Dengue fever is a common yet life-threatening viral disease spread by the bite of the Aedes mosquito. In Singapore, more than 4,000 people have been infected by dengue this year. And the numbers are rising.
While the pandemic fear of Covid-19 still looms, we must not forget that dengue has been around for a long time and is consuming lives when left unchecked. Hence, keeping your home mosquito-free is just as important as sanitising your home and environment.
Below are ways to keep a dengue-free home.
Get Rid of Stagnant Water
To eradicate dengue, you need to prevent the Aedes mosquitos from breeding. The Aedes mosquito breeds in stagnant water. You don’t need a huge volume of stagnant water to attract these pests. This tiny insect can breed in a single droplet of water the size of a 20-cent coin!
Anything that potentially holds water is a potential breeding ground. Stagnant water can be accumulated in pails, tubs, basins, the base of your flower pots, and even in discarded trash. Pour away the water and dry them. For outdoors, you should remove any stagnant water accumulated in your flower pots after a downpour. If you have a Feng Shui water feature at home, you can rear fish in it or install a water pump to keep the water flowing.
Install Screens for Windows and Doors
Keeping dengue away is a community effort. But sometimes it is not within your control. Despite removing all the potential breeding grounds within your home, mosquitos can still appear.
But does keeping your home dengue-free mean you need to shut your windows and doors tight? That would be suffocating.
Fortunately, screens that can be installed on your windows and doors. Screens allow light and ventilation into your home while the gaps are small enough to keep those bloodsuckers at bay. Try opting for magnetic screens because they are easily detachable for cleaning.
The screens are only effective when not broken. Replace the screens if there are large holes in them.
Keep Cool with Fans and Airconditioning
Mosquitos are attracted to warmth and thrive under humidity. Keep your home cool with air conditioning or a blast of your electric fan.
Here’s another reason to keep your fan on. The air circulation can disrupt the flight of the mosquitos.
But only keep your air conditioning and fan on in rooms where you are in. Otherwise, you may find yourself poorer when the electricity bill arrives.
Apply Mosquito Repellent
If your home is within a dengue cluster, it is advisable to take precautions by applying mosquito repellent on you and your loved ones. This is an added protection from getting bitten by any mosquito. There are many types of mosquito repellents available in the market. Select the one that suits your lifestyle.
Plants and Aromatherapy as a Repellent
There are plants that mosquitos hate. Among them are citronella, lemongrass, tulsi and neem. Keep your compound mosquito-free by planting these plants around your home. But remember to check out for stagnant water at the base of your pots and planter boxes.
If growing plants within your home is not an option, you can try diffusing essential oils that originate from these plants. Essential oils such as lavender, citronella, lemongrass, orange, and lemon are among the few that repel mosquitoes.
There are a few ways to use aromatherapy as a repellent. When cleaning your home, put a few drops of essential oils into a pail of water, and mop your floor with it. You can also clean your bathroom and kitchen countertops using a diluted mixture of essential oils like lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary and cinnamon. These oils contain antibacterial properties that will keep your countertops smelling fresh and clean.
When you’re not cleaning, you can diffuse essential oils in your home using mist or reed diffusers. Essential oils from reputable brands are usually very potent. Hence, you must learn how to use them safely at all times.
If you suspect mosquitos are taking up residence at home, it’s time to whip out the can of insecticide. While spraying, target dark corners of your home where mosquitos lurk. After spraying your room, close the windows and doors to prevent the mosquitos from escaping. Then, let the vapour do its job.
Keep your young children away when you’re spraying your home. The fumes of the insecticide may be unpleasant and can cause discomfort or breathing difficulty.
Keep Your Home Dengue-Free and Stay Healthy
Good hygiene starts at home. Practice good hygiene habits to keep your family safe from diseases. Dengue fever can be deadly if not monitored. Remember to see a doctor when you are experiencing these symptoms: fever, rashes, joint aches, vomiting and bleeding gums.
Stay dengue-free. Don’t be a statistic.