Thursday, January 28, 2016

Zika Virus – should we be worried?

It seems that every day there is a news story talking about the Zika Virus and mosquitoes in general.  As you know, mosquitoes transmit many diseases – some of which are deadly or can cause devastating illnesses such as Dengue, Chikungunya, Malaria, Zika and even heartworm in our pets. 

According to the Virginia Department of Health “Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus transmitted primarily through the bite of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. These vectors, which also transmit dengue and chikungunya (CHIK), are found throughout much of the Americas, including the United States. The virus also has been found to be transmitted by Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito), the most common nuisance mosquito in Virginia.” They go further to say “Pregnant women are strongly encouraged to consider postponing travel to Zika-affected countries while pregnant.

Unfortunately, Zika Virus is being possibly linked to a particular birth defect when a pregnant woman is bitten by an infected mosquito.  The baby is being born with microcephaly, which is when the head/brain is abnormally small.  As of this writing – there have been no transmissions of the Zika virus within the United States but travelers returning to this country (most recently one in Virginia) are already infected.  Once mosquito season hits – if a mosquito were to bite an infected person, then it is possible for that mosquito to transmit the Zika virus to another person.

There are many things you can do to help protect yourself and your family. Mosquito Squad of Lake Country recommends the following five things:

1. TIP. Reduce standing water to eliminate mosquito threats, including those in children’s sandboxes, wagons or plastic toys; underneath and around downspouts, in plant saucers and dog bowls. Other hot spots include tarps, full gutters, and flat roofs.

2. TOSS. Remove excess grass, leaves, firewood and clippings from yards.

3. TURN. Turn over larger yard items that could hold water like children’s portable sandboxes or plastic toys.

4. REMOVE TARPS. If tarps stretched over firewood piles, boats or sports equipment are not taut, they’re holding water.

5. TREAT. Utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug sprays on the body. Mosquito Squad’s traditional product eliminates 85-90% of the mosquitoes and ticks on a property.

Call us today to get your property scheduled!  Our season here at Lake Gaston and Kerr Lake runs from April through October and our schedule is filling up quick.  We can be reached at (434) 626 2250.