Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance to humans, they also transmit diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. To date, these diseases continue to claim thousands of human lives each year. All mosquitoes have 4 distinct stages in their life cycle; the first three – egg, larval and pupal – are spent in water. Moreover, only a little stagnant water is necessary, thus the vital importance of ensuring that our premises are free of stagnant water.
The Aedes mosquito is the main transmitter of dengue fever, dengue haemorrhagic fever and the deadly yellow fever. Its black body and legs have white spots and stripes on them, thus they are sometimes known as “Tiger mosquito”. This species is very active in the day and strongly attracted to humans for blood feeding.
The Aedes mosquito breeds in household containers such as flower vases, in pot plates, water storage jars where clean water is always present. It can also breed in roof gutters, watering cans, tree holes, puddles and discarded containers around the house where rainwater collects.
This is the most important common vector of malaria. It has white or rusty-red spots on its wings. It bites during the night. This species breeds mainly in ground seepage, streams, ponds and swampy areas.
This light brown mosquito bites in the night and it’s bite is very itchy. One species of the Culex mosquito is a big nuisance because the female lays many eggs at a time which then hatch out into numerous adults.
The Culex mosquito breeds in polluted water such as in drains blocked with litter. Besides giving itchy bites, they can transmit the horrible disease called elephantiasis (the victim’s limbs swell to a very huge size, resembling elephant limbs).
The most effective means of containing mosquitoes is to remove stagnant water so that they have no place to breed.
- Change water in containers at least once a week. It takes only 7 days for any egg to become an adult.
- If you need to store water, cover it to prevent adult mosquitoes from breeding.
- Check around your house for unused or unwanted items that collect rain water. Roof gutters should be regularly inspected for blockage
- Insecticide granules can be added to water in plant bowls and plates beneath pots to kill the larvae. These granules last 1 – 3 months.
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