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MOSQUITOES CAN 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 dangerous. Insect-borne illnesses are on the rise in the West, causing severe disease and, in some cases, much worse. Mosquito Bandito wants everyone to be aware of these dangers, so read up on these mosquito-borne illnesses, where they are active, and ways you can protect yourself against them.

 

ZIKA VIRUS

Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they bite a person already infected with the virus. Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. 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.

Zika virus is spreading rapidly throughout the Western hemisphere, currently located in 26 countries worldwide. With millions of cases reported in South and Central America, the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency, and the Center for Disease Control has upgraded to an emergency level one status. No cases have originated in the United States, but there have been cases of travelers contracting the disease and returning to the United States.

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

 

WEST NILE

This mosquito-borne virus is most active in North America during the warm summer and fall months. In 2015, over 1,900 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.

 

CHIKUNGUNYA

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 alone, 76 of them resulting in death.  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

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. Recent outbreaks in Hawaii and the Caribbean are raising concern. Officials advise visitors to use caution, but say the risk of contracting Dengue is extremely small, so there is no need to change travel plans.

 

LYME DISEASE

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.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

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 Bandito 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 Bandito – 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 Bandito can protect your family and pets by working to eliminate mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks from your property. Call Mosquito Bandito today for more information.

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