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9 Ways to Avoid Mosquitoes in Singapore

9 Ways to Avoid Mosquitoes in Singapore

Singapore is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes due to the city-state’s tropical climate and urban landscape. 

So to keep the pesky insects at bay, efforts to contain their population are continuously carried out here, with measures ranging from spraying insecticides to charging fines. 

If you’re staying in The Lion City as a local or a tourist, knowing a thing or two about how to deal with these little menaces can make your life here much more comfortable.  

We have compiled the best ways to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your homes and surroundings as well as methods to repel the insects if they’re flying near you. 

How do I keep mosquitoes away?

How do I keep mosquitoes away

You can keep mosquitoes away from you by ensuring that your place is not suitable for them to breed. Equipping your home with tried-and-tested anti-mozzie products will help too. 

Being as repelling to the little flying vampires as humanely possible is also important.

As for how you can do those, here are some steps to take

  1. Carry out the five-step Mozzie Wipeout
  2. Check and clean other areas where mosquitoes might thrive
  3. Try out natural mozzie repellents
  4. Invest in anti-mosquito equipment
  5. Seek professional mosquito treatment if necessary
  6. Use topical mozzie repellents
  7. Wear light-colored clothing
  8. Keep the electric fan running
  9. Avoid peak mozzie hours

Read on to know more about how you can do these steps in detail to free yourself from mozzies!

1. Carry out the five-step Mozzie Wipeout

Carry out the five-step Mozzie Wipeout

The National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Mozzie Wipeout campaign encourages Singaporeans to observe a five-step routine to control the mosquito population in the city-state.

The steps are as follows

  • Turn over flowerpot plates and trays regularly to get rid of stagnant water
  • Clear your roof gutters and apply BTI insecticide
  • Scrub the surfaces of water fountains regularly
  • Loosen up hardened soil in pots and garden patches
  • Regularly replace the water in your vases and containers

The important takeaway from these measures is that you should prevent water from stagnating because mosquitoes breed in such environments. 

For a higher success rate, integrate these steps into your regular home cleaning schedule.

What is the purpose of the Mozzie Wipeout campaign?
The purpose of the Mozzie Wipeout campaign is to prevent the spread of the dengue disease by controlling the mosquito population in Singapore. 
The campaign was launched in 2013, in which it called on the community to actively check for stagnant water collecting in people’s homes and get rid of them.

2. Check and clean other areas where mosquitoes might thrive

Check and clean other areas where mosquitoes might thrive

Go over your bedroom, living room, toilet, and kitchen to check for any signs of standing water. 

Areas to look into may include your indoor plant pots, water pails, gully traps, dish rack trays, and bamboo pole holders.

It’s also advisable to clear your home’s vicinity of breeding grounds. Check the drains and make sure they’re not clogged to prevent water from collecting there.

If you have water features such as fountains, you can add granular insecticide to them to repel mosquitoes. 

People who are taking care of plants or keeping a garden should take extra care not to leave stagnant water in flowerpot plates, watering cans, and plant leaves. 

If you’re traveling, cover your toilet bowls, seal off floor traps, and keep your windows tightly shut before leaving your home.

How does Singapore deal with dengue?

One way Singapore deals with dengue is by inspecting homes in the city-state. 
The National Environment Agency (NEA) executes the said visits and, upon your consent, will check your house and the premises for mosquito breeding habitats. 
If the team finds mozzies breeding in your place and the surrounding areas, you will face one or two of the following penalties as per the Control of Vectors and Pesticides Act
A fine of $5,000 Three-month imprisonmentNotice to attend court
How does Singapore deal with dengue

3. Try out natural mozzie repellents

Try out natural mozzie repellents

Mosquitoes usually buzz around your yard and can be a nuisance when you go out to clean or water your plants. 

Fortunately, you can shoo them away by using natural repellents (on top of eliminating stagnant water in your area). 

These natural repellents are readily available, so you can use them as much as you want, anytime you need them.

  • Cedar mulch. Use this garden essential as a top layer for your potted plants or beds and to cover areas close to your home and outdoor workspace.
  • Lemongrass. The plant has essential citronella oil that mosquitoes hate. You can crush its leaves and rub them on your skin for temporary mozzie relief.

The plant can also serve as an additional ornament to your landscaping.

Other plants whose oil scents are despicable for mosquitoes are rosemary, catnip, and basil.

What scent do mosquitoes hate?
Mosquitoes hate the natural scents of citronella, catnip, lavender, cedar, and peppermint, among others.
Some of these plants are also used to produce essential oils for a more concentrated effect, with citronella and lavender being the most popular. 
The oils are used for making natural repellents that you can apply to your skin for mosquito protection (more on this later).
What scent do mosquitoes hate

4. Invest in anti-mosquito equipment

Invest in anti-mosquito equipment

Simple anti-mosquito weaponry such as the good ol’ fly swatter and mozzie traps are must-haves for every home in Singapore, especially if you have a yard you frequent. 

You can also use these items easily in case some of the insects manage to pass through your window and door screens.

To protect you further, you can set up a mosquito net during bedtime.

More modern solutions you can consider as well include Thermacells and yellow LED lights

5. Seek professional mosquito treatment if necessary

Seek professional mosquito treatment if necessary

It is necessary to hire a professional to take care of your mosquito woes if the population is going beyond your control. They have the experience and equipment to exterminate pests efficiently.

Better yet, they work to eliminate the breeding source of the insects so you won’t have to deal with the same problem again in the foreseeable future (hopefully).

How do professionals get rid of mosquitoes in Singapore?

How do professionals get rid of mosquitoes in Singapore

The common methods most professionals in Singapore utilize to get rid of mozzies are thermal fogging, misting, and larviciding.

  • Thermal fogging. This method requires a thermal fogger that contains the fogging solution (or liquid insecticide). 

The substance is subjected to high heat until it vaporizes. The resulting vapor is then sprayed on the affected areas through the fogger’s nozzle. 

  • Misting. This mosquito treatment method uses insecticide converted into a fine mist. Its potency lies in the residual chemical that sticks on the surface after the initial spraying.

The said residue goes on to affect mosquitoes (usually killing them) for up to two weeks.

  • Larviciding. In this method, professionals target larvae so they won’t grow into adult mosquitoes. 

Larvicides can be liquid (sprayed) or solids (tablets, bits, or pellets applied to areas where mozzies lay their eggs).

6. Use topical mozzie repellents

Use topical mozzie repellents

Several mosquito repellents are safe to apply on your skin, giving you extra protection from their bites. These repellents include essential oils, patches, and sprays.

Essential oils like citronella, peppermint, and lavender are the most popular for their effectiveness against mosquitoes. 

You can mix the essential oil of your choice with water and spray the solution on your skin.

Do remember to test the solution on a small patch of your skin first. Refrain from using it if you’re left with rashes and other allergic reactions.

You can always burn the essential oil to fill your place with the scent as an alternative. 

Other repellents include the ubiquitous Tiger Balm repellent patch and the Three Star Brand Mozzie Free spray.

Is it safe to use mosquito repellents daily?

Is it safe to use mosquito repellents daily

Using mosquito repellents daily is generally safe, provided that you follow the instructions for using the product. 

You can easily do that, too, as manufacturers usually include directions on how to apply and when to reapply the repellent. Read those carefully before using the product on yourself to ensure safety. 

That said, you should only use the repellents when it’s necessary e.g. there are plenty of mosquitoes buzzing in your area or you’re going outdoors. 

The National Environment Agency (NEA) also indicated several guidelines for using topical anti-mosquito products.

– Check the product label- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions- If using sunscreen, apply it first before the repellent- Wash your hands right after applying the product- Avoid your eyes and mouth when applying the repellent– Do not overapply; use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and clothing- Do not use the product if it’s already expired- Do not apply the repellent on a cut, wound, or irritated skin

7. Wear light-colored clothing

Wear light-colored clothing

Scientific studies show that mosquitoes are attracted to heat and, incidentally, dark colors absorb more heat. 

If you’re wearing black or brown, chances are high that the mozzies will come after you. 

To avoid that, choose something light and pastel-colored for your next outfit if you’re going outdoors.

How can I be less attractive to mosquitoes?

How can I be less attractive to mosquitoes

To be less attractive to mosquitoes, it can help to wear white or other pale colors as these hues reflect off high temperatures, thus making you less noticeable to the heat-loving insects.

You should also cover as much skin as possible with hard-to-penetrate fabrics as doing so will give the mozzies a hard time biting through flesh. 

Fabrics that mosquitoes will find challenging to bite through include denim, tight-knit wool, and velvet. 

Such tips are especially useful if you’re visiting Singapore’s natural parks and zoos where mosquitoes are ever-present.

8. Keep the electric fan running

Keep the electric fan running

The strong wind from an electric fan can help ward off mosquitoes since they’re weak fliers. The force of the wind can make their flying wobbly and their landing on targets unsuccessful.

The wind from your electric fan also dilutes and disperses carbon dioxide, a gas that attracts mozzies. 

If you have the appliance pointed at you, the insects will have a hard time detecting the gas source and, hopefully, will prompt the mosquitoes to leave you alone.

Fans also cool you off, reducing your body heat and making you less desirable to the mozzies.

9. Avoid peak mozzie hours

Avoid peak mozzie hours

If possible, avoid going to mosquito-infested areas during the insects’ peak hours at dawn and dusk. 

It’s important to look out for harmful mosquito types, like the Aedes mosquito, which is active during the day.

Know that these mosquitoes can also bite at night in Singapore, though, given that the city-state is well-lit.

If you can’t avoid going out, bring some repellent with you.

Are mosquitoes a problem in Singapore?

Are mosquitoes a problem in Singapore

Mosquitoes can become a problem in Singapore if the population of species like dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti goes out of control.

Fortunately, the government had been consistent in fighting the harmful mozzies with its anti-mozzie campaigns. 

It also engages the community to do its part in keeping the insects from reproducing to an uncontrollable degree.

These efforts have, for the most part, minimized mosquito-induced dangers. That said, the battle against the mozzies is far from done as you can’t simply eradicate them, especially in areas considered dengue clusters.  

To even out the odds further, the National Environment Agency (NEA) is currently working on Project Wolbachia. 

This anti-mosquito measure uses science and technology to infect the mozzies with the Wolbachia bacteria, which can prevent the insects from transmitting dengue to humans.   

What types of mosquitoes are in Singapore?

What types of mosquitoes are in Singapore

The types of mosquitoes in Singapore include the dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti, Chikungunya virus carrier Aedes albopictus, Japanese encephalitis virus transmitter Culex quinquefasciatus, and Malaria vector Anopheles maculatus.

Over 80 mozzie species live in Singapore, but the four mentioned are of major concern.

You can find more information about the species’ characteristics and habitats from this informational material from NEA.

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