Mozzie Bites
Bite-sized information about dengue in Singapore

Ans: The Aedes mosquito typically breeds in clean, stagnant water easily found in our homes. All it takes is clean, stagnant water as small in volume as the size of a 20-cent coin for mosquitoes to breed. 

To prevent mosquito breeding, you can practise the Mozzie Wipeout ‘B-L-O-C-K’ steps regularly to remove stagnant water in your premises. Read more here.
 
Ans: Dengue is not transmitted directly from one person to another. Dengue is transmitted by infected mosquito bites. Hence, persons living in the same area may come down with dengue if bitten by an infected mosquito. 

If you live in a dengue cluster area, carry out ‘Spray, Apply, Wear’ (S-A-W) actions to protect yourself and your family. 

To get regular alerts on dengue clusters and areas with high Aedes aegypti mosquito population, go here

Ans: The Aedes mosquito is generally day-biting and most active during daylight hours with peak biting soon after sunrise and just before sunset.

However, in Singapore’s highly urbanised environment, the Aedes mosquito has been observed to have adapted to artificial lighting and can bite at night as well.

Ans: There are two broad types of mosquito traps that have been developed to catch adult female mosquitoes. One broad category of traps attempts to mimic the human host to actively lure female mosquitoes seeking a blood meal. The other broad category of traps attempts to attract female mosquitoes seeking a place to lay their eggs. 

However, none of these traps are foolproof or effective, especially in the presence of more attractive human hosts and other competing sources of stagnant water. Therefore, we should not be relying solely on such traps to keep our homes safe from mosquitoes. 

The best way to keep your area mosquito-free is by practising the Mozzie Wipeout ‘B-L-O-C-K’ steps regularly, to remove stagnant water in your premises.
 

Ans: What you see are Gravitraps, that help monitor the Aedes mosquito population in the vicinity, and helps NEA prioritise resources by directing officers to search and destroy breeding habitats at locations with higher Aedes mosquito populations.

Gravitraps are designed to attract and trap female Aedes mosquitoes looking for sites to lay their eggs. These mosquitoes are not seeking a blood meal and will not bite. These mosquitoes will be captured and thus prevented from subsequently biting others. The Gravitrap also traps and prevents the emergence of mosquitoes from eggs laid in that trap. This way, it helps to reduce the number of mosquitoes emerging from other sites.

Ans: Only 2 species of mosquitos – the Aedes aegypti and the Aedes albopictus – are able to transmit dengue in Singapore.

The Aedes aegypti is the most efficient vector of dengue. It has adapted to living in close proximity to humans, thriving in urban areas, with a preference for biting humans. It typically breeds in artificial or natural water containers and bodies, like flower pot plates and trays. The risk of getting dengue is thus higher in areas with high human congregation, like urban residential areas, including parks and playgrounds.

The Aedes albopictus is commonly found in forests, and other areas with much greenery. It’s not as efficient in transmitting dengue, but has been responsible for outbreaks overseas when present in large numbers in densely populated areas. There is therefore some risk of getting dengue in our green spaces, but the risk is comparatively lower than in residential areas.

When visiting parks and other nature areas, protect yourself from mosquito bites by applying insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved, loose fitting and light-coloured clothing. 

 

Ans: Repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) picaridin or IR3535 as the active ingredient are the most effective in repelling mosquitoes. These products are safe, even for pregnant women and nursing mothers. Products with less than 10% DEET are safe for young children and infants from 2 months of age.

The effectiveness of repellents based on plant-based extracts like citronella, eucalyptus and other essential oils varies from person to person and usually require more frequent application. They can generally provide some protection, but are less effective.

Know your dengue symptoms

Dengue typically starts off with a fever, but it can be more than that - there are 6 possible symptoms in total!

 
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