Zika Virus: Tips from the Professionals
The Zika virus has been making rounds in the news, causing more and more people to start worrying about the virus and whether they should be concerned for their own health and the health of their families. As pest control professionals, we put together this helpful guide of everything you need to know about the Zika Virus.
Why Are Mosquitoes Dangerous?
Mosquito bites are much more than just annoying itchy bumps that seem to come along with the summer season. Mosquito bites can actually transmit diseases, parasites, and viruses like the Zika virus that can be harmful to your health. Aside from Zika, mosquitoes can also carry other diseases like:
- Yellow Fever
- West Nile
- And many more!
What is the Zika Virus?
Although the Zika virus was originally discovered in the 1940s, it is currently in the news due to the large-scale outbreak of the virus that is currently taking place in South America and that is spreading quickly through Central America toward the United States. The virus is spread when a mosquito bites an infected person and spreads it to another person when they bite them. The infected person may not feel ill when they are bitten by the mosquito, but they can carry the virus around with them. Some symptoms of the Zika virus include:
- Red eyes
- Joint Pain
Why is the Zika Virus Dangerous?
Although most healthy adults only suffer mild symptoms that go away quickly, the virus is dangerous because of the way it affects pregnant women and their unborn children. The Zika virus has been linked to certain birth defects like microcephaly, which causes the child’s head to develop abnormally. The link between microcephaly and other birth defects to the Zika virus is still under investigation.
Currently, the majority of Zika virus cases that have popped up in the United States have been travel-related cases. This means that the infected individuals were traveling in an area where there was an outbreak of the Zika virus and were infected there. Then, when they returned home to the United States, they brought the virus back with them.
How Can I Prevent Mosquitoes in My Yard?
The best way to protect your family from the Zika virus is to decrease the chance that your loved ones will come into contact with a mosquito that is carrying the virus. To do this, you must reduce the mosquito population in your own yard to decrease the number of mosquitoes that are around your home. There are many different ways that you can prevent mosquitoes in your yard. Below are just a few methods:
- Burn citronella candles. These candles will repel many mosquitoes away from your yard.
- Plant mosquito-repelling plants in your yard. There are many different plants that you can use that will make mosquitoes steer clear, including citronella, catnip, basil, peppermint, spearmint, and others. Check with your local garden supply store to see which plants will thrive in your yard conditions!
- Eliminate standing water around your yard. Mosquitoes need standing water to breed and produce offspring, so ensure that you don’t have any puddles or water-filled areas around your yard. Clean out birdbaths and empty containers too, as they only need a little bit of water to breed.
- Use bug lighting instead of regular lights. Bugs see colors differently than humans do, so specially colored bug lights that give off a yellow hue won’t attract the insects like bright white lights do.
Trust the Mosquito Control Professionals
While these mosquito prevention methods may be effective in keeping some mosquitoes out of your yard, to truly protect your loved ones from the dangerous Zika virus, professional mosquito prevention is best. Here at PestMasters, we offer mosquito control services that can help reduce the local mosquito population around your home, which can reduce the likelihood that your family and loved ones will be exposed to the harmful Zika virus.