Aedes mosquitoes which are responsible for spreading dengue fever and lately, Zika will continue to be a major threat due to residents' unwillingness to let fogging be done inside their homes.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Associate Professor (Parasitology & Entomology) Dr Hidayatul Fathi Othman said 40 percent of residents would not allow fogging inside the house.

Her finding is based on a study carried out in the southern region of the country.

She said fogging the compound or surroundings alone was not adequate as the Aedes mosquito species that is usually found inside the house is Aedes aegypti.

"Aedes aegypti are more dangerous because they can fly up to 200 metres and only feed on human blood whereas the Aedes mosquito species (Aedes albopictus) that thrives outdoors can only fly as far as 80 metres and feed on animal blood other than human blood.

"So imagine if I allow fogging to be carried out inside my home but my neighbour does not. The Aedes aegypti can fly very far and come to my house," she told Bernama, here.

Dr Hidayatul, who has been conducting studies on Aedes mosquitoes for more than 20 years, said her latest study carried out this year at a housing area in Bandar Baru Bangi found that 99.5 percent of the residents have a good knowledge of dengue fever.

However, only 47 percent of the residents in the area which had recorded a high number of dengue fever were really knowledgeable about Aedes mosquitoes.

"It is really sad that our society which knows a lot about dengue fever such as the symptoms and methods of treatment does not know much about the cause, that is, the Aedes mosquito.

"In fact, we should know who our killer (Aedes mosquito) is. It is like going to war, we must know who our enemies are," she stressed.

Dr Hidayatul said the time had come for Malaysians to take the threat seriously.

Calling community leaders including people's representatives and village chiefs to do their part in combating the threat, she suggested regular activities to clear potential breeding grounds of Aedes mosquitoes.

"This is important because fogging only kills adult mosquitoes. The community can organise gotong-royong to clean up house compounds in an entertaining way such as a treasure hunt to find and destroy stagnant water
pools," she suggested.

Meanwhile, Sara Kwok, a local trading company consultant shared some information on a new European innovation called ABIOTIC H-trap, which is a mosquito trap.

The ABIOTEC H-trap is designed to be placed outdoors, where it works without the need for chemicals or electricity.

"The black rubber ball (attached to the trap) will be heated up by the sun and the mosquitoes will recognise it through infrared heat as a human body.

"Since they will be unsuccessful in gaining their desired blood feed, they will follow their natural behaviour and fly upwards under the hood stem, where they are guided into a centrally placed collection bin.

This bin is filled with water and they die in the trap," she told Bernama at the sideline of the 11th Allied Health Scientific Conference Malaysia 2016 here, yesterday.

Sara said the product had been placed at several locations including local golf clubs as an experiment and proven to reduce mosquito populations in the vicinity.