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Guideline to tackle mosquitoes

ASIR , June 24, 2007

A scientific team at King Khaled University has issued a guideline to tackle the menace of mosquitoes.

This follows complaints of mosquito attacks by the Saudi border patrol officers stationed on the islands in the Red Sea at the border with Yemen.

The recommendations by the team, led by Dr Hussein ibn Mane Alouadei, director of the Prince Sultan Research Center for Environment, Water and Desert, offer advice for reducing mosquitoes that could be applied to any rural or urban community, said a report in the Arab News.

The advice revolves mainly around reducing standing water around areas of human habitations. Mosquitoes use pools of still water to plant their spawn. The mosquito-prevention tips include the following:

Move organic waste away from residential areas and bury it to avoid exposure to air; fill in drainage ditches and use buried pipes to remove wastewater from residential areas; fill in holes dug by animals where water can pool out of sight; use low wattage lighting (25 to 40 watts) near habitations and cover the lights with clear plastic sheeting to further weaken the glare; use higher wattage exposed-bulb lighting further away from habitations - mosquitoes will be attracted to the brighter light; use insect traps and screens over doors and windows and paint buildings in darker colors; reduce the amount of exposed skin by wearing long sleeves and trousers; and use over-the-counter insect repellants for the body and the interior of habitations.

The team also found in the climate on the islands that the mosquitoes were attracted to Al-Shoura herbs.

Mosquitoes also use living and dead foliage to hide out under during the heat of the day. Trimming foliage away from areas of human habitation helps reduce the presence of the insects.

Mosquitoes detect the presence of carbon dioxide (which mammals release when they breathe) in the air to hunt down their prey, which is why they tend to bite near the face while people sleep.

Mosquito netting over beds is one of the most effective ways of reducing mosquito bites while sleeping.

The university team that released the recommendations to the border patrols in the south included: Dr Sami Muhammad Abdullah, ecologist; Dr Mady Muhammad Murad, botanist; Ahmad Galhoum, entomologist; and Mubarak Saeed Al-Shahrani, an expert on nature-reserve management.




Tags: King Khaled University | guideline | mosquitoes |

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