Mosquitoes seem to be part of our everyday life, regardless when we are at work, home or leisure. They can invade our activities both indoors and outdoors and somehow, we are unable to get rid of mosquitoes permanently. There are mosquito traps, repellents, patches and even mosquito treatments conducted, however mosquitoes in Singapore still remain one of the top concerns in terms of pest management. Rentokil shares five reasons why we all dislike mosquitoes and what can we do to protect ourselves from the deadly disease it causes, which is dengue fever.
Mosquitoes leave itchy and ugly bites
Picture scenes where you are out for an exercise or having a delightful meal by the garden and started experiencing mosquito bites? Not only are they unsightly with the raised bumps, but they tend to itch and individuals with low threshold for itch, these mosquito bites may end up as a skin infection.
The reason why mosquitoes (females only) bite, is to obtain protein and nutrients from our blood source for their reproduction purpose. They use their proboscis to pierce into our skin as they draw our blood while injecting an analgesic component from their saliva. This is why we tend not to feel anything until we notice visible bites on arms, legs and neck. However, it is important to note that different pests result in different bite outcomes, for instance bed bug bites do not resemble those of the mosquitoes, and for fire ants, their bites can be really painful and stinging. It is important to identify the pest types and not to treat pest bites lightly, as in severe case, it may cause allergies and infection.
They have excellent tracking skills
Mosquitoes have the ability to track and follow our whereabouts because of their receptors function. This means, they can target and track their host even from a far distance, and it is able to pick up carbon dioxide from plants or from our exhalation. Hence, you may notice that “shooing” them away or moving out of the initial location does not seem to work and mosquitoes will come flocking back around you in no time. Thus, some individuals would use scent to musk the detection, by applying insect repellent or mosquito patches with citronella components. While natural pest remedies may work to some extent in terms of repelling, such mosquito prevention efforts can be ineffective if the environment has a heavy mosquito infestation or bears a higher risk factor. This includes, environment locating at a dengue cluster zone, high vegetation nature or influx of mosquito breeding sites.
Chemicals and insecticide do not seem to work
Pest efficacy is one frustration faced by many, where intense efforts to eliminate pest infestation but seems unsuccessful. Mosquitoes unfortunately have strong resistance and immunity to chemicals, and particularly mutated in their strengths as they developed. There are factors that affect efficacy such as weather condition, environment, urbanisation, community lifestyle habits and presence of receptacles. There are over 30,000 dengue cases in Singapore, and more breeding sites among residential areas that increases the adult mosquito population. Any possible receptacles can trigger a breeding opportunity, as mosquitoes require a tiny bit of stagnant and standing water to reproduce. Hence, it is important to ensure you include mosquito breeding prevention in our daily housekeeping regime, by paying more notice to hot spots, including potted plants and vases, unused pails and containers and outdoor balconies with drains and gully.
Mosquitoes are not just outdoor pest problem
Unfortunately, we are not able to keep these mosquitoes out of our home, as they are not just lurking in the outside, but inside. Firstly, they can fly through easily from the windows, doors, balcony, patio and garden if we leave them open. Especially for homes that prefer natural air and keeping them open, or working professionals working from home as the new norm. Secondly, some premises come with internal ventilators and exhaust systems with openings that allow mosquitoes to enter easily. Thirdly, for homes with poor housekeeping and presence of mosquito breeding, they can develop into an adult mosquito in a week or more and thus, invading your indoors easily.
Above all, you should engage a mosquito control specialist to ensure your home and family is well protected both indoors and outdoors with integrated mosquito control. This includes placing indoor and outdoor mosquitoes, to eliminate both larvae and mosquito breeding, covering entire mosquito life stages.
They do not respond well to natural remedies
There are many natural remedies in dealing with mosquitoes. These include the use of smell masking such as citronella, lemongrass, coffee, vinegar, cinnamon, garlic, basil to name a few. In fact, these natural remedies are often used on other pests’ deterrent attempts including ants, cockroaches and rats. These scents confuse pest’s direction and navigation, by disrupting their chemical signature (or pheromones). Thus, this results in them relocating to other sites temporarily. For some, they will chase mosquitoes away with fan and wind, given their light body weight, they are unable to deal with strong wind well. However, these are short term and temporary measures and not sustainable with using a fan the whole day. More essentially, they can track and navigate well with their senses. This means the mosquitoes will return very shortly to locate their host for their blood meal.
What do we do if our homes are in the dengue cluster?
There are as many as 400 dengue clusters in Singapore, and more likely, we are residing in a high-risk environment. Here are some useful tips you can take to protect yourself and your family:
- Check your home to ensure adequate proofing including installing insect screens and protectors
- Fill gaps and crevices and mend any opening or holes that mosquitoes can enter
- Make sure you do not leave any potential receptacles around the environment
- Perform diligent housekeeping and keep place dry from water, spills and moisture
- Inspect your home and surrounding for any mosquito breeding sources
- Protect your exposed skin with long sleeves and pants when you are outside
- Use a mosquito insect repellent or patch to deter mosquitoes away
- Always keep your body temperature and home cool as mosquitoes seek warmth
- Use lighter shades of colour (instead of dark tones) in your clothes or furnishing
- Install both indoor and outdoor mosquitoes’ traps to lure and trap mosquitoes and larvae
- Be more conscious with the dengue fever symptoms and seek early medical attention
- Engage professional pest control company to perform mosquito fogging and larviciding
- Remain vigilant with the happenings of dengue cases on regulatory websites
What do we need to know about mosquito pest control?
Mosquito treatments have to be carried out consistently
Mosquito infestation is not a one-off problem where a localised single treatment can resolve the problem for a lifetime. It has to be ongoing and continuous basis, to address recurring pest infestation because of factors comprising the following:
- Cross infestation outcomes where mosquitoes can travel from surrounding sites
- Poor housekeeping and inadequate mosquito breeding elimination
- Epidemic arises from your residential location such as dengue cluster
- Environment and weather conditions including rain and hot climate
- Faster development of mosquitoes that increases the population
- Activities impacting mosquito population such as nearby constructions
- Home designs and urbanisation for instance garden and plants
Hence, with such ongoing activities and conditions, there should not be any lapse in terms of mosquito control. In addition, it is dependent on the community and collective effort to keep mosquitoes’ problem at bay. While you may reduce the population in your vicinity, you may not guarantee a pest-free environment permanently.
Pest control solutions should cover all life stages of mosquitoes
It does not work by either focusing on any one of the life stages of mosquitoes. This is because it gives opportunity for infestation to escalate and spread. Firstly, we need to treat larvae and breeding to prevent them from developing into an adult mosquito biting off individuals for food source. Secondly, it’s necessary to eliminate adult mosquitoes since they become more deadly. At this stage, they start seeking hosts for blood and start laying eggs to reproduce. Both stages have to be controlled to prevent opportunities for an increased population. This is regardless which mosquito species we are dealing with, be it the Aedes or Culex Mosquitoes. When you seek your pest control query, request for an integrated mosquito control programme. These include offering regular detection, inspection and monitoring support.
Mosquito control will not work with inadequate housekeeping
It is not just the responsibility of the pest control specialist in resolving your pest problem but a collaborative effort. It is a recurring vicious cycle of eliminating and re-infestation if either party lapses in the prevention efforts. This means, keeping the environment free from breeding, clearing any stagnant water, proactively checking for larvae at hot spots and adopting diligent planting and landscaping regime. This is applicable to all pest management where basic survival to keep pests going are available, including food, water and shelter. Tips: Start to be more vigilant in presence of water drips and spills, cultivate better planting habits (avoid under or over watering) and placement of items that allow water collection.
Cost of mosquito treatment varies on few factors
The price of doing mosquito services vary from homes to homes, depending on the following considerations in the package you taken up:
- Type of services rendered: Options include fogging, larviciding, indoor and outdoor mosquito traps
- Service frequency and number of treatments: Frequencies can vary from weekly, fortnightly and monthly depending on the infestation condition
- Severity of the pest population: Epidemics of dengue cluster area may require more insensitive treatments
- Size of the premise covered: Size of treated compound is different, for example treating a residential landed home, an apartment unit or an industrial complex
- Quality and type of active ingredient: There are many options available that affect efficacy, control level, safety and responsiveness.
- Additional services and support: Credible pest control companies offer additional support such as monitoring, reporting and professional recommendations.
Useful information and articles on mosquito control
There is vast information and contents pertaining to controlling mosquitoes given its importance and severity of dengue in Singapore. Rentokil summarises a list of useful links and information to retrieve for your reference.
- Different types of diseases spread by mosquitoes
- All you need to know about dengue fever in Singapore
- What makes us attractive to mosquitoes?
- What is Zika and what do we need to know about this disease?
- Essential facts of mosquito we are now aware
- What is Denv-3? Find out more on the new dengue strain
- Find out the difference between mosquitoes and midges
- When are mosquitoes most active in the day?
- Nine critical questions to ask about mosquito bites
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for pest control services today.