Mosquito-Borne Illness: Zika Virus

Mosquitoes are quite a nuisance during the warmer months of the year. But did you know they can be much more than just an obstacle in the way of enjoying the outdoors? These pests can be highly dangerous, as they are vectors for a variety of diseases such as West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever, and equine encephalitis.

In our last spotlight on mosquito-borne illness, we discussed West Nile virus, from the symptoms of the disease to how to prevent yourself from contracting it. As we continue our series on mosquito-borne illnesses, this week we are introducing you to Zika virus. 

As a mosquito control company, we strive to educate our customers on the potential health risks of mosquitoes in order to create a happy and safe outdoor environment. Here are some frequently asked questions about mosquito control and Zika virus along with information from the National Pest Management Alliance (NPMA):

Where are mosquitoes found?

While mosquitoes inhabit areas all throughout the United States, some species are more common in specific regions. For example, the Asian tiger mosquito, which can transmit Zika virus, is typically found in the southern and northeastern states. Unlike many mosquito species that feed during dusk and dawn, Asian tiger mosquitoes prefer to feed during the day (NPMA).

What is Zika virus?

Zika is a disease spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito of the Aedes species. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Zika outbreaks have been reported in areas such as tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands since the first human cases were detected in 1952. However, Zika cases have also been reported throughout the Eastern Pacific, South and Central America, and the United States.

While Zika virus is usually not fatal, it can have long-term side effects. For more information on Zika virus, visit the CDC website here.

How is Zika transmitted?

As mentioned before, Zika is transmitted through the bites of infected Aedes species mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are also responsible for transmitting illnesses such as dengue fever and chikungunya. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are among the most common mosquitoes in the United States, are the primary carriers of Zika. Additionally, Asian tiger mosquitoes can transmit Zika and are found mainly in Southeast Asia (NPMA). 

What precautions can be taken to help prevent mosquito bites?

Knowing what precautions to take in order to prevent mosquito bites is crucial to proper mosquito control. Here are some helpful tips on how to do this:

  • Use air conditioning and fans (if possible) when you are sitting outside.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellent products.
  • Always apply and reapply insect repellent when outside.
  • Dress your child in clothing that covers their arms and legs.
  • Use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin.
  • Hire a local mosquito control company.

We at Mosquito Authority aim to give you and your family peace of mind by eliminating mosquitoes from your outdoor space. Apart from being a bothersome pest, mosquitoes also transmit dangerous diseases such as Zika virus, malaria, dengue fever, and more.


Don’t wait until mosquitoes have invaded your backyard to do something about it. Find your local mosquito control company here.

Tick Control: Diseases in Animals

At Mosquito Authority, we make it our priority to protect your entire family– including the furry members. A big part of ensuring the safety of your dogs and cats is knowing that they are safe from ticks and tick-borne diseases. That’s why we take tick control seriously; so you can have peace of mind every time your pets are enjoying the outdoors.

You probably know that getting bitten by a tick puts your pet at risk for Lyme disease. However, ticks can spread numerous other diseases to animals as well, and can even infect your pets with more than one at a time. 

Here are some tick-borne diseases that can be transmitted to animals:

Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is transmitted by the wood tick in the western United States and the American dog tick in the eastern part of the country. It’s important to frequently check your pets for ticks, because they can contract Rocky Mountain spotted fever after a tick has been on them for five hours. When infected with this disease, dogs can experience joint pain, reduced appetite, liver damage, heart problems, or other serious symptoms.

Anaplasmosis

Anaplasmosis is transmitted by deer ticks and western black-legged ticks. Both dogs and cats can contract this disease. If your pet has been infected with anaplasmosis, they may experience vomiting, joint pain, and nervous system disorders, among other things. 

Tularemia

Tularemia can be transmitted by three different ticks in the United States: the dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). This disease, also known as rabbit fever, usually affects cats more often than dogs. There is no preventative vaccine for tularemia, but it can be treated with antibiotics.

Babesiosis

Babesiosis is one of the more serious illnesses caused by tick bites. Usually caused by a bite from an Ixodes scapularis tick (deer tick), most cases of this disease are found in the northeastern and Upper Midwest areas of the United States. Babesiosis can cause severe problems in dogs, including high fever, depression, shock, and even death. 

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is one of the more commonly known tick-borne illnesses, and a significant reason why we practice tick control. Like Babesiosis, Lyme disease is primarily reported in the Upper Midwestern and northeastern United States and transmitted by the deer tick. It usually takes about 48 hours for a tick to transmit Lyme disease to its host, so be sure to check your pets for ticks often and remove them as soon as possible. Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include fever, swollen joints, and reduced appetite.


Practicing tick control and preventing tick-borne illnesses is an important part of making sure your pets are happy and healthy. Click here to find your local tick control company.

For more information on tick-borne diseases, visit the CDC website

Species Spotlight: Lone Star Tick

With approximately 90 species of ticks inhabiting the United States, it is important to know what to look out for and how to prevent these pests. As a local tick control company, we at Mosquito Authority take tick control seriously not only because these pests are a nuisance, but also because they pose potential health risks. No two tick species are exactly the same, however, so it is crucial that we understand the differences between them.

Last week we told you all about the blacklegged, or deer, tick: where they live, what they look like, who they prey on, and more. In this week’s Species Spotlight, you will be learning about a different type of tick: the Amblyomma americanum, otherwise known as the lone star tick. Read on to know exactly what to look for when it comes to the lone star tick:                               

Where do they live?

The lone star tick can be found in the eastern half of the United States, all the way from Louisiana to Maine. However, they are particularly common in the southeastern states of the country. These ticks are often found in dense woodlands.

How long do they live?

The life cycle of the lone star tick is very similar to that of the deer tick, as it goes through the typical four stages of life: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph, and adult. Lone star ticks need to have three different hosts throughout their lives, as they need a new blood meal to move on from each life stage. 

Are they dangerous to humans?

The short answer is yes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lone star ticks are highly aggressive towards humans. Humans are not only in danger of being bitten by these ticks, but also for contracting diseases from them. The lone star tick is responsible for transmitting illnesses such as ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Heartland virus disease, Bourbon virus disease, Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These ticks are most likely to bite humans as nymphs or adult females.

Are they dangerous to animals?

Lone star ticks can get their blood meals from both humans and animals. Because of this, animals are also at risk for contracting diseases from these ticks. Lone star ticks can transmit diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and tularemia to animals.

When are they active?

According to the CDC, the greatest risk for getting bitten by an adult lone star tick exists from the early spring through late fall. Nymphs are usually active starting in May while larvae begin searching for small animals to feed on in July.

What do they look like?

Lone star ticks have a unique appearance. Adult females of this species have a white dot, commonly referred to as a “lone star,” on their backs. Male lone star ticks are distinguished by having white spots or stripes around the edge of their bodies.

How do I protect myself from lone star ticks?

You can help protect yourself and your family from lone star ticks with some of these common tick control techniques:

  • Mow your lawn frequently
  • Construct fences to discourage wildlife from entering your yard
  • Remove old furniture and trash from your yard
  • Hire a local tick control company 

Now that you know a little bit about lone star ticks, you can better protect your home and family from these pests. Our mission at Mosquito Authority is to ensure your home is tick-free so you can have peace of mind in your outdoor space.


To find your local tick control company, click here.

Family Health and Fitness Day

Saturday, September 26th is Family Health and Fitness Day, so here are some ways to make the most of it.

Family Health and Fitness Day is intended to promote both physical health and fitness among families in the United States. Observed on the last Saturday of September, Family Health and Fitness Day encourages families and their loved ones to implement healthy habits and activities in their daily lives. This day was established by the Health and Information Resource Center in 1996 in order to promote a healthy family lifestyle for Americans.

At Mosquito Authority, we love to promote the health and wellbeing of our customers, so we came up with some suggestions for how you can make the most of Family Health and Fitness Day.

1. Go on a hike

Exercise is an important part of the day, so why not enjoy it? Hiking not only benefits your health but it also gives you the opportunity to get some fresh air and appreciate the outdoors. Just be sure to wear mosquito repellent and check for ticks after hiking in the woods.

2.  Play a sport as a family

Because of COVID-19 your kids might not be able to enjoy their favorite sports like they used to. However, that doesn’t mean playing sports is out of the question. Organize a family game, whether it is football, basketball, soccer, etc., and get the whole family outside for some fun (and friendly) competition.    

3. Go for a family bike ride

Biking is a tried-and-true family activity. Whether you are biking on a trail or just going for a ride through the neighborhood, this is a great way to keep your family active. Not only is it good for fitness, but exercising outside provides a nice break from those indoor workouts.

3. Come up with a weekly meal plan

Planning your meals at the beginning of the week saves time and also allows you to make intentional food choices. By taking the time each week to meal-plan, you can form healthy eating habits for your family and take the stress out of last-minute dinner plans!

4. Know your family health history

Educating yourself on family health history is crucial. By being aware of your family medical history, you can reduce your risk of developing health problems in the future. 

5. Go for daily walks

Sometimes a simple walk is the best way to exercise as a family. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults 18-64 years old should walk for at least 150 minutes every week (that’s roughly 22 minutes per day). 

Family Health and Fitness Day is a great time to spend time with your family and recognize the importance of physical health. To make sure your backyard is a safe space to spend some time getting active, schedule a mosquito treatment with us today.

How Mosquitoes Got Their Taste for Human Blood

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Article for ScienceDaily Outlines Reasons Behind Mosquitoes’ Attraction to Humans

Ever wonder why mosquitoes are so attracted to humans? In a recent article for ScienceDaily, scientists from the journal Current Biology discuss what exactly makes humans so attractive to these pests. While most people would think that biting humans is innate to all mosquitoes, this is not actually the case. In fact, with over 3,000 species of mosquito in the world today, researchers say that only a few of those have acquired a taste for human blood. So, what is it that draws certain types of mosquitoes to humans?

Continue reading “How Mosquitoes Got Their Taste for Human Blood”