While many mosquitoes are nothing more than annoying pests; with over 3,000 species worldwide, and 150 in the U.S., some are very dangerous. Unfortunately, some mosquitoes are vectors for diseases. News about Zika virus in the United States and around the world is spreading rapidly along with a concern for safety. It is more important than ever to understand the facts, preventative steps you can take to protect yourself and your family and how mosquito control services can help.
Zika is a disease caused by the Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito of the Adedes species. Understanding the chain of transmission is critical to controlling and preventing Zika infections. Transmission flows back and forth between mosquitoes and people. First, an infected mosquito bites a person, who becomes infected. The infection is spread when an uninfected mosquito bites that same person. That mosquito in turn becomes a carrier that goes on to spread the virus to other people. This is the same way Malaria and other viruses, like Dengue Fever, cause infections in the tropics. West Nile virus is similar but it can infect birds as well. The two types of mosquitoes which spread the Zika virus are present in the southeast United States from Florida across to Texas and up to Tennessee, Ohio and Connecticut. Doctors hypothesize that Zika can be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy, and it has recently been reported to be sexually transmittable as well. Zika virus is thought to be linked to microcephaly, a condition that causes severe disfiguration in newborns. During pregnancy, a baby's head grows because the baby's brain grows. Microcephaly can occur because a baby's brain has not developed properly during pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, which results in a smaller head size.
The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. There is no treatment or vaccine for Zika virus, so the best way to protect yourself is to guard against mosquito bites. Mosquito control services such as our barrier spray treatments will dramatically reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard, protecting you and your family.
West Nile Virus
This mosquito-borne virus is most active in North America during the warm summer and fall months. In 2015, over 1,900 cases of West Nile were reported, 65% of which resulted in neuro-invasive diseases like meningitis or encephalitis. Symptoms of West Nile usually show within a few days after transmission and include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and rash. There is no specific treatment or vaccine for West Nile, so people are encouraged to avoid mosquitoes and mosquito bites. Visit CDC West Nile page to learn more
This mosquito-bourne virus is fairly new to the Western Hemisphere, arriving in 2013 and quickly spreading to Central America, South America and parts of Florida. According to the Pan American Health Organization, more than 600,000 cases were reported in 2015 alone, 76 of them resulting in death.
Dengue Fever, a well-known mosquito-borne disease, is the leading cause of illness and death in the tropics. Over 400 million people are infected yearly with Dengue, a virus that causes high fever, headaches, nausea, and severe body aches. Recent outbreaks in Hawaii and the Caribbean are raising concern. Officials advise visitors to use caution, but say the risk of contracting Dengue is extremely small.
In addition to mosquitoes, ticks can be a serious threat to your family too. Over 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme Disease every year, a few cases being fatal. Bacterium transmitted via tick bite can quickly spread to the joints, heart, and nervous systems if left untreated. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and rash. Lyme Disease usually lasts for a few weeks and can be treated with antibiotics.
All of these viruses are spread through mosquito bites so obviously avoiding mosquitoes is key. Bite-Free Backyard will spray your outdoor living areas including trees, shrubs and foliage. Our unique barrier spray formula kills all mosquitoes and their eggs that are present at the time of application and creates a protective barrier for weeks. The treatment takes approximately 20-30 minutes and there is no need for you to be home. We deliver your treatment and leave a note informing you that your home is protected, as well as the next scheduled date of service. The spray is odorless & transparent. The treated areas can be used as soon as the spray is dried, typically within 30 minutes. Most importantly, our product is safe for kids and pets, and it won't harm your plants. In addition to our barrier spray, you can eliminate breeding areas in your yard to help minimize mosquitoes. Our trained professionals inspect your property and will immediately notify you of any problem areas.
Eliminate any sources of standing water
Unblock drains and gutters
Watch for low areas in or around your yard where rainwater may collect
Screen windows and doors
Use mosquito repellant and wear protective clothing.
Bite-Free Backyard’s Barrier Spray along with mosquito prevention is the best way to make sure your yard stays Bite-Free throughout the season. Destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flower pots or in pets dishes for more than 2 days. Clean debris from rain gutters. Check around faucets and air conditioner units to be sure there are no leaks. Change the water in birdbaths and wading pools at least once a week. Eliminate any puddles or standing water. Flush livestock water troughs twice a week. Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps used to cover boats, pools, etc. Arrange the tarp to drain the water. Check around construction sites or home improvement projects to ensure that proper backfilling and grading prevent drainage problems. Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent standing water.