My animosity with mosquitoes started in my pre-school years. I remember my father carrying a big steel dish coated with oil and swinging it wildly in the air to trap those flying blood suckers. Me and my brothers were assigned the duty of finding small mosquitoes sticking on to the white walls of our small house. At the end of the mosquito catching game, my father used to count the number of kills and we would then compare it with the previous day’s numbers. It was really an amusing game to play those days and when I think of it now, I can only hate mosquitoes with a bit more hostility in my mind. Things changed when my father brought home a mosquito net for every bed in our house, Till that day, mosquito repellant plug-in machines was our main weapon against them. During my college days, the weapon however changed from mosquito repelling machines to repellant body creams. Going for a night duty at various departments of our Medical College could easily be compared to a camping trip. Full sleeved shirts and pants were a must for those night duties, not because of the dress code, but to keep the mosquitoes away from my skin.
#2 Use mosquito swatting bats. Swatters in the form of rackets are gaining popularity in India. There are some electrical swatters available in the market which kind of electrocute the mosquitoes when activated during their use. Here is my pick :
#3 Nothing beats the thrill of manually killing a mosquito with your bare hands. The only downside is that you have to wash your hands after the bloodshed! Using rolled up newspapers and magazines can also help extend your arm reach and make a perfect swat.
|Image Credit – missy|
#4 Mosquito nets are one of the most effective and cheap method of keeping mosquitoes away from your skin for a good sleep. Make sure that there are no holes in the net and that while draping the net, it completely covers the bed without any space for mosquito entry. Best pattern of mosquito nets are the rectangular ones. The size of openings in the nets should not exceed 0.0475 inch in any diameter. The number of holes in one square inch is usually 150.
Here is one of the best mosquito net that I could find in Amazon :-
MUST READ: Why you should Use a Mosquito Net
Screening of your houses with copper or bronze gauze having 16 meshes to the inch has been found to be an effective method of preventing mosquito entry to the building but it is an expensive choice.
#5 Mosquito repellants are of two types
Diethyl Toluamide has been found to be an outstanding all-purpose repellant.
#6 One of the most important step in reducing the numbers of mosquitoes is to eliminate their breeding places. Stagnant water is the breeding place of mosquitoes and examples of this include coconut shells and discarded cans filled with water, broken bottles, empty pots, tires, clogged gutters, puddles etc We can greatly reduce the mosquito population in our community by removing such breeding grounds for them. We should also make sure that we dispose our home waste in a proper manner. The main tools of source reduction of mosquitoes includes filling, levelling and drainage of the above mentioned breeding places.
#8 Application of oil to water is one of the oldest known mosquito control measures. The oils most widely used are Diesel oil, fuel oil, kerosene and other fractions of crude oil. When applied on water, oil spreads and form a thin film which cuts off the air supply to the mosquito larvae.
#9 Sunthetic insecticides like Fenthion, Chlorpyrifos, and Abate are potent larvicidal agents. The previously popular DDT and HCH are not recommended nowadays because of their long residual effect, water contamination and increased risk of developing resistance to these agents by the mosquito larva.
#10 There are certain fishes which feed on mosquito larvae. Examples of these include Gambusia and Lebister. These fishes can be used in burrow pits and ponds.
When I sit on the couch with the swatter in my hand, the clever mosquitoes attacks my legs and when I go to bed, they fly around my ears and it feels like they are teasing me. Monsoons are coming, and the number of bites that one has to suffer is going to increase unless we do something about it. Managing fever caused by diseases spread through mosquitoes is pretty difficult. My laziness has cost me my own blood, not anymore! By adopting some of these above mentioned steps, we can prevent ourselves from the growing population of mosquitoes. If you find this article helpful, do share it so that someone else can sleep properly without fearing the mosquitoes.
Featured Image Credit – Bill Selak