As the Zika virus has continued to fill the news all summer, let’s not forget there are other mosquito-borne illnesses out there. It wasn’t all that long ago that West Nile virus was the top story in news feeds, and it is still a threat in the United States. The Department of Public Health and Wellness says that mosquito samples collected have tested positive for West Nile in the south Louisville area. In this part of the country, West Nile is carried by Aedes Albopictus (Asian Tiger) mosquitoes and a couple of mosquito species from the Culexfamily.
Asian Tiger Mosquitoes
So called because of their black and white striping, these mosquitoes are aggressive, daytime biters. They made their way to the U.S. in used tire shipments from Asia about 30 years ago and had adapted well due to the broad range of climate in which they can survive. Eggs are laid in areas just above water (they will hatch once covered by collected rainwater) and can survive winter. Their preferred habitat is standing water found in small man-made containers, old tires, and tree holes. The University of Kentucky Health Entomology Labreported its first capture of these mosquitoes in early June this year. Considering the peak season is late July and early August, these mosquitoes have been active and breeding for longer than normal this year.
Symptoms of West Nile Virus
As with many mosquito-borne illnesses, the majority of people may not develop symptoms of West Nile at all. The CDC states that approximately 1 in 5 will develop fever, headache, body and joint aches, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Fatigue and weakness from this can last weeks or even months, but eventually, most will recover completely. Yet the exceptions are there. 1% of those infected will develop encephalitis or meningitis, and 10% of those people will die. These forms of inflammation of the brain and surrounding areas may cause permanent damage to those that do survive. It is also important to note that there is a greater risk for the elderly, people with organ transplants or those with medical conditions including cancer, diabetes, or kidney disease.
Protection Comes First
Late summer is the time when these diseases become more prevalent, and with West Nile Virus found in Louisville mosquitoes, we must be proactive. It is HOT, AND HUMID and mosquitoes love it. They are out in full force here right now. There have been no human cases of West Nile yet, but there were 3 in Louisville last year so it may be only a matter of time. Asian Tiger Mosquitoes are not strong flyers, so they tend to stay in one area to breed over and over in their life cycle. Don’t let that place be your back yard. Preventing bites is by far the best way to prevent mosquito-borne illness.
Follow the 5 Ts of Mosquito Control to avoid growth of the mosquito population in your yard. Call us at Mosquito Squad of Louisville and let our 100% satisfaction guaranteed service do the rest of the work for you. Our barrier spray is one of the most effective ways to control mosquitoes and is our most popular service because it works! You will see an immediate 85-90% elimination of the mosquitoes in your outdoor living space, as well as continued control with its time released formula. Let us be a part of keeping your family protected from disease and making your outdoor space a fun and pest free place to enjoy!