As a Houston resident, you're no stranger to the annoyance that mosquitoes bring. However, these pesky insects are more than just a nuisance - they can also transmit dangerous diseases.
In this blog post, we'll discuss the most common mosquito-borne diseases in the Houston area and provide tangible and useful tips on how to protect your family from these threats.
Common Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Houston
There are several mosquito-borne diseases that can be transmitted in the Houston area.
Here are the three most common ones:
- West Nile Virus: This virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people infected with West Nile Virus do not experience symptoms, but about 1 in 5 people will develop a fever and other symptoms. In rare cases, the virus can cause severe neurological illnesses like encephalitis or meningitis.
- Zika Virus: While the number of Zika cases in the United States has decreased significantly since the 2016 outbreak, it's still essential to be aware of this disease. The Texas Department of State Health Services states that most people infected with Zika will not experience symptoms, but it can cause severe birth defects in pregnant women and has been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome in some cases.
- St. Louis Encephalitis: This disease is rare but can cause severe neurological symptoms in those infected. The CDC reports that most people infected with St. Louis Encephalitis will not experience symptoms, but severe cases can result in encephalitis, meningitis, and even death.
How to Protect Your Family from Mosquito-Borne Diseases
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to protect your family from mosquito-borne diseases:
1. Eliminate Standing Water
Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so it's essential to eliminate any sources of stagnant water around your home. Be sure to check places like flower pots, bird baths, gutters, and old tires for standing water and empty them regularly.
2. Use Mosquito Repellent
When spending time outdoors, especially during peak mosquito hours (dusk and dawn), apply mosquito repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin. Follow the product's instructions for proper application and reapplication.
3. Wear Protective Clothing
Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks when spending time outdoors to minimize the amount of exposed skin for mosquitoes to bite. Light-colored clothing is also recommended, as mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colors.
4. Install Screens on Windows and Doors
Ensure that your home's windows and doors have screens to keep mosquitoes out. Repair any holes or tears in the screens and consider using air conditioning instead of opening windows during peak mosquito season.
5. Professional Mosquito Control Services
For the best protection against mosquito-borne diseases, consider hiring a professional pest control company like Preventive Pest Control to treat your property. We offer comprehensive treatment plans tailored to your specific needs, ensuring that your family stays safe from these dangerous pests.
By following these tips and working with a professional pest control company, you can significantly reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases affecting your family. Don't let these pests ruin your summer - take action today to protect your loved ones.