We’ve all been there: you come in from enjoying a backyard cookout only to find yourself covered in bites; you’re sitting out on your porch drinking lemonade and doing more swatting than sipping; you leave your kiddie pool out a couple of days only to find thousands of squirming larva in it. Yep! It’s mosquito season again. Here in Baltimore, our humid, warm summers set the mosquitos to buzzing by the billions.
These parasitic blood-drinkers aren’t just annoying – they can pose a serious threat to your health. Below, we’ll look at some of the diseases mosquitos spread, how you can prevent them, and what to do if your mosquito problem gets out of control.
The most famous illness carried and transmitted by mosquitos is probably malaria. While we, fortunately, don’t have to worry about malaria anymore here in the United States, we still have plenty of mosquito-spread infections. Some of the most common ones include:
- West Nile Virus – First introduced into North America in 1999, West Nile Virus is usually nothing to worry about. Most people either remain entirely asymptomatic or develop mild symptoms like headache and low-grade fever. However, some patients have experienced life-threatening symptoms like spinal cord or brain swelling.
- Zika Virus – A relative of West Nile Virus and Yellow Fever, this virus spread most prominently back in 2016-2017. Zika is also normally asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, but birth defects, specifically major brain deformities like microcephaly, are a huge concern with this virus.
- Encephalitis – Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain, often caused by infection. Mosquitos spread a myriad of different types of this potentially fatal illness, including St Louis Encephalitis, Lacrosse Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
- Heartworm – Mosquitos don’t just pose a danger to humans. They’re a serious threat to pets as well. When a mosquito bites your dog or cat, it can introduce heartworm larvae into their system. These larvae will migrate to your pet’s heart and grow up to a foot long, causing lung and heart failure and possibly leading to death – especially in dogs.
With all the dangerous illnesses mosquitos spread, it’s only natural to want to keep them far away from you. The best way to do that is to eliminate spots for females to lay their eggs. Since females are the only sex that bites, making your home hostile for their offspring can encourage them to buzz off somewhere else. Some effective ways to do this include:
- Remove standing water like birdbaths, kiddie pools, dog buckets, etc., or at least change them frequently.
- Treat unremovable water like in-ground pools with chlorine and other chemicals to prevent mosquitos from laying eggs.
- Remove stumps that can collect rainwater or leaf litter that prevents rainwater from evaporating.
- Trim bushes and keep the grass short to eliminate mosquito hiding places.
- Keep gutters clean and maintained to prevent water from pooling in them.
- Unclog any outdoor drains, such as storm drains or garden hose drains, to eliminate stagnant water.
Some people try to get rid of mosquitos with citronella candles, tiki torches, and store-bought sprays, but these methods are often ineffective. Luckily, here at Pest Czar, we’ve got you covered. Our mosquito control services are eco-friendly, affordable, effective, and safe for your family and pets. Best of all, we take a proactive approach to mosquito prevention – nipping the problem in the bud before it gets out of control, and our scheduled maintenance visits can help you keep your home pest-free all year long. So give us a call at (855) 273-0517 or visit our contact page to schedule your service today!