Mosquito-Borne Illness: West Nile Virus

Mosquitoes are known for being a highly bothersome pest, invading your backyard and preventing you from enjoying the outdoors. But did you know they are also the deadliest insect in the world? By transmitting diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, mosquitoes cause hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide every year. One of those diseases carried and transmitted by mosquitoes is West Nile virus.

As a mosquito control company, our main goal is to protect you and your family from mosquito-borne illnesses so you can feel free to enjoy the outdoors with peace of mind. Here are some commonly-asked questions about mosquitoes and West Nile virus along with some helpful information from the National Pest Management Alliance (NPMA):

Why are mosquitoes considered a dangerous pest?

Although most Americans think of mosquitoes as just a nuisance, they are much more than that. Mosquitoes are notorious for spreading several potentially deadly diseases to humans and animals, including West Nile Virus, malaria, dengue fever, and equine encephalitis. According to the NPMA, more than 700,000 children die each year from malaria in Africa.

Should the average American be concerned about contracting West Nile virus?

West Nile virus has continued to spread throughout the United States since 1999. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne illness in the United States. Most people infected with West Nile virus do not experience serious symptoms, while others can die from the disease. In order to reduce your chance of being bitten by an infected mosquito, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts while outside when appropriate.

Are mosquitoes more prevalent during a specific season?

Yes, mosquitoes are most prevalent during the summer months. However, depending on the region and temperature, mosquitoes can also be active during the fall. Mosquitoes typically remain active until temperatures drop below 60 degrees.

Does the weather have an impact on the spread of West Nile virus?

Since mosquitoes thrive in high temperatures, they are more active in the warmer months. According to the NPMA, extreme heat and drought conditions might play a part in the spread of this virus. When the weather warms up, mosquito larva grows more quickly and the breeding cycle speeds up.

What are the symptoms of West Nile virus?

Symptoms of West Nile virus are typically mild and usually mimic those of the flu. However, some severe cases can lead to a potentially fatal infection causing fever, body aches, weakness, confusion, and sometimes coma.

How can I prevent West Nile Virus?

There are several precautions you can take in order to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile virus. Here are some tips from the NPMA:

  • Eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your yard and home by getting rid of all standing water. Common items that tend to collect standing water include grill covers, trash cans, birdbaths, tire swings, and more.
  • Screen windows, doors, and other openings in your house with mesh.
  • Minimize outdoor activity during dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon-eucalyptus on exposed skin.
  • Contact a local mosquito control company

Our job as a mosquito control company is to help protect you and your family from mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses. By knowing the potential health risks, you will be better prepared to prevent them.
To find your local Mosquito Authority, click here.

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