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Mosquito and Tick Hazards

Remember when a mosquito bite just meant that you developed a bump and itched for a few days? Unfortunately, that bite may also carry the possibilities of disease.

Mosquitoes are more than a nuisance. We’ve known of the dangers of mosquitoes since 1881 when Carlos Finlay, a Cuban doctor and scientist, proposed the idea that yellow fever was transmitted by mosquitoes. Walter Reed and a workforce of other doctors discovered that Finlay was correct. Mosquito Control reduced the spread of Yellow Fever in the United States.

Mosquitoes carry a number of other diseases, including:

West Nile Virus a disease with long-lasting effects on some humans
Dengue – fever and hemorrhagic fever of four types
Lyme Disease

All of us are familiar with the hazards of ticks. They, too, carry a number of diseases, including:

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Ehrlichiosis
Anaplasmosis
Babesiosis
Colorado Tick Fever
Powassan encephalitis

There are a number of ways of protecting your family from mosquitoes and ticks. Common-sense prevention methods can help. Reducing the incidence of standing water helps stop mosquitoes from breeding. Consider the following sources of standing water:

Untreated swimming pools
Rain gutters
Wading pools, wagons, and toys
Ponds or low-lying areas
Open trash cans
Old tires or wheelbarrows
Bird baths, feeders, fountains

If you find dead birds lying around, be certain to report them to the county health department for possible examination for vector-borne diseases. Be sure your pets wear flea and tick repellent collars. Check them on a daily basis for ticks that may have embedded themselves. Shower and check pants legs for stray ticks.

You can also use sprays and repellents to control mosquitoes and ticks. Use products containing 20 percent DEET to repel mosquitoes and ticks. Applying products containing permethrin to boots, clothing and camping gear will help repel them also. Permethrins should not be applied directly to the skin.

For the health of you and your family, consider arranging for a commercial application system for sprays and mists to keep your property area even safer from these flying pests. There are two methods used to provide this protection:

Barrier spray – for adult ticks and mosquitoes, effective for up to 21 days
Misting system – effective and long-term solution for mosquito and tick infestation

Consider the benefits of protecting yourself from these dangerous insects.

 

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