Preventing Dengue

It’s the rainy season in Guatemala and that means dengue is on the rise. This is a very unpleasant disease that is spread by mosquitoes, so the primary method of preventing it is to keep mosquitoes at bay. That’s harder than it sounds!

Every rainy season, alerts go out in the papers and on the news to remind people that they have to be careful. Bug repellent seems to be completely unused here, so the towns send out fumigators to spray around properties and eliminate bugs. They also give out little bags to put in the pila. I have no idea what is in these and haven’t used them, though my MIL once dropped one in my pila. I fished it out and tossed it, since I didn’t want chemicals in the water we used to wash our dishes.

There is a fine line between not wanting chemicals around my kids and not wanting them to get dengue, so we take steps to prevent mosquitoes as much as possible. These include:

- Emptying any water in basins, pilas, etc. every couple of days.
- Removing or turning over anything that might catch water, like tires, cup-like toys or containers outside, etc.
- Draining puddles that form during storms.

We also use Raid laminitas that plug into the wall outlets. I don’t like to use these, but on evenings when there are dozens of mosquitoes hanging around, we pull them out. Night seems to be the worst for mosquitoes, so we close everything up (all doors and windows are open during the day to let air in) before dark to keep most of the bugs outside.

What do you do to prevent mosquitoes?

8 thoughts on “Preventing Dengue

    • Do you mean the hanging fly traps? We have those, but mosquitoes don’t seem to care about them. And no screens. They would last about five seconds around here, I’m afraid.

  1. I was lucky enough to get dengue and malaria on my first extended trip to Guatemala. After having both I must say I will take malaria every time. I think the bugs just like me in Guatemala because I would sit in a large group of all Guatemalans and I was the only one getting bit.

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