Cicada Storms, Could 2020 Get Any Stranger?

Author: Mosquito Squad of West St. Louis County, MO

It seems we made it through the murder hornets unscathed, but as this year goes, there is always something else around the corner. What is it now? 17-year Cicadas. Cicadas are an interesting little bug. Some of them hibernate for 17 years, and then they come out to mate. Others only hideaway for only 13 years, and then there are those that come out annually. When the 17-year variety comes out, they come out by the millions, and they are most known for the noise that they make. Male cicadas have a very distinctive chirp that can be quite loud and annoying. It’s a mating call. Eric Day of Virginia Tech’s Department of Entomology calls the 17-year emergence an amazing event. I suppose that is all about your perspective.

Some Annoyances Are Here Every Year

While Illinois can be expecting the 13-year cicadas next summer, Missouri won’t be seeing a large cicada event until 2024. However, it doesn’t mean there aren’t annoyances caused by insects that Missouri residents shouldn’t be preparing for. That annoyance is mosquitoes and we all know too well that they come out every year. An interview on KMOX radio notes how the weather in Missouri is prepping for a large mosquito presence. With excess mosquitoes comes a higher risk for the diseases that they carry. West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis are both transmitted to humans via mosquitoes and have both been on the rise over the past few years.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis

By now, most people know that mosquitoes are the deadliest animals in the world. Malaria kills almost half a million people a year, although mostly in countries besides the United States. EEE is also rare, but it does appear to have entomologists’ eyes wide open these days in the Northeast and Gulf states. Rare but deadly, EEE kills over 30% of those people that acquire a brain infection from the virus. Those that survive are still likely to be affected neurologically for the rest of their lives. The CDC reports an average of 7 cases per year, but in 2019 there were 38 reported cases of EEE in the United States. It’s no wonder the entomologists are watching.

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus (WNV) appeared in the US in 1999. Mosquitoes contract WNV by feeding on birds that carry the disease then transmit it to humans. Only about 20% of those infected will actually show symptoms, which include headache, body aches, possibly a skin rash. A small group, less than 1 in 100, can get a severe version of the virus where the nervous system is affected. Those most likely to get a more severe illness are over 50 years old with weak immune systems. Local health departments trace WNV activity by testing dead birds. The best shot at keeping the community safe is by upping the mosquito control efforts in areas where they know it has been present.

Mosquito Control at Home

With the possibilities of a large mosquito population due to climate, there is no time to wait when it comes to controlling the issue. Late summer is when the risk for EEE and WNV becomes the highest. By starting mosquito control treatment at home immediately, you are lowering those risks and helping to control the population for your community as well. With dangerous disease a threat, we must all be responsible and do our part. Professional treatment is not only the easiest solution for you; it only requires a phone call; it is also the most effective. Call us at Mosquito Squad of West St. Louis today and let us get you on our schedule as soon as possible. You’ll be able to enjoy your yard all summer and if you hear the song of the cicada… give it a listen!