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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dengue Precautions: The Mosquito Flush

With a patch of jungle ever so nearby, mosquitoes are an everyday reality for us. On some nights when the hordes are out in force, we can kill BY HAND about 200 mosquitoes. We've even organised this as a sort of family bonding activity where we all sit out in the backyard and hunt mosquitoes. We sort of circle our dog Milo who, for some reason, attracts them in droves. Then it's a matter of clapping our hands together or slapping the floor. We have a breed of giant mosquitoes that fly real slow and their mouth parts are so thick that you feel them the moment they begin to poke into you.

Slap! Mosquito dead!

Lately though, the mosquitoes have become ever so tiny. They're no longer the giant ones. The small ones are more insidious. They bite you and you don't know it till they're done sucking their fill. These tiny mosquitoes fly real fast too... in zig zag formation. They're almost impossible to kill by hand. One tiny mosquito bit my face thrice and my arms twice. It managed to get The Husband a few times too. We sat up in the middle of the night and could not kill it.

With the incidences of dengue fever are on the rise, I worried. So I devised another way to deal with the mosquito problem.

Open Doors and Windows Only When the Sun Is Hot
I find it necessary to air the bedrooms during the day. 

These days, I only open doors and windows when the sun is high enough and hot enough to dehydrate any mosquitoes intrepid enough to fly about outside. At such times, you can be sure the mosquitoes have taken refuge in the shade of the jungle or someone else's house. They will seek out the dark areas under the bed... behind the books and on the curtains. Like us, mosquitoes need to stay hydrated to stay alive. Opening doors and windows only when the sun is high and hot ensures that very few mosquitoes fly into the house.

Flush Out Mosquitoes Before Dusk
From 3.30pm to 5pm, I close up the whole room, leaving only one window open to the outside. I then light mosquito coils and place them in all the dark corners. This flushes out any mosquito that may have come inside despite every precaution. Except for a single open window, the smoke is allowed to build up inside the room. Mosquitoes find this unbearable. They make their getaway through the only source of fresh air in the room - the single open window. 

At 5pm, I extinguish the mosquito coils and open all the windows. Any remaining mosquitoes who were too dumb to find the open window are quite relieved to fly outside now, along with the fumes from the mosquito coils. 

At 6pm, just when most of the fumes have dispersed to the outdoors, I close all windows and doors to the room. The room is now ready for another night of sleeping in. Of course, this means that we switch on the air-conditioners nightly, all night long.

On rainy days, the cool temperatures and wet air, ensure that mosquitoes have all day to fly into the house. On such days, the mosquito coils are lit all day from the moment the doors and windows are opened to shortly before they are closed.

So far so good. We've managed to maintain a zero mosquito bedroom ever since I started doing this. No more bites at night. No more mosquito carcasses collected in one corner of the room like hunting trophies.

Then there is prayer. I pray every night that God will spare us the ordeal of dengue fever.

Large and slow flying mosquitoes that are easily killed by hand.

Burning mosquito coil under the bed - a dark corner.

Burning mosquito coil under the desk - another dark corner.

A single source of fresh air

1 comment:

Malar said...

Oh Petunia! That's a good method to get rid of masquito! DO you do it daily? wow!
I just use electrical mosquito mat but I have all the tiny one in the garden. Everytime we're in the garden after 6pm, this tiny fellow bite wihout even we know ! Grrr.... I don't know how to solve it .....