“Mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes… Bites, bites, bites… Diseases, diseases, diseases…” This is almost every Indian family’s concern when it comes to the monsoons in our country. Mosquitoes love stagnant water and the rains have arrived in full swing. There’s going to be a lot of stagnant water and mosquito breeding taking place. During this time each year, thousands of cases of mosquito diseases such as dengue, malaria, chikungunya, and others are reported. The question is – are we doing what’s right to prevent these bites and diseases caused by mosquitoes? Are we implementing the right mosquito control methods? Are we doing our bit to make the country anti-mosquito? Most often, we aren’t.
What are mosquitoes?
These are small, flying insects that exist across the globe, with thousands of known species. While some are more likely to bite human beings than others, a majority of them, especially the females, are carriers of diseases. These can cause irregularities in normal well-being. During this season, it becomes imperative to know how to keep mosquitoes away.
When a mosquito bites, the saliva of this insect causes redness, swelling, and itching to the human. However, that’s not it. It will be transmitted to the next person if the mosquito bites an infected person before that. Mosquitoes are the cause of hundreds of diseases. The most common mosquito diseases in India include Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya, Japanese Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and a few others. They have far-reaching effects and can also turn out to be fatal in extreme cases. So, you can see how vital it is to create an anti-mosquito society. The reported number of deaths due to mosquito diseases in India is slowly on the rise. With the monsoons now upon us, we all need to learn how to keep mosquitoes away and flush out potential mosquito breed sites.
Tropical countries like Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Australia are reported to be home to the most species of mosquitoes. However, India has always been high on the list of most deaths due to mosquito-related diseases. You can find these parasites everywhere, right from homes to cinema halls to streets to offices and everywhere else possible. As per a recent study, the city of Mumbai is reported to be the most active mosquito location in the country. While the city is one of the most developed ones in India, it is clearly putting its population in danger. It’s allowing mosquito breeding and its population falling prey to these diseases spread by these insects.
Some mosquito-related stats in India:
- During the period of 1998–2009, 82,327 dengue cases were reported (incidence: 6.34 per million population). During a more recent period of 2010–2014, 213,607 cases were reported (incidence: 34.81 per million population).
- The number of official mosquito related deaths in India in 2015 – 384.
- The number of official mosquito related deaths in India in 2016 – 331. The actual numbers may be much higher.
- According to the World Malaria Report 2016, India contributed 89% to malaria reports in the South-East Asia region.
- The National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Malaria Elimination (2017-22) would need funds to the tune of Rs 10,653 crore to get rid of Malaria from the country.
“If you can’t stop mosquito breeding, you can’t prevent the disease from spreading.”
The big metros have more and more people within the same infrastructure. This creates more waste, which is rarely ever disposed of properly. That is the main reason why these cities become good mosquito breeding areas.
Top 8 mosquito-infected cities in the country:
Now let’s look further at the top three mosquito-infested cities in India:
They call it the City of Dreams. The city that never sleeps. Known as the financial capital of India, Mumbai is clearly the most advanced city in the country. However, it surely isn’t keeping itself free from mosquitoes. It is ranked #1 on the list of mosquito-affected cities in the country. Mosquito control methods need to be implemented in the city now!
Known for infrastructural advancements and fast-paced life, this is the most populated city in the country. Sadly, its citizens have allowed it to become the most infested city for mosquito breeding. Malaria and dengue are regular features in Mumbai during the monsoons. However, there hasn’t been an official case of chikungunya as yet.
Another highly advanced city. It is known as the Garden City of India and even the IT capital of India. However, they could also be termed as one of the mosquito capitals of India. There are many active mosquito breeding sites in the city. While these cities are busy technologically advancing, they forget to take care of their citizens by making the surroundings mosquito-free. Bangalore should give mosquito control high priority.
Bangalore has over 400 cases of mosquito-related diseases each year, even after the monsoons. The fumigation or ‘fogging’ done by contractors in the city is rendered as useless. That is said to only kills Culex mosquitoes that cause forms of encephalitis. It doesn’t kill malaria and dengue-causing mosquitoes. Is fogging then, still an effective method of preventing mosquito breeding in the city?
This is the capital of India. However, this city does face a lot of issues when it comes to the various forms of pollution in the city. It leads to the declining health of citizens residing there. While smog and air pollution are regular problems in the capital, mosquito breeding is another huge problem. Delhi is ranked third on the list of cities facing the most number of mosquito-related issues.
This is the third most populated city in the country, both for humans as well as mosquitoes. In 2018, the mosquito menace in Delhi began way before the monsoons arrived. The weather there is conducive for mosquito-breeding. The Delhi High Court rapped the government for their ‘complete insensitivity’ in trying to control vector-borne diseases. This was because fogging was not carried out at all in most places. 25 cases of dengue and 8 cases of chikungunya were reported in the city by April this year. Alarming signs for the year, we presume!
Worst affected localities
Chennai Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata followed these three top cities and these are also highly developed cities. They all need to be doing more to get rid of mosquitoes and mosquito breeding places within their jurisdiction. Instead of being anti-mosquito cities, they are being pro-mosquito. Now, we’ve got an idea of the worst affected cities in India. Let’s dive deeper into which localities in these cities are the biggest mosquito breeding sites. These have the most cases of mosquito infestations and they all need mosquito traps and mosquito zappers installed across the cities. Maybe even pest control services. Check out the table below for a better understanding.
Top Cities Under Mosquito Attack
|1||Andheri(W)||Immadihalli||Noida||Gautam Buddha Nagar||Amber Hai||Adyar||KPHB Colony||9 DRD||Alipore||Azad Society|
|2||Bandra(W)||Yedeyur||Chilla East Delhi||Anand Vihar||Sector 45||Anna Nagar||Miyapur||Bhusari||Elliot Road||Ambli|
|3||Dadar||Hulimavu||Avantika Sector 1 Rohini||Sector 30||Sector 56||Kotturpuram||Kingsway||Chinchwadgaon||Jodhpur Par||Anandnagar|
|4||Kalyan||JP Nagar||Anandvas Shakurpur||Babarpur||Chakkarpur||Neelankarai||Gachibowli||Karvenagar||Netaji Nagar||Naranpura Vistar|
|5||Malad(W)||Yemalur||Jawala Heri||Bagdola||Arumbakkam||Cyberabad||Aundh||Ballygunge||Ashram Road|
|6||Cumballa Hill||Banaswadi||Arjun Nagar||Irumbuliyur||Mallapur||Baner Gaon||Garfa||Bokadev|
|7||Andheri(E)||HSR Layout||Abul Fazal Enclave||Kelambakkam||Bharat Nagar||Khondhwa||Garia Garden||Chandkheda|
|8||Kalwa||Agara||Vasant Kunj||Singanallur||Kondapur||Chinchwad (E)||E.K.T||Daxini Society|
|9||Bhandup||Bellandar||Bharat Nagar||Lloyd’s Estate||Anandbagh||Marunji||Dover Lane||Khodiyarnagar|
|10||Colaba||Chandra Layout||Coimbatore||Bachupally||Lokmanya Nagar||Bangur Avenue||Ahmedabad GPO|
Prevent Mosquito Breeding Sites
You will get a fair idea of which areas to avoid during the monsoons, from the table above. Besides that, you also know which areas need to up their game to get rid of mosquitoes. Here’s a question for those living in any one of the localities mentioned above. Have you been doing your job to prevent mosquito breeding in your area? Applying mosquito repellent cream on yourself while going down for an evening walk may make you anti-mosquito personally. However, it clearly isn’t doing your bit. Helping towards completely eradicating mosquito breeding sites in your area is what we mean by doing your bit.
We pointed out earlier that the most populated cities are also the worst-affected mosquito cities. Similarly, the main areas of the city are the mosquito hotspots. Look at the example of Mumbai, Andheri West and Bandra West being the most advanced localities in the city. They provide homes and employment to lakhs of people. Likewise, the same goes with the other entries on the table above. These cities need to be educated on how to keep mosquitoes away and which mosquito control methods they could use.
Helping your society become mosquito free
We’ve looked at the problems mosquitoes cause and the worst mosquito breeding places in India. Now, let’s look at the solution to these problems and how to create an anti-mosquito society. How can we make the situation better? How can we prevent mosquito bites and mosquito breeding? In such a big country, is an individual effort going to be enough? Or do we need to join hands and make a joint effort to get rid of mosquitoes?
Don’t just use mosquito control methods in your house. This isn’t enough as localities and societies are heavily plagued by these insects. The last thing you want is making your house mosquito free, but living in fear of diseases outside your home. Societies should work together towards using mosquito control methods in the area. They have easy hiding places that you would never expect in your building or colony or society. Such hidden mosquito breeding areas include:
- Parking lots
- Open sewage drains
- Neighbours’ homes
- Swimming pools
- Drains/gutters outside your society
- Water bodies in and around your society
Every society has an administrative body. They should take up mosquito-breeding prevention immediately and this should be done before the monsoons kick in. Your committee should’ve begun working towards terminating mosquito breeding areas and becoming an anti-mosquito society. If they haven’t, please drop in your suggestion ASAP. No one wants to be spending time in hospitals this season due to mosquito diseases. Solution: Get rid of mosquitoes!
What to put in standing water to prevent mosquitoes?
Water bodies are one of the main mosquito breeding places. As a result, you should know how to get rid of mosquitoes from any water body. Mosquito larvae in water are common but are invisible to the naked eye. A small layer of olive oil, vegetable oil or cinnamon oil on the water will do well to suffocate and kill mosquitoes in water. However, this method to kill mosquitoes in pool water isn’t good for fish. Use other insecticides to kill mosquito larvae in ponds and other water bodies.
How to keep mosquitoes away as a society:
A society’s collective efforts are very important. This will be good for not just one or two homes, but for the entire community as a whole. Read below to know how to keep mosquitoes away from your society:
Different blood types, sweating, and other things attract mosquitoes. One major mosquito magnet is GARBAGE too. Your society can initiate a clean-up drive with the help of either volunteers or through an NGO. Mosquito zappers kill the existing population, but regularization and proper management of wastes are best ways to get rid of mosquitoes. Garbage lids should always remain closed and no trash should remain in societies for too long. This will considerably reduce the number of mosquito breeding zones in your society.
Are the water bodies in your society home to mosquito breeding? Is there a way to install a swimming pool mosquito netting at night? Likewise, draining the pool every night is an option to consider too. Uncovered water tanks are an invitation to mosquito breeding, so ensure this isn’t the case. If you can’t get rid of the water such as ponds within the society, consider mosquito water treatment. Anti-mosquito insecticides that keep mosquitoes out, not causing harm to plants, fish, and animals that drink this water. Water management is the best way to get rid of mosquitoes, doing 50% of the job of keeping mosquitoes away.
Don’t provide shelter to mosquitoes by letting the gardens in your society grow out wild. This will make them mosquito gardens. Overgrown plants and weeds give shelter to these parasites, becoming mosquito breeding places before they strike at biting hours. While societies have beautiful gardens, not trimming the grasses could lead to several mosquito diseases. Trim the grasses to a maximum of 3-4 inches above the ground. As a result, they become anti-mosquito and keep a whole army of mosquitoes away.
Not just any plants. There are plants, herbs, and flowers that are natural mosquito repellents. They prevent the possibilities of unwanted mosquito breeding sites. Grow these in strategic places in your society, where the worst outbreaks of mosquitoes occur throughout the day. Presently, this is a cost-effective and one of the best ways to get rid of mosquitoes, while also beautifying the area. You could consider growing Citronella grass (lemon balm, lemon grass, lemon verbena), Peppermint, Geranium and Feverfew. Similarly, Tansy, Lemon eucalyptus, Marigolds, Lavender, Rosemary, Basil, Cedar, Anise, Chrysanthemums, Mint, Catnip, Pennyroyal, Wormwood, Cloves, are also useful.
Mosquito traps are anti-mosquito instruments for getting rid of mosquitoes, luring them in and killing them. It’s much how traditional rat-traps work. Hence, you can place these mosquito traps at high-affected points in your society. While most of the above points will help keep mosquitoes away, mosquito traps rather kill the existing population. Examples are mosquito zappers, mosquito dunks, mosquito lawn sprays, magnets, etc. These mosquito zappers are extremely effective as they lure mosquitoes towards them and kill them upon contact. Restaurants, hotels and other public places use mosquito zappers.
Pest control service:
Once all else fails, the best option will be to contact your local pest control service. They will demolish all mosquito breeding places in your locality. These guys are pros. They know exactly what needs to be done to take care of various types of pests. Hence, Pest control is easily the best way to get rid of mosquitoes. Pest control services like HiCare specialize in home cleaning as well as commercial and society clean-ups. Why not give a call to your nearby pest control service? Your society will go from mosquito-infested to anti-mosquito, due to this.
It all depends on each one of you reading this. Don’t just go through the net looking for the best ways to get rid of mosquitoes in your homes. In contrast, find ways to protect yourself, your families, and the rest of your city. Everyone’s help counts towards a safer and mosquito-free India.