Mosquitoes are not the most people-friendly critters as it is, and disease-carrying mosquitoes are no picnic either. Yes, it’s unfortunate but true: mosquitoes can spread diseases. Mosquito-borne diseases are spread by infected mosquitoes. These diseases can include the Zika Virus, Dengue, the West Nile Virus, Malaria, Yellow Fever, and Chikungunya.
Of course, you don’t want a mosquito-spread disease, so your local mosquito exterminator at Palmetto Mosquito Control is here to break down everything you need to know. Read more to learn about the diseases mosquitoes can cause, how to ward off mosquitoes, and the most important signs to look for after a bite – including signs of infection.
Which Diseases Can Mosquitoes Spread?
Mosquitoes can spread a variety of diseases that can pose potential long-term health concerns. It’s important to learn about the different diseases mosquitoes may carry, and what action to take if you suspect you’ve been bitten by an infected mosquito. These are the most common:
Zika Virus causes mild symptoms: fever, rash, joint pain, and irritated eyes. While these aren’t severe, the Zika virus can cause extreme danger to pregnant women. It may cause a birth defect known as microcephaly, which results in small heads, and therefore, brain damage. This disease is spread in Brazil, as well as other countries in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.
Dengue can cause a rash, fever, headache, easy bruising, and bleeding gums. While it is uncommon in the United States, it is seen in locations such as Puerto Rico, the Pacific Islands, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. In extreme cases, it can lead to hemorrhagic fever. An FDA-approved drug exists for Dengue, however, it is only approved for children between ages 9 and 16 who have already been exposed to one of the four viruses.
While it is common to have no symptoms when exposed to the West Nile virus, some people develop a fever, joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting, or a rash. West Nile virus can also cause rare brain infections such as encephalitis or meningitis. It can be contracted in every state besides Alaska and Hawaii.
Common symptoms of malaria consist of a fever, headache, chills, and vomiting. It is typically passed when traveling to a country where it is prevalent, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa. It may also occur in South America and South Asia. Antimalarial drugs are available to take if you are traveling.
It’s exactly as it sounds. With yellow fever, your skin and eyes can develop yellowish hues – also known as jaundice. Other symptoms include a headache, backache, chills, and vomiting. It is especially common in countries in Africa and Latin America. Luckily, a vaccine is available to prevent yellow fever.
Chikungunya may result in a rash, headache, nausea, or fatigue. It is common in Asia and India, but it is making its way through Europe and the United States. The name originates from the African language, referring to the stooped appearance of people with severe joint pain. Unfortunately, symptoms can last for months or even years.
How to Ward Off Disease-Ridden Mosquitoes
After researching the diseases mosquitoes may carry, you are probably eager to learn how to ensure these mosquitoes don’t bite. Well, the mosquito control measures for warding off disease-ridden mosquitoes are exactly the same for regular mosquitoes, too.
Mosquito Misting System
You may decide to implement a Mosquito Misting System in your yard. First, the process of installation involves a team of local mosquito pest control experts that you trust. The mosquito extermination company will install a tank in an unobtrusive area, as well as several nozzles around your property. A line underground will connect them to your tank, and your system will spray automatically.
This method of mosquito control is completely hands-off, offers long-term relief, and appreciates your home value. And all you need to do is fill the tank periodically!
Bug spray can make or break your summer. Or any season, if you live in the Lowcountry. You should always apply bug spray before spending time outside, taking how long you need protection into consideration. Look out for active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus or PMD. These are the most widely used and effective chemicals in mosquito repellant.
You may also use the search tool on the United States Environmental Protection Agency website to determine the best and safest options. This ensures that the product results are registered, having been reviewed for efficacy and effects on humans and the environment.
Signs of Disease to Look for in a Mosquito Bite
We get bug bites all the time, forced to deal with the itching and irritation. However, this means it can be harder to decipher when a bite is infected, or when it may be time to notify your doctor. There are important signs and symptoms to look out for post mosquito bite, as some need treatment.
While most people don’t get very sick or have mild symptoms, the most telling symptoms may include the following:
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
The majority of diseases don’t have specific treatments, but two things are essential if you have a mosquito-borne disease: rest and water.
Infection vs. Disease
You should also be on the lookout for when a mosquito bite can become infected. If you are scratching at your bite and open a cut, bacteria can enter your body and you can get an infection. This process causes cellulitis, which can be treated with antibiotics.
Common symptoms of cellulitis include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Spreading redness around the bite
- Red streaking beyond the bite
- Pus or drainage
- Area feeling warm to the touch
Looking out for these signs, as well as taking additional preventative measures, will help you gain awareness and maximize your mosquito control measures to keep them from spreading diseases. While many diseases spread by mosquitoes do not result in significant symptoms, it is important to look out for the warning signs after being bitten. If you are uncertain, never hesitate to call a professional mosquito control expert or your doctor.
Call Palmetto Mosquito Control today at (800)-585-8019 for more information or to schedule a free, no-obligation pest consultation. The summer is approaching, and mosquito season is in full swing! Protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases.