The following information was taken from a Consumer Fact Sheet produced by the National Pest Management Association and is used with permission from the NPMA.
Public Health Safety and Mosquito-Borne Illnesses:
One of the greatest defenses against mosquito-borne illness is you; the homeowner; the parent; the average consumer; the business owner.
Since one of the most widely recognized mosquito-borne illnesses - West Nile Virus - was first detected in the United States, the potentially fatal disease has spread across the country from Pennsylvania to Washington state. Forty-one states and Washington D.C. have confirmed cases of West Nile Virus.
Not all communities provide municipal mosquito management. Today, a concerted community-wide effort can help to properly manage these pests and reduce the risks associated with them. Every town. Every neighbor.
Diseases Transmitted by Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes transmit several human diseases including:
West Nile Virus: First detected in the U.S. in 1999, it can lead to serious complications of the liver or nervous system, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or paralysis.
Encephalitis: Four main virus agents of encephalitis exist in the United States: eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), western equine encephalitis (WEE), St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) and LaCrosse encephalitis (LAC). Mosquitoes transmit all of these types of encephalitis.
Malaria: Malaria was thought to have been eradicated in the United States but was detected in mosquitoes in Fairfax County, Virginia, in 2002.
Dengue Fever: A small but important risk for dengue fever exists in the United States. Travelers may introduce 100 to 200 cases into the United States each year.
How You Can Help Prevent the Spread of Mosquito-Borne Illnesses
Contact a local pest control professional. They can help homeowners reduce their exposure to mosquito bites by inspecting properties for breeding sites, treating to control mosquitoes in some cases or suggesting corrective actions, and educating homeowners and businesses about mosquitoes.
What You Can Do Now
Eliminate or reduce mosquito breeding sites by replacing all standing water at least once a week. This includes bird baths, ponds and unfiltered pools.
Remove unneeded vegetation or trash from around any standing water sources that cannot be changed, dumped or removed.
Introduce mosquito eating fish such as gambusia, green sunfish, bluegills and minnows to standing water.
Screen windows, doors and other openings with mesh.
Use mesh that is 18x18 strands per square inch or finer.
Seal around all screen edges and keep doors and windows shut to prevent entry of most mosquito species.
Avoid going outdoors when and where mosquitoes are most active: during dusk or dawn.
Use insect repellent on exposed skin whenever or wherever mosquitoes are likely to bite.
The most effective repellents currently available contain the active ingredient Non-diethylbenzamide (DEET), in concentrations up to about 35% (greater concentrations don’t offer better protection).
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long-legged pants, preferably treated with a repellent as well.
For further information about Mosquitoes and Public Health, visitwww.pestworld.org.