Mosquitos are an outdoor entertainer’s nightmare in the Kansas City area. Those buzzing critters not only cause uncomfortable slapping and itching, but they can also lead to diseases, not only for humans but also for our four-legged friends. We take a look at the top mosquito-borne diseases and how you can help prevent these little bloodsuckers from causing problems around your home.
How Many People Die From Mosquito-Borne Diseases Every Year?
According to the American Mosquito Control Association, over one million people die from mosquito-borne diseases every year around the world. Mosquitos are the perfect transmitter for several diseases and parasites that affect humans and also dogs and horses.
Mosquito-Borne Diseases In Humans Include:
Malaria – Caused by the plasmodium parasite and is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms can include; chills, fever, and sweating.
Chikungunya – A viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes. Chikungunya is found worldwide, particularly in Africa, Asia, and India. Symptoms include a sudden fever and joint pain, followed by headache, fatigue, and muscle pain.
Dengue Fever – A viral disease mosquito-borne disease that typically affects tropical areas. Symptoms include fever, muscle and joint pain, and a rash. Some cases can also lead to bleeding and shock.
Yellow Fever – is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and also the Aedes albopictus (Tiger Mosquito). Common to Africa and South America. Symptoms include fever, headaches, and nausea that is sometimes accompanied by vomiting. In severe cases, this can lead to heart, liver, and kidney conditions.
St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) – this is a viral disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms include tiredness, fever, nausea, headache, and vomiting.
La Crosse Encephalitis (LAC) – this mosquito-borne virus can lead to inflammation of the brain.
West Nile Virus (WNV) – this mosquito-borne disease is spread via the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people who are bitten by an infected mosquito do not become sick, however, one in five may develop symptoms such as; headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. In rare cases, WNV can lead to brain inflammation.
Zika Virus – a mosquito-borne virus that in most cases causes has no symptoms. In rare cases, it may trigger Guillain-Barre syndrome (paralysis). Can also lead to birth defects in pregnant women. Symptoms include fever, rash, red-eyes, and joint pain.
Mosquitoes And The Risks To Your Pet
Mosquitoes don’t just pose a health risk to humans, our pets are also at risk from these pesky pests. Your humble hound and friendly feline or ferret could be at risk of heartworm, caused by the parasite worm Dirofilaria immitis, it is also transmitted from the bite of an infected mosquito.
It can lead to severe lung disease and heart failure in dogs, cats, and ferrets. Additional mosquito diseases that are known to affect horses include; Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EE) and the Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE).
Pets, like humans, can also suffer allergic reactions to the bite of a mosquito, resulting in skin irritation.
There are things you can do to protect your pet from mosquito bites. Pet Food Sherpa told us that feeding your dog garlic – in moderation – can make him slightly less appealing to mosquitos.
How To Pest Proof Your Home
Of course, the best way to avoid an influx of mosquitoes in your environment is to call in the professionals. Gunter Pest & Lawn are well-known and respected pest professionals who offer treatments to temporarily reduce mosquito activity in and around your home. They suggest treating tall grass areas, trees, bushes, low-lying shrubs, and underneath leaves.
We also recommend that home-owners and commercial operators work to eliminate any potential mosquito breeding sources. Expert mosquito pest control has been proven to reduce the amount of these flying critters around your home. Mosquito pest control is performed by spraying vegetation around your residential or commercial dwelling. Most technicians will also advise draining any standing water to also help in the prevention of escalating your mosquito population.