April 25th is World Malaria Day. The theme for this year is “Ready to beat malaria“.
According to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme about 95% population in India resides in malaria endemic areas. Young children, pregnant women, people who are immunosuppressed and the elderly are particularly at risk of severe disease. Since malaria is spread by mosquitoes, you need to find a way to get rid of mosquitoes so you can avoid deadly diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya. Next time you see even a few of these pests at home, here’s what to do to keep your family safe.
Top breeding spots for mosquitoes in your house
Are you wondering why there are so many mosquitoes in your house even if your home is clean? Perhaps you have been overlooking a few of these spots:
-Potted plants: The excess water that gets accumulated in the pots and trays, especially those of indoor plants, can be dangerous. Hence, make sure you do not over water potted plants and always empty the trays to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground. Also make sure you change water regularly for indoor plants and decorative items where water can be collected such as birth baths, tabletop fountains, flower vases and fish tanks.
-Air Conditioner (AC)/air cooler trays: Water trays that are used to collect water from these devices can act as a breeding site for dengue and malaria causing mosquitoes. So if you are using ACs or coolers, remember to empty out the water from the trays and also refrigerator trays and other containers such as feeding bowls of pets or birds. Also, clean it regularly and keep it dry when not in use.
-Water tanks: Be it indoor water tanks or outdoor ones, both act as a perfect place for mosquitoes to grow. If you have storage water tanks without lids, then there is high chances that mosquitoes can lay eggs in these tanks. This not only causes water contamination but also increases your risk of mosquito bites. So ensure you clean these tanks at least once every 15 days to break the breeding cycle of mosquitoes, which is around 15-20 days. Also, turn over empty pails and buckets when not in use and cover the containers with proper lids to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
-Dust bins: Uncovered trash cans attract mosquitoes and allow these insects to multiply, increasing the risk of mosquitoes in your home. Hence, throw your trash every day and make sure you clean the bin every week and use well fitted lids to prevent mosquitoes from thriving on trash.
-Open windows: Obviously, open windows and doors can act as a medium of entry for mosquitoes to your home. Mosquitoes enter your house and hide in dark places such as behind the curtains, store rooms, behind cupboards and other corners of your room. The malaria mosquito usually bites between dusk and dawn. Hence, make sure you close your doors and windows in the evening. Also, cover your window screens and doors with nets or use a wire mesh to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
This World Malaria Day, let’s all pledge to make our home mosquito free. Stay safe and stay healthy!