With the Wuhan coronavirus currently dominating the news, we should not forget that there are other killers on the loose in Malaysia.
Mosquitoes have been labelled as the deadliest creatures in the world, having killed more humans than any other animal or insect. In 2017, mosquitoes killed about 830,000 people worldwide with the nearest competitor snakes at 60,000 deaths. Unseen and mostly silent, these efficient assassins carry life-threatening conditions like malaria and dengue.
Since they are small and hard to detect, it is hard to protect against them via the conventional spot-and-slap approach. But, killing them with your bare hands is not necessary. Here are a few tips to protect your home against these miniature invaders:
Anti-mosquito house plants
Some plants are excellent mosquito repellents. Basil, for example, is highly toxic towards mosquitoes and it releases an aroma that keeps them away. Simply place them at potential entry points such as the side of the door or over at the window.
Catnip is also a potent choice, but cat owners need to be aware that the plant contains the stimulant Nepetalactone, which will give their feline companions a temporary high. You may want to position your catnip in a cat-friendly place to avoid injuring your pet. Those interested in a low-maintenance plant may choose the Citronella, which is a common ingredient in mosquito coils.
Live in high places
Your chances of encountering mosquitoes reduce as the altitude of your home increases. This doesn’t mean that mosquitoes are not capable of flying up to your 20-storey-high home or higher at the top of the condominium. Mosquitoes are versatile insects and have been observed breeding as high as 8,000 ft in the Himalayas and as low as 2,000 ft below ground in mines.
But female mosquitoes will opt for energy-saving alternatives and would rather feed on occupants at lower levels. Besides, mosquitoes tend to stay at the ground level due to better access and choice of breeding places.
Invest in mosquito nets
Mosquito nets are common fixtures in village houses bordering the jungle, but it shouldn’t be reserved for rural areas. With the number of dengue cases cropping up in the city, prudent house owners may take the initiative by installing nets around their beds. You could take it a little further by adding curtains dividing the bedrooms and narrow hallways for extra protection.
Bolster your windows
Wire meshes on the window function the same way as mosquito nets, but they serve a greater purpose by keeping these interloping insects out of the house entirely. The function of the mosquito net is usually confined to the bedroom, while occupants in the kitchen or living room remain unprotected.
For easy attachment, install iron grills on the window and drape them with wire mesh, then use a powerful adhesive or apply magnets to keep them in place. You may opt to include a double-sided door stopper at the main door to protect against mosquitoes opting to slink in from the bottom gap.
Having a mosquito trap goes a long way towards reducing the population of these bloodsuckers in your home. Depending on the product, they may emit carbon dioxide and warm UV light, which draws in the mosquitoes. A silent vacuum is then engaged to suck the mosquitos into a chamber where they dehydrate and die. Unlike mosquito coils and spray-repellents, these traps are pesticide-free and odourless.
Inspect your backyard
The standard mosquito prevention measure is always to eliminate their breeding grounds. Flower pots and containers not in immediate use should be turned upside down to avoid water catchment. If you have a pond in your garden or backyard, it may not be so easily drained of water, so rear fishes to eat up those mosquito larvae.