How to mozzie-proof your home

Mosquitoes are one of summer's inevitable annoyances. But, given the rising incidence of mosquito-borne diseases in some areas of Australia, it's more important than ever to keep them out of the house.

If keeping mosquitoes at bay is a constant battle, these handy tips for repairing or installing screens and removing any potential breeding sites around the home will help.

If keeping mosquitoes at bay is a constant battle, these handy tips for repairing or installing screens and removing any potential breeding sites around the home will help.

SCREEN PROCESS

Screens are your home's first line of defence against mosquitoes. "The latest screens allow for a streamlined and minimal look while inhibiting mosquitoes and flies better than ever," says Shawn Godwin, director of Brisbane's Base Architecture

Look for mesh with a 1.7x1.3mm aperture. Though, if you live in an area prone to sandflies or midges, a finer mesh with an aperture of about 1.2x1.3mm is required.

Brisbane architect Paul Uhlmann says that while screening standard-size windows is a straightforward affair, there's a wider choice of products when it comes to screening doors. "Options include traditional sliding and hinged doors, and screens that roll away, pleat or recess," he says. "Or, you can completely enclose the adjoining outdoor space with a fine mesh so the doors don't require screens at all."

WHICH MESH IS BEST?

If you live near the ocean, consider PVC-coated fibreglass mesh, which is UV-stabilised and flexible and will not rust or shrink. Before installing, check the regulations for your home's Bushfire Attack Level (BAL).

If you are retrofitting, source the screens directly from the door or window manufacturer, says Bob Andrews, architectural representative at Trend Windows & Doors. "From a visual perspective, black mesh is most popular as it doesn't impinge on your view."

Select carefully and security shouldn't be a concern, says Andrews, who adds that modern screen components are so strong that you can have doors and windows wide open at all times without having to worry about safety.

5 WAYS TO GET RID OF MOSQUITOES FOR GOOD

Andrew Weeks, Business Development Manager at Cyclone, has spent the past eight years developing insect screen products for the Australian market. Here he shares his top five tips for effectively targeting mosquitoes and flies:

1. REPAIR OR INSTALL INSECT SCREENS TO WINDOWS AND DOORS

This is a home's first line of defence against summer bloodsuckers. Look out for insect screens that have a higher number of strands per inch. Miniweave insect screening from the Cyclone range features approximately 18 x 30 yarn strands per inch, which creates a weave structure with smaller apertures. This is almost double that in standard fibreglass insect screening, which is approximately 18 x 16 strands per inch. This super fine mesh prevents even small insects entering the home.

This tight weave structure and popular charcoal colour of the Miniweave mesh also helps to reduce sun-glare when looking out through the screen.

2. EXTEND YOUR SCREENS

Rainwater tanks, septic tanks, and vent pipes all need to be screened as well with mosquito proof covers. Be sure to seal all gaps around the lid, and ensure leach drains are completely covered too

3. SPRAY YOUR HOME, NOT JUST YOUR BODIES

Use an insect surface aerosol to occasionally spray in dark hiding places, such as under furniture, inside cupboards and behind curtains. Installing wall-mounted, automatic systems containing active ingredients such as DEET or pyrethrins, is also an easy and effective option for combating flies and mosquitoes..

4. REMOVE ANY POTENTIAL BREEDING SITES OUTSIDE THE HOME

Tip away any pooled water and add secure lids to outdoor bins and tanks. Store unused items, such as buckets and spare pot plants, upside-down and under-cover.

5. FLUSH REGULARLY

Gutters, bird baths, drain sumps and outdoor pet watering bowls should all be cleaned regularly to help keep bloodsucking bugs at bay. Swimming pools need to be kept well chlorinated, filtered and free of dead leaves otherwise even these can become breeding grounds.

Another line of defence is planting citronella, sandalwood, tea-tree and Mozzie Blocker plants around the house.

For more information: https://www.homestolove.com.au/how-to-mozzie-proof-your-home-2857

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