What is the point of buying another insecticide-treated net when you can still treat the old one if it’s not badly torn? Manually treating mosquito nets with insecticides helps to prolong the useful life of the net in preventing mosquito bites and the diseases caused by them.
Considering the global problem of malaria, yellow fever, and other diseases caused by mosquito bites, the use of anti-mosquito insecticide-treated nets become indispensable in combating mosquitoes.
Also being able to manually treat mosquito nets for reuse also means you can easily turn non-insecticide nets to treated nets, especially when you live in places where it is relatively difficult to purchase a pre-treated mosquito net.
After several months of use or about 20 washes, insecticide-treated nets might have lost a good level of the insecticide concentration it contains. Re-treating the net with a long-lasting insecticide (LLI) like the one initially used can help restore its function as both a chemical and physical barrier against mosquitoes.
The procedure is preferably done on a mass scale in which case you are going to treat several mosquito nets together. That makes the process more cost and time-saving.
Table of Contents
The required equipment includes the following:
The mosquito nets (could be new or old nets)
The insecticide solution
Bowls or large dishes
Steps Involved In Manually Treating Mosquito Nets
The following steps are involved in the procedure of manually treating mosquito nets.
1. Collecting the necessary equipment/materials
The materials required to manually treat mosquito nets are as outlined above. After that, find a suitable location where you would treat the available nets.
If an indoor room is to be used, ensure it has at least two windows and they should be open. The bowls and gloves should be dedicated to only this purpose and not used for any other purpose.
2. Put on protective gloves
This is an important step because protective gloves help to protect your skin from toxic reactions of the chemicals to be used. Usually, synthetic pyrethroids are the insecticides used in treating mosquito nets as you will see shortly.
3. Measure the correct amount of water and insecticide into the bowls
The amount of water needed depends on the size of the net to be treated. Half (½) litre of water (500ml) is required for one standard-sized synthetic net (made of nylon or polyester). The larger the net, the more the amount of water required.
The insecticide could come with a measuring container. If you do find one, use it to measure proportionate amounts of insecticide in water. Otherwise, use any measuring container that can give you accurate or approximate measures.
Also, the amount of insecticide needed depends on the size and number of nets to be treated, as well as the type of insecticide used. After purchasing the insecticide, follow the instructions on the container or sachet on the required amount and proportion of the insecticide to use.
Generally, 10-15mls of a synthetic pyrethroid (permethrin) insecticide is required to treat one standard-sized net. These chemicals are chemically identified by the BIS number and two commonly used liquid synthetic pyrethroids include Deltamethrin (BIS IS14411: 1996) and Cyfluthrin (BIS IS14156: 1994).
4. Soak the mosquito nets in the insecticide solution for 30 minutes to 1 hour
After mixing the water and insecticide in a solution, soak the untreated or fairly treated mosquito net in the solution and leave for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Ensure your hands are gloved during this process, and take precautions to prevent ingestion of leftover insecticide in contact with the containers after treatment.
Treat one net at a time even though you can use the same insecticide solution to treat several nets before discarding.
Ensure that the net is wholly immersed in the insecticide during treatment, and lastly, take it off and hang it in open air or shade to drip dry. Avoid wringing to the net to remove excess water.
Also, avoid placing them under direct sunlight as it can affect the potency of the insecticides. Once dry, the treated nets would be ready for use.
5. Dispose of leftovers and wastes, clean equipment, and wash hands
After all the nets have been treated and hung for air-drying, dispose of leftover insecticide solution. Ensure you don’t dispose of it close to where it can contaminate plants, animals, or domestic water.
Wash the chemicals from reusable and store them for subsequent use. Other non-reusable materials can be disposed of at a suitable location.
Finally, wash your hands with soap and clean water, and rinse off properly.
Frequently asked questions about treated mosquito nets
What insecticide is used in mosquito nets?
Synthetic pyrethroids like Deltamethrin and Cypermethrin are the commonly used mosquito insecticides for mosquito net treatment. They are formulated as Long-lasting Insecticides (LLIs) due to their long duration of impregnation in the net.
How long do insecticide-treated nets last?
The Long-lasting Insecticide-treated Nets (LLINs) can last up to 3 years and as many as 20 washes, after which it needs to be re-treated.
Manually treated nets may need to be re-treated after three washes or after a year even if it was not washed, and subsequently done at least once a year. In places where mosquitoes are abundant, nets may be treated twice a year because of a higher need to wash more often.
A mosquito net is one of the cheapest and most effective control measures against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. Impregnating it with insecticides adds another layer of protection to the net but it can work without being treated by insecticides.
What are the types of mosquito nets?
Modification of mosquito nets comes in terms of size, pore sizes, concentration of impregnated insecticide, and the type of material used in making the nets. Smaller sizes are available for children and babies, and larger sizes for adults sleeping on large beds.
Is treated mosquito net safe for the skin?
Yes, mosquito nets are generally safe for the skin and overall health of the body.
Insecticide-treated nets have some side effects. The commonest is burning skin reactions caused by pyrethroid irritation of the skin. This can produce significant discomfort but does not progress into severe life-threatening reactions.
Yes, mosquito net insecticides (the synthetic pyrethroids) are commercially available. You are on your way to manually treat your mosquito nets for personal or commercial use once you purchase a can of the chemical.
I am a medical doctor, a seasoned writer and passionate blogger. Thanks to many years of trials, failure, and near successes. I am the founder of Knowseeker and our content are geared towards enlightening and making you a better and happier audience.