You Probably Do Not Change Your Bedsheets Frequently Enough
- 19 October, 2020
- Tips and Advice
How often do you change or wash your sheets? We got you thinking huh? Many of us keep the same…
Living in Ghana, mosquitoes are nothing new to you, especially if you’ve experienced a rainy season in the country. Not only are they irritating when they serenade you at night with their shrill voices close to your ears (some actually fly into your ear), they also bite you bringing you even more discomfort. Some types of mosquitoes transmit diseases through their bite: The female Anopheles mosquito, for instance, transmits Plasmodium, which causes malaria, the ultimate discomfort this breed of mosquito can cause. Nobody likes mosquitoes and we wish they would just go away, but unfortunately, they do not care about our wishes and will stay, unless something is done about it. We’re here to tell you just what that something is to keep your home and surroundings mosquito free and your family safe from mosquito-borne diseases.
Mosquitoes are more likely to be active during the night but don’t mistake this as a fear of the daylight, because they have been known to strike during the day as well. Sunlight doesn’t phase them in the least, apparently. You should, therefore, as a precaution, keep doors to your homes shut at all times, so there’s no free entry for mosquitoes from outside. Leaving your door open even for short periods during the rainy season can let in a surprising number of the pests, so even when going out for a brief period, always remember to, immediately, shut the door behind you. If you need ventilation in your room, ensure you have netting installed in your windows that are too tiny for a mosquito to pass through. That way, if you need to have your window open, you won’t risk letting in some unwanted visitors. Look for gaps under your doors and between the doors and frames and plug them up. The same goes for your windows.
If you find there are already mosquitoes in your home, one quick way to get them out is to use insecticide sprays or coils to kill or incapacitate them for the night. You might need to stay out of your rooms for a while if you opt for one of the stronger smelling insecticides, but for the sensitive ones, there are some insecticide sprays that are odourless or have nice-smelling fragrances that can be used. They are advertised to be just as effective as their more unpleasant-smelling counterparts. There are some plants like catnip, basil and citronella you can use to ward off mosquitoes as well. Flowers like marigolds, rosemary and lavender serve a similar purpose while adding some decoration to your yard.
Some of these plants may have unpleasant smells and might cause allergic reactions. Use them only if you’re certain they won’t cause more harm than good. You could also buy some mosquito swatters (electronic or non-electronic) if you want to get some exercise in while you rid yourself of mosquitoes.
It’s also advisable to sleep under a treated mosquito net if you are unable to completely rid your room of the insects. They are quite easy to set up: you can nail some rings in four spaces above your bed or sleeping area in a rectangular form the length of your bed and tie the strings of the net into the rings to hold it up while you tuck the net under your mattress to hold it down while you sleep.
Puddles, water in open gutters, generally, all standing water in and around the house are potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Considering the rainy season we’re currently in, it would be very impractical to drain all puddles of dirty water left behind in our yards and neighbourhoods, but there are ways of curbing the breeding of mosquitoes in these waters with everyday items. Pouring some kerosene or some oil into these puddles should prevent mosquitoes from being able to use them for breeding. The idea is to break the surface tension of the water. That way when a mosquito lands on it to deposit eggs, it sinks and drowns due to the water’s compromised surface tension. You should also mow your yard. It not only makes your home look cleaner and neater, it also eliminates major hiding spots for mosquitoes and other insects. With no hiding or breeding spots available in your environment, mosquitoes have less incentive to stay.
Cleanliness is not only next to godliness, but is the key to keeping your home, and your family, safe from harmful insects including mosquitoes. Keeping a messy home and leaving water containers exposed provides lots of avenues for mosquitoes to hide and breed as well. Drinking water should always be covered because mosquitoes breeding in them make them unsafe for drinking. Also, keep your indoor rubbish bins sealed and empty them as soon as they are full. Sometimes, they are perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes when there’s liquid waste contained in them. You should also, wash the bins periodically.
Nim (or Neem) trees are quite common in most parts of the country. You can extract the juices from its leaves and bark. Aside from the medicinal use to which some people put these juices, they are also a natural insect repellent which keeps mosquitoes away from anything they are applied to: plants and humans as well. If the smell doesn’t bother you, (it’s not very irritating), you could apply it to your body like a pomade and go about your duties worry-free.
Garlic has also been said to keep mosquitoes away, but it might repel humans too if you smell too strongly of it. So use with discretion.
If you like trying unconventional methods and have an overwhelming mosquito presence in your compound, you might consider trying the rather unusual tactic of attracting bats to your house. Bats are natural predators of insects including mosquitoes. You can find out how to go about bringing bats on board here. Before you do this, know that if you live in a noisy neighbourhood (in a city, for instance), this option is unlikely to work for you.
It may seem impossible to completely rid your home of mosquitoes, but following the above advice, you could just achieve it if you commit fully to keeping mosquitoes out of your home. That means shut your door immediately you enter or exit, no exceptions. Not even to stand for a few seconds in the open doorway to chat with someone. If you have some other effective ways of keeping mosquitoes at bay, please share them with us in the comments below.