The Florida humidity, and extensive marshlands and swamps, makes the Sunshine State a veritable Garden of Eden for mosquitoes. For most Gainesville residents, mosquitoes are just a part of life. Screening keeps mosquitoes off the porch, netting keeps them out of cookout areas, and copious amounts of repellent reduces bites when outside in nature. But there are a few things you should know about mosquitoes the next time you take a look at all those red welts on your arms and legs.
How many times have you swatted a mosquito this week? With every swat, your chances of getting a mosquito-borne viral disease is increased. This insect is known to carry many viruses and diseases, some of which are deadly. According to the Bill Gates Foundation, malaria kills 725,000 people each and every year. But, if you are a U.S. resident you are mostly safe at the moment. The U.S. only accounts for about 10 of those deaths. But the CDC published in 2011 that malaria cases saw a 14% increase between 2010 and 2011, with 1,925 reported nationwide.
Mosquitoes also spread yellow fever, dengue, Chikungunya virus, encephalitis and heartworms to cats and dogs. This insect isn't just an irritation, it is a potential threat.
How far can a mosquito fly?
Do you think the answer to this is relevant to you? You should. The spread of mosquito related illness is directly connected to two factors. How far a mosquito can fly and how far a human can travel with a mosquito related disease. In the case of deadly Chikungunya virus, no cases of this virus were reported in the Americas before December 2013, but it has slowly begun to spread through Saint Martin. It is believed to have been brought in by a traveler, and is now spreading, based on the distance mosquitoes can fly. Fortunately, most mosquitoes don't travel farther than about 300 feet from where they hatch. But this is an insect that can travel 1.5 miles an hour and most species have a flight range of 1-3 miles.
How do I protect myself and my family from mosquitoes?
There is no insect repellant made that will protect you 100% of the time, especially when walking through the woods. But wearing protective clothing and spray can reduce bites.
Since this insect typically stays within 300 feet of its birth site, mosquito reduction programs can help a community protect itself from this pest. Pest control companies like McCall Service know how to get rid of breeding sites, kill adult mosquitoes where they hide from the midday Florida sun, and how to treat areas so that eggs are destroyed before they can hatch. With each and every home that gets mosquito protection, an entire community is benefited. Activate your community. Learn more about mosquito related illnesses and understand the risks. Public awareness is the first step to keeping your family safe.