Did you know that the first West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes were recorded in California this year? This summer, most cities had to deal with the “ankle-biter” mosquitoes that had the potential to cause abnormal pain and itching.

Mosquitoes are one of the most challenging pests to contain. Several factors help mosquitoes thrive, and some of these may not be under your control, which makes terminating mosquitoes a challenge. Considering the complexity, DIY mosquito termination techniques might not stand a chance to eliminate mosquitoes.

Once you spot mosquitoes in your house, eliminating them immediately should be your first mission. Did you know that a female mosquito can lay up to 300 eggs in one sitting?  These eggs can develop into mosquito larvae in 48 hours.

Mosquitoes wreck havoc in summer as they need a steady temperature around 50C to breed and thrive. Mosquito species can trigger a range of health concerns ranging from allergies to dengue fever.

Affinity to human odor

Have you ever wondered how mosquitoes find you quickly, even when you are in motion?  Mosquitoes have a unique ability to distinguish and follow human odor.

Research indicated that malaria-infected mosquitoes have a different affinity to human scent, unlike other uninfected mosquitoes, which helps the malaria parasites’ speedy transmission. The malaria parasite affects the olfactory systems of mosquitoes to make them love human odor. The chemical expelled from our body odors attracts mosquitoes.

Spreading Zika virus and other pathogens

Mosquitoes are the primary carrier of the Zika virus, for which no treatment option has been discovered yet. The mosquito species Aedes aegypti is responsible for carrying and transmitting the Zika virus.

Did you know that Florida had the highest number of Zika Virus cases (1115) in 2016?

The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes get infected with the Zika virus when they feed on an infected person; once inside the mosquito, the virus multiplies and is more likely transmitted to the next person it feeds off. The Zika virus can be transferred to a baby from the mother and, via sexual intercourse, makes it dangerous.

Mosquitoes are also known to transmit all kinds of disease-causing pathogens, including yellow fever and chikungunya.

Effective transmitters

Ebola is transmitted from person to person, and the pace at which this disease might be transmitted is much lower when considering any other illness transmitted by mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are prolific disease carriers and transmitters. Their size and ability to fly makes them ubiquitous and hard to avoid. Flies, major counterparts of mosquitoes, rarely bite and hence have less chance of transmitting diseases.

Mosquitoes pierce the skin of the host and insert saliva before consuming blood. Mosquito saliva is used as an anticoagulant to prevent clotting of the host’s blood.

Itching and allergies

Mosquito bites can itch, and the severity of the itch can vary with each mosquito species. The human immune system recognizes mosquito saliva as a foreign substance and triggers an attack, which causes itching.

Scratching an itch from a mosquito bite can worsen as scratching can increase the inflammation of an already inflamed area. You also risk breaking the skin walls while scratching, which makes way for the further spread of the infection.

Some individuals get allergic to mosquito bites, and excessive bites can trigger breathing difficulties, excessive swelling, and hives.

Mosquitoes carrying heartworm: a health concern for your pet

A recent finding has shown that the population of mosquitoes carrying heartworm is increasing within the United States. Heartworm can cause serious health concerns in pets and animals, mainly dogs and cats. Heartworm disease triggers severe lung disease while also affecting the heart and leading to organ failure and death.

Liz McCauley, the Executive Director of the Cape Coral Animal Shelter, shared her concerns on the biggest threat dogs face around Southwest Florida, i.e., getting heartworm disease from mosquitoes.

If you consider the sheer number of deadly diseases it can spread and the deaths associated, you could easily call mosquitoes the most dangerous animal on the planet. Keeping your surroundings clean and devoid of standing water and covering rainwater barriers are intelligent moves to prevent mosquito breeding. Once the area is infected, mosquitoes are real tough customers to eliminate, and you most likely need to hire professional mosquito exterminators.

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