Mosquitoes in Singapore is a favorite conversation among friends and commonly searched information on the internet. Besides receiving regular news and updates on how dengue cases in Singapore are rising, there has been much content around tips and recommendations in getting rid of mosquitoes such as the National Environment Agency initiative in the Mozzie Wipeout Campaign. Rentokil has written contents around useful and essential facts of mosquito prevention, and shares the top ten blog trending articles on the mosquito species.
Mosquitoes are among top hated pests in homes
Besides the common household residential pests of cockroaches, ants and even lizards, mosquitoes also top the list in most hated pests in homes. Apart from their annoying buzzing noises as they hover around us, mosquitoes cause itchy and swelling mosquito bites (particularly when we are outdoors in the garden or park), and potential transmission of diseases including dengue fever. In addition, what made them the most unwelcome houseguest is their resistance to chemicals, efficient reproduction capabilities and ability to track and locate us with their receptors. With the high volume of mosquito breeding sites found in Singapore, it requires good and integrated efforts between pest control companies and residential individuals to keep mosquito infestation at bay.
Common home mistakes that invite mosquitoes
Most of the time, it is because of poor housekeeping and inadequate home habits that result in pest infestation. Firstly, it can be as simple as clearing up food debris and crumbs after meal consumption or wiping off spills and water drips on the floor or tabletops. Secondly, we tend to leave spring cleaning to the last minute and typically once a year and allow clutters to pile up for pests to hide throughout the year. Thirdly, overlooking in plant watering can invite mosquitoes, where the hardened soil becomes either a receptacle or excess water is collected in the potted trays, drains and floor. Fourthly, we could neglect the simple act of overturning pails and containers in the garden and balcony that results in standing water collected after a wet weather.
In summary, pest management starts with correcting poor home habits that attracts pests such as mosquitoes to our home.
How effective is repelling mosquitoes with lemongrass
It is said and believed to clad yourself adequately with citronella and lemongrass to keep mosquitoes away, usually in the form of repellant spray, patches, candles and diffusing essential oil. How effective is using these natural ingredients to keep pests away? Is this a reliable mosquito control? As mosquitoes rely on their sense of smell to locate hosts and targets, these strong scents tend to block their smell ability. However, these masking techniques are temporary measures and unable to control situations where there is a heavy mosquito infestation and lack of ability to control mosquito population effectively. This is because repelling measures do not eliminate larvae and adult mosquitos, covering their life cycle but transferring their location to another site.
Key reasons why mosquitoes bite humans
Mosquitoes need blood meals to keep surviving and reproducing and the way to obtain their food source is by biting us in order to suck blood from us. One way to protect yourself from pest bites is to ensure you are well covered with longer sleeves and pants outdoors. Besides preventing your skin exposed among mosquitoes, you can constantly keep your body temperature cool and wipe off perspire and sweat resulting from those outdoor activities. Rentokil Initial recommends the placement of mosquito trap that contain active ingredients to attract and lure mosquitoes, while stopping their ability to develop further and prevent the spread of diseases to other mosquitoes and individuals.
What made us attractive to mosquitoes?
Why do individuals tend to get more mosquito bites while some manage to escape from the annoying mosquito bites? It is definitely not a coincidence and there are some science and facts relating to reasons in selecting you as their blood meal host.
Firstly, the choice of clothes’ colour matters where mosquitoes favor dark tones including black and blue and find it easier to locate their hosts. Secondly, they are attracted to carbon dioxide and able to detect us through our exhale as far as thirty meters. This also explains why you often find mosquitoes at green and shady areas or places with high vegetation. Thirdly, sweat produces lactic and uric acid which are another source of attractants among mosquitoes, and hence you will find especially more mozzies hovering around you during your sports and outdoor activities in the morning.
Finally, it is believed that some microbes or bacteria found on our skin and pores do attract mosquitoes and it does affect the body scent that appeals to some group of mosquitoes. Hence, keep your personal hygiene level up, and avoid attracting mosquitoes with an unhygienic skin condition.
**Read also: Did you know there are as many as seven types of pest bites?**
<<PENDING URL TO 22 MAR PEST BITES ARTICLE>>
Essential facts to know about mosquito pest control
Pest control solutions are never quite easy to understand especially if we are not trained professionally. Pest control requires the technical knowledge of pest facts and their habitats and the various solutions and application methods for different pest species. In this article, Rentokil shares what you need to know about mosquito pest control including the following factors:
- Mosquitoes are not just outdoor driven pests as they can travel and enter into homes for their food source
- Mosquito prevention requires integrated approach by eliminating breeding source, maintain sound housekeeping and engage consistent mosquito control programme
- Treatments include indoor and outdoor mosquito trap, larviciding (to eliminate larvae) and regular site inspection and monitoring.
- Mosquito breeding prevention includes removing receptacles that can collect water including pails, containers, water tanks, potted trays and refreshing water of the ponds, vases and water feature.
- Aware of dengue symptoms including fever, headaches, muscle aches or joint pains, skin rash and sore or painful eyes
- Three pain mosquito species you need to be aware includes the Aedes Mosquitoes, Anopheles and Culex Mosquitoes
- Look out for signs of mosquito infestation such as the physical flying mosquitoes around your home, presence of breeding or larvae, having bites on your body and the buzzing sounds from the mosquitoes.
Ten interesting facts of mosquitoes you need to know
How much do we know about this buzzing pest enemy – mosquitoes? Besides the fact they bite us causing itchy, red and raised bumps, and their dengue transmission, mosquitoes have a lot more capabilities and strengths that make mosquito elimination difficult. Here are some facts you need to know about mosquitoes:
- Mosquitoes locate and keep track of hosts using their receptors where it picks up familiar scents including carbon dioxide, lactic and uric acid. This trail allows them to follow our whereabouts and this also reasons why people use pungent scents to derail their detection.
- They are active most of the time, however for the Aedes Mosquito species, they are active in the morning and daytime and hence, exposing ourselves to their attack more than other nocturnal pests.
- Only female mosquitoes bite humans for blood meals by using their proboscis to pierce into our skin, while transmitting the dengue or zika virus at the same time.
- Mosquitoes are light compared to houseflies and do not like the wind as their body weight could not manage the wind. Hence, it may help to keep your home cool with a fan, one way to lower the heat temperature and another reason is to repel them away.
- Mozzies have an efficient sense of navigation where they rely on three senses to locate targets. This includes an incredible vision capability that views multiple directions, good sense of smell by locating and tracking humans even at a far distance and detecting body warmth and heat coming from humans.
Dengue cases in Singapore: What is Denv-3?
Where there is good knowledge about symptoms of dengue and causes of dengue cases in Singapore, there is a lot more information around dengue that we may not be fully aware of. For example, there are four serotypes of dengue where the common transmission is Denv-1 and Denv-2 while Denv-3 has been a dominant trend in Singapore in recent months, where individuals have low immunity to the virus. In addition, there are over 400 dengue clusters around Singapore, and you could be potentially residing in a hot spot. Find out more on the locations that are labeled as red, yellow and green alert level on the National Environment Agency (NEA) dengue alert updates.
It is important to take proactive preventive measures against mosquitoes’ attack, as there is no medical treatment for dengue, besides taking more rest and stay well hydrated. While there are some vaccines, it is not an immunisation applicable for everyone and hence not all will benefit from the vaccine.
Difference between mosquitoes and midges
At some point of the year, you will notice more presence of flying insects hovering around your home, car and common walking spaces such as walkways and corridors. For some retail shops along residential homes, you will also see tiny insects sticking onto the glass panels and window screens. These are midges and they are not the same as mosquitoes as they belong to chironomids, and do not bite and suck blood off humans (unless it is the sand fly species). While they also require water and moisture for survival and breeding purposes in similar life cycle stages, you will see them sticking onto screens or panels more, where there is presence of light that they are attracted to. This includes car beams, lamppost, lightings and neon-lit signage or billboards.
Slightly different from the mosquitoes is their preference for cooler cool climates, and hence we typically observe more population during the cooler period in Singapore, such as the monsoon season.
Nine questions to ask about mosquito bites
We can associate mosquito bites as itchy, tiny bumps on our skin, and they can turn into an infection due to excessive scratching. There are more facts on mosquito bites that are shared in the article “Nine essential facts we should know about mosquito bites”.
Firstly, they are itchy because mosquitoes release an anti-clotting compound into our blood from their saliva that causes a response and reaction to the blood sucking process. Secondly, we will not notice the biting action because there is an anesthetic effect that makes the process painless while they take off with their lightning speed movements. Thirdly, some individuals are more attractive to mosquito bites risks where they have a warmer body temperature, are sweaty, emit lactic acid or visibly more attractive to mosquitoes with dark coloured apparels. Fourthly, mosquitoes can travel well and far, between 50 meters to 50 kilometers, and hence, even if your home premise is free from mosquitoes, it may not be 100% safe mosquitoes’-free due to cross infestation.
Finally, mosquitoes can survive in harsh conditions by going without food source for as long as four months. Hence, they are still physically present around but in their hibernation mode.
Get rid of mosquitoes with Rentokil Pest Control
There are many ways you can get rid of mosquitoes from prevention, exclusion, elimination and monitoring.
Eliminate breeding opportunities in our environment
One way to prevent mosquitoes from the opportunities to breed and develop further is to deny their access and platform that is the breeding sites. Remove any receptacles including unused or discarded pails, containers, junks and pay attention to potted plants, vases with collected water and drains and gully. Also, wipe dry of surfaces including the garden, patio and balcony and any spaces internally to prevent mosquito breeding. They are capable of breeding with a water puddle size as small as twenty cents coin. Always upkeep the housekeeping and sanitation standard to avoid chances of standing water collected at all times.
Exclusion and elimination of mosquitoes’ population
Mosquito elimination is essential and it can be done in two ways. First is to prevent them from the chance to feed on your blood source for their reproduction, by adhering to the list of mosquito prevention tips. Second way is to engage in proper pest control where pest control specialists will turn up at scheduled intervals and frequencies to perform pest treatment. This includes the fogging to eliminate adult mosquitoes, larviciding to remove larvae and breeding source and finally placement of mosquitoes’ traps that target both adult mosquitoes and the larvae in a wide-spread of active ingredient manner.
The frequency and number of treatments are dependent on factors including the severity of the infestation, high risk environment for instance within the dengue cluster hotspot, the nature of the customer for example residential home versus commercial premises and surrounding environment and condition. Spaces with high vegetation or high-risk activities including construction works would require intensive treatments. Finally, mosquito control is required on a regular and ongoing basis in order to cover their life cycle and incubation period.
Regular detection and monitoring for mosquito infestation
Because mosquitoes travel and relocate for food source and shelter, a once safe premise is not guaranteed. Pest recurrence takes place for many reasons such as situational, environmental conditions, sanitation standards or lifestyle habits. As such, ongoing detection for mosquito signs and remaining vigilant against any breeding sites is necessary and to be done every alternate day instead of weekly as mosquito life cycle can be shorter depending on the warm climate conditions. Proactive detection also can minimise the consequences and impact by addressing an infestation at its early stages, and hence may result in lesser or more manageable recovery programmes.
Frequently asked questions on mosquitoes’ control
When do we need to call for a mosquito control specialist?
Not just for mosquitoes, generally for all pest management efforts, we encourage taking a proactive effort to engage a mosquito control specialist for protection and maintenance purposes. No doubt if the premise is not infested, however it helps to prevent the possible start of a mosquito problem. If a premise has an infestation, especially for pests that transmit diseases, you should not procrastinate getting professional help but resorting to DIY or self-help remedies that compromise on efficacy and safety.
What does mosquito treatment include in a package?
Mosquito treatments are usually integrated covering mosquitoes at all life stages and cycles, including the larvae and adult mosquitoes. Typically, it includes the following to ensure it is an integrated pest management approach.
- Prior inspection and survey of the environment for pest identification, risk assessment and scope of work recommendation
- Pre-treatment preparation checklist such as ventilation and sealing up of items
- Carrying out the treatments including fogging, larviciding and traps deployment
- Post-treatment preparation checklist to ensure safety is met after a treatment
- Monitoring and inspection for sudden surge in mosquito population
- Reporting and recommendations including housekeeping and proofing
What is the difference between Aedes, Anopheles and Culex Mosquitoes?
There are three common types of mosquito species as follows:
- Aedes mosquitoes: They are active in the daytime and can cause dreadful disease like the dengue and zika. They typically breed in clear and standing water and are uniquely recognised with their white markings on their thorax.
- Anopheles mosquitoes: They are carriers of malaria disease and prefer clean and unpolluted breeding sites. These species are active in the nighttime as well and has pale and dark marks on their wings.
- Culex mosquitoes: Main vector cause for Encephalitis, Culex mosquitoes breed in polluted water environments including drains. They have a blunt tip at their abdomen and are active in both daytime and nighttime.
While they are similar to some extent, they take around six to ten days for eggs to hatch into the adult stage and are harmful to our wellbeing.
Will I have dengue fever once bitten by mosquitoes?
You will only be contracted with dengue fever if an infected female Aedes mosquito bites you, where they transmit the virus to you during their biting and blood sucking process. Female species require protein from our blood source to carry through their development of eggs. Male species on the other hand do not feed on blood, instead they go for juices and nectar and do not bite for blood meal.
Where should I check for mosquito breeding?
Any conditions that have the capacity to collect and trap water can be a mosquito breeding risk. There are potential breeding sources including:
- Ventilation holes and roof gutters
- Drains, gully and sewers
- Discarded items and receptacles
- Flower vases and potted plants
- Along gaps and crevices
- Unwanted septic tanks and tires
- Floor and grease traps
- Concrete floors with puddles
- Air-conditioning drip trays
What is a dengue cluster? How do I know if my home is a hot spot?
Dengue cluster is a location or area where there are two or more dengue cases, and are active within fourteen days and a distance proximity of 150 meters. Dengue clusters are also classified based on their severity in the volume of dengue cases where a big red alert represents 10 cases or more, while yellow indicates 10 cases or less and green alerts with no new cases over the next 21 days of monitoring. You may visit the dengue cluster updates on NEA website where daily tracking of number and location of dengue cases are reported.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for pest control services today.