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Mosquito Dangers: What You Need to Know

Along with the enjoyment of warm weather comes the annoyance of mosquitoes. Although you may plan on just ignoring these pests, the frequency of mosquito bites may become irritating and the potential for serious health concerns should keep you cautious. This summer, it may be wise to be proactive about a mosquito problem.

Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Mosquitoes are carriers of an array of viruses. Although not every mosquito is a threat, there is no way to know before a mosquito bites you. The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) has a thorough list of mosquito-borne diseases, but the four diseases most likely to affect any given family in the United States are West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever and canine heartworm.

West Nile virus is a potentially fatal disease that causes brain inflammation and flulike symptoms. Malaria involves a parasite attacking your red blood cells, causing a persistent fever. Dengue is a type of fever that is accompanied by joint pain. Finally, canine heartworm is a parasite that lives in a dog’s heart and lungs. These diseases can be treated, but prevention is clearly the better route.

What Attracts Mosquitoes?

Before a mosquito infestation can be addressed, it’s important to understand what entices mosquitoes in the first place. Most people know that mosquitoes are attracted to water, but fewer people know that it takes only a little water to encourage mosquito breeding. Even the smallest puddle or receptacle containing water is sufficient. If the water is dirty, mosquitoes will lay eggs. Mosquitoes also lay eggs in old tires and in the holes of trees. Property containing a pool or a pond is even more likely to have an infestation.

In order to prevent an infestation, every effort should be made to limit the number of places where dirty water can gather. Turn over wheelbarrows, plastic pools and other outdoor objects when not in use. Keep bird baths clean at all times. Ponds should be aerated or filled with fish. Cover pools when they are not being used and keep the pool cover dry as well. Never permit water to stand for more than four days.

Even after doing all of this, however, mosquitoes may still come around. Mosquitoes travel up to 20 miles to find a meal, so a mosquito infestation may warrant professional help. Pest control experts, like those here at ABC Home & Commercial Services, have effective strategies to repel and prevent mosquitoes.

Especially in a hot and humid city like Houston, professional pest control may be necessary to solve the problem. Although fighting a mosquito infestation may require a bit of effort, it is definitely worth the peace of mind that follows.

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