Month: April 2016

Protect yourself from the Zika Virus

On February 1, 2016, The World Health Organization declared the Zika Virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Recently, the CDC activated their Emergency Operations Center to monitor and coordinate the emergency response to the Zika Virus.

Here is some information from the CDC:

Zika virus is a disease spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die from Zika. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious fetal brain defects. It can also cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

To help prevent mosquito bites, take the following precautions:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. When choosing an EPA-registered repellent be certain that the EPA has evaluated the product for effectiveness. EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women when used as directed. Be sure to follow product label instructions. Reapply the insect repellent as directed. If you are using sunscreen, apply the sunscreen BEFORE applying insect repellent.

Check out Mosquitoes, the diseases they carry and your back yard. Be sure to treat your yard for mosquitoes regularly. Remember, PREVENTION is key!

Mosquitoes, the diseases they carry and your backyard

Warm weather is just around the corner. As they say, April showers bring May flowers and mosquitoes. Ah yes, Mosquitoes. Those annoying things that fly around you with their whining hum of their buzzing wings. Very few animals evoke the deep-seated feeling of hate that mosquitoes do. The itchy, irritating bites and their uncanny ability to be everywhere, all at once, can ruin a backyard barbecue in minutes.

Mosquitoes are carriers for some of the most deadliest illnesses. Mosquito-borne diseases cause millions of deaths worldwide every year. Although there are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes, only three species are responsible for carrying the deadliest diseases. The Anopheles mosquitoes are the only species known to carry Malaria. They can also carry encephalitis. The Culex mosquitoes carry encephalitis and the West Nile virus. While the Aedes mosquitoes, of which the Asian tiger is a member, carry yellow fever, dengue, encephalitis, and the Zika virus.

The only silver lining to all this, is that cloud of mosquitoes in your garden or backyard are a reliable source of food for quite a few animals. Birds, bats, dragonflies, and frogs love mosquitoes! Eradication and population control of Mosquitoes usually means spraying insecticides and removing standing water or proper treatment of the standing water. You can plant lemon grass, citronella, lemon balm, cat nip, horse-mint, marigolds, and lavender plants throughout your yard. These plants have a strong smell that can deter mosquitoes, helping to keep them away from you.