Are mosquitoes a health hazard? It’s about that time of year again where everyone is going outside and enjoying the weather. Unfortunately, we are not the only ones enjoying the lake front views. Mosquitoes love the water more than us. This is where mosquitoes generally live and where mosquito’s young are born and begin their lives. Mosquitoes are known for carrying very deadly diseases and can have a serious impact.
Diseases mosquitoes are known for carrying are:
- Zika Virus
- Yellow Fever
- The West Nile Virus (most common in Tennessee)
How do the diseases get here?
Many researchers have agreed that for many of these diseases to come to North America they must have been a mosquito stored away by accident from overseas. This accident has led to over a million documented cases of people receiving these diseases from mosquitos in North America.
You may be asking, are mosquitoes a health hazard??
Not all mosquitoes carry diseases. There are 176 species of mosquitos in the United States. Of those 176 species only 12 transmit deadly diseases. For every 500 mosquitoes who are the correct species to carry a life-threatening disease, only one is an actual carrier.
“There are three types of mosquitoes commonly found in Tennessee: The Culex mosquito (also referred to as the house mosquito), the Asian tiger mosquito, and the yellow fever mosquito.” All three of these mosquitoes can spread diseases.
Strategies to use to avoid getting these diseases
One of the best ways to limit your chances of receiving a life-threatening disease from a mosquito is to limit your overall chance of getting bitten.
Below are five effective strategies to limit your chance of disease:
- Make sure to eliminate any stagnant water on your property. Mosquitoes like the water because their larvae and pupil live in the water. Taking a second look around your backyard doesn’t hurt when trying to find potential mosquito layers.
- Using insect repellent is especially helpful when having any outdoor gatherings. These events attract mosquitos because they sense our carbon dioxide outputs and the scent of our sweat. By applying insect repellent this creates a bitter taste and discourages from continuing to bite.
- When spending a lot of time outside for example going for a hike. It’s smart to come prepared and wear a long sleeve shirt. This will make it harder for the mosquitos to get to your skin and bite you.
- Installing a screen on every door of the house, helps to limit the number of mosquitos who are sneaking in. For people who enjoy leaving the door open instead of using the ac this is recommended.
- Planning activities during the time of day where mosquitos aren’t as active will help your chances of getting less bitten. Mosquitoes are primarily out when the sun is down, but they can also be out in the daylight. They prefer being out during the night because they can become dehydrated in the daylight. Keeping in mind that mosquitoes are primarily out when the sun is down will help you plan safe outdoor activities.