03 October, 2023

Mosquito nets and health: How window screen meshes protect against insect-borne diseases

Mosquito nets

After the EU ruled that certain insects were suitable for human consumption, they became an increasingly popular topic. Typically, bugs are not among the many foods we have in our diet, so consuming them is not our primary concern. However, they are at the core of both our food chain and the economy, especially in agriculture. Unfortunately, insects can spread diseases and be downright annoying. This is why we install mosquito nets on windows and doors. Let us have a closer look at these nets and the insects themselves.

Table of contents

Our health and life versus insects

Bugs are ubiquitous. Most of them elude our notice because they are too small or move too quickly at the edge of our perception. However, even in more moderate climates, we may encounter entire swarms, especially when we leave a light on at night. It attracts them much like a magnet.

Friends from afar

Regarding health, insects are certainly not its allies, unlike some bacteria. They are the culprits behind various illnesses or, at the very least, responsible for the itchiness that follows usually harmless yet bothersome bites.

Their positive role intertwines with many food chains. Insects serve as a food source for certain animals and contribute to the carbon cycle.

The burden and pillar of the economy

If bugs consumed only what we perceive as waste, we would regard them as friends. However, they prefer the same things we do. Moreover, they target the most readily available food sources, which often happen to be our storage areas. Insects don’t limit themselves to our food; they also have an appetite for wood, an essential building material. They do not spare fabrics, skin, or fur either.

On the flip side, our economy would suffer if it were not for insects. The potential extinction of bees has long been associated with a global catastrophe. Bees pollinate a vast number of plants essential for feeding the world. While human ingenuity is already tackling this issue, replacing bees requires intense efforts unavailable in poorer regions where farming relies on extensive methods.

The following crops might suffer greatly without bees:

We have to defend ourselves from insects

Just like everything else, the presence of insects has its benefits and drawbacks. One thing is certain: they will not disappear anytime soon, so we must treat them like any other aspect of our lives. In practice, this involves mainly trying to isolate them from us.

Mosquito-borne diseases

In addition to the annoying buzzing, mosquitoes are known for transmitting diseases. Annually, malaria affects up to 500 million people, leading to nearly 3 million deaths.

Malaria is caused by protozoans that attack red blood cells. Its multiplication can result in severe anaemia, high fever, and delirium. In the case of infection with the most virulent protozoa, Plasmodium falciparum, the mortality rate can reach up to 20% among individuals who do not receive timely specialised treatment.

SpeciesIncubation periodDisease variantsFever cyclicity
Plasmodium falciparum7-30 daysTropical malariaIrregular
Plasmodium malariae16-50 daysQuartan feverEvery 72 hours
Plasmodium ovale12-18 daysTertian feverEvery 48 hours
Plasmodium vivax12-18 daysTertian feverEvery 48 hours

Efforts to develop a malaria vaccine have thus far been unsuccessful, which is why this disease remains one of the greatest burdens on humanity.

Another pathogen carried by mosquitoes is the Zika virus (ZIKV). The majority of infections are asymptomatic or result in only mild weakness. Moreover, its epidemic is mainly confined to South America, making it a highly publicised issue.

Zika virus infection can cause microcephaly in children born to infected mothers. A wave of such births occurred in 2016 in countries including Brazil, Mexico, and the USA, posing a global threat that originates in Africa.

Aside from the mentioned illnesses, contact with mosquitoes can also invoke:

Owners of cats and dogs should be aware that mosquitoes can harm their beloved pets. A mosquito bite can result in:

There is also a lesser but still significant risk of rabies.

Fly and cockroach-borne diseases

We need no convincing to feel aversion towards flies. They are annoying, repulsive, and unfortunately, also dangerous. A common housefly can carry parasites or their eggs, so spotting one near food should raise an alarm.

Aside from parasites, flies can transmit other diseases, including:

We could say the same about cockroaches. Scientists estimate that an average cockroach carries approximately 80 pathogenic viruses and bacteria. Most of them are not very dangerous, and contact with them will, at most, result in upset stomach. Few people are aware that cockroaches may be the cause of flu or even a common cold.

The most severe illnesses caused by cockroaches include:

There are many ways to defend against insects. In some parts of the world, genetically modified specimens are introduced into the mosquito population to disrupt their reproduction. We should focus our attention on mosquito nets, which, unlike the various insect traps, work before insects appear in our environment.

How do door and window mosquito nets work?

The easiest and most secure way to protect windows and doors, including balcony doors, is by using individually fitted mosquito nets for each opening. These are the two primary entry points for insects into our home.

Mosquito net – a mesh over a frame

In its basic form, a mosquito net consists of a mesh with openings small enough to prevent insects from passing through. Of course, we need to ensure proper fitting to the door and window frames so that no insect finds its way inside. It’s no secret they are quite skilled at that, much better than in their attempts to escape back outside.

Mosquito net – a frame with a mesh

Contemporary window screens are most commonly frame mosquito nets, especially the robust ones. We can hang the mesh on Velcro strips attached to the window frame, which, however, does not guarantee the effectiveness or longevity of such a solution.

Door and window mosquito nets are integrated with their frames, typically constructed from aluminium, which creates a protective shield for the opening it secures. Such frames come with various accessories intended to safeguard windows from potential damage caused by mounting the nets. Additions also improve the tightness of the connection between the net frame and the window frame.

Mosquito nets nowadays offer a vast array of diverse products tailored to almost any condition in a home, apartment, or office. It's worth examining which type of mosquito net might be the best fit for you.

Types of mosquito nets

The divisions of mosquito nets into different types can be extensive. We categorise them based on intended placement, including:

Let's focus for the time being on the net's design, which should make product selection easier. In this way, we can provide a breakdown that gives a comprehensive overview of the possibilities. These include:

Let us have a closer look at each of these options.

Frame mosquito nets

Frame mosquito nets are a well-known solution, appreciated for their simplicity. They are popular due to their ease of installation and removal, durability, aesthetic appeal, and the option to paint them in various colours, all while delivering solid performance.

This type of mosquito net is typically mounted using universal mounting plates, often fitted with springs and gaskets to improve the connection’s tightness. We can use them with all windows, including:

However, wooden windows tend to be relatively delicate, so it is worth ensuring that the frame we choose has a mounting system that fits them. These windows have a slightly different shape, which might lead to improper net fitting.

A mosquito net designed for doors is called simply a door mosquito net. It operates like a door, allowing for easy opening and closing without obstructing the doorway.

Mosquito nets mounted on doors may resemble frame nets due to their very narrow profiles, but they are a distinct product.

Roller mosquito nets

Roller nets are integrated into the shutters. We install them in an almost identical way, and they operate similarly. The primary difference is that the retractable net has to fit into the window more precisely.

This type of mosquito net is the most popular in English-type windows, often referred to as guillotine windows. However, we can install it in virtually any window.

Sliding mosquito nets

Sliding mosquito nets are intended for sliding systems where other mosquito nets would be either impossible to fit or impractical. The primary issue revolves around the dimension of the mosquito net.

These nets are installed either directly onto the joinery or the recess. The second solution is preferable, as it does not interfere with the profiles of the sliding system.

The components of such mosquito nets can be very large. Therefore, it may be worth reinforcing them by using more robust nets. Let us move on to them since they determine the functionality of a mosquito net.

Unusual nets and advantages of mosquito nets we may not be aware of

Mosquito nets typically do not have too many secrets. They are dense weaves of fibres that block the path of insects but allow fresh air to pass through. They can be made of:

Reinforced mesh

It is advisable to invest in heavy-duty nets if children or animals live in the house. Their meshes should be "extra strong", meaning they ought to withstand forceful impacts, and what's crucial, there should be no risk of injury when they break. The optimal mesh of this type is the so-called anti-animal mesh made of black rubber.

In basements, we use metal nets made of aluminium and steel. In this environment, cockroaches and rodents are a more imminent threat than mosquitoes. Metal nets are resistant to teeth and claws, and if they break, the rat is the one who finds itself in trouble.

Anti-allergen mesh

Allergy sufferers flee for their homes to stay away from allergens during pollen seasons. They are often compelled to treat their homes like bunkers because when they open a window, they let irritants in. Anti-allergen meshes change the situation dramatically.

This type of mesh has an extremely dense weave, which is not even visible with a magnifying glass. This allows it to block all kinds of pollen that can cause allergic reactions. To a limited extent, it can eliminate many other pollutants that aggravate allergy sufferers.

Anti-smog mesh

The most technologically advanced meshes currently available on the market, including those offered by Eko-Okna, are window membranes. Their construction is much more complex, comprising two nanofibre meshes separated by a nanofibre membrane.

Using a mosquito net with a window membrane means that it will be able to filter out:

What does this mean exactly? Let us put theory into practice.

In summary, mosquito nets are worth using anytime and anywhere, and not just to keep insects out. The range of mosquito nets simplifies finding the right solution for your window or door.


See also

Eko-Okna S.A.
Kornice, ul. Spacerowa 4
47-480 Pietrowice Wielkie
NIP: 6391813241, KRS: 0000586067

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