What Every Parent Should Know About Mosquitoes

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Protecting our children can be a full-time job. Kids are constantly testing boundaries, exploring hidden locations, and adventuring in nature. This can get them into trouble. There are many threats outside. One of those threats is insect-borne pathogens. And there are few insects that can spread pathogens as easily as mosquitoes. Here are a few things you and your kids should know.

1. Not every mosquito has a virus

While this is definitely good news, it can also cause us to let our guard down. Just because EVERY mosquito doesn't have a virus, doesn't mean that NO mosquito has a virus. Reasonable caution should always be taken to prevent mosquito bites from occurring.

2. These are the mosquito-borne illnesses you can expect to see in the U.S.

While malaria is linked to the death of more than a million people worldwide every year, deaths in the United States are both limited and rare. The virus that claims lives every year in the states is West Nile virus. This is because this virus has established itself in U.S. mammals and is able to survive the winter inside these living creatures. Zika virus has not yet established itself here and currently must come into the country inside humans or animals before it is spread by mosquitoes. Common mosquito viruses in the states are encephalitis, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and dog heartworm.

3. Flu-like symptoms don't always mean you have the flu

Many who contract a mosquito-borne virus mistake it for the flu. This is because viruses spread by mosquitoes have similar symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, stomach ache, vomiting, headache, body ache, and more. If you or your kids keep getting sick, it could be related to mosquito bites.

4. Mosquito protection is key to preventing bites

If you or your kids intend to be outside, consider the following ways to prevent bites:

  • Mosquito repellent doesn't always prevent bites but it is a great start. If you don't want to put chemicals on your skin, spray it on clothing or use a repellent that has natural ingredients like oil of lemon eucalyptus.

  • If you're able to wear a long sleeve shirt and pants, do so. This will give mosquitoes less skin to bite. Be aware that mosquitoes can push their mouthpart through the pores of thin fabrics and get you. They can also fly up under an untucked shirt.

  • Mosquitoes don't have good eyesight so they use silhouettes to target people. If you wear bright clothing, you can make it more difficult for mosquitoes to get a lock on you.

  • Mosquitoes are moisture pests. They do not prefer to be out in the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky. This is the best time of day to be out if you don't want to get bitten. The worst time to be out is in the morning or at dusk.

  • Mosquitoes hide in bushes and other vegetation during the day. If these are disrupted, those mosquitoes may take advantage of a quick meal.

  • Mosquitoes aren't very good at flying. If you're going to be on the back porch, near the pool, or in an isolated location in your backyard, you can use fans to keep mosquitoes from landing on you and biting you. Plus, it will keep you cooler. It's a win-win.

Backyard Mosquito Control

Your backyard is a location you and your kids frequent most. This is where mosquito protection should begin. When you partner with a pest control company and invest in seasonal mosquito control you get a reduction of mosquito breeding locations and routine treatments that work to destroy mosquitoes when they hide in your yard during the day. This is a powerful one-two punch that can significantly reduce, and even eliminate, mosquitoes in your yard. While complete mosquito control isn't a guarantee, some control is better than no control, especially when it comes to these harmful pests.

You can also get a one-time mosquito treatment if you're intending to have an outdoor event such as a birthday party or graduation. We'll come 24 to 48 hour before the event and apply a one-time mosquito treatment in your yard to make that special day is a whole lot nicer.

If you're in our Oklahoma service area, contact us for more information or to schedule service for your home.