Commonly Asked Mosquito Questions

questions about mosquito controlMosquito season is just around the corner. The spring and summer months are the times when mosquitoes are most active. While mosquito bites can be annoying, the real issue is that mosquitoes can spread a number of serious illnesses. Here are some commonly asked questions about mosquitoes.

Is It Safe for My Baby to Wear Mosquito Repellent?

Babies as young as two months old can safely wear mosquito repellent. You will want to check with your physician to learn the kind that is best for your baby, and what concentration of DEET that is safe to use on someone that size. You may want to avoid taking your baby outside during peak mosquito times. You can also use mosquito netting around your baby as an extra protection.

What Types of Illnesses Can Mosquitoes Spread?

There are a number of different illnesses that mosquitoes can spread. In the United States some of the most common illnesses include the West Nile virus and St. Louise encephalitis. Around the world there are more serious illnesses that can result in outbreaks including malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever and the Zika virus. All of these illnesses have the potential to spreading to the United States.

How Do I Prevent Mosquito Bites?

The best way to prevent mosquito bites is to protect yourself. Wearing mosquito repellent when you are outside during the summer, especially in mosquito prone areas and during times when they are more active.  You can also take the time to take care of your yard, there are mosquito control treatment programs that you can schedule that will kill the mosquitoes in your yard and prevent new ones from breeding.

Do Mosquitoes Need Water to Breed?

Mosquitoes need water to breed. They spend their larvae stage in water. However, they only need a capful of water to breed. One of the most important things that you can do is to eliminate any standing water around your property. Be sure to clear up anything may collect water like old tires or buckets that you have left out.

How Many Types of Mosquitoes Are There?

There are a lot of different mosquitoes throughout the world. There are more than 3,000 types of mosquitoes throughout the world. There are about 150 different types of mosquitoes in the United States. The mosquitoes have different breeding practices and times of day that they are active. However, they are similar in that that all need water to breed.

5 Steps to Prepare for Mosquito Season

mosquito controlMosquito season begins May 1st in Virginia. This means that you may be fighting off mosquitoes at this time, and if weather conditions are favorable, you may be dealing with them earlier. In addition to the itchy mosquito bites, mosquitoes pose a serious threat since they are known carriers of several serious illnesses including West Nile virus and the Zika virus. The can also cause St. Louise encephalitis. While not common in the United States they can also spread disease dengue fever and malaria. If you want to enjoy a mosquito free summer, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family.

1. Prepare Your Yard

One of the most basic things you can do is to keep your yard neat and trim to give mosquitoes fewer places to harbor. This means trimming back your hedges and buses in the fall or spring, and cleaning out all leaf debris so they do not have a place to land. Keep your lawn short will also help your yard to dry out more quickly. You may want to place plants that naturally repel mosquitoes around your yard, especially areas where you will spend a lot of time like around your deck or garden. On your deck you can use potted plants like marigolds or lavender. Other options include lemon balm, basil and catnip.

2. Address Standing Water in Your Yard

Tackling any standing water in your yard can make a big difference. If you have a pond in your yard, you may want to stock it with fish that may feed on the mosquito larvae. You can also add a waterfall or other feature that helps the water to circulate. This will prevent mosquitoes from landing on it. Consider trading out your bird baths for small fountains. If you have corner of your yard that is swampy or rarely dries out, you may want to tackle the grading so that it can drain effectively.

3. Consider Receiving a Yard Treatment

Another option is to contact a professional who can perform regular mosquito treatments on your yard. These treatments will eliminate mosquitoes around your home, and allow you to send your children out to play without having to worry about them catching a mosquito-borne illness. When you choose to have a yard treatment done, you will no longer need to apply insect repellent every time you go out.

4. Stock Up on Mosquito Repellent

While you can take steps to stop mosquitoes in your yard, it is also important to make sure to protect yourself when you are away from home. Mosquito repellent is safe to use and it will protect you and your family from mosquito-borne illnesses. DEET is a good option, as is Picardian. These options will provide the protection you need. You can also buy clothes that are treated with Permethrin. You can also buy the treatment and apply it to your own clothing. Dressing in light colored clothes is another way to protect yourself since mosquitoes are attracted to natural colors.

4 Most Common Mosquito Borne Illnesses in Virginia Beach

mosquito bite illnessesMosquitoes are a big issue in the Virginia Beach area. With the number of waterways and humid climate, it is an ongoing issue. In fact, the City of Virginia Beach has a clear mosquito control program in place because of the diseases that mosquitoes can carry. Here is information on the four most common mosquito borne diseases in Virginia Beach.

West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus is common in North America. Most people who contract will not have any symptoms. About 1 in five people develop a fever. Other symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, joint pains and a headache. Although most people recover, the fatigue and weakness can go on for several months. A few people can develop encephalitis or meningitis because of the infection—if you experience neck stiffness, stupor or convulsions, you should seek medical attention right away. The treatment focuses primarily on controlling the symptoms.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Eastern Equine encephalitis is transmitted through mosquito bites. Most people who are infected have no symptoms. The symptoms include headache, high fever and chills, as well as vomiting. It will progress and may lead to seizures or coma. There is about a 33% mortality rate for Eastern Equine encephalitis. Treatment is to treat and reduce the symptoms while the disease runs its course.

La Crosse Encephalitis

La Crosse Encephalitis is transmitted through mosquito bites. Most people who are infected do not have any symptoms, but those who develop symptoms will have fever, nausea, headache and exhaustion. This can develop into encephalitis with serious complications including coma, paralysis and seizures.  Children under the age of 16 are the most vulnerable to serious complications. All treatments are for the symptoms and not the disease itself.

Saint Louis Encephalitis

Saint Louis Encephalitis has similar symptoms as the other diseases on this page. Many people do not experience symptoms, but those who do may have a sudden headache, and fever with nausea and vomiting. This may become more complication if encephalitis develops. Older adults are more vulnerable to the diseases. All treatments are based around controlling symptoms.

The best protection against these four illnesses is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Once way to do this is to wear mosquito repellent when you go outside. You can also set up a mosquito control program for your yard which will eliminate the mosquitoes that may bother you when you are enjoying time outside on your patio. Contact the professionals at Mosquito Tek to learn more about exterminating mosquitoes at your home or business.

Read Help! My Cat Has Fleas and find out what to do if your pet gets fleas

All About the West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus is a common mosquito borne disease throughout the United States. It has been found throughout the continental United States and is not just contained to one region or area. It affects birds, and often the birds will die once they become infected.  This is one of the signs that the West Nile virus is active in the area.

How Does the West Nile Virus Affect People?

According to the CDC, most people do not have any symptoms when they contract the West Nile virus. However about twenty percent of people who catch it end up with a fever. They may have additional symptoms include achy joints, a headache, nausea and vomiting or a rash. About 1 in 150 of people end up developing more serious complications that can cause meningitis and encephalitis.

What Is the Treatment Plan for West Nile Virus?

Currently there is no specific treatment for the West Nile virus. Instead, medical professionals will manage the symptoms. They will need to closely monitor the patient if they develop meningitis or encephalitis. They will work to mitigate the symptoms and to prevent further complications from the disease.

How is the West Nile Virus Spread?

The West Nile virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes. A person who handles a bird that has died from West Nile virus is not likely to contract the disease. However, there is the possibility of contracting it if you eat an infected bird. You need to be bitten by a mosquito that is carrying it. However, it can be passed in other ways as well. A human can contract the West Nile virus through a blood transfusion, organ transplant, or through lab exposure. A mother can pass it do her child during pregnancy, childbirth or by nursing.

Do I Need to Worry About the West Nile Virus?

The West Nile Virus is prevalent throughout the United States. However, it does not have a negative impact on the majority of people who contract it. If you are exhibiting symptoms of the West Nile virus, especially the more serious ones you should contact your medical provider immediately. They can help you deal with the symptoms and monitor you. There is currently no vaccination to prevent contracting the disease.

How Can I Prevent Myself or My Family Members from Contracting the West Nile Virus?

The best way to avoid contracting the West Nile virus is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. One way to do this is to use an effective bug repellent. DEET is the most effective insect repellent on the market. It is important to use this anytime that you are exposed to mosquitoes. If you do not want to worry about using mosquito repellent every time you go into your yard, you should consider getting professional mosquito control treatments. These can virtually eliminate all of the mosquitoes in your yard and allow you and your family to enjoy it without worrying about mosquitoes. Contact Mosquito Tek today to learn more about the different options available.

 

Mosquito Borne Diseases

mosquito biteAre you worried about the mosquitoes plaguing your home and family? Although most people are annoyed by itchy mosquito bites, mosquitoes can carry viruses that can cause serious complications in many people. Many people may initially think about diseases like malaria or yellow fever, which are more common in other countries. However, there are still serious mosquito spread illnesses in the United States. Learn about five diseases that affect people in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus is spread through infected mosquitoes. According to the CDC most people who are infected will not have any symptoms, but about 1 in 5 will develop a fever, while 1% will end up a serious sometimes fatal illness. There is not vaccine or treatment available for treatment of the West Nile Virus.

Zika Virus

The Zika Virus is new to the United States. Although the initial symptoms are mild and generally resolve on their own, Zika has been shown to be dangerous to pregnant women because it can cause birth defects. The Zika virus is also considered a sexually transmitted disease.

Saint Louis Encephalitis

Saint Louise Encephalitis (SEL) is a disease that is primarily found in the eastern and central United States. Symptoms of SEL include tiredness, fever, headache and nausea. Encephalitis can develop, and older adults are more at risk of developing complications.

La Crosse Encephalitis

La Crosse encephalitis virus (LACV) occurs in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states. Although many people who are infected develop no symptoms, an infection may cause severe neuroinvasive disease and encephalitis. Those most at risk are children under 16 years old.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is one of the most serious mosquito borne illnesses in the United States. Although many people experience no symptoms, the CDC reports a 33% mortality rate and significant brain damage in most survivors of a severe case of EEE.

You can prevent mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves and pants and liberally applying insect repellent. You may also want to stay inside when mosquitoes are most active. However, there are steps that you can take to give you the freedom to enjoy your yard in the evening and the summer months.

  1. Make sure to keep your yard clear of standing water. Look for buckets and gardening tools that may collect standing water. Also check your yard for areas where stagnant water may collect and work to remedy the issue.
  2. Consider buying mosquito repellent candles or fans to help prevent mosquitoes from gathering around your guests. These are not as effective as using insect repellent.
  3. Hire a mosquito control expert to look for problem area and spray your yard for mosquitoes around your home. Treatments in the summer can allow you to start enjoying the outdoors again.

Doing your best to prevent mosquito bites can help you avoid the annoying itch and protect yourself and your family from the serious risks associated with mosquito borne illnesses. A few simple steps can help you enjoy the outdoors again while protecting yourself and your family.