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How to prevent mosquitos from breeding in your home

If your home is breeding ground for mosquitoes - of both dengue and non-dengue species - you will be fined $200, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli announced on Sunday (Feb 28).

This was one of several enforcement actions, which included bringing forward the annual nationwide campaign Do The Mozzie Wipeout, Mr Masagos said will help to combat an expected spike in dengue cases this year.

Here's a handy guide to keep your home mosquito-free.

KNOW THE MOST COMMON BREEDING SPOTS

According to the National Environment Agency's (NEA) dengue website, four of the top five mosquito breeding habitats have remained the same from 2012 to 2014. 

They are: domestic containers, flower pot plates/trays, ornamental containers and potted plants (hardened soil and plant axils). In 2014, the toilet bowl and cistern were ranked as the fifth most common breeding habitat.

PREVENTIVE ACTIONS TO TAKE

*Every day

  • Turn pails and watering cans over and store them under shelter.
  • Loosen soil from potted plants to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water on the surface of the hardened soil.
  • Do not block the flow of water in scupper drains along common corridors in HDB estates. Avoid placing potted plants and other paraphernalia over the scupper drains.
  • Cover rarely used gully traps. Replace the gully trap with non-perforated ones and install anti-mosquito valves.
  • Cover bamboo pole holders after use. Rainwater can potentially accumulate in these bamboo pole holders if they are uncovered and create a habitat.
  • No tray or receptacles should be placed beneath and/or on top of any air-conditioning unit so as not to create a condition favourable for mosquito breeding.

*Every other day

  • Remove water in plant pot plates. Clean and scrub the plate thoroughly to remove mosquito eggs. Avoid the use of plant pot plates, if possible.
  • Change water in flower vases. Clean and scrub the inner sides of vases. Wash roots of flowers and plants thoroughly as mosquito eggs can stick to them easily.

*Once a week

  • Clear fallen leaves and stagnant water in the scupper drains and garden. These leaves could collect water or cause blockages to the drains, thus resulting in the buildup of stagnant water.
  • Clear any stagnant water in the air cooler unit.

*Once a month

  • Add prescribed amounts of sand granular insecticide into vases, gully traps and roof gutters, even if they are dry. For a list of retailers which sell sand granular insecticides, click here.
  • Clear away fallen leaves in roof gutters and apron drains. If structurally feasible, remove the roof gutters.

This article was first published on The Straits Times.

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