As the Caribbean region experience increased rainfall due to the start of the Atlantic hurricane season (June 1 to November 30), this is generally a time for an increase in mosquito breeding sites in and around the home which increases the risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria, yellow fever and a host of others.
While not all mosquitos are vectors of diseases, the Aedes Agypti mosquito is a known vector for several diseases such as yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika virus.
Mosquito-borne diseases are transmitted when an infected Aedes Agypti mosquito bites a human being.
These mosquitoes thrive close to humans and typically lay their eggs near standing water in containers that hold water like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases.
Identify mosquito breeding sites
Identify potential mosquito breeding sites around the home. The Aedes Agypti mosquito generally lay its eggs in dark stagnant water, therefore eliminating those water sources can reduce the likelihood of them occupying those spaces.
Check for stagnant water in flower vases, tires, buckets and other containers. Once you have identified these breeding sites the next step is to take measures to eliminate them.
Eliminate mosquito breeding sites
Now that you have identified potential mosquito breeding sites, the next step is to get rid of them. You can do this by removing old tires, buckets and vases or punching holes in them to prevent water from setting.
Dispose of empty plastic containers, wrappers, toys and vases that are no longer in use. Clean rain gutters frequently to allow the water to flow freely.
Store work equipment such as wheelbarrows inside or turn them upside down when not in use.
Protect your water tanks from mosquitos
Protect water stored in plastic barrels and tanks by ensuring that they a properly sealed with mosquito-proof screens or mesh. The mosquito screen should be added to the opening of your tank or plastic barrel and changed regularly.
It is recommended that the mesh should be no coarser than 1 to 1.5 mm gap per hole. The mesh can be made from brass, copper, aluminium or plastic.
Stored water can also be treated with unscented chlorine bleach containing 4 per cent to 6 per cent sodium hypochlorite. The recommended usage for water treatment is two drops of liquid bleach per quart of water.
Repair leaking pipes
Repair leaking pipes and faucets around the home because this can contribute to stagnant water around the home which is a risk factor for mosquito breeding sites.
Add oil to stagnant water
If you are having a challenge getting rid of stagnant water around the home, a great way to reduce mosquito breeding sites is to add oil to the stagnant water to ward off mosquitos.
The recommended amount to slow the breeding process is one tablespoon of oil per gallon of water.
You can use any oil of your choice, whether it may be vegetable oil, mineral oil or coconut oil because they will all get the job done. The oil will suffocate the mosquito larvae and reduce the breeding process.
–Send feedback to [email protected]