The Mosquito and the Zika Virus

The-Mosquito-and-ZikaThe Zika Virus, a disease transmitted by mosquitoes through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito while, the Aedes albopictus has also been identified as a potential threat.

As Spring arrives, temperatures will rise and bring blooming flowers.  Along with this beauty comes an invader, a pest that has been declared as the deadliest animal – the mosquito.

A mosquito lands and bites you. It’s the female that seeks blood from her host by detecting carbon dioxide and octenol that are produced in breathe and sweat. She needs the protein from blood to develop her eggs. You can swat, light candles and she’ll still find a way to get you. She will not be deterred.

For some, a mosquito bite may be more than a few days of itching. It can cause an allergic reaction or, you may receive an illness transmitted from the bite.

The three most common mosquito-borne diseases that cause human illness are arboviruses called Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), La Crosse Encephalitis (LAC) and West Nile Virus (WNV). Illness usually begins with sudden onset headache, high fever, chills and vomiting. The illness may become more serious and involve disorientation, seizures or coma, significant brain damage or even death. There is no specific cure for arboviral illnesses; therapy is limited to treating the symptoms.

  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis is also a bird disease. It’s associated with mosquitoes that live in freshwater swamps and bite birds. Cases are most severe in children and people over 50.
  • La Crosse Encephalitis is maintained in small mammals such as squirrels and is transmitted by mosquitoes that breed in tree holes or small containers that hold water. LAC is most likely to occur in children under the age of 14.
  • West Nile Virus arrived in the USA in 1999 and has spread across the country. Carried by birds, the disease is spread when a mosquito bites an infected bird and then bites a person or an animal such as a horse. WNV cases are seen most frequently in people over 40 years old (75% of cases from 2003-2012).

The latest disease is the Zika Virus.

  • The National Institutes of Health estimate that 200 million Americans reside in areas that might be conducive to the spread of the Zika virus during the warmer months. Areas including the East and West Coast and much of the Midwest. Another 22.7 million people live in subtropical parts of the country that might support the spread of Zika all year around – including Florida and southern Texas.

The-Mosquito-and-Zika

  • Common symptoms of infection are fever, rash, joint pain and red, itchy eyes. Symptoms are usually mild and last several days to a week. Zika has also been linked to a steep increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly, a very serious condition characterized by a small head and brain. Currently, there is no treatment or vaccine for Zika although researchers are working on it.

So what can we do about these deadly creatures?

Eliminate possible breeding sites.
Good cultural practices are key to preventing insect issues. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one inch of standing water. So remove empty containers like buckets and toys that can collect water. Clean out your gutters – another great place for water to stand if clogged with debris. If a pet dish must be left outdoors – be sure to change the water daily. A full evaluation of all the little hiding places is the first step to control.

Remove a comfortable resting place.
Properly trimming your shrubs and grass eliminates hideouts for Mosquitoes during the day. Mow your grass and trim your shrubs.

One thing you cannot control are the neighbors. Here’s where a professional, like Country Club Landscaping can help –

  • Our programs provide protection beginning in May and ending in September with (7) Applications.
  • Beginning with a full site inspection and recommendations for how to best protect your property.
  • Mosquito Program 1: Synthetic – An FDA approved application that’s safe for people and pets. Keep application area clear of people & pets for 2 hrs following application. Please note: Times of heavy sustained rainfall may require additional applications to maintain an effective barrier.
  • Mosquito Program 2: Organic – An all organic application that’s environmentally safe for people and pets; using a combination of Peppermint, Cedar oil and natural mosquito deterrents. Please note: Times of heavy sustained rainfall may require additional applications to maintain an effective barrier.
  • Our professional team will treat ALL areas of your property including the tree lines, shrubs and even under decks.  Not just the perimeter like some of our competitors.
  • One simple contract can protect your family and friends from mosquitoes all season long.
  • Special Event & Party Treatments are available.

Have our professional staff perform an inspection of your property and develop a safe and effective protection plan – contact us at 937.433.5915 or complete our web form by clicking here.

 

Kris McKee
Owner
Country Club Landscaping

 

To learn more about the Zika Virus and Mosquitoes visit the following links –

The Centers for Disease Control – Zika
The National Institutes of Health – Zika Virus an Emerging Health Threat

The Washington Post – Why the United States is Vulnerable to Spread of Zika Virus
The Mosquito – the Most Lethal Animal

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