Most of us would be aware that dengue-causing mosquitoes need stagnant water to lay their eggs. However, most people don't realise that potential breeding grounds for these mosquitoes go beyond vases and flower pot plates. Remember: Anything that can hold water, even just a teaspoonful, for more than a few days can breed mosquitoes.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS:
■ Kid’s toys left outside where water can pool, such as little plastic buckets, wheelbarrows and dump trucks.
■ Air-conditioner trays.
■ Old tyres left out in the open.
■ Leaky faucets – not only do they waste water, even a small pool caused by these leaks can support mosquito breeding.
THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT MOSQUITO-FIGHTING INGREDIENTS:
1) BTi, short for Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, is a naturally occurring bacteria that infects and kills mosquito larvae. Buy this from hardware stores or garden centres. BTi formulations do not harm other insects or animals.
2) DEET. DEET is an active ingredient in many insect repellents, and it prevents mozzies from biting a person’s skin. Get higher concentrations for adults, and lower concentrations (less than 20 per cent) for kids above age two. Do not use on infants under two months of age.
To do your part in stopping dengue, follow the NEA’s “Do the Mozzie Wipeout” five-step routine to make sure your home is mosquito-free. Head to www.dengue.gov.sg for more information.