July 31, 2017
Many are realizing that there is far more to the bite of a mosquito than just a red, itchy, swollen welt. Mosquitoes are responsible for carrying and transmitting several very dangerous and even deadly diseases. In fact, Bill Gates compiled a list of the world’s 15 deadliest animals, and mosquitoes ranked number one! Numero Uno! The most deadly in the world. This research was based on the official number of human deaths per year and not on an animal’s ability to cause immediate physical bodily harm. Per year, mosquitoes kill more people worldwide than the other 14 combined! This data should make us all stand up and take notice.
Mosquitoes are known to spread diseases including: malaria, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, Jamestown Canyon virus, West Nile virus, yellow fever, and now Zika virus. We are going to look at the three diseases that are most commonly spread by mosquitoes here in the U.S.
West Nile virus – This disease is the most commonly spread mosquito-borne illness here in our country. People, horses, and birds are at risk for this disease. Many people who become infected with this virus do not show any symptoms at all. Some may develop very mild flu-like symptoms while others develop a very severe illness, particularly the elderly and the very young.
Chikungunya – This disease was once only a concern for people traveling to other countries where chikungunya was more common, but it is now spread through local mosquito populations here in the United States. This disease is rarely fatal, but it can make you pretty sick. Symptoms include high fever, joint pain, muscle pain, joint swelling, and headache. The joint pain can be debilitating in some cases.
Zika virus – This illness did not make the list because it is commonly spread through local mosquito populations. In fact, so far Zika virus has only been found in local mosquito populations in limited parts of the U.S. But, Zika virus is notable because it is infecting some populations here and because of its ability to harm unborn babies in all stages of development. The biggest concern with Zika virus is its ability to cause birth defects in children whose mothers were infected during pregnancy. Defects include the debilitating and sometimes deadly microcephaly. Microcephaly symptoms include: smaller than normal head circumference, dwarfism, delayed motor and speech functions, mental retardation, seizures, facial distortion, balance issues, and more.
The very best way to avoid any of the illnesses that mosquitoes transmit is to avoid being bitten by an infected mosquito; and since you cannot tell an infected mosquito from one that isn't, it is best to avoid bites altogether. There are a few things that you can do to keep mosquito numbers on your property to a minimum including cut grass short and keep bushes and shrubs trimmed; wear an insect repellent containing DEET when spending time outside; keep your screens intact on windows and doors; and eliminate all sources of standing water on your property.
While applying these tips can help, to drastically reduce mosquitoes on your property, a professional pest control company can help. EnviroPest has effective, environmentally responsible solutions to the mosquitoes on your property. To learn more about our one-time treatment for mosquitoes before a big event like a wedding, reunion, or barbecue; or our seasonal services that keep mosquitoes at bay all season long, contact us today.