Mosquito coils, sprays, nets see rising demand in Bangladesh

Dengue has spread to 57 districts," the Health Minister said on July 9 as the country recorded this year's highest number of deaths.

Sukanta Halder

Sukanta Halder

The Daily Star


A man is seen folding mosquito nets for display at a roadside store in Karwan Bazar, Dhaka. The demand for anti-mosquito products started soaring following the outbreak of dengue fever across Bangladesh. The picture was taken yesterday. PHOTO: Rashed Shumon

July 11, 2023

DHAKA – The demand for anti-mosquito products, such as coils, aerosol sprays, nets and rackets, has increased in Bangladesh as people are looking to avoid dengue fever amid the recent outbreak, according to businesspeople.

“Dengue has spread to 57 districts,” Health Minister Zahid Maleque said on Sunday, when the country recorded this year’s highest number of deaths and hospitalisations due to the mosquito-borne disease.

Three dengue patients died yesterday while 889 new patients were hospitalised, as per data of the Directorate General of Health Services.

Of all dengue cases, 60 per cent are in Dhaka.

The number of dengue cases is higher now compared to last year, but it is yet to hit its peak as August-September is the prime time for dengue outbreaks, Maleque added.

During a visit to several markets in the capital’s Mirpur, Farmgate and Kalabagan areas, it was found that sales of anti-mosquito products have more than doubled compared to normal times.

However, consumers allege that retailers are taking advantage of the increased demand by hiking the prices of coils, sprays, nets and rackets.

Ishrat Jahan, a resident of Mirpur, said they now keep mosquito coils burning day and night for fear of dengue.

She claimed that retailers are now charging Tk 10 to Tk 30 more for mosquito coils and sprays due to increased demand.

“I hadn’t taken any precautions against mosquitoes before. But after realising the impact of dengue, I felt compelled to purchase coils and nets,” said Abdullah Md Abbas, a resident of Dilu Road in the capital.

It is quite frustrating that prices of anti-mosquito equipment have increased slightly compared to what they were for the past few months, he added.

Nurul Alam Sikder, who operates a retail outlet in Dhaka’s Pallabi area, said sales of anti-mosquito products are faring better than they did before the dengue outbreak.

At present, 18 to 20 cans of mosquito spray are sold each week, up from six cans in normal times.

Besides, 12 packets of mosquito coils are sold every two days now while it previously took a week to sell the same amount, he added.

With more than 60 outlets, Shwapno, one of the largest grocery retail chains in Bangladesh, has experienced a significant surge in demand for anti-mosquito and insect products in recent weeks.

Sales of anti-mosquito and insect products have escalated by 40 per cent compared to the previous month, said an official of Shwapno.

Mohammad Rony, manager of Rafi Electronics at Karwan Bazar Super Market in Dhaka, said 10-12 mosquito rackets were sold daily during normal times while the number has reached 20-25 at present.

He informed that each mosquito racket is being sold at Tk 420 to Tk 450, and claimed that sales have increased but prices have not.

“Earlier, I used to sell Tk 2,000 to Tk 3,000 worth of products each day,” said Mohammad Rasel Sheikh, who sells anti-mosquito nets in the same area.

He is currently selling mosquito nets worth Tk 7,000 to Tk 8,000 daily due to the increased demand.

Jesmin Zaman, head of marketing at Square Toiletries Limited, said the recent dengue outbreak has propelled sales by 5-7 per cent compared to normal times.

If someone used to buy one can of aerosol or repellent spray, they are now buying two cans while others are buying more than that, she added.

Touhiduzzaman, assistant general manager for public relations at Pran-RFL Group, said mosquito racket sales have increased nearly three times compared to before.

The device is priced between Tk 500 to Tk 520 per unit.

He also informed that the demand for mosquito coils has increased by about 10 per cent in village areas.

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