Use nature to fight mosquitoes

Recently, my condominium had a serious mosquito problem and the National Environment Agency (NEA) carried out inspections of houses in the area.

One of the NEA officers said many of the houses in the area were breeding mosquitoes.

They followed up with diligent fumigation and more inspections.

I thought that would be the end of the mosquito problem but, to my surprise, just two days after the fumigation, the mosquitoes were back with a vengeance.

Obviously, the fumigation and repellents we are using are not working, perhaps because the mosquitoes have built up a resistance to them.

The approach to the fight against mosquitoes needs to change.

In India, it is a well-known fact that, besides its many other medicinal benefits, the tulsi or holy basil plant repels mosquitoes. Another flower which mosquitoes dislike is marigold.

There are many other plants and trees which can be used to repel mosquitoes.

Singapore has beautiful gardens and parks. Why don't we make such mosquito-repelling plants an integral part of our gardens?

Natural predators for mosquitoes and their larvae, such as small fish species and dragonflies, should also be promoted.

Singapore has dedicated environment agencies and talented researchers. I hope they will be able to come up with a sustainable solution to this menace.

Snigdha Sharma (Dr)