Mosquitoes. What you don’t know could hurt you.
More than just an annoyance, the mosquito is the deadliest animal on the planet. Over one million people are killed by mosquito-borne diseases each year globally. In the US, we tend to be less aware of the deadly role mosquitoes play, but over 1,000 Americans each year experience serious illness or death as a result of a mosquito bite.
Reduce standing water to eliminate mosquito threats, including those in children’s sandboxes, wagons or plastic toys; underneath and around downspouts, in plant saucers and dog bowls. Other hot spots include tarps, gutters, and flat roofs.
Remove excess grass, leaves, firewood and clippings from yards.
Turn over larger yard items that could hold water like children’s portable sandboxes or plastic toys.
4. Remove Tarps
If tarps stretched over firewood piles, boats or sports equipment aren’t taut, they’re holding water.
5. Take Care
Take care of home maintenance needs that can contribute to standing water, including cleaning out gutters and making sure downspouts are attached properly, keeping your lawn grass low, and check irrigation systems for leaking.
6. Team Up
Despite taking all precautions in your own home, talking with neighbors is a key component to mosquito, and tick, control. Townhomes and homes with little space between lots mean that mosquitoes can breed at a neighbor’s home, and affect your property.
Utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug spray on the body. Mosquito Squad’s eliminates up to 90% of the mosquitoes and ticks on a property.
Quick Facts About Mosquitoes
- There are over 3,000 mosquito species worldwide
- Over 150 mosquito species inhabit the US
- A relatively small number of species transmit dangerous disease
- Only adult female mosquitoes bite
- A female mosquito needs one blood meal for every batch of eggs she produces
- Mosquitoes feed on nectar, plant juices and decaying plant material
- All mosquitoes have 4 distinct life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult
- Mosquito eggs require standing water to hatch into successful larvae
- Mosquito eggs can survive up to seven years before hatching
- With a 100% survival rate, a single mosquito could be responsible for over one billion mosquito descendants in less than a month
Vectors of Infection
First found in Uganda in 1937, WNV has spread globally. Its flulike symptoms include fever, headache, and body aches. More serious symptoms include disorientation, muscle weakness, neck stiffness and more. Eighty percent of West Nile cases will never display any symptoms.
This parasitic roundworm infects dogs and other animals. The heartworm larva is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito and proceeds through a variety of life stages. The heartworm takes residence in the host’s heart where it grows to impressive lengths. It is of the greatest concern in canines where it most frequently leads to serious repercussions.
Among the most serious condition linked to mosquitoes, encephalitis is the inflammation of the brain. It starts as a virus that usually resolves itself, but in the cases that it worsens, it can invade the central nervous system and cause encephalitis. Eastern Equine encephalitis (EEE) is the most common encephalitis and can affect humans and horses.
Eradicated in the US in the 1940s, malaria continues to kill millions in Africa each year. Malaria is both preventable and treatable. To help fight the spread of malaria, Mosquito Squad is a proud supporter of Malaria No More, a nonprofit working to make sure every family in Africa has timely access to the tools they need to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria.
Spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, the Zika virus is an emerging virus garnering much media-attention. Symptoms of the virus include fever, skin rash, and conjunctivitis and typically last less than a week. A connection between Zika in pregnant women and birth defects is currently being investigated.
With outbreaks in Africa, Asia, and Europe, the Chikungunya virus was first found in the Americas in 2013 in the Caribbean. This mosquito-borne disease causes fever, joint pain, headaches, rash and swelling. There is currently no vaccine for chikungunya and travelers to affected areas are encouraged to protect themselves against mosquito bites.