With the global attention directed towards battling the COVID-19 pandemic, other infections and equally life-threatening diseases like dengue caused by mosquitoes is easily marginalised. As Singapore wades through the dengue peak season, it is more necessary to take immediate measures to prevent mosquito bites. The first step of which is by understanding mosquito behaviour and working with a mosquito control company to suppress the Aedes aegypti population.
Why Are There Many Mosquitoes in Your House?
Being a tropical country with a warm and humid climate, Singapore is a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes, where they are active throughout the year. The warmer months, which typically run from May to September, are generally when mosquitoes abound.
Contrary to general belief, the Aedes aegypti, the primary species that transmits dengue, do not exclusively bite at night. They are actually daytime feeders and their peak biting periods are early in the morning and in the evening, before dusk.
Here are more reasons why there are more mosquitoes around the home:
- Mosquito breeding not eliminated or presence of mosquito infestation
- Cross infestation from surrounding locations or neighbours
- Items and conditions that attract mosquitoes – plants, warmer climate
- Lack of mosquito control – traps, screens, fogging, larviciding
- Pest entries via open balcony, windows, courtyard
When makes you attractive to mosquitoes?
There are other specific periods and situations when mosquitoes are more aggressive:
- During the rainy season
- At night time
- When potential breeding environments are present in your home
- Dirty and cluttered houses attracts more mosquitoes to hide in your place
These go to show that we are in a constant battle against mosquitoes. It is crucial that we work diligently to keep mosquito populations in check at all times and the first step to do so is by implementing the appropriate mosquito control measures. Here is what attract mosquitoes the most:
- Breath: Mosquitoes can detect the carbon dioxide you breathe out, even from 50m away.
- Sweat: The lactic acid in your sweat can also be a mosquito-magnet, particularly after an exercise.
- Body Heat: Mosquitoes use your body heat and warmth to determine where blood is closest to your skin surface.
- Clothes: The dark-coloured clothes you wear can also make you attractive to mosquitoes.
- Perfume: In a feature, Dr Chan Hiang Hao, our medical entomologist at Rentokil Singapore, said that certain floral perfumes are known to also attract mosquitoes.
- Items like Limburger cheese and dirty socks are notorious for being mosquito-magnets. Read more on interesting reasons why we attract mosquitoes.
Common misconceptions about mosquitoes
There are myths and misconceptions about mosquitoes that causes an infestation in our home. Firstly, we may think by placing window screens and protector will do the job in deterring external flying mozzies from coming in. Secondly, most would just shut ourselves from mosquitos by closing windows and door panels the entire day. Thirdly, the avoidance of going to outdoors or grassy areas, and worse of all, limiting outdoor activities such as exercises. Fourthly, majority are familiar and comfortable with using of repellents and patches to keep mosquitoes away. Finally, there is an understanding and assumption that our mosquito population is controlled if our neighbours fogging done at their side. Above all, some will place an indoor mosquito in effort to protect themselves from mosquitoes’ invasion.
These factors summarised the misconception that mosquitoes can be controlled as long as we apply any of the above options. However, given that mosquitoes can come and breed anywhere, including right inside your home, it is crucial that you take a comprehensive pest control measure that targets mosquitoes in their every life stage and address any potential sources of infestation. What’s more, while repellents may help, they can do so little in addressing the root problem.
Mosquito control treatments are treated lightly
A handful of flying mosquitoes may seem like a trivial matter. Some would treat it lightly, with the idea that these pests comes and goes. However, they are not aware that mosquitoes can track our presence with their sensitive antennae to locate carbon dioxide around you. Many have widely-used DIY off shelve insecticide sprays to resolve any pest issues and the same applies for mosquitoes. Unfortunately, pest myths around natural ingredients such as citronella and lemongrass is still a favourite option for mosquito elimination. There are groups only focus on eliminating mosquito breeding source and their larvae rather than considering eliminating a mosquito life cycle.
Mosquito Prevention: How to Repel & Get Rid of Mosquitoes
As with most pests, mosquito control starts with prevention. Below are some ways to protect yourself and your household from mosquitoes.
Drain any standing water in your home
Mosquitoes can breed in at least 2 weeks and in the littlest amount of water, they can find in flowerpots, old tyres, rain gutters, and anything that can hold unnecessary water around your home. Therefore, remove any breeding opportunity by regularly draining the water collected in these items.
Keep mosquitoes outside
Install screens on your windows to reduce the entry points of mosquitoes into your home. You can also use mosquito nets to hang over your bed or your baby’s crib to protect your family against the pest when sleeping.
The most effective mosquito repellents contain DEET, PMD, picaridin, or IR3535 insecticide. You can also use natural mosquito repellent alternatives such as lemongrass. However, it is necessary to highlight that this can only provide limited protection against mosquitoes.
Use traps and sprays
Mosquito traps can include anything from bug zappers to innovations such as the In2care Mosquito Trap from Rentokil Singapore, a device that targets two life stages of the mosquito. There is also a wide range of insecticide sprays available in the market, but unless used properly, they are at risk of causing health problems in your household.
Make yourself & your home less attractive to mosquitoes
Wear light-coloured clothing, stay indoors during prime mosquito feeding times, and take the necessary precautions to make yourself less appealing to mosquitoes. Lastly, make sure to clean your home regularly, removing any unwanted items where mosquitoes can hide.
Call for professional mosquito control
In most cases, effectively controlling mosquitoes in your home means calling the help of professionals. They will perform a proper site survey of the environment, identify key risk areas, and conduct a comprehensive and integrated mosquito control solution. This includes, water-based fogging to eliminate adult mosquitoes, larviciding at mosquito breeding sites to remove larvae and placing of mosquito traps at strategic spots to trap additional passing-by mosquitoes.
Awareness & Protection from Dengue
Dengue cases are active the whole year round, regardless when is mosquitoes most active. There has been rising incidents of individual contracting the dengue fever, due to various challenges:
- Wet and rainy weather allows receptacles to surface
- Mosquitoes’ resistance and immunity to chemicals over time.
- The DENV-3 dengue serotypes that dominates in recent months
- Warm climates that allow Aedes mosquitoes to thrive better
- Dense population and global warming – influence a higher transmission rate
There has been many dengue control initiatives happening in Singapore, such as the mozzie wipe out programme, Wolbachia Project that involves allowing and infected male Aedes mosquitos with Wolbachia bacterium to mate. This prevents the eggs from hatching and going through the life cycle process. There is also a dengue vaccine for individuals who has previously contracted dengue and hence, not everyone can be vaccinated against the disease.
However, is there adequate awareness and protection around Dengue? Are we subjecting ourselves from getting Dengue fever through mosquito bites? More importantly, do we have proper mosquito control solution in place to protect our employees and family?
Mosquito Control Measures by Rentokil
As a pest control company in Singapore, Rentokil provides protection against mosquitoes. We offer regular, water-based fogging services and smart control methods. This includes our In2Care Mosquito Trap to keep mosquito populations under control.
- Water-Based Fogging – eradicates flying adults in a wider area
- Larviciding – targets mosquito breeding sites and eliminates larvae and pupae
- In2Care Traps – lures adult mosquitoes to lay eggs in the traps, which will eventually spreads to other sites and infects the breeding stagnant water.
Integrating these methods is essential to achieve satisfactory results in mosquito control. Otherwise, using just one option over the other can present a challenge in disrupting the life cycle of mosquitoes.
For instance, fogging will only kill adult mosquitoes but not the larvae that could be in the stagnant waters in your property. The same would go for larviciding alone. This would not address the adult mosquitoes that would continue to lay eggs in the environment.
In summary, effective mosquito control should involve eradicating mosquitoes in their every life stage and your continuous control efforts to make your home as less attractive as possible to pests.
Get in touch with us today to learn more. Visit our website or contact us at 6347 8138 today.