Mosquito Control in Wheaton, MD
It seems unfair, but the months that are most attractive for outdoor activities are the very ones in which mosquitoes are at their peak numbers. Mosquitoes can make it miserable for children to play in their own yards, for adults to tend to their landscaping chores or for the family to enjoy a lazy afternoon on the patio. In addition to the annoying, itching bites that mosquitoes leave behind, they are known to transmit a bevy of serious diseases.
Diseases Transmitted by Mosquitoes
Globally, the World Health Organization reports that there are more than a million deaths each year that are caused by mosquito-borne diseases. Fortunately, many of these diseases are not present in the United States although they may be acquired when traveling to the Caribbean, Africa, Asia or South America. However, there are still a number of diseases that can be transmitted by mosquitoes in the Wheaton area.
West Nile virus includes three different illnesses. The least severe strain is called West Nile fever and causes flu-like symptoms that can persist for several weeks. The other two illnesses, West Nile encephalitis and West Nile meningitis, attack the brain. As of 2014, the Centers for Disease Control reported that there have been 1,538 known fatalities resulting from the West Nile virus; the CDC believes the number is much higher, but the similarities between West Nile and other viruses have led to widespread misclassification.
Chikungunya is a virus that can cause severe joint pain although it is seldom fatal. Prior to 2013, the disease was typically acquired by travelers to the Caribbean. However, the disease has been moving north, and one of the two species of mosquitoes known to transmit the chikungunya virus is common in Maryland.
Malaria is a serious disease that results in more than 400,000 deaths worldwide every year, according to the CDC. Although malaria has been controlled in the United States for many decades, minor outbreaks still occur sporadically.
St. Louis encephalitis is a virus that can result in severe illness and occasionally death. Although the disease is commonly associated with states having warmer climates, between 1964 and 2014, the CDC reported confirmed cases in virtually every state, including Maryland and Virginia as well as Washington, D.C.
Zika has received a great deal of attention in recent years. The Zika virus can cause severe birth defects if the disease is transmitted to a pregnant woman. Although the cases of Zika confirmed in Maryland between January 2015 and April 2017 were all acquired through travel, state health officials are concerned that cases of locally acquired Zika will soon appear.
Mosquito-borne diseases can also endanger pets and livestock. Dogs and cats can be infected with heartworms if bitten by a mosquito carrying the worm’s larvae. Mosquitoes can also carry a disease known as Eastern equine encephalitis that can infect horses and other mammals, including humans. The virus can infect amphibians, reptiles and birds as well.
Controlling Mosquitoes in Wheaton
Mosquitoes can deposit their eggs in some unexpected locations, including hollow tree stumps, drain pipes and the ruts in gravel or dirt roads. However, flower pots, wading pools, bird baths or any other containers holding stagnant water can be prime breeding sites for mosquitoes. Empty and invert containers, remove puddles of water from outdoor furniture and keep debris cleared to help eliminate breeding grounds.
Despite your best efforts, however, your yard will likely remain infested with mosquitoes. To solve the problem, you should consult an experienced, reliable pest control company. At Capitol Pest, we have been helping customers in Wheaton reclaim their outdoor spaces from mosquitoes since 1936. We offer a variety of treatment plans that are safe and effective. Contact us today for all of your pest control needs.