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Lions, Tigers and Bears Oh My! Is the Deadliest Animal Smaller than A Fly?

Author: Mosquito Squad of Chelmsford & Cambridge

The top ten deadliest animals in the world consist of Grizzly Bears, Crocodiles and African Lions.  Did you know that the mosquito is considered the top animal on the list?  Mosquitoes carry many life-threatening diseases all over the world.  The little vampire kills over 1 million people each year.  The top disease spread by mosquitoes is Malaria.  Malaria is not a problem in the United States.  In our service area of Chelmsford and Cambridge, mosquito control is very important due to the spread of West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

West Nile virus was first detected in birds and mosquitoes in Massachusetts in 2000. 92 Massachusetts residents were infected with West Nile virus between 2001 and 2011.  Right now, there is a low chance of contracting West Nile virus in our area.  So far this year, no human has contracted West Nile virus in Massachusetts although mosquitoes have been found with the disease.  Cases of West Nile virus are usually contracted late in the summer.

Massachusetts has the second largest number of reported human cases of eastern equine encephalitis in the country. 270 people in the U.S. were infected with the EEE virus between 1964 and 2010. 14% of these people resided in Massachusetts.  Although this sounds alarming, it is rare for a human to contract EEE.  Outbreaks tend to occur every 10 years or so.  The last outbreak occurred in several of the Mosquito Squad of Chelmsford and Cambridge service areas including Middlesex and Worcester Counties.

Map of Massachusetts showing spread of EEE

West Nile and Triple E will often have no symptoms.  If the illness develops there will be flu-like symptoms within 3 days to 3 weeks of a bite. Infected people complain of fever, headaches, body aches and swollen glands. There are no cures or treatments for these two mosquito diseases.  Only the symptoms can be treated.  EEE is rare but often deadly.

The best way to prevent contracting a mosquito-borne illness is to avoid mosquito bites.  Ensure your yard and property is free of standing water.  Dump bird baths, plant saucers and clean gutters often.  Wear long clothing when you are in an unprotected area during peak mosquito activity.  Lastly, call a mosquito control expert.  Mosquito Squad of Chelmsford and Cambridge can eliminate 90% of mosquitoes and ticks from your property.