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3 Scariest Diseases Spread by Mosquitoes in America

Everybody knows mosquitoes bite, and that can be an annoying problem by itself, what with the itching and the welts and such.However,that problem pales in comparison to the real issue with biting mosquitoes, and that’s the spread of disease.  The mosquito’s ability to spread disease has earned it the title of the most deadly animal in the world http://listverse.com/2007/07/13/top-10-most-deadly-animals/.

Because of the mobile nature of our now global society, we are increasing the chance of introducing diseases not typically found in the US. Mosquito borne diseases can end up in the United States if a mosquito, person, or animal carrying the disease infects local mosquito populations. That scenario is only a plane ride away. If you’ve ever had a mosquito inside your car that bites you four times on the face, you know what we’re talking about.In addition to our native mosquito species that can carry diseases, exotic mosquitoes like the Asian Tiger Mosquito and the African bush mosquito have become established in the United States.  They are known transmitters of 22 different viruses that impact human health.
The three scariest mosquito-borne diseases are:


Caused by a microorganism and spread by mosquitoes, malaria is the 5th leading cause of death from infections diseases world-wide. There about 300 million cases annually around the world and nearly 1 million of those cases result in death. Malaria was largely eradicated from the U.S. in the 1950’s through a spraying campaign using DDT. Since then, there have been around 60 outbreaks caused, probably, by local mosquitoes biting a person that was infected elsewhere in the world. Symptoms include chills, fever, sweats, headache, and nausea. There is no vaccine, although the Gates foundation is donating millions of dollars to researchers to find one.

Dengue fever

This disease is caused by a virus and spread by mosquitoes. It had been absent in the U.S. for 65 years, but re-emerged during 2009 in the Florida Keys. Around 28 cases have since been reported. The disease causes severe fever along with a rash. Dengue fever is also known as break bone fever because of the severe pain and aches accompanied by the fever. Fortunately, there is a 99% survival rate. There is no vaccine.

West Nile Fever

Found originally in Africa, West Nile Virus was detected in the U.S. In 1999. It is thought to have been introduced by migrating birds. West Nile Virus is transmitted when a mosquito bites an infected bird, then bites a human. Mosquitoes may also transfer the virus to their offspring. Incidence usually peaks in August.  Most infected people develop West Nile fever, which is similar to the flu. About 1 in 100 infections result in West Nile encephalitis which can cause paralysis or death.  People over 50 are much more likely to develop encephalitis. In Texas, there were 89 reported human cases of West Nile Virus during 2010. Seven of those cases resulted in death. There is a vaccine that is used for horses, who can also be infected.

So What Can We Do?
Heat and humidity drive the rate of reproduction in mosquito populations. We definitely have plenty of that in Texas these days.  While we aren’t having a ton of rain right now, most residential areas are heavily irrigated, and that creates plenty of breeding habitat.  We’ve seen mosquito eggs and larvae in tire tracks in the middle of alleys, there does not need to be much water at all to keep these guys going.The CDC recommends avoiding mosquito bites by using repellent, avoiding the outdoors during dusk and dawn, keeping screens in good condition, and reducing habitat (dumping standing water and keeping foliage trimmed). Venus Pest Company offers a mosquito treatment program that can reduce mosquito bites by 85-100% for around 1 month. It is one of our most popular programs and very affordable.
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About Dr. Scott Lingren

President and founder of the best pest control company in the world! Also, for search purposes... the best pest control company in College Station, Texas!