Stop the buzzing

By Wu Ni ( Shanghai Star ) Updated: 2014-06-18 15:45:59
Stop the buzzing

REPELLENT: Mosquitoes coils can effectively control mosquitoes indoors, but shouldn’t be used if ther e are children in the house. Place the coils downwind if leaving windows open. [Photo/Xinhua]

Don’t let pesky little mosquitoes ruin your summer. Wu Ni looks at the ways you can keep these bloodsuckers at bay.

Could there be any sound more annoying than the hum of mosquitoes on a hot summer’s night?

Unfortunately, Shanghai with its hot humid location south of the Yangtze River, is a breeding haven for mosquitoes in summer. According to the city’s health authorities, we are likely to experience an upsurge of mosquito numbers in the coming months because of the warm winter last year.

Mosquitoes like a dark, cool, and humid environment, so their favorite habitats include the living room, basement and brushwood.

A mosquito develops from an egg to an adult in as short as a week and a half, depending on the species and temperature. Only adult females drink blood while adult males feed on fl ower nectar and plant sap. The pests leave bites on the skin, disturb sleep, or worse, transmit infectious diseases through the blood.

Huang Xiaoyun, deputy director of the Chinese Pest Control Association, says mosquito density is dropping overall thanks to the collective e- ort by communities, parks and disease prevention departments. The most important thing is to clean standing water in and around the house.

"Pots, jars, bottles, birdbaths and other kinds of small containers for water, especially the saucers of flowerpots, are places where mosquitoes breed and may harbor mosquito larvae that have spent the winter inside," Huang says.

Change water in vases frequently and adding a little salt helps. A more professional solution is to put in a chemical that kills the larvae.

Mosquitoes can fl y as high as the third floor. Those appearing on higher floors are either brought there or born there. Therefore, Huang suggests that high-rise dwellers regularly spray mosquito repellent in the elevator to stop the mosquitoes taking a lift up.

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