We do not often think of tiny little insects as being dangerous to us. However, the last few years have proved us wrong. The scariest part is that oftentimes we do not see most of these until after they have done their damage.
Mosquitoes are one insect that can create a lot of havoc in your life before you even know that they had stung you. There is an incredibly high risk of ending up with severe health problems from one tiny mosquito.
One mosquito can transmit many different infections that are harmful. The mosquito is responsible for more health troubles than any other current organism. Did you know that over one million people pass away each year due to the transmission of parasites and diseases by the tiny mosquito? These parasites and diseases are oftentimes transmitted to horses, dogs, and other livestock.
The mosquito bite creates a red swollen area at the location where it bites. This is actually an allergic reaction to the mosquito saliva. A short list of what one bite from a mosquito can do:
- Dog Heartworm
- Yellow Fever
- West Nile Virus
- Zika Virus
But there are many others. Strangely, it is only the female that will sting. Male mosquitoes do not have a need to consume the blood, females need the protein for the eggs they carry. The insect is not chosen between daytime or night. They will do the damage anytime they have the opportunity.
There are other signs to be aware of from a mosquito sting, not just the red, swollen and itchy area we all know well. Other signs to watch for could be dark areas that resemble a bruise, blisters rather than a hard bump. Multiple bumps are a sign that the person has been victimized by more than one mosquito in that area. Those people with weakened or compromised immune systems may also experience symptoms such as a low-grade fever, hives, and swollen glands. However, many times, the symptoms become less and less over time. This is because our bodies can acclimate to the stings.
Medical professionals highly recommend that if you experience flu-like symptoms and notice a recent mosquito bite, the person should immediately visit their family practitioner. Mosquitoes are not just a nuisance any longer, they are the deadliest animal we find on the planet.
Facts About Mosquitoes
Some interesting facts about this insect:
- There are over 3000 species of mosquitoes across the world
- A mosquito will feast on decaying materials such as grass
- They will consume nectar and plant juices
- For every batch of eggs, the female produces, she needs one meal of blood
- The mosquito eggs need to have been laid in standing water in order to further develop
- The mosquito eggs can last for 7 years before they hatch. This means that one mosquito could create another billion mosquitoes in less than a months’ time.
Does this mean that we should just accept our fates when it comes to mosquitoes? Absolutely not! We are more than capable of fighting back against this death machine. There are many ways that we can prevent or eliminate much of the risk we take daily being outdoors or having open windows, doors or even pets that go outside and in multiple times a day.
The first and most important prevention is to use a repellent that contains DEET or picaridin. Picaridin is a relatively new repellent that is much like DEET, it prevents the mosquito from recognizing the usual prey it seeks out. Deet is available in many forms now, including bracelets. The percentage of Deet in the product determines the amount of time the repellent will work. For the ones that prefer to stick with chemical free or natural methods, using oil of eucalyptus is a good substitute. Many name brands have botanical formulas in a spray that are available now.
Also, ensure that there is no brush or decaying plant materials in your yard. Remove anything that can hold standing water. Mosquitoes need standing water to breed.
Ensure that your screens on windows and doors are free from holes. Clothing is one to pay attention to also. If outdoors, cover the skin as much as possible. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon monoxide and body odors we all have. If you will be in heavily or dense areas, avoid wearing any brightly colored clothing, any perfume or scented sprays, as mosquitoes are prone to be attracted to those.
If you are one of the millions bitten by the mosquito, keep the area clean, avoid scratching or itching the area, use an antibacterial ointment or calamine lotion to help stop the itching. A cool bath with no soap will help minimize the swelling, as well as using an ice pack to reduce any bumps. The natural option to reduce the itching is a paste made from baking soda and water.
As scary as this all sounds, we humans still have the upper hand on mosquitoes. We can do quite a bit to prevent the mosquito dangers around our own homes. Eliminate the options for mosquitoes to survive, or the desire to have you for their main course of the day.
You can also check into bug zappers that will help eliminate the critters from your outdoor areas, or near all entrances.
Those who want to ensure they remain more vigilant than the mosquito can plant some mosquito repellent plants throughout their yard. Plants such as catnip, lavender, basil, and even peppermint will help keep the deadly insect away from you. There are many other options that we could all try; it is up to everyone which method they trust the most. Personally, I believe the more we use to prevent mosquitoes in our home and yard, the better we will fare.
Contact Alliance Pest Services to learn more about the home and yard protection services that we offer to keep your home pest free!