quarter cup of coconut oil and burn it in an aromatherapy burner. The fumes act as a natural mosquito repellent for your home.