By Glenn Workman, Owner, Pest and Moisture Specialist
If you turn on the news or read social media, everyone is talking about the Zika virus. Is it a threat? How can you keep your family safe? What if a mosquito bites you? There are steps you can take to minimize your chances of contracting the Zika virus, and it has to do with reducing the mosquitoes in your yard.
What you should know about the Zika Virus and Mosquitoes
Let’s start with understanding the Zika Virus
Zika virus, or simply Zika, is a virus that typically spreads to humans through a mosquito bite from the Aedes species. Symptoms of the virus are usually mild and include:
- Joint Pain
- Red eyes or conjunctivitis
Some people may not even realize they have the virus since the symptoms can be very mild, not even requiring hospitalization. Zika rarely causes death, but the big threat is to pregnant women because the Zika Virus has been linked to birth defects.
As mentioned before, the typical way to transmit the virus is through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, but there are other ways to transmit the virus. These transmission methods include:
- Mother to child during pregnancy
- Sexual contact
- Blood transfusions
If you think you may have the Zika Virus, contact your doctor.
Protecting your family from the Zika Virus
At this time, there is no vaccine for the Zika virus, so prevention is the key to stopping the virus from spreading. That means taking steps to prevent mosquitoes from biting you and controlling the mosquito population.
Tips on mosquito bite prevention include:
- Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants
- Stay inside where it is air-conditioned or screened to keep mosquitoes out
- If sleeping outdoors, sleep under a mosquito net
- Use insect repellants with picaridin, DEET, IR3535, para-methane-diol or oil of lemon eucalyptus
o Follow the instructions on the repellant exactly as directed for maximum effectiveness and safety especially for children.
- Use permethrin on your clothing to repel mosquitoes
Tips on mosquito control include:
- Keep windows and doors closed
- Repair or install window screens
- Kill any mosquitoes you find in your home
- Dump any standing water in your home or yard once a week
- Treat ponds or large pots of water with mosquito dunks
- Get your yard professionally treated by a pest control company for mosquito control
If you live or travel to an area where the Zika virus is found, it is possible you can get the virus from a mosquito bite. NASA recently released a risk map, and it shows that in our area, during July through October, we have a moderate to high risk of Zika virus infected mosquitoes. If you’re traveling south for summer vacation, areas you visit may have the same or higher risk.
For medical information or advice about the Zika Virus, please consult with your physician. You can also visit the CDC website for more information. PESTOUT is not a medical authority. We know pests!
Glenn Workman, owner of PESTOUT, has over 20 years experience in the business. PESTOUT is a pest control company that delivers professional and prompt pest control services across Hampton Roads Virginia, including the cities of Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk and Virginia Beach, and north into Williamsburg. PESTOUT is a local, family-owned business providing that personable and professional touch you expect from people who are your neighbors. Your children and pets are important to us, so safety is of the utmost importance. We will treat your property and environment as if it is our own. Call PESTOUT for a free pest inspection today. (757) 251-0944
Sources: cdc.gov, cnn.com
Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net by SweetCrisis (mosquito) and duntaro (Zika)