Prepare for Mosquito Season with Bite Prevention
Mosquitoes can carry a number of diseases harmful to humans. Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika are diseases commonly spread by mosquitoes. These diseases can be harmful to your health but are preventable. It is important that residents act to stop the breeding of mosquitoes and avoid mosquito bites. There are a number of recommended actions that residents can take:
- Use an approved insect repellant containing DEET when outdoors
- Use air conditioning when possible – keep doors and windows closed
- Make sure window screens are in place and free from holes
- Wear long sleeves and pants outside
- Regularly inspect the areas around your home and remove all mosquito breeding grounds: clogged gutters, planters, buckets, toys, pools, birdbaths, ponds, and any other standing water areas.
The mosquito is a member of the fly family. With two wings and bodies with hair-like scales, they’re big enough that we can easily see them with the naked eye. Males have feathery antennae that help them sense the presence of female mosquitoes. The antennae of the females have light hair, but are plainer than that of the males. Males usually live for about a week, while females can live for a few months. These creatures may be small and have a short lifespan, but they can wreak havoc on human lives.
Males don’t bite humans. Both males and females feed on nectar and water, but females must also feed on blood in order to reproduce. In the process, mosquitoes can transmit disease between animals and humans, and from human to human as well.
Mosquitoes choose their human victims based on the scent of carbon dioxide and other chemicals in your perspiration. The female mosquito’s mouth has long, tubular parts that allow them to pierce human skin and feed on blood. When a mosquito bites, it injects saliva into the skin while it is siphoning blood. The saliva contains proteins that most people are allergic to. Your immune system springs into action, causing the telltale red bump and accompanying itch.
Have a safe and mosquito free summer!