It is no secret that mosquitoes are one of the most bothersome pests on the planet. In addition to invading your outdoor space and ruining your summer fun, mosquitoes are also the deadliest creatures in the world. According to the American Mosquito Control Association, over 1 million people die worldwide from mosquito bites every year. These insects are vectors for a number of diseases such as dengue, Zika, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, and malaria.
In our last mosquito-borne illness spotlight, we discussed Zika virus. This week we are introducing you to probably the most well-known and deadly mosquito-borne illness in the world– malaria.
As mosquito control professionals, we want our customers to have all the facts when it comes to these pests and their potential health risks. Here are some commonly-asked questions about malaria and information on how to prevent mosquito bites around your home:
Where are mosquitoes found?
Most people become infected with malaria from the bite of an Anopheles mosquito. Members of this species typically inhabit tropical and subtropical areas of the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is why malaria outbreaks are common in places such as Africa, Asia, and South America.
What is malaria?
Malaria is caused by a parasite that infects Anopheles mosquitoes. According to the CDC, there are four types of malaria parasites that infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae. Symptoms of malaria typically include high fever, chills, and other flu-like symptoms.
How is malaria transmitted?
Anopheles mosquitoes become infected with malaria by taking a blood meal from a previously-infected person. When an infected mosquito takes its next blood meal, the parasites within its saliva are injected into the host. Malaria is not contagious; a person must be bitten by an infected mosquito to contract the disease.
What precautions can be taken to help prevent mosquito bites?
Part of thorough mosquito control is knowing how you can prevent mosquito bites from occurring in your outdoor space. Here are some tips on how you can reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes around your home and outdoor area:
- Get rid of standing water in your yard. This includes changing the water in birdbaths and emptying items such as trash can lids, tire swings, and toys of water that has collected.
- Try to reduce your outdoor activity during the hours of dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outside.
- Use EPA-registered insect repellent products.
- Keep windows and doors closed to avoid letting mosquitoes in your home.
- Hire a local mosquito control company.
Mosquitoes are much more than annoying insects. In many areas of the world, they transmit serious and often deadly diseases like malaria. As mosquito control professionals, our goal is to help protect you and your family from these pests and the diseases they carry so you can have peace of mind in your backyard.
Find your local mosquito control company here to prevent these pests from taking over your outdoor space.