Hari's Corner

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Combating the mosquito menace

Filed under: Life and Leisure by Hari
Posted on Sun, Oct 7, 2007 at 14:15 IST (last updated: Wed, Oct 29, 2008 @ 22:52 IST)

I mentioned the mosquito problem in passing in a previous article of mine, but I've been reluctant to expand upon it, mainly because I didn't want to be seen as complaining too much about our new home. But I decided to write a post on the ways in which we combat the problem, so that it doesn't seem totally negative in tone. Anyway, here goes!

Window screens

Net screens on windows and doors are largely ineffective, but they are the first line of defence against swarms and swarms of mosquitoes which seem to attack with a persistence that is calculated to drive any normal reasonable human being insane. The biggest problem is that it is nearly impossible to keep all the doors closed at all time and it's difficult to secure every opening or vent in this manner. Mosquito screens also tend to accumulate a lot of dust so it becomes necessary to wash and clean them regularly.

Electronic swatters

These swatters in the shape of tennis racquets do help, but they require to be recharged regularly and they require careful handling as they are quite fragile. Aiming and hitting mosquitoes is a great pastime (and exercise), but can get tiring quickly as you need to keep swishing it rapidly to and fro to be really effective. And just when you put it down after a swatting session, you tend to find yet another critter buzzing above your head. The biggest issue with these swatters is that they're cheaply built and of poor quality, so don't last very long.

Chemical repellents

There are two types of chemical repellents which burn and release odours to drive out mosquitoes. Liquid repellents and solid repellents. Some of these are fitted on an electric device that can be plugged in to a wall socket and there are mosquito coils which burn and release a pungent aroma. They help in controlling mosquitoes within a confined space, but the room can become stuffy and suffocating very quickly. These chemical also aren't exactly healthy for human consumption either and so breathing these vapours can be harmful, particularly for people suffering from respiratory problems.

Skin creams, lotions and sprays

These creams and sprays are meant for application on exposed areas of the skin, and they are very effective at preventing these buzzing creatures from swirling above the head all the time, but are good only for a few hours at best. Moreover, skin creams tend to get wiped off on contact. And in spite of your best efforts, it is likely that you would leave just a small area of your skin free of the protective cream and mosquitoes unerringly target that region with uncanny precision.

Nets and mesh enclosures

Nets over beds are the best protection at nights, but if one or two mosquitoes do manage to get in through a small gap somewhere, they are guaranteed to ruin your sleep for the rest of the night. However, I've been able to sleep well at night only after installing a net over my bed. Not recommended in the summer (when the mosquito population is lower in any case), but in mild, cool weather it's a pleasant, and undoubtedly the best option.

Other tips to keep mosquitoes away

Keep the dark corners of your house to a minimum. Avoid accumulating a lot of stuff. Avoid black coloured or dark furniture. Allow sunlight into the house at daytime (as much as possible), keep your windows and doors closed after dark. Keep your bathrooms dry and clean and keep the bathroom doors closed all the time. Try and keep your surroundings free of stagnant water. Use a combination of the above strategies to control mosquitoes and finally hope for the best!

10 comment(s)

  1. We're very fortunate in the UK, mosquitoes are becoming a menace but we're not overly bothered by them. Flies on the other hand.....

    Comment by Ray (visitor) on Sun, Oct 7, 2007 @ 16:16 IST #
  2. What happened to the keywords?

    Comment by Ray (visitor) on Sun, Oct 7, 2007 @ 16:16 IST #
  3. There is another way, by making a special mosquito trap, but I don't remember where I found it (or I'd be using it now).

    Comment by RT Cunningham (visitor) on Sun, Oct 7, 2007 @ 16:21 IST #
  4. Ray. flies are a nuisance, but at least they don't sting :) By the way I am not going to use tagging any more. b2evo does them in 2.0 but I don't feel that there's any benefit in using them/

    RT, you're right. There are some devices that attract and electrocute insects especially flies and mosquitoes. I find that they've installed them mostly in public eating places.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sun, Oct 7, 2007 @ 16:24 IST #
  5. I still standby my idea of keeping your blog page open for mosquitos to read :)

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Mon, Oct 8, 2007 @ 08:30 IST #
  6. Shrinidhi, don't worry. Mosquitoes were buzzing all over my head when I was writing this article, so I'm sure they've gained sufficient knowledge by now! ;)

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Mon, Oct 8, 2007 @ 10:09 IST #
  7. Try this:
    Publish a post that you'll be sleeping in the hall tonight... Mosquitos will read that and will wait for you in the hall...Meanwhile you can have peaceful sleep in bedroom..

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Mon, Oct 8, 2007 @ 10:39 IST #
  8. That is sheer genius. Thanks for the tip, Shrinidhi! This might yet win me an Oscar award... er... sorry... Nobel Prize.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Mon, Oct 8, 2007 @ 10:45 IST #
  9. You'll get ignobel for sure!!!

    btb be sure to delete my suggestion before mosquitors come and read it and that will spoil the plan...
    (I'm hoping they've not subscribed to youc comment feed and read this already )

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Mon, Oct 8, 2007 @ 12:49 IST #
  10. Hang a human (hero/actor photo) on the wall of ur bedroom, with a zero power bulb or dangling lights glittering over it.. Mosuitoes would attract towrds tht.. Or use insect-killer neon light to kill off all flies nad mosquitoes, but thats lil costly option.. I want to know why dont mosquitoes get tired, why dont they sleep in night :(

    Comment by gaurav (visitor) on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 @ 21:15 IST #

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