Alternative ways to dengue-proof your home
The rising number of dengue cases in the Philippines has become alarming, particularly over the past several weeks.
As the Philippines is reported to have the “highest incidence and death rate” from this mosquito-borne disease, the government has been constantly reminding us of traditional methods to keep mosquitoes away from our homes. No one can tell where and when a mosquito will strike, so it’s best to always be prepared.
Apart from those methods we usually hear from the government and medical institutions, there are other unique but effective ways we can keep our homes mosquito-free. Here are some of those measures.
Grow an herb garden
Citronella is a plant famous for its anti-mosquito properties. But do you know that more common herbs in the house can also repel mosquitoes?
Herbs such as garlic, lemongrass, basil, peppermint, onions and rosemary detract the disease-carrying pests as well. If you love cooking with fresh ingredients, you might as well hit two birds with one stone by growing herbs in your home. These plants can even flourish in small pots by your window if you don’t have a patch of land to cultivate.
Alternatively, you can burn these herbs during an outdoor barbecue to welcome only your human neighbors and not the pesky winged ones.
Create your own anti-mosquito device
Did you know that mosquitoes hate oranges?
Oranges, along with other citrus fruits, contain d-limonene, an organic compound known to emit a strong odor that many insects hate. This element can be found in citrus peels. If you would like to go the natural way in repelling mosquitoes, you can put orange peels inside an empty, anti-mosquito plug-in device and switch it on.
Alternatively, you can soak the orange peels in a white vinegar solution for two weeks and use the mixture as a spray repellent around the house. If you’d rather stick with the orange scent alone, try burning citrus essential oils.
Maintain a fish pond
It’s a known fact that mosquitoes hatch their larvae on still water. If you love the soothing sound of tricking water, however, it would be best to invest in an active pond.
By active, we mean that your pond should have swimming pets such as goldfish and guppies. These aquatic animals are not only fun to keep as pets, they also gobble up the mosquito larvae and prevent their spread. You can also install a pump to turn your pond into a fountain pool or even a mini-waterfall. As long as the pump is small enough, it can co-exist with your fish in the water and prevent larvae from being hatched.
Turn on the fans
The electric fan is perhaps the first thing every Filipino turns to whenever he or she sees a mosquito in the air.
Not only does the mechanical wind blow away mosquitoes, it also keeps us cool. Dan Rojas of the Youtube Channel Greenpowerscience, however, reveals that electric fans can even be used to catch and kill the mosquitoes. Working with a box-type electric fan, place an aluminum screen over the fan’s front and secure it with zip ties. You’ll be surprised that mosquitoes are naturally attracted to the fan’s blades and get themselves stuck on the screen.
To finish them off, you can spray them with alcohol or let them die a natural death on the screens.
Befriend other animals
While mosquitoes might be your worst enemy at home, you’re not the only one looking to get rid of it. Other animals, such as birds, frogs and dragonflies, hunt mosquitoes for food. And while it isn’t really practical to keep a mosquito-eating bat as a pet, you might find it helpful to keep ducks or invite swallows to your yard. These birds eat both fully-grown mosquitoes and developing larvae in still water.
Spiders and lizards also keep mosquitoes at bay, so you should give a second thought at swatting that small creepy-crawly that hides behind your fridge. While these insects look scary at first sight, they’re your partners in your war against those disease-carrying pests.
Decorate with candles
If you hate bug sprays and can’t take care of plants, why don’t you try defensive decorating?
Many candles, incense sticks and aroma diffusers are quite effective in keeping the mosquitoes at bay. Products which are infused with citronella, lavender, peppermint and orange repel insects and make your home fragrant to humans.
You can place these ornamental repellants outside your home as well. Just make sure to extinguish candles before you leave them. You wouldn’t want a fire to replace your mosquito troubles.
Fix your drains
While many of us cover water drums and pails with lids to prevent mosquitoes from hatching at home, what can we do about the wet pools that gather in our yards?
If you have a drainage that doesn’t flow properly, have it fixed or create a new canal. This not only prevents mosquitoes from multiplying, it also prevents floods from occurring whenever it rains. If you can’t call a gardener, go DIY and place stones over the poorly drained area. Top it with soil if possible and plant new vegetation to keep water from accumulating.
While no one is perfectly safe from mosquitoes this season, there are many things that you can do to prevent them from spreading in your home.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mosquitoes are the world’s most dangerous animal. They account for the deaths of 725,000 people all over the world every year due to the various diseases that they cause.
Don’t be one of these casualties. Exert all efforts to ensure that your family will always be protected from these nasty pests, even if it means making your home smell like an orange grove every day.
Kaboompics.com and Philip Ackermann from pexels.com
PublicDomainPictures and sandid from pixabay.com
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