Prepping for the Rainy Season: 7 Ways to Dengue-Proof Your Home

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“Dengue is now one of the most important tropical diseases. While it does not kill that may people, it has tremendous economic and social impact.” –Duane Gubler

The Philippines, being a tropical country with many rainy monsoons per year, is expected to experience afflictions the erratic climate brings. Some of them are mild, but most of it, when left unattended, can potentially become deadly. Summer season is usually associated with widespread heat strokes and dehydration– the rainy season, on the other hand, is, unfortunately, synonymous with dengue fever.

Year after year, dengue hemorrhagic fever has been one of the prevalent seasonal diseases in the Philippines– and each year it brings a new statistic. Knowing this ailment to be a severe infirmity that can potentially rack up a local area’s death toll, people should be more knowledgeable in keeping their homes dengue-free and more stringent in ensuring their abodes are not prospective breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Annually, the dengue virus infects an estimated 390 million people according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2015 alone, the Philippines reported 169,000 cases—an increase of almost sixty percent from 2014’s statistic. As we welcome the rainy months ahead, it is imperative that we exercise measures to ensure that no part of our homes become potential breeding grounds for these unwelcome guests.

It does not matter whether you are billeted in a condo in Manila or a house and lot in Laguna, Cavite or anywhere else in the Philippines—dengue can strike anywhere. So, it is best to prepare.

1.) Eliminate areas where water can stagnate

 

Your initial step in ensuring your home is not a breeding spot for breeding mosquitoes is to eliminate the possibility of it. Make sure there are no areas where water can potentially stagnate. Any water storages should be completely covered and sealed, pots and watering cans should be stored in a dry place when not in use and pools should be regularly maintained and cleaned. Lastly, your trash bins (especially those situated outside) should not collect water, and if they do, they should regularly be emptied.

2.) Be wise with plants

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Indoor plants may add aesthetic value to any place, but they can also be prospective breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Make sure you replace the water in vases routinely and clean the vase each time you replace the water. Scrub pot plates to remove any mosquito eggs that might have been deposited. If you have a garden, loosen the top soul once in a while to prevent water accumulation.

3.) Repair roofs, gutters, doors, and windows

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Check your home’s roofs, gutters, doors, and windows and make sure they are fully functional. These would not only protect you from the rain but would ensure that rain does not enter and accumulate in any part of your property.

4.) Install screens

 

The extra cost that comes along with installing screens for windows and doors would all be worth it. Screens effectively keep mosquitoes from entering your homes—just make sure to regularly have them cleaned as they can accumulate dust over time.

5.) Use Citronella scent

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Home scents would contribute to the ambiance to any home. Hit two birds with one stone by choosing formulas that include citronella or if you want something more organic, light up citronella candles instead. Citronella effectively keeps mosquitoes away, and the scent is non-toxic.

6.) Have a bug zapper

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Bug zappers or mosquito lights can adequately protect you not only from mosquitoes but from other insects as well. It lures mosquitoes and other insects by emitting a light that is attractive to them, and when they come too close, it electrocutes them. Bug zappers may be a bit pricey, but it is a great investment for homes with a lot of residents—especially if there are pregnant women and children around.

7.) Fumigate regularly

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Consider fumigation as a last resort if you have tried all of the measures above. Some residential areas have mosquitoes that cannot be easily eliminated through the ways above and would require fumigation for total elimination.

 

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