Mosquitoes across the country are testing positive for West Nile virus this summer and in fact according to the CDC in an update on their website dated August 14th 2012: “Thus far in 2012, 43 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 693 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 26 deaths, have been reported to CDC.  Of these, 406 (59%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 287 (41%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease”.   Though Missouri is not one of the 6 states hit hard by this potentially dangerous illness, according to St. Louis news reports, the virus is starting to appear and one case proved fatal. 

So what is West Nile virus exactly and why is it linked to mosquitoes?  West Nile virus is a very serious illness that is often spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.  Symptoms of the WNV include but are not limited to: high fever, headache, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.  Again, according the CDC, symptoms of the West Nile virus may last several weeks and the neurological effects could be permanent.  In some cases, WNV may result in death. 

Those whose spend a lot of time outdoors face increased risk of encountering infected mosquitoes and therefore WNV.   If you are one of those who really enjoys being outside, especially in the summer months you may be wondering how you can protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes and WNV.  While you can’t completely eliminate the risk, you may reduce the chances of an encounter with an infected mosquito by wearing long sleeve shirts, pants and other protective clothing when active outside as well as by applying an EPA registered insect repellent and avoiding going out during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are very active.

Mosquito prevention also extends to your property.  By correcting conditions that attract them, you may be able to reduce their numbers.  Here are a couple mosquito prevention tips from the St. Louis pest control pros at Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions.

Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites

First and most important in mosquito prevention is eliminating any standing or stagnant water on your property.  In order to breed, these potentially dangerous pests must have water; even the tiniest amount will suffice.  Unclog gutters and drainage ditches, remove flower pots, buckets and tires as well as other items found on your property that can hold water, refresh bird baths and keep kiddie pools empty and turned over when not in use. 

Pay Close Attention To Your Lawn

To avoid the heat, mosquitoes seek out hiding spots that are cooler and overgrown lawns are ideal.  To eliminate harborages on your property, mow your lawn frequently.  Pay attention to areas where manicured lawn meets woods and cut back overgrowth.  Also trim shrubs and bushes so that light and air can pass through. 

If you are losing the battle against mosquitoes, professional mosquito control in St. Louis may be the next step.  At Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions, we offer mosquito treatments that target breeding sites and that are designed to control adult biting mosquitoes.  In addition, we install automatic mosquito misting systems in St. Louis and surrounding areas that create a barrier around the structure to protect against these biting insects.  Learn more about our professional mosquito control in St. Louis and Mid-Missouri.

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