Friday, May 22nd, 2020 by Bill Cowley
Summertime is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, whether it be attending a ball game, going for a hike, or relaxing on your patio. All of those places share a few things in common; they are fun ways to spend your leisure hours and they put you at some risk of being bitten by a mosquito. Nearly all female mosquitoes need blood in order to produce eggs and they are willing to risk your swats in order to get it! Male mosquitoes feed on nectar and never bite humans or animals.
Since they are so small and pesky, it’s easy to forget that worldwide, mosquitoes are by far the deadliest creature worldwide by annual deaths. Fortunately for us here, the worst mosquito-borne diseases (malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever) are not present. That doesn’t mean, however, that mosquitoes aren’t more than just a nuisance.
In the United States, mosquitoes are known to spread West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis, chikungunya virus, and Zika virus. According to the CDC, West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States.
These illnesses do not have specific vaccines or treatments, so prevention of mosquito bites throughout the summer and even into fall is crucial.
There are two simple ways to protect yourself from these biting flies, and the first is to eliminate breeding sources on your property. Mosquitoes require water in order to develop into adulthood because larvae are aquatic. One of the most challenging aspects of mosquito management is that larvae don’t require very much water at all; less than half of an inch is enough for some species to develop normally. The key is to not let any water stagnate on your property; so keep your eye out for empty pots, bottles, barrels, bird-baths, or other vessels that might hold water. Tip-over any water containing items regularly to prevent larvae from making it to adulthood.
The next step in protecting yourself is to guard against bites by covering exposed skin with clothing and by applying mosquito repellent when you know you will be outdoors.
There are several types of mosquito repellents available and many of them are quite effective and are tailored to specific uses (long-term protection, sport, etc.).
If you are finding mosquitoes in your home, make sure your doors and windows are kept closed and are properly sealed.
If you are concerned about mosquitoes or have an outdoor event planned, we can help protect your family by treating surfaces on which mosquitoes commonly rest.