Buying a mosquito net is one of the cheapest control measures for malaria and the mosquito vectors. And thankfully, different manufacturers have come up with the product different prices and specifications.
Children and pregnant women are at high risk of dying from malaria, and people with blood genotype AS are partially resistant to the malaria infection. This is the reason why genotype AS is especially prevalent in malaria-endemic areas.
Although the insecticide-treated mosquito nets remain very effective in preventing malaria, they come with some allergic reactions that especially affects the skin and face. This could be a burning or a tingling sensation of the face and skin but it does not cause much harm except the discomfort for a few days.
Insecticide treatment is recommended for synthetic materials like nylon and polyester because the use of cotton is not cost-effective. Mosquito nets that are pre-treated with insecticides are commercially available under different brands, but with the right materials, you can manually treat your net.
This could also be done for mosquito nets that still look physically okay but the insecticide concentration has depleted below effective levels. The net could then be reused by re-treating it with the required insecticide(s). The Long-Lasting Insecticide-treated Nets(LLINs) have the insecticide incorporated in the net fibres such that it is not removed by as many as 20 washes.
This procedure is preferably done on a mass scale, where many mosquito nets are treated together. This ensures cost and time-saving.
Steps Involved In Treating Your Mosquito NetFor ease of understanding, I will group the process into 10 steps as follows:
- Collect the necessary equipment The required equipment includes the following:
- The mosquito nets(could be used or newly made)
- Bowls or large dishes
- Measuring container/can
- Rubber/latex gloves
Ensure that the net is washed or cleaned before treatment and the procedure is preferably done outside in the shade, therefore a suitable location should be used. If treatment is to be carried out indoors, a room with open windows should be used.
The bowls or basins and gloves used are those that will not be used for any other purpose.
In some cases, the insecticides could come with a measuring container. In this case, use the measuring container to measure proportionate amounts of water. Otherwise, use any measuring container, that is not used for food, drinks, medicines.
Generally, 10-15 ml of insecticide is required to treat one net.
The insecticide used in treating mosquito nets are referred to as pyrethroids and they are chemically identified by the BIS Number. The BIS Number for two commonly-used Liquid Synthetic Pyrethroids is as follows:
i. Deltamethrin – IS14411: 1996
ii. Cyfluthrin – IS14156: 1994
As a precaution against ingestion by children, store leftover insecticide in its original container. Keep in a dark room away from children.
Soak the net long enough to ensure that all parts of the nets are impregnated, say 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then take out the nets and allow excess liquid to drip back.
Do not wring the treated net.
Empty insecticide containers, sachets, packets must be disposed-off or buried in a hole away from habitation, animal shelters, drinking water sources, ponds, rivers, streams.
Nets must be re-treated again after it has been washed three times or at least once a year even if it is not washed, preferably just before the rainy season. The LLINs have the advantage of being reused after about 20 washes before re-treated. Nets may be treated twice a year in areas that have a lot of mosquitoes all year long.
These steps are as easy as they are represented in the steps above, but the procedure may be difficult at first attempts. As you keep doing it, you get better at it.
The mosquito net insecticides(the synthetic pyrethroids) may not be readily commercially available but already treated mosquito nets are in the market for sale.
These nets are usually Long-lasting Insecticides treated nets and can stay for up to 20 times before they lose their effectiveness.
If the chemical is available and purchased, nets could be washed and retreated as many times as you want. This is cost-saving, especially when mosquito nets are required all year long.