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Mosquitoes are not only annoying pests that cause irritation from their bites, they are also responsible for the transmission of certain diseases, some of which can be fatal. Some commonly spread diseases include malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Ross River virus and Zika virus. It is only the female mosquito that is the blood sucker as it requires a blood meal before laying its eggs, which are placed on the surface of water. These hatch into aquatic larvae or 'wrigglers'.
Control of mosquitoes can be achieved with a combination of non-chemical and chemical methods. Non-chemical methods can significantly reduce mosquito populations, mainly by the elimination of breeding sites, which can be any body of stagnant water such as pools, blocked gutters, swamps, dams, ponds, etc. Mosquito traps and bug zappers are also an effective non-chemical control method. These devices utilise UV light and heat as well as small amounts of carbon dioxide to attract and trap mosquitoes.
Chemical control of mosquitoes involves the use of insecticides to treat areas where mosquitoes rest. Other chemical approaches can be the use of deterrents or repellents such as citronella or allethrin. Natural deterrents such as sandalwood sticks are also effective mosquito repellents.