Why Texas is More at Risk for Mosquitoes and their Diseases

Why Texas is More at Risk for Mosquitoes and their Diseases

August 01, 2019

Mosquitoes are annoying pests that can quickly ruin an outdoor evening, forcing people indoors. But they're more than annoyance, especially in past years with the sharp increase in diseases that spread through bites from infected mosquitoes. National cases of diseases resulting from mosquito, tick and flea bites tripled from 2004 to 2016. Cases of West Nile Virus alone nearly doubled nationally from 2008 to 2018, and there were almost four times as many deaths from those cases.

Texas is especially at risk for mosquito-borne diseases due to its warm climate that is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Add climate change to that, which results in a longer breeding season, and the recent flooding that left stagnant waters ripe for breeding, and you have a perfect storm. Population growth can also increase the spread of these diseases, as mosquitoes often move with travelers.

Texas was in the top 20% of states for reported mosquito-borne diseases from 2004 to 2016, and it remained in the top six states through 2018.

Common Diseases Caused by Mosquitoes

There are four main mosquito-borne diseases to consider. West Nile virus is the most common, and typically presents with non-life-threatening symptoms like headaches, fever, joint pain and skin rashes, with a small percentage of cases developing into fatal illnesses.

Typical Zika virus symptoms are similar, but with the addition of conjunctivitis. Zika can be passed on from pregnant mothers to their babies, and it can result in birth defects. It can also be passed between humans through sex.

The Chikungunya virus, originally only seen in the Caribbean, typically causes a fever, joint pain and swelling, muscle pain, headaches and rashes. The mosquitoes that transmit Chikungunya are most active during the day versus dawn and dusk.

The Dengue virus is also transmitted by mosquitoes most active during the day and can also pass from a pregnant mother to her child. Its symptoms include a high fever along with a severe headache, severe eye pain, joint pain, muscle or bone pain, skin rashes, nose or gum bleeding and a low white blood cell count. Other symptoms can include abdominal pain, vomiting, red spots or patches on the skin, vomiting blood, unusual stools, drowsiness, irritability, clammy skin and difficulty breathing.

Preventing Mosquito Breeding and Bites

There are several steps you can take to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and biting you, avoiding mosquito-borne diseases:
  • Reduce standing water near your home or office by keeping gutters clear of debris and removing or emptying buckets, pots and other water receptacles.
  • Remove standing water from flat roofs and around structures.
  • Change pet water dishes daily.
  • Change water in wading pools and bird baths several times weekly.
  • Rinse and scrub vases and other indoor water containers weekly.
  • Keep pools and hot tubs properly chlorinated and free of debris.
  • Don't over-water lawns or gardens so there's no standing water.
  • Cover up with long-sleeved shirts and pants when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Keep mosquitoes out of your home by keeping windows and doors closed and/or screened.

You should also consider the permanent, temporary, portable and ongoing mosquito control solutions offered by MosquitoNix®. Try our Misting Systems, which help rid your yard of insects through our automatic and on-demand state-of-the-art system that delivers an organic insect killer through discretely placed devices. Our QuickNix® fogging treatments provide guaranteed insect relief for 72 hours, but can last up to two weeks. Or try our On-The-Go Dispenser with an automatic DUSK/DAWN® sensor plus a remote control for on-demand use. It's great for hassle-free insect removal on camping excursions and in your yard or the exterior of your business.

Questions? Contact us today or set up your free estimate.

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