Mosquitoes and blood-borne illnesses

By: Bill Ballard on July 6th, 2018

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Mosquitoes and blood-borne illnesses

Pest Control Tips  |  Health

Summer is in full swing, and unfortunately that means so are the mosquitoes. Mosquito bites are a nuisance, but there are many additional reasons to protect your family, your pets and yourself from their bite. Some types of mosquitoes in the U.S. and around the world spread viruses that can cause disease and according to the CDC, mosquito-borne disease has more than tripled in the U.S. since 2004.

How are mosquitoes transmitting disease?

Only female mosquitoes have the mouth parts, called a proboscis, necessary to bite and suck blood. Females need the nutrients from a blood meal to reproduce (the blood provides proteins necessary to lay eggs). They feed primarily on mammals and birds, using body temperature, exhaled carbon dioxide and body odor to home in on their host. When biting, they insert two tubes into the skin of their victim: one that injects saliva with an enzyme that inhibits blood from clotting, and the other to suck blood into their body. The saliva injected can cause an allergic reaction and even transmit viruses that can cause disease.

Mosquito-borne diseases cause hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world each year, disproportionally affecting children and the elderly in developing countries. However, as more and more people and goods travel around the globe, exotic mosquito-borne diseases can be transmitted almost anywhere in the world in only a day. In 2016, there were over 47,000 cases of mosquito-borne diseases in the United States. The most commonly transmitted mosquito-borne disease in the U.S. is the West Nile virus, followed by the Zika virus, St. Louis Encephalitis and LaCrosse Encephalitis. Mosquitoes can also transmit the heartworm parasite to dogs.

What can I do to protect myself, my family & pets from mosquitoes?

    • Cover as much exposed skin as possible with loose-fitting clothing
    • Use an insect repellant containing DEET, or find the insect repellent right for you, on any exposed skin before spending time outside 
    • Avoid the outdoors during peak times of the day (dawn and dusk) when mosquitoes are the most active
    • Protect your pets with monthly treatments that include protection from mosquitos
    • Make sure no containers on your property hold water for prolonged periods. Even a bottle cap filled with water can breed mosquitoes
    • Clean/clear roof gutter debris and angle downspouts away from your home
    • Keep your lawn mowed. Keep any shrubs trimmed and organic matter and moisture around your home to a minimum
    • Install screens over windows and doors

Protect your yard from mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are a sure-fire way to add frustration to your summer activities. If mosquitos swarming around your home is preventing your summer fun outdoors, consider a professional pest control company to eliminate mosquitoes from your yard. Companies that specialize in mosquito treatments charge an average of $75 per monthly application. For a similar rate, a Cingo plan covers every single pest – from spiders and roaches to squirrels and termites – plus mosquitoes and fire ants.

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