Science and Environment

Fighting dengue: Is your odorless insect spray really odorless?


MANILA, Philippines - The risk of dengue increases as frequent typhoons and monsoon rains hit different parts of the country. Now that the Department of Health (DOH) urges the public to fight dengue first at the household and community level, using insect sprays at home to eliminate dengue-carrying mosquitoes is an even more important routine. This also makes using odorless insect sprays a smart option for household use.

The strong odor of insect sprays can be very uncomfortable. The odor can last for hours after the home has been sprayed. This discourages some people from using insect sprays at home.

This, however, has dire consequences. The DOH warns that dengue is a yearlong, potentially fatal disease threat in the Philippines. In 2011, there are over 83,459 dengue cases reported nationwide from Jan. 1 to Sept. 24 alone.

There have been almost 100 million cases of dengue around the globe and more than 2.5 billion people are at risk of dengue infection. 

Using a household insect spray is one of the effective means to fight dengue and protect one’s family from other insect-borne diseases in the home.

Insect sprays: Practical and effective

What other options do we have other than the regular sprays with strong odor? Some insect sprays cover the strong chemical smell by adding floral or fruity scents. These added scents, however, only mask the chemical smell. The smell remains under the added scents.

A truly odorless insect spray, on the other hand, does not need an added scent because its formulation has no odor in the first place. What’s the advantage of using an odorless insect spray? An odorless household multi-insect spray lets the family resume normal activities inside the home soon after the waiting time prescribed on the label — without exposure to any lingering insect spray odor.

Members of the household no longer have to put up with any irritating odor or masking scents (some people are allergic to mild or strong scents, even pleasant ones like cologne or perfume) that linger after spraying.

DOH strategy

The DOH has launched a campaign called “Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue” (ABaKaDa), enjoining homes and barangays to apply measures for dengue prevention and control. By protecting their homes, people are also preventing illness and fatalities throughout the community.

“Combating dengue requires everyone’s cooperation. We need to do our part in fighting this threat,” DOH Secretary Enrique Ona said.

To fight dengue in the home and protect the community at large, make the following practices a household routine:

Apply the 4-S strategy. According to a DOH advisory, each household must practice the 4-S strategy versus dengue: 1) Search and destroy mosquito breeding sites; 2) Self-protection by wearing long-sleeved shirts; 3) Seek early advise/consultation at the nearest health center; and 4) Say YES to fogging only when there is an impending outbreak.

Get rid of sources of stagnant water. To prevent mosquitoes from having a habitat wherein they can lay eggs and propagate, get rid of old tires and other containers that can collect rainwater or store stagnant water. Covering containers to prevent access by female mosquitoes is also encouraged to stop eggs and larvae from multiplying.

Spray an effective, odorless multi-insect killer. An odorless multi-insect spray encourages more people to spray their homes and get rid of dengue-carrying mosquitoes. There are insect sprays in the market that claim to be odorless but once they are used, consumers find out that these supposedly “odorless” sprays still have a faint smell.

Advanced Aerosol Multi-Insect Killer is the only truly odorless aerosol insect spray in the Philippines. Formulated by Bayer CropScience, it leaves no irritating odor nor any masking scents in the home; it contains an advanced formulation that is 100 percent odorless and 100 percent effective against dengue-carrying mosquitoes and other insect pests such as cockroaches.

Use, read and follow the instructions on the label. Residents must leave the premises before spraying Advanced Aerosol Multi-Insect Killer into the bedroom, kitchen, living room, and other areas of the house where insects reside. Make sure that windows and doors are closed.

After the time prescribed in the instructions has elapsed, residents may resume doing household chores or bonding with their family indoors. Open all windows and doors for proper ventilation.

Keep the surroundings clean. This is one of the most effective ways of preventing and controlling the spread of dengue virus. Plants, gardens, roof gutters and canals should be cleaned regularly as they also serve as mosquito-breeding sites.

People can also get extra protection by keeping windows screened and doors closed to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home, especially during the day because dengue-carrying mosquitoes bite at daytime.

Use an OL trap kit. The DOH has tied up with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in launching the ovicidal/larvicidal (OL) trap kit, which aims to prevent the next generation of mosquitoes from reaching adulthood. The trap is composed of a black container, a strip or flat stick of lawanit (a thin strip of wood made from reconstituted coconut husk), and a DOST-formulated larvicidal solution.

Just put these trap kits in areas where mosquitoes thrive. The scent of the larvicidal solution will attract female mosquitoes to the trap. The insects will lay eggs on the strip of wood that had absorbed the solution. The eggs and larvae that are going to get in contact in the solution will be poisoned and die. Tests run by the DOST show that an OL trap can kill up to 490 out of 500 larvae.

Use protective clothing and insect repellent. Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes when outdoors is also a good protection from mosquito bites. Applying mosquito repellents on skin is also recommendable. Just make sure, though, to follow the instructions on how to properly use these products.

Monitor mosquito population. Regular monitoring and observation of the mosquito population should also be done to ensure the effectiveness of the precautionary measures against dengue. Dengue cases are year-round occurrences so it is best to do surveillance as often as possible.

Dengue may be a worldwide problem but knowing how to prevent it, starting right at the household greatly helps in saving lives and protecting one’s family and community.












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