There are about 60 different species of mosquito around the world. Several of them are capable of transmitting serious, possibly even fatal diseases, such as Mosquito-borne Encephalitis and Malaria to humans. Even in the absence of disease transmission, Mosquito bites can result in allergic reactions producing significant discomfort and itching. In some cases excessive scratching can lead to bleeding, scabbing, and possibly even secondary infection. Children are very susceptible to this because they find it difficult to stop scratching. Frequently, they are outside playing and do not realize the extent of their exposure until it is too late. Regardless of whether record numbers of mosquitoes are produced this year, many people are now asking how to control these pests in and around their homes.
The first and most important thing to remember is that while there are several options available to reduce the number of mosquitoes breeding on your premises, this may not result in a reduction in mosquito numbers or biting activity. To put it very simply, our most common species of mosquito can migrate several miles from where it developed. Female mosquitoes are ready to bite one or two days after emerging as adults. Female mosquitoes can produce a painful bite during feeding. Mosquitoes can travel a mile or more from their breeding spot to find a meal.
Only the female mosquito sucks blood, which she needs to lay eggs. Adult male mosquitoes feed only on plant nectar and are harmless to people. Most mosquitoes feed just after dark and again just before daylight. Mosquitoes may transmit diseases such as Dengue, Yellow fever, and Malaria to humans. Mosquito-borne Encephalitis is a viral inflammation of the brain. Encephalitis can infect humans, horses, and a variety of other mammals and birds. Transmission of the disease occurs when an infected mosquito takes a blood meal.
The best option for Mosquito control is to target the control efforts at the larval stage. Any area or object that can hold water for a period of one week should be filled, drained, or discarded. This includes areas such as stagnant puddles, pools or ditches, and objects such as cans, buckets, old tires, clogged rain gutters, bird baths and child wading pools. A number of insecticides are available for application to a body of water to control Mosquito larvae and determine the need to treat breeding sites or to apply Insecticide sprays to control adults.
This is a way of chasing the adult flying Mosquitoes from the human habitats during the dark hours outside the premises. Control of mosquitoes primarily targets the adult. Outdoor foggers will keep Mosquitoes away for several hours, but once the chemical dissipates, the Mosquitoes return.
Spraying of our chemical formulation on thickets or shrubs along the perimeter of your yard helps reduce the population of mosquitoes that rest in these areas. It is generally the last resort in an integrated Mosquito control program, since spraying of adult mosquitoes provides only temporary relief. It must be repeated frequently to intercept new Mosquitoes moving into the area.
since most of the mosquitoes that transmit encephalitis will not travel very far, the risk of contracting Encephalitis can be minimized by controlling the Mosquito breeding sites which are in close proximity to your home. Water management, to prevent mosquito breeding, is essential for control. Eggs do not hatch unless they are in water. Remove old tires, buckets, tin cans, glass jars, broken toys and other water catching devices. Change water in bird baths and wading pools once or twice a week; clean out roof gutters holding stagnant water; and place tight covers over cisterns, cesspools, septic tanks, barrels, and tubs where water is stored.
Mosquitoes are among the most pervasive and most detested pests. Aside from their annoying high-pitched buzz and their red, itchy bites, they are vectors of diseases affecting millions of people worldwide. In tropical countries where they are present all the time and are very hard to control, they cause deadly outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases. Even in temperate regions where they are mostly present during spring and summer, they still cause outbreaks affecting many. Some of the diseases that they typically carry are listed below.
Endemic range of yellow fever in South America (2005)
Mosquitoes are important vectors (agents) in the transmission of animal diseases. Mosquito-borne diseases involve the transmission of viruses and parasites from animal-to-animal, animal-to-person, or person-to-person, without afflicting the insect vectors with symptoms of disease.
Action in mosquitoes
Mosquitoes carrying such arboviruses stay healthy because their immune systems recognize the virions as foreign particles and “chop off” the virus’s genetic coding, rendering it inert. Human infection with a mosquito-borne virus occurs when a female mosquito bites someone while its immune system is still in the process of destroying the virus’s harmful coding. It is not completely known how mosquitoes handle eukaryotic parasites so they can carry them without being harmed. Data has shown that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum alters the mosquito vector’s feeding behavior by increasing frequency of biting in infected mosquitoes, thus increasing the chance of transmitting the parasite.
When a mosquito bites, she also injects saliva and anti-coagulants into the blood which may also contain disease-causing viruses or other parasites. This cycle can be interrupted by killing the mosquitoes, isolating infected people from all mosquitoes while they are infectious or vaccinating the exposed population. All three techniques have been used, often in combination, to control mosquito transmitted diseases.
Mosquitoes are estimated to transmit disease to more than 700 million people annually in Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico and much of Asia with millions of resulting deaths. In Europe, Russia, Greenland, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other temperate and developed countries, mosquito bites are now mostly an irritating nuisance; but still cause some deaths each year.
Historically, before mosquito transmitted diseases were brought under control, they caused tens of thousands of deaths in these countries and hundreds of thousands of infections. Mosquitoes were shown to be the method by which yellow fever and malaria were transmitted from person to person.
Mosquitoes are a perfect example of one of the many organisms that can host diseases. Of the known 14,000 infectious microorganisms, 600 are shared between animals and humans. Mosquitoes are known to carry many infectious diseases from several different classes of microorganisms, including viruses and parasites. Mosquito-borne illnesses include Malaria, West Nile Virus, Elephantiasis, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever etc.
The mosquito genus Anopheles carries the malaria parasite (see Plasmodium). Worldwide, malaria is a leading cause of premature mortality, particularly in children under the age of five, with around 2 million deaths annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Some species of mosquito can carry the filariasis worm, a parasite that causes a disfiguring condition (often referred to as elephantiasis) characterized by a great swelling of several parts of the body; worldwide, around 40 million people are living with a filariasis disability.
The viral diseases yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya are transmitted mostly by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
Other viral diseases like epidemic polyarthritis, Rift Valley fever, Ross River Fever, St. Louis encephalitis, West Nile virus (WNV), Japanese encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis and several other encephalitis type diseases are carried by several different mosquitoes. Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and Western equine encephalitis (WEE) occurs in the United States where it causes disease in humans, horses, and some bird species. Because of the high mortality rate, EEE and WEE are regarded as two of the most serious mosquito-borne diseases in the United States. Symptoms range from mild flu-like illness to encephalitis, coma and death.
Viruses carried by arthropods such as mosquitoes or ticks are known collectively as arboviruses. West Nile virus was accidentally introduced into the United States in 1999 and by 2003 had spread to almost every state with over 3,000 cases in 2006.
Culex and Culiseta are also involved in the transmission of disease.
A mosquito’s period of feeding is often undetected; the bite only becomes apparent because of the immune reaction it provokes. When a mosquito bites a human, she injects saliva and anti-coagulants. For any given individual, with the initial bite there is no reaction but with subsequent bites the body’s immune system develops antibodies and a bite becomes inflamed and itchy within 24 hours. This is the usual reaction in young children. With more bites, the sensitivity of the human immune system increases, and an itchy red hive appears in minutes where the immune response has broken capillary blood vessels and fluid has collected under the skin. This type of reaction is common in older children and adults. Some adults can become desensitized to mosquitoes and have little or no reaction to their bites, while others can become hyper-sensitive with bites causing blistering, bruising, and large inflammatory reactions, a response known as Skeeter Syndrome.