World Mosquito Day (WMD) was established to commemorate the discovery of the link between mosquitoes and malaria transmission. This happened in 1897, yet malaria still kills up to 400 000 people each year. WMD aims to raise awareness about the causes of malaria and how it can be prevented. There is also fundraising for research into the cure for malaria.
As a species, mosquitoes are said to have been around for more than 200 million years. The little buzzers have been discovered to also be the carriers of other diseases like dengue, chikungunya and more recently the zika virus. However, humans are in the process of coming up with newer and better methods to combat them.
The best thing you can do to discourage these insect pests is prevent water from collecting on your smallholding and becoming stagnant. Mosquitoes can lay hundreds of eggs even in a tiny spoonful of standing water.
Mozzies spend their daytime by lying low in grass and weeds, which provides them with the high level of humidity they need to avoid drying out. Make sure to keep your garden trimmed to give these annoying bugs fewer hiding spots.
DIY Mosquito Trap
When the weather begins to warm up, you can make a trap to draw mosquitoes away from your home. To do this, cut off the top of a 2 litre drinks bottle. Turn it upside down and place it inside the bottle, so that it resembles a funnel. Mix a cup of sugar, a cup of water and a teaspoon of yeast. Bring one cup of water to the boil and combine with the sugary mixture. Pour this down the ‘funnel’ you have created and seal the two parts of the bottle with tape. There you have it – a homemade mosquito trap to help get rid of mosquitoes.
On World Mosquito Day, you can consider various plants that are said to repel mosquitoes, although some experts say that they don’t in fact work as repellents. Maybe you can try planting garlic and lavender plants around your home, or marigold. Others suggest catnip, rosemary, peppermint, lemon verbena and citronella grass. You can grow them in pots so that you can move them around to where you need them.
There are also DIY anti-mosquito recipes for sprays or balms. The sprays are made from essential oils and water or a carrier oil. They often contain combinations of two or three of these oils: lavender, lemon grass, citronella, lemon eucalyptus, cinnamon, thyme or tea tree oil. Lotions will include some of these essential oils as well as chopped plants that are boiled and strained, as well as beeswax.