If you’ve been paying attention to the media recently, you’ve heard of the Zika virus. No wonder people want to learn more about the most effective mosquito control options. Like many mosquito-borne illnesses, Zika can cause illness in its victims and birth defects in a fetus if the mother is infected during her pregnancy.
Currently, there is no treatment or vaccine for the Zika virus. It’s important to take mosquito repellant and the most effective mosquito control measures to keep from being infected.
Why Should You Use the Most Effective Mosquito Control to Prevent the Zika Virus?
When you think of a mosquito-borne illness, you probably think of Malaria or Yellow Fever, right? While those are two of the most infamous diseases, there are a number of others that mosquito bites cause.
Zika, discovered in 1947 and named for Uganda’s Zika forest, is primarily a tropical disease. However, with more and more people traveling globally, the virus has been able to spread to more temperate climates, such as the United States.
Like other mosquito-spread diseases, Zika is spread to a new host via a bite from a carrier mosquito. Unlike many other diseases like Malaria, Zika can also be sexually transmitted. The virus can live in semen and blood for several weeks. Even if you have no visible symptoms, you’ve got to take adequate precautions if you are infected.
Symptoms are generally mild and last several days. They include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The most tragic outcome of infection is if a pregnant woman contracts it. Her baby may be born with Microcephaly (an abnormally small head) or other birth defects, which can be devastating.
How to Effectively Control Mosquitoes
At this point, you’re probably extremely worried about Zika. You might be wondering if you can protect yourself and your family from infection. You’re probably especially worried if you live in an area with a heavy mosquito population.
The good news is that mosquitoes, like other pests, can easily be managed with some basic tips and the most effective mosquito control ideas, including:
Drain any standing water that’s on your property.
It could be a flowerpot, an old tire, a birdbath, or even a swimming pool. Mosquitoes lay their eggs around standing water. Getting rid of these sources will deprive them of places to lay their eggs.
Treat larger water sources.
If you have a water source you can’t dump out (like a decorative pond), use a larvicide to kill any mosquito larvae. Remember to make sure it won’t harm fish or other animals.
Secure water sources.
If you have outdoor water storage containers like cisterns or rain barrels, make sure to cover them tightly. The mesh should be smaller than an adult mosquito so they can’t just fly through it.
Use an outdoor insect spray to kill adult mosquitoes.
Remember that mosquitoes will hide in damp, humid places, such as under patio furniture or under the carport or garage.
Use air conditioning.
Nothing lets mosquitoes into a house faster than leaving doors and windows opened. If you must leave doors and windows open, make sure to cover them with fine-mesh screens.
Drain any indoor standing water.
As with the outside, mosquitoes can lay their eggs near standing water indoors, too. Dump out flowerpots and saucers, vases, and other sources of standing water at least once per week.
Use insect sprays and foggers to kill mosquitoes.
Remember that mosquitoes will hide in dark, humid places. Indoors this can mean beneath the kitchen sink, in the laundry room, in closets, or under furniture. Before using any sprays or foggers, read the instructions and make sure to minimize contact with children and pets.
Take precautions when outside.
If you have to be outdoors in areas with high mosquito populations, protect yourself. Wear long sleeves and long pants. Apply an EPA-approved insect repellant that contains DEET or other mosquito-repelling ingredients. Sleep under a mosquito net if you can’t sleep indoors.
Prevention is the Most Effective Mosquito Control
Most people think mosquitoes are only a summer nuisance. Even though we don’t live in the tropics, we can become infected with mosquito-borne diseases. Recently the Zika virus has proved that mosquitoes and the diseases they can carry are worth being concerned about.
Zika virus can be devastating. But taking simple precautions to secure your home against mosquitoes will help prevent the spread of the Zika virus here in the United States.
Need help finding the most effective mosquito control for the Zika virus? Contact Think Green experts today. Reach out online, or call us at (678) 648-2556.