It’s unknown as to when and who invented the mosquito nets, but there are evidences of it’s use from the pre-historic time onwards. Cleopatra, the beautiful pharaoh used to sleep under a mosquito net! There has been citations of the use of mosquito nets in ancient Indian literature dating back to the medieval ages. It is one of the few things that has undergone little change even in this modern era. But, it’s effectiveness is often overlooked simply because of the time and effort involved in setting it up every time and largely because of it’s cheap value. Make no mistake, it is still one of the most effective ways to prevent us from bites of mosquitoes, flies, fleas and other creepy insects. This article is intended to increase the awareness of using mosquito nets and will cover the various types, diseases prevented and some simple tips to effectively use the mosquito net.
Before we take a closer look at the mosquito nets, here is an article listing the top 10 ways to get rid of mosquitoes that you should definitely read.
Why Use Mosquito Nets?
Here is a list of potentially fatal diseases spread by mosquitoes alone:
- Japanese Encephalaitis
- West Nile Viral Encephalitis
- Yellow Fever
To get more details on the above diseases, simply click on them. Here’s another list of diseases spread by fleas, flies and other insects that bites humans during the night time:
- African sleeping sickness (Tse Tse fly)
- Leishmaniasis (sand fly)
- Plague (flea)
- Rickettsial diseases (Ticks & lice)
Coming back to the reasons why you should consider using a mosquito net:
- Mosquito nets prevents you from a large number of diseases as mentioned above. Some of these diseases can be life threatening if left untreated. So, why take the chance?
- In the case of Insecticide Treated Nets, it prevents even those persons who are not under a mosquito net, but sleeping in the same room (by killing the insects).
- It’s healthier when compared to mosquito repellants, coils and vapourisers
- Mosquito nets are cheap and easily available
- They last long and can be easily repaired if torn
- They provide a good night’s sleep without the fear of mosquitoes partying on your blood
Well, these were some of the points that I could come up with on why you should use a mosquito net.
Types of Mosquito Nets
The mosquito nets can be classified in many ways. For example:
Classical mosquito nets were in use till the 1980s when new ideas began to surface in order to control the spread of Malaria.
Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) are made by treating the mosquito nets with synthetic insecticides like Pyrethrin and other pyrethroid like Deltamthrin. The ITNs have been shown to be twice as effective as untreated nets. They not only blocks the mosquitoes from biting the person sleeping under it, but also kills the mosquito that comes in contact with it.
The insecticide treated nets should be re-treated with insecticides every 6 months in order to maintain it’s efficacy. This can be done by purchasing a re-treatment kit. Long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLN) are now available which last for about 2 years or more. ITNs and LLNs also help when loose folds of nets comes in contact with your skin by killing the mosquitoes which can otherwise bite through an untreated net. Below is an image of an ITN commonly used in schools and dormitories.
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Nets with a mesh size of 1.2 mm is enough to keep the mosquitoes away. These nets are more breathable, but allows other smaller insects to get inside. Nets with a mesh size of 0.6 mm on the other hand are less breathable and blocks even the smaller insects from biting.
Most of the modern day mosquito nets are made from either polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon and cotton. Cotton can also be used to make mosquito nets, but they last less and get torn very easily. Cheaper nets are now available in the market that are usually made of monofilament fibres and should be avoided.
Shape of Net
Box type mosquito nets are the most popular and commonly used ones. They are the ones with maximum volume and are easy to erect.Modern day box type nets are very easy to use compared to the conventional ones. The foldable type of box type mosquito nets comes in various sizes that can easily suit your bed. Most of them comes with a frill on the base that can be tightly secured under the bed. Zippers on either side of erected nets acts as doors through which you can easily get in or out.
Examples of some of the box type nets have been linked to in the above paragraph. Other popular box type mosquito nets are:
- HealthGenie Foldable Mosquito Net
- Classic Foldable Mosquito Net
- Royal Foldable Mosquito Net with Self Support
Bell shaped and wedge shaped nets are also available in the market nowadays.
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Traveller’s mosquito nets are usually light weight and can be easily rolled up into a small backpack or rucksack. These nets are either dome shaped or box type with bars that need no support.
Tips for Using a Mosquito Net Properly
- Most of us who are lazy to set up the mosquito net every night should consider making a permanent box type foldable net that fits our beds. The ribbons or ropes or zipper doors on the sides can be used for entry. This option should be more practical if you have small babies at home.
- Check for holes and small gaps after securing the net every time. This is very important because the mosquitoes are smarter than you think.
- Repair or stitch holes as soon as they develop or else buy a new mosquito net
- Mosquito nets are washable and should be washed only with soap and water. Do not put it in a machine or dry clean!
- Do not let the net to come in contact with your skin while sleeping. If the nets are untreated ones, the smart mosquito can bite you even from the outside of the net!
- Do not forget to re-treat the ITN every 6 months. This will improve the quality of protection offered by your mosquito net.
- Do not play with sharp things like knives, needles or scissors while the nets are secured.
- If you’re living in hot humid area, choose a net with 1.2 mm hole size for better ventilation.
That’s it. Hope you guys understood the importance of mosquito nets. Are you using one in your home? Which type of mosquito nets do you prefer? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Share this article with your friends on your favourite social medias and spread the words.
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