Exterminators — Lanka’s Dengue Task Force

Mosquitoes are responsible for more deaths in the world than the sum of all human conflict since the world began

Mosquitoes are responsible for more deaths in the world than the sum of all human conflict since the world began

Exterminators (Pvt) Ltd, an award winning premier pest control company in Sri Lanka, believes that it is the responsibility of the company as the recognised leader in the pest management industry  to take the initiative to fight the dengue epidemic which has been prevalent since January 2009. Exterminators is affiliated to the American Mosquito Control Association.

The Exterminators team has undergone training on mosquito control and dengue prevention in Singapore organised by the National Environment Agency – Singapore.

The Exterminators Dengue Task Force will carry out awareness via educational and training programmes, street dramas, posters, and brochures from February 10. Posters can be collected from branches at Hyde Park Corner, Battaramulla, Kandy, Galle, Kurunegala, Matara, Wattala and Jaffna. Awareness programmes and posters for schools will be totally free. The company also provides consultancy for municipal/urban councils. Exterminators (Pvt) Ltd is the only ISO 9001-2000 & ISO 14001-2004 certified pest control company in Sri Lanka

Mosquitoes are a great threat to human health and existence than any other animal species. They transmit many deadly diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, filariasis, dengue and encephalitis, which kill and debilitate millions of humans worldwide despite today’s medical advances. Mosquitoes belong to the family culicidae of order diptera. They have four distinct stages in their life cycle namely egg, larva, pupa and adult. All insects including mosquitoes need three things for survival — air, food and water. Mosquitoes are found worldwide from the tropics to the Arctic, and from below sea level to altitudes of 14000 feet. About 3200 mosquito species in 39 genera are currently recognised in the world.

Mosquitoes are responsible for more deaths in the world than the sum of all human conflict since the world began, resulting in the Guinness Book of Records recording them as the deadliest living thing on Earth. Mosquito adults feed on flower nectar and juices of fruits for flight energy. The female requires a blood meal for egg development.

Depending on species, female mosquitoes may lay 100 to 300 eggs at a time and may average 1,000 to 3,000 during their life span. Mosquitoes remain within one mile radius of their breeding site. The average period from egg to adult is 7 to 14 days. In 1923 Russia had five million cases of malaria with over 60,000 deaths. In Africa, malaria still kills as many as half of all children by the age of five years in many of the under-developed areas

Mosquito FAQ

Why do mosquitoes feed on blood?

Female mosquitoes imbibe blood so that their eggs can mature prior to laying. It serves no nourishment function. Males do not take blood meals at all. In order to obtain energy, both male and female mosquitoes feed upon plant nectars — much in the same manner as honeybees.

How long do mosquitoes live?

Lifespans vary by species. Most adult female mosquitoes live 2-3 weeks. The average lifespan of the female mosquito is 3 to 100 days; the male is 7 to 20 days.
How high do mosquitoes fly?

In general, mosquitoes that bite humans prefer to fly at heights of less than 25 ft.  In Singapore, they have been found in apartments 21 stories above ground. Mosquitoes have been found breeding up to 8,000 feet in the Himalayas and 2000 feet underground in mines in India.

What attracts mosquitoes to me?

Why some people seem to be more attractive than others to mosquitoes is the subject of much repellent (and attractant for traps) research being conducted globally. Carbon dioxide is the most universally recognised mosquito attractant and draws mosquitoes from up to 35 meters. When female mosquitoes sense carbon dioxide they usually adopt a zigzagging flight path within the plume to locate its source. Once in the general vicinity of a potential host, other cues predominate, including body odours (sweat, lactic acid, etc.) and heat.

Odors produced by skin microflora also play a part in inducing the mosquito to land.

Over 350 compounds have been isolated from odours produced by human skin. Either singly or in combination, many of these compounds may be attractants — and many may be repellents. What can be safely stated, though, is that ingestion of garlic, vitamin B12 and other systemics has been proven in controlled laboratory studies to have no impact on mosquito biting. Conversely, eating bananas did not attract mosquitoes as the myth suggests, but wearing perfumes does. People drinking beer have been shown to be more attractive to mosquitoes. Limburger cheese has also been found to be attractive. Scientists have theorised that this may explain the attractancy some mosquitoes find for human feet.
Dengue fever is an infectious disease caused by a group of virus that belongs to the genus flavivirus. The dengue causing mosquito Aedes aegypti prefers to breed indoors in clean, stagnant water. Its life cycle is short. It takes about 7 days to develop from an egg to an adult mosquito. Females bite anytime between sunrise and sunset, the peak biting time is early morning and late afternoon.

Dengue FAQ

What are the signs and symptoms of dengue?

High fever (3-7 days), intense headache, painful joints and muscles. Pain behind eyes and often a rash may appear as fever  reduces, dangerous complications can occur, hemorrhagic or shock syndrome,  bleeding under skin, gums, nose or in vomit. Clammy skin, cold and sweaty extremities, drowsiness, and/or restlessness
How to prevent dengue mosquito bites?

Use a mosquito repellent when outdoors during daytime. Fly wire/screening on doors and windows. Mosquito coils or vapour mats. Mosquito nets for children or elderly who sleep during the day. None of these are effective by themselves alone, use a combination.

What if I get dengue fever?

No specific treatment – no curative drug is available. Use supportive care – pain relief, drink fluids, rest. Use paracetemol, do not use aspirin or ibuprofen.

Rush patient to hospital as soon as you notice high fever with bleeding symptoms, blood spots under the skin, bleeding from gums, nose bleeding, vomiting blood.
Dengue prevention is much better than cure. Always remember the 4 Ds:

DRAIN: Many mosquito problems in your neighbourhood are likely to arise from water-filled containers that you can help to eliminate. All mosquitoes require water in which to breed. Be sure to drain any standing water around your house. Breeding areas are stagnant water such as flower vases, uncovered barrels, buckets and discarded tyres, but the most dangerous areas are wet shower floors and toilet bowls, as they allow the mosquitoes to breed right in the residence.

Clear roof gutters of debris. Clean pet water dishes regularly. Check and empty children’s toys. Avoid water collecting on pool covers. Even the smallest of containers that can collect water can breed hundreds to thousands of mosquitoes.

DEFEND: Choose a mosquito repellent that has been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Registered products have been reviewed, approved, and pose minimal risk for human safety when used according to label directions.

Read the directions on the label carefully before applying. Apply repellent sparingly, only to exposed skin (not on clothing). Keep repellents away from eyes, nostrils and lips: do not inhale or ingest repellents or get them into the eyes.  The American Academy of Paediatrics suggests that DEET-based repellents can be used on children as young as two months of age. Generally, the AAP recommends concentrations of 30% or less. Avoid applying repellents to portions of children’s hands that are likely to have contact with eyes or mouth. Pregnant and nursing women should minimise use of repellents. Never use repellents on wounds or irritated skin. Use repellent sparingly and reapply as needed. Saturation does not increase efficacy. Wash repellent-treated skin after coming indoors. If a suspected reaction to insect repellents occurs, wash treated skin, and call a physician. Take the repellent container to the physician.

DRESS : Wear light coloured loose fitting clothing. Most of the deadly mosquito species are attracted to dark clothing and some can bite through tight-fitting clothes. When practical, wear long sleeves and pants.

DESTROY:  adultacide spraying, larvacide spraying, fogging treatment, mosqi mist blower treatment and ultra low volume treatment.

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