The beautiful and temperate Virginia climate makes for prime mosquito territory. Virginia is home to over fifty (50) different mosquito species, including the Asian Tiger mosquito and the AedisAegypti now made nationally infamous by the concern over Zika virus.
It’s common knowledge that the mosquito is an enormous threat in the continents of Africa and South America. The global economy and easy international travel have now brought these same threats to the United States and more specifically, right into our back yards here in Central Virginia. Chickungunya or Zika virus have yet to make it to Central Virginia. However, some more sinister, prevalent, and less publicized instances of life altering Eastern Equine Encephilitis (EEE) can happen regularly in Charlottesville and Lynchburg, but don’t make it onto the evening news.
As with any threat, prevention is the best option. By reducing the population near your home, you reduce the number of bites your family will fall victim to, and drastically reduce the chances of contracting a serious disease.
THE DANGERS OF MOSQUITOES
PROTECTING YOUR SQUAD FROM THE NUISANCES & DANGERS OF MOSQUITOES
Mosquitoes are more than just an annoyance—they are the deadliest animal on the planet. Over one million people are killed by mosquito-borne diseases every year all over the world. The United States tends to be less aware of how deadly mosquitoes are, but over 1,000 Americans experience serious illness or death because of a mosquito bite every year.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT MOSQUITOES
- There are over 3,000 mosquito species worldwide
- Over 150 mosquito species inhabit the United States
- A relatively small number of species transmit dangerous disease
- Only adult female mosquitoes bite
- A female mosquito needs one blood meal for every batch of eggs she produces
- Mosquitoes feed on nectar, plant juices and decaying plant material
- All mosquitoes have 4 distinct life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult
- Mosquito eggs require standing water to hatch into successful larvae
- Mosquito eggs can survive up to seven years before hatching
- With a 100% survival rate, a single mosquito could be responsible for over one billion mosquito descendants in less than a month
- West Nile Virus (WNV): First found in Uganda in 1937, WNV has spread globally. Its flulike symptoms include fevers, headaches, and body aches. More severe symptoms include disorientation, muscle weakness, neck stiffness and more.
- Encephalitis: This is the inflammation of the brain that starts as a virus and can invade the central nervous system. Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is the most common encephalitis and can affect humans and horses.
- Zika Virus: This virus is an emerging disease with symptoms that include fever, skin rash, and conjunctivitis that typically last less than a week. A connection between Zika and birth defects is currently under investigation.
- Heartworm: This parasitic roundworm infects dogs and other animals. The heartworm takes residence in the host’s heart as it grows. It is a significant concern in canines.
- Malaria: Eradicated in the U.S. in the 1940s, malaria continues to kill millions in Africa each year. Malaria is both preventable and treatable. To help fight the spread of malaria, Mosquito Squad is a proud supporter of Malaria No More, a nonprofit that envisions a world where no one dies from a mosquito bite.
- Chikungunya: This mosquito-borne disease causes fever, joint pain, headaches, rash, and swelling. There is currently no vaccine for chikungunya.
- Yellow Fever: This is disease found primarily in tropical regions in both Africa and South Africa that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. The “yellow” refers to jaundice, which is a common symptom.