The aim of this study was to determine households' levels of prioritization and perception of malaria, ordinary mosquito nets and insecticide-treated nets (ITNs). A cross-sectional survey was conducted in five malaria holo-endemic communities in Enugu State, South-eastern Nigeria. The household heads or the representatives from randomly selected households were interviewed, using a pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire. The majority of the respondents had a good knowledge about malaria and the use of ordinary mosquito nets to prevent malaria. However, few knew about the existence of ITNs. Most respondents also stated that malaria was a priority problem and perceived some risk of contracting it. Despite the high level of knowledge about the use of mosquito nets, only 14.0%, 15.7%, 9.6% and 8.0% of the respondents from four of the communities had ever purchased any type of mosquito nets, except in Orba where the proportion was 50.3%. However, more than 80% in all the communities expressed a desire to buy insecticide-treated mosquito nets for the prevention of mosquito bites. There was considerable knowledge about malaria and the use of mosquito nets to prevent it. There were also high levels of prioritization of the disease, mosquito nets and ITNs which signalled the possibility of establishing sustainable community-based ITN programmes, especially as households wanted to buy the ITNs.