In India and most hot countries, everyone knows the mosquito-and knows it too well! How they tease us on hot summer nights-buzzing round our ears and biting our faces and hands while we are asleep! But they are not only a nuisance but also a danger; for we now know that it is the bite of the mosquito which gives us Malaria. Yes, it is this little teasing fly that, when it bites us, puts the poison into our blood which causes Malaria. And the fever is not only a very unpleasant kind of illness, but when we get it often, it is dangerous. In hot damp places like Bengal, it not only makes the farmers weak but often causes their death.
The only way to get a fever out of a country is to get rid of mosquitoes. We can, if we are careful, protect ourselves to some extent from mosquitoes, by sleeping under mosquito nets, or covering our hands and faces at night with kerosene or certain kinds of scented oils. But, in spite of all our ca we are sure to get bitten some time, and then we may get a fever. The only way to get rid of fever altogether is to kill all the mosquitoes.
How can this be done? Well, doctors have studied the habits of mosquitoes, and they find that the mosquito begins its life as a tiny grub or worm in the water. The mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant pools, and there the young mosquitoes are born. This is why dry, sandy countries are free from fever, while countries like Bengal and Madras, where there are many tanks, canals, and damp fields, are places where mosquitoes are common. Now it is very hard to kill many mosquitoes when they are flying about; but they can be killed when they are yet grubs, either by draining off all standing water, or by covering all stagnant pools with kerosene oil, which keeps the air away from the mosquito grubs, and so kills them.