Mosquitoes can be a pain – quite literally. These party crashers can make any outdoor event miserable, but they are also a health risk because of the diseases they spread. You can probably name a few, but do you understand the full extent of this threat? Let's take a look at some of the ways mosquitoes are far more than a frustrating irritant in your yard, and what you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your pets.
One of the reasons mosquito-borne diseases are such a threat is that most people only know half of the story. Take Zika, for instance. In the news, there has been a lot of focus on Zika's ability to cause microcephaly – and for good reason; microcephaly is a scary threat that can lead to a medical condition that alters the life of an entire family. The Zika virus can also cause other illnesses, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) – a sickness of the nervous system that can cause damage to nerve cells and inspire muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. All it takes is one bite from a mosquito that has bitten a carrier of Zika. People travel in and out all the time; when they go to South America and regions where Zika is a serious threat, they are one plane trip away from bringing an outbreak to the United States. While there are many precautions in place to protect us, any resident can be at ground zero of an outbreak.
Most of the time, we get sick with flu-like symptoms and don't realize that it was mosquitoes that made us ill. These symptoms can be bad enough to send us to the hospital. It is important to know that headaches, muscle aches, fever, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms can be symptoms of the West Nile virus or some other form of encephalitis virus. They may also be symptoms of dengue fever, yellow fever, Chikungunya, malaria, and more. People get sick from mosquito-borne viruses all the time without realizing it.
How Mosquitoes Can Impact Your Dogs & Cats
Mosquitoes don't just make us sick; they make our pets sick. One of the most prolific mosquito-borne diseases that have an impact on pets is dog heartworm. Heartworm is a parasitic disease that can result in severe lung disease, heart failure, and organ damage. It doesn't just impact dogs either. Your cat can get sick with dog heartworm as well. This parasitic worm, known as Dirofilaria immitis, is most common in the states around the Gulf of Mexico and up as far as New Jersey.
3 Mosquito Bite Prevention Tips
The key to protecting yourself, your family, and your pets from mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases is understanding how important your yard is. What do we mean? Your yard is the front line of this battle. It is where you can have the most impact.
Use these three tips to help prevent mosquitoes on your property:
1. Reduce standing water and moisture that mosquitoes need to breed.
2. Treated vulnerable areas with a larvicide, which prevents baby mosquitoes from developing into flying (and biting) adult mosquitoes.
3. Schedule routine treatments for your landscaping to eliminate adult mosquitoes when they come to rest in your yard; taking out one adult female mosquito can prevent more than 300 mosquitoes on your property.
While you can do the first step, reducing standing water, on your own, steps 2 and 3 should be done by a licensed professional. Professionals use EPA-approved products, and they administer those products according to strict guidelines. The last thing you want to do is trade the threat of a mosquito-borne illness for the threat of chemical exposure.
For mosquito reduction and control, you can trust the team here at Hawx Pest Control to provide you with industry-leading mosquito control and the highest level of service. Reach out to us today to request immediate mosquito control for your home. We're here to help!