Mosquitoes are brown, spindly legged insects approximately one-half inch or less in length. Adult mosquitoes feed on nectar and plant juices, but some also feed on blood. These summer bugs can locate blood hosts by sight, scent and heat from up to 100 feet away. Mosquitos typically only feed at dawn or dusk, as they avoid the heat, but they will bite at any time–day or night–if they are disturbed.
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in aquatic habitats, such as puddles, marshes, or containers filled with rainwater. Lakes, ponds, or clogged gutters are also potential homes for these pests. Not only do mosquito bites cause discomfort and itchiness, but they are also a breeding ground for disease.
Mosquito Borne Diseases
One of the most worrisome mosquito borne illnesses is Zika. Spread through the bite of an infected Aedes species of Mosquito, there have been an estimated 1.6 million cases of Zika reported since the outbreak first began in 2015. Aedes mosquitoes can be found in the United States and can spread Zika quite rapidly if they become infected by the virus. There currently is no vaccine for the Zika virus.
Women who are pregnant must be especially cautious and avoid being bitten by an Aedes mosquito because the virus can be passed from a mother to her fetus. Serious birth defects have been reported in babies affected by Zika, including a brain defect called microcephaly, which causes baby heads to be much smaller in size than expected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises pregnant women to reconsider all travel plans to countries where the Zika virus has been reported.
Only one in five people who become infected with the virus will experience the symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, muscle pain and headache. If you have visited a country where the Zika virus is present, get tested; otherwise 80 percent of cases will go undetected.
Luckily, according to the CDC, vector-borne transmission of the Zika virus has yet to be identified in the continental US. As more US travelers visit countries where Zika has been confirmed, the likelihood of them getting bitten by infected mosquitoes and bringing the disease into the country increases, but the CDC is prepared for the possibility of an outbreak in the US. Although there is no cure yet, US laboratory workers have been trained to test for the virus and are working on control programs in preparation for a possible introduction of the disease. People rarely die from contracting the Zika Virus and very few have symptoms serious enough to put them in the hospital.
Diseases Spread by Mosquitoes
It is important to be aware of the various mosquito diseases. If you live in an area of wetlands, such as a pond, marsh or swamp, or a hot and humid environment, be careful of mosquito bites. Not only do they cause itchy rashes, but they can also carry West Nile virus, malaria, elephantiasis and many other viral diseases like yellow fever. Mosquito borne illnesses cause millions of deaths every year and not only impact humans, but dogs and horses as well.
Protect yourself from bites by following these general guidelines from the CDC:
- First and foremost, your best defense is moving forward with a strong offense utilizing a professional mosquito exterminator like Eliminate ’Em Pest Control Services for safe, effective applications of 100% natural repellents. Our treatments are effective and affordable. Call today and let us keep your family mosquito and tick free!
- Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when outside for long periods of time.
- Stay inside whenever possible during the warmer months; rely on air conditioning rather than open windows, or invest in screens to keep mosquitoes out.
- Supplemental insect repellents that are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their effectiveness.
At Eliminate ‘Em Pest Control, our mosquito control technicians can eradicate the mosquito population around your home as a way to manage mosquito control for your yard. Whether they are manifested in a clogged gutter or the pond next to your house, mosquito yard treatment is a great way to manage your risk of infection. Trust us to protect your family from the dangers posed by deadly mosquito borne illnesses.