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37. Mosquito nets / bed nets

37. Mosquito nets / bed nets

Last update: 2023-04-03


  • Bed nets help to prevent disease spread by mosquitoes, such as malaria. The most effective nets are insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) which are treated with long-lasting insecticides that kills mosquitoes and other insects. The insecticides on these nets are effective for three to five years.
  • To be fully effective, nets must be installed and used properly.

What to do and how to do it

Facilitate the use of ITNs

  1. Make sure that as many people as possible have bed nets in your community.
  • Find out where to obtain ITNs and help your local National Society branch to distribute them.
  • If the Red Cross or Red Crescent is able to distribute nets:
    • Provide a string or piece of rope for people to be able to hang the nets.
    • It is recommended that in each household there is at least one ITN for every two people.

Promote the correct and consistent use of ITNs

  1. Encourage every member of the community to sleep under a mosquito net at night and during daytime naps (depending on the type of mosquito and the time of day it typically bites).
    • It is particularly important for children and pregnant women to do so.
  2. Show people how to hang their nets properly: Visit households or organize community sessions to demonstrate how to hang nets and encourage their use.
    • Hang the net above the sleeping space.
    • Make sure the net is tucked under the mattress or mat to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside.
    • Keep the net closed while sleeping and during the day while away from the sleeping place.
  3. Explain the use of new nets and their care
    • New nets should be hung outside and aired for one day.
    • Care for the net
      • Repair any rips or tears in the net by sewing them closed or using patches
      • Washing the net can remove insecticide. When you wash the net, follow the washing instructions provided with the net. Do not wash the net when it is new and do not wash it too often.
      • Replace the nets at regular intervals, as advised (every three to five years).
  4. Follow up to ensure that households use their bed nets.
    • If people are not using their bed nets, find out why.
    • If you see Red Cross or Red Crescent-distributed nets being sold in a local market or used for other purposes (e.g. as construction material or fishing nets), inform your manager.


mosquito nets