Sun’s out, fun’s out. And so are swarms of mosquitoes. But it’s not really hard to find ways to mosquito-proof your home.
In tropical countries like ours, it is a known fact that mosquitoes carry some of the world’s deadliest diseases: dengue fever, yellow fever, malaria, chikungunya, and encephalitis.
The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) recorded 15,599 dengue cases nationwide from January 1 to February 24 of 2018. Though that sounds like a large number, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque, speaking on Radyo Inquirer, the country has actually seen a decline in cases of dengue by about 32.56 percent.
According to the DOH, preventive measures are still the best way to safeguard you and your loved ones from dengue. Aside from fumigating and applying mosquito repellant, you can keep the deadly insects away by following these simple tricks. The best part? None of these tricks involve harmful chemicals—everything can be done easily and naturally.
1. Mosquito-proof your windows.
Keeping your home completely shut off to outside elements is impossible. Instead, install screens on your windows and doors and breathe freely.
Screens on the entryways to your home allow air in while keeping mosquitoes and other insects out. Remember, dawn, dusk and early evenings are the peak hours when female mosquitoes seek to feed.
2. Stay cool and avoid the heat.
High temperatures attract mosquitoes as they find their prey through the heat they emanate.
According to ASK Smithsonian, mosquitoes locate their target “by smelling the lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia and other substances expelled via their sweat, and are also attracted to people with higher body temperatures.”
Mind your body temperature to avoid getting detected. A simple electric fan or air-conditioning unit is a literally cool way to mosquito-proof your home.
3. Mind what you wear.
Cover up with long sleeves, pants, and socks. Avoid dark colors and opt for bright-colored clothing instead.
Wearing dark hues and the colors blue and red make you an instant target. You should also avoid perfume, especially floral scents as these are also attractive to mosquitos.
4. Be aware of your body composition.
Ever wonder why some people are more prone to mosquito bites? A group of Japanese researchers found out that mosquitoes landed twice as often on people with Type O blood.
Meanwhile, an excessive amount of uric acid and other substances naturally produced by a person is also attractive to mosquitoes. Female mosquitoes harvest protein from human blood to develop fertile eggs. Therefore, it is understandable why they pick a more qualified target.
5. Invest in a bug zapper.
Place your bug zapper in a mosquito-prone area of the house. The mosquito will be attracted to the light and will get electrocuted once it hits the electrical wire mesh.
6. Regularly inspect for breeding grounds.
Declutter your patios and unclog roof gutters, as mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Don’t forget to drain pots, basins and pails of excess water.
7. Diffuse the scents mosquito despise.
Citronella scent is a common repellant and it comes conveniently in candle form which you can easily light up.
Also, the odor of garlic is also unpleasant for the pesky insects. Pound a few cloves and put in water to spray around the house.
For a scent that repels mosquitos without repelling people as well, try camphor. This is another effective repellant, comes in rub on ointments and and oils which can be used directly on your skin.
8. Call on your garden help in your battle.
You can naturally prevent mosquitoes from invading your home by planting certain greens.
They don’t only make your yard aesthetically pleasing; some plants also have properties that can ward off pesky insects. These are marigolds, mint, basil, lemongrass, geranium, rosemary, lavender. Strategically place them near windows, doors, patio, and balcony.
Sources: Top Best.ph, Rappler, Real Living, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, WebMD