You might have some natural fear of hornets. You might also be disgusted to think of fleas biting you. Ticks and spiders are arthropods and not insects, but you likely do not want them biting you either. However, do you know what the most dangerous insect in the world is? It is the mosquito. It is responsible for over three-quarters of a million deaths every year. That single statistic is enough reason to do what you can to have the best mosquito control you can have inside and outside your home.
It is not the only disease mosquitoes spread, but it certainly is in the forefront of what is on people’s minds when they are bitten by a mosquito nowadays. The Zika virus causes human microencephalopathy in babies in the womb of an infected mother. It is a brain malformation that makes children look as if the top part of their heads are missing, and it results in varying levels of physical and mental debilitation. To make matters worse, those infected with Zika from a mosquito bite can spread the disease through sexual contact.
Remember West Nile Virus?
This was in the news before Zika, and it is still an issue. It is on the back burner of interest for mosquito-borne diseases because only a small percentage of those infected get severe symptoms. Zika does not really cause much in the way of symptoms in the person bitten by an infected mosquito, but the risk to newborns is quite serious. Those infected with West Nile who do get seriously ill can die, and they are likely to have neurological impairment if they do survive.
This disease is still considered in the popular mindset as something you can get if you are bitten by a mosquito in a jungle. This is probably a holdover from soldiers infected during the Vietnam War. About 2,000 people every year are diagnosed with malaria in the United States. Most have recently traveled to malaria-prone areas of the world. Interestingly, the CDC reports that between 1963-2015, there were 97 infections caused by blood transfusions from infected donors. Though infection rates are low, mosquitoes could bite a person infected with malaria and then bite you. That is another reason for controlling any mosquitoes where you live.
These worms can grow to a foot in length. They are spread by mosquito bites, and dogs are most commonly infected. However, cats and even a person can potentially be infected. Heartworm disease is expensive to treat, and the medication to treat the disease cannot be given to cats. Cats and dogs can be protected with preventative medications, and environmental control of mosquito populations helps reduce the spread of pathogens carried by this insect.
Even if you never acquire a mosquito-borne infectious disease, the little pests can still ruin the enjoyment of outdoor living spaces. Even during sunny days mosquitoes can be active in the shade, and they are very active in the evenings when summer fun outside is still going on. Mosquito bites are not painful when they happen, but they can get very itchy afterwards. The scratching can develop open sores and secondary infections. Good mosquito control at home can prevent your family and pets from suffering.