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Keeping dengue vector away from your home; tips and suggestions

Most of the mosquito bites that cause dengue, happen during the day, in contrast with that of the malaria bites, that happen during the night.

Statesman News Service |


A very common name among serious ailments is that of Dengue. A vast number of people in the urban areas of the country suffer from this fever every year. It is a viral tropical disease which is transmitted by a mosquito known as Aedes aegypti.

The mosquito is found in urban as well as the rural areas and commonly breeds in dirty water and other household items where dirty water stagnates. Most of the mosquito bites that cause dengue, happen during the day, in contrast with that of the malaria bites, that happen during the night. Another common name given to this fever is ‘break bone fever’ because of the muscle and joint pain that follows the fever.

This fever is common in the tropical and subtropical regions such as India, Southern China, Mexico, Taiwan, Central Americas and Southeast Asian countries. More than 500,000 people are affected by the disease every year and the overall mortality rate of the fever is 2.5%. Once bitten by Aedes aegypti, the blood takes 2-7 days to circulate in the blood, and during this time, the fever develops in the body. The symptoms of the fever usually appear after 4-5 days being bitten. If a person contracts this fever and fully recovers from it, he/she is permanently immune to the disease.

Different ways to prevent dengue fever:

Using mosquito repellent

One of the most common ways to prevent dengue fever is to use mosquito repellent creams. If using the application creams, it is advised to apply it 3 to 4 times a day to keep the mosquitoes at bay. It is advisable to do a patch test before using the creams as some people may be allergic to such products.

Wear protective clothing

Mosquito nets also help in keeping mosquitoes at bay and many people use them in their homes. Just like a mosquito net helps keep the vectors away, wearing long sleeved clothing also does the same. Mosquitoes look for parts of the body or skin, which are exposed. Also, light-coloured clothing is known to repel mosquitoes.

Mosquito deterrents

There is a wide variety of mosquito deterrents that are available in the market and one can choose any one, according to space preferences. Electronic deterrents can be used in homes and can be kept ON throughout the day to repel mosquitoes. Adding a drop of citronella and lemongrass extract to water used for mopping the floors also repels parasites.

Ensure there are no breeding grounds 

Check the spaces in and around your house and ensure there are no breeding grounds for the vectors. Make sure no stagnant water is there and clean the dirt, filth or unwashed dishes. Clean surroundings and spaces do not attract mosquitoes.

Apart from the above pointers, a well-lit house does not attract mosquitoes, so ensure that you have optimum lighting in your house. Another very useful tip is to plant a neem plant in or outside your house, if the space permits. It is claimed to be a natural mosquito repellent.