@Home: Protect Your Home From Mosquitoes


Despite reports that the dengue virus is not currently a threat to us in Jamaica, it’s still important for us take the necessary precautions to keep ourselves safe from mosquito-borne diseases.  There are many ways to protect your home and family, here are a few: 

1. Protect your home 

Check around your house for mosquito breeding sites, like pails of stagnant water, old vases, flower pots, old tyres, uncovered garbage bins or puddles forming on roofs or elsewhere. Mosquitoes like to settle in areas, so it’s best to get rid of these sites as quickly as possible.  

Prevent mosquito breeding in your home by following these steps: 

• Always cover buckets or drums, or turn them upside down if they are not in use or poke holes in the base to allow for drainage.


• Change the water in vases, water pans for your pets and catchment pans regularly, ensuring to keep them clean so that you can prevent the growth of mosquito larvae.


• Mow your lawns regularly – mosquitoes often lurk in tall grass, so keeping it low will reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard. 


2. Cover up! 


A major key to preventing bug bites is to wear clothing that covers you up. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants cover areas most prone to bug bites, so when weather permits, cover up! Also, try using mosquito nets to cover your bedding and sleep in clothes that protect your skin. Another great tip is to get mesh inserts for your windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from coming into your home. 


3. Insect Repellents 

DEET is the only approved active ingredient that repels the Aedes Aegypti mosquito that spreads diseases such as Dengue and now Chikungunya and the Zika Virus. Ensure that when you’re buying a new repellent that DEET is an active ingredient. 


You can also use essential oil candles to repel mosquitoes.

Citronella is an essential oil famous the world over for its insect repelling properties. It’s an anti-inflammatory for mosquito bites, so if you dab a little on mosquito bites, it can help to soothe itching and reduce swelling.

Other bug-repelling essential oils include:

• Lemongrass

• Pine

• Clove

• Tea Tree

• Lavender

• Cedar

• Cinnamon

If mosquitoes are a big problem in your area, ensure to contact the Ministry of Health so that it can arrange for routine spraying to be done in that community.