GUWAHATI: Mosquitoes are considered as one of the most deadly insects that lead to more than 10 lakh deaths worldwide every year. The most common outbreaks in Assam are dengue, JE, Zika and chikungunya. Some cases of malaria are also reported every year.
In Assam, with summer temperatures rising and rainfall accompanied with high humidity provides a perfect breeding environment for mosquitoes. Excess rainfall may be a blessing in disguise as it destroys the breeding ground by flooding it with running water. But mosquitoes are innovative insects and can survive and breed quickly almost anywhere with stagnant water body.
THE BREEDING ENVIRONMENT
The ideal condition for mosquitoes to breed is warm temperature, heavy rainfall and humidity. In Guwahati, and most of northeast India, this combination remains for over six months starting May to October.
People don’t care much about mosquitoes until they get bitten by something that demands medical attention. In Guwahati, most of the cases are Dengue related. From the nearby areas mostly cases of Japanese Encephalitis are reported.
Research has shown that mosquitoes do find some people attractive over others. But mainly, mosquitoes are more interested in the carbon dioxide that we release, our body heat and sweat that gets them attracted to you. Also, it is found that mosquitoes are attracted to clothes with dark colours like black and blue.
For your knowledge: only the female mosquitoes bite as they need blood meals and nectar to lay the eggs. So, every time you kill a mosquito biting you it’s a female.
FYI: Mosquitoes are mostly active two hours before or after sun down. It is found that only the Asian tiger mosquito is active all day long.
The first step to have fewer mosquitoes around you is to find and remove stagnant water around your premises. Either you drain the water or spray some repellent or even kerosene to stop the breeding and kill if any is taking place.
It only takes a small quantity of water for the mosquitoes to breed. So, go ahead and remove anything that has standing water near your home. If you have a container or flower pots with water trays make sure to empty them every week. Look for stagnant water inside or outside your home that can become breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Next is to apply good nets on windows, ventilators and doors if you want fresh air during the evening and nights to prevent the mosquitoes from ruining your evenings.
Fans can be also used to disorient the flight of the mosquitoes as a heavy gush of wind can be effective against mosquitoes.
You can use different types of effective herbal incense sticks or other such mediums to thwart the mosquitoes.
Use a good mosquito net for your bed. Even though you may find it uncomfortable it will guarantee a good bite-free sleep.
Wear long sleeves and use herbal mosquito repellant ointments and spray. Minimizing the skin exposure is a way you can have less mosquito bites.
You can also use repellents with DEET or N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide or diethyltoluamide. It is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents. When applied to clothing or skin DEET products provide protection against almost all biting insects (says wiki).
There are many repellents in the market that you can buy. You can read the composition and quickly Google to know which ones are less harmful and can be used extensively.
According to dermatologists it is always better to test a repellent in a small area of your skin for any kind of allergy or irritant.
On being bitten try not to scratch. It is better to wash the area with warm water and soap and apply calamine lotion or similar anti-itching cream.
You can also apply ice to reduce the redness in the area where bitten.
In case you feel any of the symptoms like fever, body pain, headache etc. it’s always better to get in touch with a doctor and go for tests for vector-borne diseases. Do not take it casually as some mosquito bite strains can be dangerous for your life.
Stay Safe! Stay Happy! And Kill Them All!