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Under mosquito attack lately? You’re not alone

Nairobi has recently been experiencing heat waves which might have had an impact and the surge in mosquito population, an expert has warned.

Nairobians from various estates have been complaining that the mosquitoes having been giving them sleepless nights.

Monica Mugeni, a resident of Kasarani, complains that she has of late been battling with a higher number of mosquitoes every night as compared to the December.

“The repellants appear not to be working, it’s amazing,” rants Ms Mugeni. “Because of the hot weather, I have been leaving my windows open and I assumed because it’s not the rainy season, there would be no mosquitoes.” But she is wrong.

The Kenya Meteorological Department deputy director Samuel Mwangi says while mosquitos breed faster in warm weather, the existence of open drainages has compounded the problem, by providing a perfect breeding places for the parasites.

Mosquitoes need water which provides habitat for them and warm humid weather also helps keep mosquitoes alive longer.

Here are a few tips to keep mosquitoes away:

1. Tip out, and drain or cover any water-holding containers because anything that collects water can be used by mosquitoes. Make sure your water buckets are correctly covered.

2. Curtain your windows, this may not help when you’re outside but it will at least stop them coming inside. If you live near wetlands, give some serious thought to creating a partitioned outdoor area.

3. Cover up or wear repellent, if you’re outdoors, particularly at dawn or dusk, cover up with long sleeved shirts and long pants. Pale colours tend not to attract so many mosquitoes. Apply repellent to any exposed areas of skin.

4. Use sprays and coils and sticks and zappers, there are plenty of products available that contain insecticides. Aerosol “fly sprays” will help get rid of a mozzie buzzing about indoors but the better option are the “plugin” zappers that heat a small reservoir of insecticide.

These are very effective and safer to use indoors than burning a mosquito coil. Coils and sticks should only be burnt outdoors or in sheltered areas.