Mosquitoes have been linked to the spread of certain diseases, such as West Nile virus, for years now, but they’ve also been spreading another type of illness. Zika virus has been in the news recently due to outbreaks in South America and the Caribbean.
Zika virus can cause mild symptoms in some individuals, such as a rash, headaches and fever. This illness usually doesn’t cause major health problems for those who have it, but it can cause a serious condition in fetuses. Pregnant women who have Zika virus are potentially at risk of having babies with a condition known as microcephaly. Babies with this condition have an abnormally small head, which can lead to impaired brain development.
Health experts are concerned about the recent outbreaks due to the risk of microcephaly and the fact that there are currently no vaccines or medicines available for treating Zika virus or preventing it.
While Zika virus isn’t carried by mosquitoes in NJ at this time, it’s still important for homeowners to have Tom’s River pest control professionals handle any infestations that occur. Mosquitoes can spread West Nile virus and other diseases in the NJ area.
Plan ahead for spring mosquito problems, contact Allison Pest Control for help. Our Tom’s River pest control professionals use safe methods to get rid of mosquitoes and other pests that can be a public health hazard.
New Jersey health officials are currently pleading for residents to be on guard against mosquito bites, given the glut of mosquito-borne illnesses surfacing this summer.
Bites from the following viruses pose a significant health risk, and can occur 3-14 days following exposure:
Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE)
EEE is dangerous, producing headache, stiff neck, high fever, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, and coma. It has a 50% + mortality rate, and many who recover retain permanent disabilities. Children under 15 are especially at risk.
St. Louis encephalitis (SLE)
Slightly less severe than EEE with a 5-10% mortality rate. Symptoms range from mild fever and headache to those similar to EEE. It is commonly detected in urban and suburban settings.
West Nile (WNV)
Similar to SLE, WNV produces fever, muscle weakness, vomiting, and dizziness. Ten-15% develop serious, possibly fatal neurological effects, however 4/5 people infected show no symptoms.
La Crosse encephalitis (LACV)
Most severe in those 16 and under, initial symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. If severe, can lead to encephalitis, seizures, coma and paralysis. Rarely, long term disability or death can result.
Found for the first time in the continental U.S. last month, Chikungunya is not transmittable from person to person and is rarely fatal. Common symptoms include fever, joint and muscle pain, swelling, or rash, and headache.
Travelers may carry dengue, which is transmittable by mosquito bite. It can cause severe fever, joint, and muscle pain, and in extreme cases, fatal internal hemorrhaging.
1. Dress for success. Keep a layer of clothing between you and these blood-sucking pests by wearing long pants and long sleeves.
2. Destroy mosquito breeding grounds. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water so keep your yard free of potential breeding sources. Empty water from buckets, toys, sandbox tarps, kiddie pools and flower pots regularly. Replace water in pet dishes and birdbaths daily. Keep trash cans and rain barrels covered. Keep gutters clean and check outdoor faucets and air conditioners for leaks. Keep your yard free of litter and garden clippings.
3. Rid your yard of mosquito magnets. Mosquitoes harbor in dense shrubbery and long grass so mow your lawn frequently, keep shrubs and bushes trimmed and weed gardens regularly.
4. Decorate with plants. Add marigolds to patio planters and decorate tables with festive pots of these bright red, orange and yellow flowers. Your guests won’t find their slightly pungent scent unpleasant but mosquitoes hate it. To keep mosquitoes at bay all summer, add lemongrass to your backyard plantings. It drives mosquitoes away and its spiky green leaves and fresh lemony perfume make lemongrass an attractive garden plant.
5. Use scent to send mosquitoes packing. Place citronella torches around your cookout area to deter mosquitoes after dark. Citronella candles add a pretty glow to backyard tables and their citrus scent repels mosquitoes. If you have a backyard fire pit, add a bundle of mosquito-deterring sage to the fire.