Uniting to fight mosquito menace

When Namma Bengaluru metamorphosed from being the much touted Pensioner’s Paradise into a tech savvy Silicon Valley, we started paying the price. The city expanded till it burst at its seams and then grew taller by the day till it became an unwieldy giant. The leafy avenues made way for wider roads and flyovers shaving away the green cover smoothly.

Electricity and water supply have been stretched to unimaginable limits to cater albeit insufficiently to the ever growing population. The sewage and the garbage disposal system which was built once upon a time, do not know how to handle our extraneous contemporary needs. The city has just about started rectifying the infrastructure.

Simultaneously, it has also started identifying and battling new age problems like public transport, traffic jams and all kinds of pollution. More recently, the mosquito menace has descended on us.

A little analysis of the dire straits that we have landed ourselves into will sadly reveal that we have no one else to blame for the same but ourselves. The biological food chain has been cut unceremoniously by us.

The mosquitoes which happen to be the meals of many varieties of amphibians and reptiles have lost their habitat and have come down in numbers. We cannot expect Mother Nature to take care of the imbalance immediately after flouting every rule in her book. Consequently, we now live in the terror of this miniature demon in disguise.

The population of the little blood sucker has boomed beyond imagination. Gone or the days when the occasional troublemaker could be reduced into a squishy insignificant pulp with a little alertness on our part. The tiny mosquito has grown big, quite literally. The ill effects of its bite has enhanced proportionately.

These days the mosquito bite can render us quite ill, helpless and sometimes do away with our lives by manifesting as multiple ailments like malaria, dengue and chikungunya among others. Each one of us has developed our very own methodology for overcoming this nuisance.

Mosquito coils, nets, repellants and creams, electric and electronic devices have fallen short of our expectations to annihilate the tribe off the face of earth. They don’t seem to be protecting us as well as we expect them to do.

Even if we do succeed in keeping mosquito-free premises, we cannot rest on our laurels. For, the moment we open the door or window, the little beasts will fly in gleefully and make life miserable for us.

Survival threatened
It is a fact that mosquitoes cannot be simply wished away. They are here for real. Unless we collectively do something about getting rid of them, we cannot avoid being bombarded by mosquito related news which sometimes hit the headlines. It is very obvious that no single individual can take up such a responsibility all on his own. Residents of a street could get together and take turns to do the duties assigned to them.

We must plant a few saplings of neem on the roadside wherever possible and make sure to take care of them. We could grow short hedges along the open drains.

Mint, tulsi, lemon grass, marigold, all spice and other such fragrant plants can dissuade mosquitoes. Besides, these plants will absorb the excessive moisture there-by draining or at least lessening the drain water to a large extent.

Whenever we see sewage water flowing into the storm water drains, we must make sure that we report to the authorities. Let us not wait for the local city corporation’s turn to spray mosquito repellant into the drains, we could spray the same on their behalf on a daily basis by taking turns till all the larvae disappear. We must not allow water to stagnate around our tenements.

If we have space in our compounds, we could make our own compost pit and dispose all bio-degradable waste into them and ensure that we add a layer of soil once in every three or four days.

Though the fumes emitted from burning of garbage and dried leaves can get rid of the pesky mosquitoes, avoid burning for it will pollute the air and will also ruin your chances of making rich compost.

All of us know that united we stand and divided we fall. We have come to a point where our health and perhaps our very survival is being threatened by these winged creatures. We must decide whether we want to annihilate or help the tribe of mosquitoes to thrive and act accordingly.

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