Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 2 December 2020

Easy ways to repel mosquitoes: keep the bugs at bay with items you have around the house

Want to curb your mosquito problem without having to buy any specialist repellents? Here are some tips

Efforts to stop the spread of malaria focus on its carrier, mosquitoes.
Efforts to stop the spread of malaria focus on its carrier, mosquitoes.

While spending more time indoors, the lure to open a window can be too hard to resist.

There are plenty of reasons to crack open a window (after all, there’s no such thing as too much fresh air), but doing so also gives ample opportunity for pests like mosquitoes to enter homes.

While certainly irritating, medical professionals first want residents to know that these bugs, in no way, affect the spread of the coronavirus.

“There is no evidence that a mosquito bite can spread coronavirus and no need to worry about that,” says Dr Ayesha Khaled, consultant of family medicine at Burjeel Medical Centre Al Zeina.

Even so, having these pests enter homes can be irritating.

Luckily, there are measures that can be taken to deter the mosquitoes from entering houses, several of which can easily be done with items found at home.

As Dr Khaled puts it, “mosquitoes are powered by their sense of smell, so naturally, there are smells they do not like. Lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus oil, etc.”

Dr Osman Labban, head of family medicine at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai, shares some natural remedies to keep mosquitoes away:

Burning coffee grounds

Using coffee grounds is one of the simplest home remedies to get rid of mosquitoes. They are repelled by the odour created by burning coffee grounds.

Using lavender oil

Mosquitoes cannot stand the smell of the lavender oil so try spraying it in a room.

Removing any standing water

Mosquitoes can use pools of standing water to breed, so empty, scrub and throw out items that are holding water like buckets, planters, toys or trash containers. Even a pet’s water (and food) should preferably not be left out overnight.

Preventive measures to take

Meanwhile, Dr Khaled advises wearing covered clothing (even while indoors) or using window nets and mosquito fly traps. “If you are using mosquito repellent sprays, remember that mosquitoes rest in dark, humid places like under the sink, in closets, under furniture or in the laundry room. Make sure you get to those areas,” she says.

Dealing with bites

The first – and most important – rule of dealing with a mosquito bite? Don’t scratch it. “That only irritates skin further and could lead to an infection,” says Dr Khaled. Instead, she recommends trying a cold compress, ice pack, calamine lotion or an antihistamine, if it’s very itchy.

Dr Labban adds that an over-the-counter hydro-cortisone cream can also work. “If there is a localised redness that is spreading, any pus, pain or fever, then it’s time to consult a doctor,” he adds.

Updated: April 16, 2020 03:07 PM

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