The Department of Health (DOH) raised a National Dengue Alert on July 15th, so it is imperative that we start taking preventive measures to avoid getting dengue.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease that causes a flu-like illness. An infected female Aedes aegypti mosquito transmits the virus when it bites a human; female mosquitoes are the only ones that bite because they need blood to nourish their eggs. Dengue is not contagious so it does not spread directly from person to person. If dengue is not treated immediately, it can lead to potentially fatal consequences.
There are many steps we can take to prevent getting mosquito bites, such as wearing insect repellant or wearing neutral-colored and/or long-sleeved clothing. However, we should also take preventive measures in our homes to keep ourselves and our families safe from this disease. Read on to find out some tips to help make your home dengue-free.
DISCLAIMER: These tips will only help and will not remove the threat of dengue since it can be anywhere. Work with your local barangay on how to ensure a dengue-free environment. Consult with your doctor at the first sign of symptom.
1. Get Rid of Mosquito Breeding Places
Check around your house and see if there are any areas with stagnant, or still, water. Some places to look at are rainwater collection buckets, plant pots and gardens, trash disposal sites, fountains and bird baths, ponds, tires, and water pipes. Mosquitoes can produce 100 to 300 eggs at one time, so getting rid of their breeding habitats can cut down the number of mosquitoes that live near your home. For a visual, a water bottle cap filled with water is enough for a mosquito to lay her eggs.
Getting rid of these breeding places is relatively easily: just add movement to the water or cover the sources. Mesh fabric can be used to cover buckets so that mosquitoes do not have access to the water. If no fabric is available, you can always empty the bucket within 24 hours after rain so that the eggs do not have time to hatch.
For plant pots and gardens, practice watering just enough for your plants. Otherwise, find ways where you can improve drainage, which can be done by drilling small holes to allow water to drain. If you use flower vases, make sure to replace the water every other day to get rid of the mosquito eggs.
For fountains, birdbaths, and ponds you can use a pump that vibrates the water, or, if you are still thinking of building or buying these things, consider ponds or baths that feature mechanisms that keep the water flowing.
In general, it is important to regularly clean up your home so that breeding places can be taken care of right away.
ICYMI, here are tips on how to prepare your home for the rainy season. Follow these tips to prevent accumulating standing water.
2. Net Screens on Windows or Other Entryways
Having a breeze come through your windows or doorways is a nice way of cooling down in the summer. However, it is also a way of inviting mosquitoes and other insects into your home. Installing net screens can help combat this issue so that your home stays mosquito-free. Be sure to check your screen regularly if there are any holes and heave these repaired right away to prevent pests from going through them.
3. Use Essential Oils to Repel Insects
Not only do essential oils smell nice, but you can also use them in various ways. The following can be used to repel mosquitoes:
You can use these oils on their own or mix them together and use a nebulizer diffuser to spread the scent into the air. Not only do you get your own aromatherapy session, you also get rid of mosquitoes as well. You can also make natural mosquito repellant sprays, candles, and lotion using these essential oils and other ingredients. You always have the option to personalize them however you want!
4. Insect Traps
Traps directly reduce the insects living in the area you put them in. Insect traps use food, light, and pheromones to attract insects. Using light traps is effective in catching mosquitoes and is safe for pets as well. It is up to you if you want to put these up permanently or seasonally.
5. Educate and Involve Your Family
It is important that your family is aware of what dengue is, what the symptoms are, and how they can prevent it. This way, your chances of getting rid of dengue increases and you also encourage good cleaning habits in your children.
In our efforts to protect ourselves from mosquitoes and dengue, we have to be aware of how our actions affect the environment. The tips mentioned above provide natural or environment-friendly methods to dealing with mosquitoes. While insecticides are a quick way of dealing with insects, they have more harmful consequences on our surroundings. We should always look for greener alternatives if they are available.
Dengue is a serious matter, so keep these tips in mind so that you can make your home dengue free.