In addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, Singapore has been grappling with another health crisis since March 2020 - dengue fever. According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), the cumulative number of dengue cases in Singapore this year is 9,837 as of June 6, 2020 as compared to 5,200 cases reported in 2019 around the same period. This is the highest number of cases reported since 2013, the largest outbreak year recorded in the country’s history. The authorities have called out for strict measures to get rid of mosquitoes and clear their breeding habitats.
What is Dengue Fever?
Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by female Aedes mosquito. It is a flu-like condition affecting infants, young children, and adults.
Why does it spread so fast in Singapore?
Singapore’s tropical weather conditions make it a suitable breeding ground for mosquitoes. The traditional dengue season lasts from the warmer months of June to October. Warm temperature allows for accelerated breeding and maturation cycles of Aedes mosquitoes.
According to Associate Professor of Infection and Immunity Luo Dahai from Nanyang Technological University’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, in addition to warm weather and rainy days, people staying indoors for longer periods of time due to the circuit breaker proliferated the number of cases. Aedes mosquitoes live indoors and feed on people staying home. The incidence of Aedes mosquito larvae detected at homes and residential areas increased five-fold during the two-month circuit breaker period.
How to get rid of mosquitoes out of your home?
NEA has requested the community to do their part to wipe out the danger of infectious dengue fever by taking necessary precautionary measures. Here are some effective methods to keep mosquitoes out of your home:
- Do mozzie wipeout regularly
The first and foremost step to prevent mosquitoes from breeding is to remove stagnant water at home and around its premises. Clear water collected in pails, vases, flower pots, gutters etc. immediately or treat them with bleach or mosquito dunks that are not harmful to the environment. Place Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) insecticide inside roof gutter and drains.
- Use mosquito screens
Fit your windows with mosquito screens to keep mosquitoes from entering your house while leaving them open to enjoy some fresh air in humid conditions. Fit the screens well without leaving gaps, otherwise it will beat the purpose. You can request for a handyman on Sendhelper app to get this done professionally.
- Use mosquito repellents
NEA recommends applying mosquito repellents to protect oneself from mosquito bites. Essential oils of tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender etc. are effective oils that repel mosquitoes. Frequent application of essential oils is required especially if you stay in one of the identified dengue clusters. Also, use spatial mosquito repellents or mosquito coils in well-ventilated areas at home.
- Practise personal preventive measures
Mosquitoes trace the path of a human by detecting their heat and sweat. So, it is important to take shower regularly to keep yourself clean and odour-free. Also, wear long clothes that cover all parts of your body to prevent mosquito bites during the day and night.
- Use professional pest control services
NEA has taken necessary steps to fumigate and spray insecticides in public areas and HDB premises. They also conduct regular inspections and indoor misting at homes. However, if you live in a private condo or landed property, you are advised to seek professional pest control services to alleviate the potential threat of mosquitoes breeding in and around your house. Sendhelper offers expert pest control services in Singapore not only to get rid of mosquitoes but also termites, cockroaches, ants, bugs etc. It is important to keep our surroundings clean and tidy in these times of multiple health crises.