There has been regular news and updates on rising dengue cases in Singapore by NEA Singapore and more dengue clusters as time goes. With multiple measures and campaigns such as the 5 step mozzie wipeout, exactly why is the mosquito breeding and adult mosquito population still not controlled?
Rentokil Pest Control discusses some reasons why residents might treat mosquito control lightly, and how this misperception might put us at higher risks from contracting the dengue fever through mosquito bites by the female Aedes Mosquitoes among the various types of mosquitoes in Singapore.
Seven reasons why mosquitoes are treated lightly
1. Idea that mosquitoes will just fly away
Many of us would bear the idea that these flying insects such as mosquitoes will just fly away eventually. Firstly, mosquitoes can actually track your presence and follow you around? In fact, they are making use of their sensitive organs found in their antennae. Secondly, carbon dioxide around you attracts mosquitoes to lock in your location as a blood meal target. In summary, this also explains why you are annoyed by their frequent hovering and buzzing around you, no matter how you try shoving them away.
2. Some form of fogging done by regulatory already
Fortunately, we are in a city where protection and public safety is well taken care of. In some districts and housing areas, there are some forms of mosquito pest control in place. For instance, there are mosquito-fogging contracts in place with pest control companies. However, this may be inadequate due to the following reasons:
- Fogging only address the adult mosquitoes population
- Mosquito breeding root source is not eliminated
- Mosquitoes can fly to other surrounding environment
- The designated fogging coverage might not extend to your space
3. We are safe as long as we apply patch and repellent
One of the mosquito prevention home remedies we are all embracing especially during this dengue fever period is to stick on mozzie repellent patches or spritz enough of mosquito repellent spray on our body before we head out. Conveniently purchased from retail stores, this measure merely gives yourself some form of protection, however, this does not address the actual mozzie population around us. We may end up being bitten from mosquitoes. Read more on identifying the types of pest bites.
4. Need to keep our home and windows shut
There are remedies and how do you keep mosquitoes away naturally. For example, some simple and quick steps, or perhaps the most practical approach is to prevent proof of entry. This means, proofing your home with pest protective screens installed on the windows or shutting your doors and windows shut from the exterior. However, this might not be the best method in pest home remedy, as it can limit ventilation of the home, resulting in poor air circulation.
5. Off-the-shelve insecticide spray works as well
Firstly, the majority of homes would have to store insecticide spray and to spray on adult flying mosquitoes. Secondly, there are also wall-mount air-fresheners with repellent ingredients to repel and deter flying mozzies around. However, we need to take note these DIY pest home remedies might contain harmful active ingredients. Above all, or we might lack the technical-know-how to use these mosquito control methods correctly and safely.
6. Most believed lemongrass with Citronella would repel mozzies
Citronella, a plant extract that known to repel insects such as mosquitoes. Similar to how other types of pest myth ingredients used, including vinegar, cinnamon and even lavender, citronella mask and block scents, thus making it more difficult to locate their target for blood meal. Read here to find out how this repelling method might just help in short term mosquito deterrent but not recommended to adopt in the long term.
7. Removing mosquito-breeding sources will do the trick
Thanks to the many readily available information and regular education around controlling mosquitoes. We are well aware of the causes of mosquito infestations and the need to eliminate mosquito breeding sources to prevent reproducing them into adult mosquitoes. While we are familiar in some common practices, here are gaps or negligence in our homes:
- Not aware of leaking pipes and pipes in the kitchen or bathroom area
- Watering plants in the balcony hurriedly without wiping dry the surfaces from water puddle
- Not aware of water receptacles around the home that collects water
- Bringing up wet brolly to dry after a rainy weather with droplets on the floor
- Washing hands or surfaces with water and not removing those breeding sources
The mosquito life cycle and reproduction fact
- Eggs will typically hatch within a few days to a month, and are able to hatch in water. This also explains why removing mosquito breeding opportunities such as stagnant water can help prevent mosquito infestation.
- It then develops into a Larva that hatched from the eggs. They usually live in the water for 4 to 14 days before moving to the next stage.
- In the Pupa stage, it is a period for resting before it fully develops into an adult mosquito
- Pupa finally developed and fully grown into adult after 2 to 3 days, thus increasing their population and risking us of suffering from mosquito bites.
How do we get infected with dengue fever?
We understand why mosquitoes bite. This is mainly for their food source as blood meals to survive and nest. Firstly, when these female mosquitoes become infected as it bites and take blood on humans who are infected. Secondly, this transmission process by passing on the infection to another human as the mosquitoes find its next target continues after a week of infection. Thirdly, while it is not air-borne or locally transmitted like a flu, dengue is spread from infected person to a mosquito as they bite and feed on blood.
Top 5 mosquito challenges we are dealing with
With so much emphasis and remedies to control mosquitoes, why are we still experiencing a rise in dengue cases trend in Singapore? Here are the top 5 mosquito challenges we are all facing within this urban society.
1. Weather can influence pest management control
When it comes to mosquitoes, weather perhaps plays a critical control affecting the management level. Puddles of water collected among receptacles create mosquitoes breeding, while the warmer climate conditions promotes them to thrive better in activities. Singapore is no doubt a good combination of such weather conditions almost the entire year. Find out more on how weather can affect other pest infestations as well.
2. Mosquitoes strengthening their immunity resistance
Perhaps an analogy of a human immune to certain medications as they consume in the long term, this applies similarly to mosquitoes’ immunity resistance to active ingredients and chemicals. According to Dr Tim Möhlmann, mozzies are resistant to these insecticides as the natural variation occurs within the mosquito population by adapting through this exposure. As mozzies continue to reproduce, the offspring naturally follow through the heredity in the adaptation and resistance capabilities.
3. Modern urbanisation plays a role in mosquito management
As we move into modernisation and urban cities designed to fit today’s lifestyle, there are various factors that affect mosquito situation today. Firstly, the concept of sanctuary has been popular, and to the extent of bringing gardening concepts indoor. This means, attracting mozzies due to the carbon dioxide they favour. Secondly, water features and ponding is another aesthetic option to spruce up a space. This promotes opportunity for stagnant water and mosquitoes to breed. Thirdly, open concepts and alfresco dining has been in trend. Hence, the risk of entering mozzies indoors is high. In summary, more preventive measures taken to accommodate these urbanisation changes.
4. There may be inadequate control around mosquitoes
We could have taken some form of control around eliminating mosquitoes. The problem is these measures tend to be inadequate. For instance, people might opt for 1 of the few necessary treatments, cutting down on frequencies, limiting treatment area, reducing number of treatments or go for one-time-off elimination service.
5. Adopting less proactive approach could be detrimental
One of the most common mistakes we are guilty of is the wait-and-see approach. In dealing with pests, we should not wait until damaging impact or obvious consequences arise before taking the next action. Particularly in pests such as mozzies, we should be more proactive in eliminating them for the following reasons:
- Pests reproduce in a quick and larger volume manner
- They travel or spread from place to place
- Health is placed at risks, and in this case, itchy bites that may turn infectious or worse off transmitting diseases such as dengue
- The heavy infestation could mean, taking more efforts in reducing them
- A serious infestation level results in more costs and investments
- Potential regulatory implications may result
Signs of mosquitoes to look out for within your home
First key step on how to get rid of mosquitoes is to learn how to identify signs of mosquitoes.
- Do you notice more mosquitoes flying around your home lately or certain periods?
- Have you noticed the presence of larvae or pupae in the ponding or water-catchment area?
- Are you or your family complaining of more itchy bites on your body?
- What are the recent Dengue cases around your area? Is your area a dengue cluster?
- Do you notice more mosquitoes traps placed among your neighbours?
Dengue cases and clusters that is happening in Singapore
Recently, the National Environment Agency has announced over 4,000 dengues cases in Singapore as virus restrain occurs. In addition, the warmer climate meant an escalation of mosquito development. Currently, there has been active outreach around the National Dengue Prevention Campaign and penalties imposed on homes and businesses on breeding sites detected.
In addition, it reported to have inspected over 900,000 inspections by the regulatory authorities 16,000 breeding sources found. Lately, to step up control measures, Gravitraps are utilised and deployed to monitor and control mosquito population. Above all, the Wolbachia project aims to alter the mosquito reproduction process. Infected male mosquitoes with the Wolbachia will prevent their female mate from hatching their eggs.
What you need to know about mosquito control
Considered as vector-borne disease, adopting professional pest control services such as mosquito pest control is essential and critical to enhance our health and safety. However, there are many options and pest control companies in Singapore; here is what you need to know about mosquito treatment.
- The different types of mosquito services offered by pest control specialists
- How often should we do mosquito treatments?
- Why are some DIY mosquito home remedies and pest myths doesn’t work
- How much is mosquito pest control costs?
- How do we evaluate which pest control company?
- Is there any eco-green mosquito traps to place in a residential home?
Where are some areas to treat for mosquitoes?
Firstly, we need to take care of the outdoors by treating receptacle areas such as the drains and manholes for larvae, and garden and greenery areas around the treated proximity with fogging to eliminate adult mosquitoes. Strategic and targeted areas considered for trap placement. Secondly, we need to treat and control the indoors of the home as well. This includes placing indoor mosquito traps or some misting and spraying around the area. Lastly, you need to treat the balcony or patio for homes as well.
Mosquitoes preventive measures we all can adapt
It is always good to be proactive and constantly protect yourself and your family from contracting dengue fever. While mosquitoes control are in place, but with the above conditions and challenges around dealing with mosquitoes, we can learn on how to prevent mosquitoes at home. It is also helpful to understand what attracts mosquitoes. It allows you to take proactive steps to eliminate any chance or opportunities for attraction.
The peak period for Aedes Mosquitoes going through the activity of biting and sucking blood from humans is within the early part of the morning and towards dusk before dusk starts. Download your Mozzie Home Preventive Tips here.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for an integrated mosquito control programme today.