Mosquitoes are always seen as an annoying pest, or at the very least, a mild inconvenience. But as we know, these tiny critters are anything but harmless. From Malaria and Chikungunya to Zika and of course, the dreaded Dengue fever, mosquitoes continue to prove themselves a worthy adversary against humanity. If even adults perish at the hands of these blood-sucking insects, it\u2019s all the more important to protect the youngest of our family members from being a victim of this cunning fiend. Here are some ways to mozzie-proof your kids (and your home) based on sound scientific research. Say 'No' to Mosquitoes You\u2019re probably familiar by now with all the government-sanctioned advertisements about how to prevent Dengue. The most important takeaway is that it\u2019s imperative that we remove all stagnant water sources. Especially from flower pots and rain gutters. These are common breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes. However, this may not always be enough, especially if you have lazy, ignorant neighbours, or ones with abandoned homes. Aedes mozzies from other people\u2019s houses can easily drop in for an uninvited visit at your doorstep. Other than calling the authorities, the best you can do is make your home as inhospitable to mosquitoes as much as you can. Aside from removing stagnant water here are some other things you can do: \tavoid too many indoor plants \tturn on the dehumidifier \tkeep your home air-conditioned \tkeep the doors closed (especially at sunrise and sundown) \tinstall insect screens on windows Use Insect Repellents This can be a hard pill to swallow but many mosquito repellents are useless. They don\u2019t last and have a limited area of effect and probably won\u2019t protect you from the more dangerous types of mosquitoes like Aedes Aegypti. So, the next best thing is essential oils, or products containing botanical extracts. Here are some of the more effective ones: \tLemon eucalyptus \tGreek catmint \tCitronella \tThyme \tLavender (safest for babies) \tPeppermint \tLemongrass Remember to research the correct dosage when diluting essential oils, parents. Otherwise, they may not be as effective, if at all. Pay attention to the duration as well as these oils typically offer protection between 2 to 3 hours only. Frequent reapplication, therefore, is required. Double the Protection To take the insect repellent concept further, use the aforementioned scents as part of a holistic protection regime. Once you\u2019ve applied a safe mosquito repellent on their skin, spray their clothes with a recommended essential oil (diluted with water). Sometimes a skin cream may not have a lasting effect as much and a repellent spray on their clothes creates a double layer of protection. But this may not be ideal for children with sensitive noses or allergic rhinitis. Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants Many people believe that planting mosquito repelling plants is the key to a mozzie-free home. To an extent that may be true, but scientific research is lacking or inconclusive at best. Even so, if you enjoy gardening, having some greenery in the house couldn\u2019t hurt. But remember, it\u2019s the plant\u2019s volatile botanical oils that is responsible for repelling mosquitos; not the plant itself. So, you may need a lot of plants per square inch of your house to truly feel the full effects of their mozzie-repelling powers. Otherwise, they will merely protect one corner of your home but not others, if at all. Some good mozzie-repelling plants include lemongrass, basil, rosemary, citronella, lavender and lemon balm. Bring Out the Diffusers If you don\u2019t have that much of a green thumb, opt for the plants\u2019 essential oils instead which are a hundred times stronger. Especially when used with a diffuser. The scents of mosquito repelling plants will be more pronounced in essential oil form, so you\u2019ll probably be able to repel mosquitos much more effectively. However, depending on the quality of your diffuser, the most you can do is protect a room; which may be enough for your child. But remember, essential oils aren\u2019t safe for children under the age of three in either topical or diffuser form. A downside to this is that you may need to leave the diffuser on all day, or have multiple diffusers placed throughout the house. Which may not be kind to your wallet. Trap Those Mosquitoes This is sort of a nuclear option that not many people can afford. There is very little scientific support for electronic mosquito repellents especially those that use ultrasonic or UV features. Mosquitoes are not affected by sound waves, and Aedes aegypti are daytime mosquitoes which means UV lights don\u2019t attract them. The only electronic mosquito traps that work are the industrial powerhouses that run on a propane gas tank. These mosquito traps generate carbon dioxide to lure and kill mozzies. Unfortunately, these machines are expensive, require regular maintenance and may be too dangerous or cumbersome for home use. They are usually reserved for the outdoors, in places with an uncontrolled mosquito population. You can make your own DIY mosquito trap, of course, but remember you\u2019re attracting more mozzies to your location if you do this. Not all of them may fall for the trap and you end up just having more mozzies on your hands. However, if you\u2019re at your wits end, try finding a home-use trap that uses CO2. There should be an affordable one in the market. Bust Those Mozzies! Mosquitos can be deadly, especially if any unwelcomely enters your home. And while there\u2019s probably no need to fog your home, do take extra precaution to identify potential Aedes breeding grounds. This way, you can notify your local authority accordingly, if there's any. They will remove the threat and make your neighbourhood that much safer for kids to be in. You can even bring the community together and start a fundraiser for communal mosquito traps to place in kindergartens and playgrounds. Let\u2019s work together to end the scourge of Aedes once and for all, parents! For our loved ones and our children. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!