New Study Finds Cause for Mosquito-Borne Illness

At Mosquito Authority, we are committed to protecting you and your family from mosquitoes. Why? Because we know that, while these pests are notorious nuisances, they are also the deadliest animal in the worldWe know that mosquitoes are responsible for the spread of a wide variety of diseases, including malaria, Eastern equine encephalitis, West Nile virus, and more. According to recent research, however, the risk for contracting a mosquito-borne illness might be higher than we think.


In a recent study written about in Pest Control Technology, researchers at Louisiana State University (LSU) discovered that blight leads to an increase in the amount of disease-carrying mosquitoes in a certain area. Here is some information about the study and why the results are significant:  


What areas did the researchers conduct the study on?


The “where” of this study is extremely important when considering the results. The researchers focused on two main neighborhoods in Baton Rouge, Lousiana to study:


  1. The historic Garden District, a high-income neighborhood
  2. The Old South neighborhood, a lower-income area


According to the article in Pest Control Technology, the researchers specifically chose these two neighborhoods because of their difference in socio-economic status. 


How did they conduct the study?


The researchers studied two species of mosquitoes: the Asian tiger mosquito and the southern house mosquito. They then calculated the percentage of potential mosquito habitats that contained mosquito larvae in each neighborhood. They also placed mosquito traps near various locations, including private homes, abandoned houses, and an empty lot with trash accumulation in the high-income neighborhood.


What did the researchers discover?


The researchers concluded from their study that, due to the amount of blight found in the Old South neighborhood, this lower-income area was at a higher risk for mosquito-borne illnesses than the historic Garden District. Due to how different these areas are socio-economically, the Old South neighborhood had a significant amount of blight “…in the form of abandoned residences, empty lots and mismanaged waste…” while the Garden District neighborhood did not, according to Rebeca de Jesús Crespo, lead author and assistant professor in LSU’s College of the Coast & Environment. 


The large amount of blight found in the Old South neighborhood provided ideal conditions for mosquitoes, specifically the Asian tiger mosquito, to live and breed. The Asian tiger mosquito is a known carrier for Zika virus and dengue, two mosquito-borne illnesses with potentially very harmful effects. Because of the high potential for mosquito-borne illness in this area, the researchers are concerned with what this means for that particular community.


“All that it takes for these diseases to spread is for the right vector to be infected with the pathogen and to bite humans at the right point of incubation of said pathogen,” says Madison Harrison, another co-author of the study. 


From this study, researchers concluded that urban blight is a significant contributing factor to increasing mosquito populations and mosquito-borne illnesses.


How can Mosquito Authority help reduce the spread of mosquito-borne illness?


As a mosquito control company, we are committed to keeping your yard and home mosquito-free. We know the risks that come with mosquito infestations, which is why we don’t stop until you can have peace of mind in your backyard again. Our four-step process ensures that you’ll be mosquito-free and stay that way.

To find your local mosquito control company, click here.

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