My experience of Singapore’s real ‘Hidden Enemy’ – The Aedes Aegypti mosquito

Every year, millions of Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes hatch and begin their search for a filling blood meal. In Singapore, where I grew up and now live, the warm, humid climate was the perfect breeding ground for these mosquitoes. From May through October (sometimes longer), we dreaded the tiny bite of the Aedes mosquito–not just for the sting or the resulting itch but because that bite might deliver dreaded diseases like Dengue fever that can cause severe symptoms and, in some cases, death.

When I was growing up in the 1960’s, Singapore was going through a major development in hopes of turning the island state into a major metropolis. Back then, mosquitoes were a significant problem because of the country’s heavily forested and wetland areas. In addition, home maintenance and personal hygiene practices were much different than they are today.

Like many families, mosquito nets and mosquito coils that were burned inside homes were the most common ways to repel biting insects. They offered some protection but Aedes aegypti (the mosquitoes that transmit Dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika virus)  are day-biters, with peak feeding times in the morning and at dusk. Bed nets and coils were useless when we were outside.  

Of course, I was pestered and bitten many times but biting mosquitoes also affected Singaporeans in our everyday lives. As a young student, I was disappointed that an outdoor school event that we all looked forward to was cancelled after a heavy downpour left gangs of biting mosquitoes ready to attack. It was common practice to schedule activities to lessen the chances of when the bugs would be biting.  

At that time, DEET-based repellents were available but they were often oily, smelly and they didn’t outlast the mosquitoes. As young men serving in Singapore’s military, we were issued DEET-based repellents. During our wargames training, it was easy to find the hidden “enemy” because I could smell their repellent! We had two choices: Wear the repellent and hope to evade capture or not wear the repellent and risk getting sucked dry by mosquitoes.  

Although traditional repellents are uncomfortable to wear and indoor tactics aren’t always enough to ward off the day-biting Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, there’s no question that people need to protect themselves against mosquito bites.  

In October, a close friend and his wife contracted Dengue fever after being bitten. Their symptoms began with nausea and vomiting, accompanied by severe aches, headaches and fatigue. They lost their appetites and even when they tried to eat for nourishment, their bodies vomited the food. Once a physician diagnosed their Dengue fever, they discovered there was no specific medicine or treatment for the debilitating disease. Instead, the physician could only treat their symptoms. I can’t imagine the agony and helplessness they experienced as they waited for the Dengue fever to subside. My friends not only suffered physically, they were left with hundreds of dollars in medical bills.  

LivFul’s Enhanced Insect Repellent has been a game-changer for me and my family, for our customers and for their consumers. Our repellent is made for everyone. It’s effective for 14 hours and it smells great and has a light feel. In fact, I wear our repellent every day to protect myself from biting bugs.

Here in Singapore, as in many other parts of the world, people have suffered for too long with the inconvenience, discomfort, disease and sometimes, death, that mosquito bites can bring. A revolution in repellent protection has finally arrived. It’s about time.