Mosquito bites really make us sick.
We all know that being bitten by mosquitoes is no fun, leaving you itchy and irritated for days. But the annoyance your family suffers from mosquitoes and other biting insects can be more than inconvenient – it can be downright deadly. Insect-borne illnesses are on the rise in the West, causing severe disease and, in some cases, much worse. Mosquito Joe wants everyone to enjoy traveling as much as their own backyard, so read up on these mosquito-borne illnesses, where they are active, and ways you can protect yourself against them.
Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, moving from person to person, spreading the virus among humans. Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. The illness is usually very mild with only 1 in 5 people exhibiting any symptoms at all. It’s unusual for people to need hospitalization and severe illness or death is even more rare.
Unfortunately, those most at risk of Zika virus are mothers and unborn babies. Scientists and health officials have confirmed that Zika virus is connected to microcephaly and Guillain-Barre Syndrome, two neurological birth defects known to cause brain damage and disability. Several sexually transmitted cases of Zika have been confirmed in the U.S. as well.
Doctors hypothesize that Zika can be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy, and it has recently been reported to be sexually transmittable as well. Zika virus is thought to be linked to microcephaly, a condition that causes severe disfiguration in newborns.
Currently, Zika has been detected in 41 countries worldwide. As of April 13, 2016, 358 cases have been confirmed in the United States, all of which were originally acquired abroad. With millions of cases reported in South and Central America, the World Health Organization continues its public health emergency, urging travelers destined for affected countries to postpone or cancel their plans.
There is no treatment or vaccine for Zika virus, so the best way to protect yourself is to guard against mosquito bites. Mosquito control services such as our barrier treatments will dramatically reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard, protecting you and your family for up to 21 days at a time. In addition to this line of defense, you can eliminate breeding areas in your yard to keep mosquitoes from laying eggs. Consider the following:
- Unblock drains and gutters
- Avoid accumulating garbage
- Avoid allowing standing water to accumulate in outdoor containers such as flowerpots, tires or children’s toys
- Screen windows and doors
- Use mosquito repellant and wear protective clothing
Visit our Zika virus webpage for more information and the latest news on the topic.
This mosquito-borne virus is most active in North America during the warm summer and fall months. As of January 2016, over 2,000 cases of West Nile were reported, 65% of which resulted in neuro-invasive diseases like meningitis or encephalitis. Symptoms of West Nile usually show within a few days after transmission and include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and rash. There is no specific treatment or vaccine for West Nile, so people are encouraged to use normal mosquito repellent techniques to avoid bites. Get to a hospital immediately, if you or a loved one is showing severe symptoms. Visit the CDC West Nile page to learn more.
This mosquito-borne virus is fairly new to the Western Hemisphere, arriving in 2013 and quickly spreading to Central America, South America, and parts of Florida. According to the Pan American Health Organization, more than 600,000 cases were reported in 2015 in the Americas alone. The illness causes severe headaches, joint pain, rash, and fever. “Chikungunya” is the Makonde word for “it bends up,” because victims are often in bed for weeks, crippled with pain…yikes!
Dengue Fever, a well-known mosquito-borne disease, is the leading cause of illness and death in the tropics. Over 400 million people are infected yearly with Dengue, a virus that causes high fever, headaches, nausea, and severe body aches. Travel advisories to Central America, South America, Hawaii, and the Caribbean have been removed after a spike in cases earlier this year. However, basic mosquito prevention techniques are still encouraged.
As if mosquitoes aren’t enough to worry about, ticks pose a serious threat to your family’s health too. Over 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme Disease every year, a few cases being fatal. Bacterium transmitted via tick bite can quickly spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system if left untreated. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and rash. Lyme disease usually lasts for a few weeks, and can be treated with antibiotics.
But there is good news. MoJo Bites Back.
The spread of these illnesses can be slowed and mitigated by what happens in your own backyard. By learning how to control mosquitoes and other pests with the prevention techniques and services Mosquito Joe provides, you can reduce your family’s exposure to mosquitoes, ticks, and the health risks they carry. Protect your family by following these mosquito control tips to make your yard less mosquito-friendly:
- Eliminate standing water, which provides an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Frequently empty birdbaths, children’s toys, kiddie pools, tire swings and garden containers like watering cans and empty pots.
- Regularly clean gutters and check for clogs so that rainwater doesn’t pool.
- Use soil to fill in low areas in lawns and landscaped areas where rainwater may collect and stand for more than seven days.
- Call Mosquito Joe – as part of our service, we point out possible breeding grounds and show you how to control mosquitoes.
Taking some simple precautions like the ones listed above will help diminish dangerous pests that can spread disease. Mosquito Joe can protect your family and pets by working to eliminate mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks from your property. Call your local Mosquito Joe today for more information.