Preventing Zika In Your Own Backyard
With the recent flood of news concerning the spread of a mosquito-borne illness, homeowners may be interested in combating these pests even more so than ever. Bug repellant and special outdoor candles may work to temporarily suppress mosquitos in the area and save you from some irritating bites. However, homeowners might be interested in a less temporary and more effective method for removing these annoyances from any outdoor activities.
The mosquito has long been a source of spreading disease. From malaria and dengue to West Nile and the more recent Zika virus, mosquitos have been quite the bother. Nearly 700 million people contract a mosquito borne illness each year around the world. This figure results in over one million deaths, all from something as common as getting bit by a mosquito. Fortunately, in the U.S., we don’t necessarily have to worry as much about contracting serious illnesses from these insects as other parts of the world due to advances in medicine. However, with Zika creating a wave of paranoia in the media, should we be afraid?
Disease symptoms are typically mild and the disease itself is usually characterized by a short-lasting self-limiting fever-like illness of 4-7 days without severe complications, according to a factsheet from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. There have been no associated fatalities and a low hospitalization rate to boot. So, why should we worry about the disease? Well, there is no vaccine or specific prophylactic treatment as of this time. Zika can also lead to microcephaly in fetuses and newborns from mothers who have been exposed to the virus during pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected due to improper brain development.
The best way to prevent infection is to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Use mosquito repellant and do your best to remove mosquito breeding sites. It doesn’t take much water for mosquitos to breed (about the size of a bottle cap) but ridding your property of large areas of standing water will help. Removing open containers that hold stagnant water, such as flower plates and pots, as regularly as possible will also help eliminate more chances for breeding.
Homeowners interested in a more surefire way of killing off mosquitos can look into aerial spraying with insecticides. Spraying can be done a multitude of ways, from on back of a truck, through a home “sprinkler” system, or even through a device similar to a leaf blower.
Automated mosquito misting systems work much like a home sprinkler system. This works to kill mosquitos around pools, patios, and porches. The system is set to spray at a pre-set time of the day. Maintenance is easy and each system is custom designed for your home.
Mosquito suppression treatment involves professionals coming to your yard to spray the solution, concentrating on specific areas to ensure mosquitos will no longer want to venture into your yard.
Typically, these sprays will do no harm to plants, animals, or your loved ones. They target mosquitos as well as other nearby insects that could also be a nuisance. Dugas Pest Control, our local pest control service, uses a solution that does not include chemicals that will affect the growth of your grass or shrubbery. These methods will reduce mosquito activity around your home by about 90%.
In Louisiana, there have been four known infections confirmed and reported so far this year since the government began tracking the disease, according to an article from NOLA.com.
- Nola.com – CDC Confirms 2 More Cases of Zika Virus In Louisiana
- CDC – Facts About Microcephaly
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control – Zika Factsheet for Professionals
- Dugas Pest Control – Mosquito Control