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Missouri Mosquitoes Can Pack An Extra Punch

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Even though we live in the Show Me State, do you really want to wait until you see someone you know gets sick with the Chikungunya or West Nile virus before you take action to protect yourself from mosquito bites? These stories from Fox2Now, and CBS News are only a few of the many reports that have been done on the dangers of the West Nile virus. To sum up the important facts from these articles, here is what you need to know.

What Is West Nile Virus?

Most people who contract this virus don't show symptoms, but it can develop into a serious and sometimes fatal illness. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Rash

This virus can lead to neuroinvasive diseases that infect the brain, like meningitis and encephalitis. This virus is a mass killer in other countries of the world and Missouri had confirmed cases in 2013 and 2014. This virus dominated the headlines when it spread through Florida and Texas in 2016, and for good reason. Zika is linked to microcephaly in unborn children. Microcephaly is a birth defect that leads to an abnormal smallness of the head and incomplete brain development. This can occur at any point in a pregnancy. So, it isn't surprising that health agencies are watching this virus closely.

Should I Be Worried About West Nile Being Transmitted by Mosquitoes?

This virus is transmitted locally from mosquitoes, and 17 states have reported the presence of West Nile virus in birds. That means there is a reservoir for the disease in the animal population, which can allow it to be easily transferred to humans. This is also an illness that can be transferred from humans that aren't showing symptoms, to those to whom it may be deadly. With a risk of death and serious illness, it is important to take precaution.

What Is Chikungunya?

This extremely painful illness--also referred to as break bone disease--causes:

  • Headaches 
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Swelling 

It made its first appearance in the Americas by way of the Caribbean in 2013, and its first appearance in Missouri by way of St. Louis, in 2014.

Should I Be Worried About Chikungunya?

It certainly doesn’t hurt to be informed. There are two confirmed instances of this virus being transmitted locally by mosquitoes. They both occurred in Florida but should you take precaution? Always.

How Do I Protect Myself from Mosquitoes?

  • Wear long sleeves and pants whenever possible.
  • Use repellent that has DEET in it. If you are concerned about putting repellent on your skin, spray it on your clothing.
  • If you are spending time in your backyard, use fans to create a natural breeze that will keep mosquitoes away.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to make it harder for mosquitoes to target you.
  • Use screens to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Refrain from using bug zappers which lure mosquitoes in but are ineffective at killing female (biting) mosquitoes.
  • Reduce still water in your yard to prevent breeding. It only takes 1 inch of water for mosquitoes to breed, and mosquitoes can develop from egg to adult in just over a week, under the right conditions.
  • Have a pest control company, like Rottler, do mosquito treatments during peak season to kill adult mosquitoes and eggs that are in your lawn.

Public awareness and prevention are great deterrents for these viruses, but the very best solution for elimination of these pests is with the help of the professionals here at Rottler Pest and Lawn Solutions. We can help you with this battle with our mosquito control program. Remember, by protecting yourself and your family, you protect your community. When it comes to mosquito spread illnesses, we're in this together.

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