A mosquito net has become more than a utility. With the interesting designs and patterns available in the market, it has become more of a bedroom accessory. Here are some effective tips on choosing the right mosquito net, and also some alarming facts, that make it a must-have item for our living space.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even though malaria has been eliminated from the U.S. in the early 1950s, 1,500 cases are still reported every year. There is a potential risk of the disease being reintroduced in the United States.
Buying a mosquito net becomes absolutely necessary, especially when your surrounding is infested with these tiny―yet dangerous―flying insects. According to the World Health Organization, 219 million cases of the mosquito-borne disease, Malaria, were reported in 2010, worldwide. There were 660,000 deaths that year, wherein 91 percent of the deaths occurred in the African Region only. About 86 percent of the deaths worldwide were of children.
In fact, chances of acquiring mosquito-borne diseases increase when local mosquitoes bite those people who have carried the parasites from the endemic areas. These infected mosquitoes then spread the parasite locally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 63 such outbreaks have occurred in the United States between 1957 to 2011.
We don’t mean to scare you with these facts and figures. However, by putting forth this data, we are just trying to emphasize the need of taking effective preventive measures to save yourself from mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, and Rift Valley fever. Using mosquito nets is a great preventive measure. The following section will give you some essential tips on how to pick the right option.
Points to Consider Before Buying a Mosquito Net
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ mantra when it comes to making the right choice. Different nets will suit different needs. For instance, a self-supporting mosquito net would be an ideal choice for outdoor camps, or while traveling. However, for home usage, nets according to your bed’s size and make, would have to be chosen. The following points will give you an idea about the size, designs, material, and other essentials of the mosquito nets, to pick among what is available in the market. Evaluate these points and take a decision accordingly.
Be sure to measure the dimensions of the bed, and choose a net that leaves enough margin to comfortably tuck the edges under the mattress, without leaving any room for the mosquitoes to enter. Keep in mind the thickness of the mattress, and decide the required margin accordingly. Most people end up buying nets that are too short to be tucked evenly from all sides, leaving unnoticed gaps that allow insects to enter.
On the other hand, an over-sized net, when tucked under the mattress would make the base uneven and uncomfortable to sleep. If left on the floor, there are chances of insects finding their way in. So, be careful about the size to ensure your purchase is fruitful.
Most mosquito nets are made from materials such as polyester, polyethylene, or polypropylene. Do feel the material and its softness before placing your order. There might be a possibility of the seller claiming the material to be skin-friendly, wherein the reality is otherwise.
Special caution needs to be given in case of children. They tend to roll all over the bed while asleep, with chances of their skin getting rubbed against the rough material of the net. Therefore, it is essential to choose a fabric that is soft, yet durable.
The ideal design for you would highly depend upon its functionality.
To give you a brief idea for the same, the following list contains the information of the most common shapes/designs and their pros and cons, to help you make a decision.
- Box Mosquito Nets
These need four hanging points at each corner of the bed to be able to form a rectangular boxlike shape to cover the entire bed. Though they are large enough to cover the area efficiently, a major problem is that they need four hanging points to stay intact. Also, they take a lot of space when it comes to storing them.
- Wedge Mosquito Nets
These are shaped like a wedge, with more space at the top, which gradually decreases towards the bottom. They are comparatively easy to pack and carry. However, their drawback is that they do not provide adequate internal spacing. People who are not comfortable sleeping in compact spaces shouldn’t go for this option.
- Bell Mosquito Nets
These nets need to be hanged from a single point, which should be located above the sleeping pillow. The net is then spread across the entire bed, tucking the edges under the mattress. Be sure to choose the appropriate size as per your bed.
- Freestanding Mosquito Nets
These come in various shapes and sizes, and are usually shaped like a tent. Unlike the designs discussed so far, these nets do not need any external support or hanging points to stay intact. These have a firm base, and can be packed and assembled anywhere you want, on your bed, or at a camp site. Some options come with a water-resistant base that prevents the internal space from becoming stuffy, ensuring a comfortable stay.
- Mosquito Net Hats
While the aforementioned options are ideal for a safe and peaceful sleep, you can’t really carry the entire net with you while walking in a mosquito-infested area. These net hats would prove to be extremely helpful while trekking. However, their major limitation is that they would cover only the face and neck, not the rest of the body.
Insecticide-treated Vs. Regular Nets
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs), as they not only are efficient enough to kill mosquitoes and other insects, but they also repel them to a great extent, preventing them from entering the room. Opt for Long-Lasting Insecticide-treated Nets (LLINs) that are manufactured in such a way that they tend to retain the insecticide effectively, till the span of 3 years, even when they are repeatedly washed.
Pyrethroid insecticides are approved for these nets, as they are not as toxic to humans and other mammals. However, pregnant women and children under 5 years of age should refrain from these chemicals as they may pose potential health risks.
Not only do mosquito nets keep you safe from unwanted pest-related illnesses, they also enhance the look of your bedroom. Bed nets are available in the market in various colors and designs, and many buyers keep in mind the decor of the bedroom when it comes to choosing the appropriate net. These nets also come accessorized with beautiful designs and patterns stuck on them, making them look more of a decorative bed accessory than a pest-prevention tool. Do a thorough research to compare the warranty and prices offered by various sellers, be it online or at a physical store.