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Florida mosquitoes: the silent spreaders of malaria

It's no secret that Florida is very familiar with mosquitoes. The sunshine state is known for its sunny weather and intense humidity, which is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. The recent reports of locally acquired cases of malaria has raised public concerns. 

The United States has reported its first locally acquired cases since 2003 after confirming six cases in Sarasota, Florida. The Florida Department of Health has issued a statewide advisory for Florida on mosquito-borne illnesses. Florida is taking precautions, such as spraying the affected areas aerially and by trucks, to combat the spread of the disease. As a Florida resident, it's really important to educate yourself on the dangers of malaria, mosquito behavior, and learn how to keep yourself and your family safe from mosquito bites which may causes mosquito-borne illness.

Black and red mosquito on human skin

Are you worried about mosquitoes near you? Contact us today!

The dangers of malaria

Malaria is a disease transmitted to humans through mosquito bites carrying the malaria parasite. Only the Anopheles mosquito is known to transmit malaria parasites.  It is important to note that malaria cannot spread through human contact. The condition is usually found in people who have traveled outside of the United States. The recent confirmed cases were Plasmodium vivax malaria. Although it is less deadly than other types of malaria, it can still be life-threatening.

Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that in 2020, 241 million clinical cases of malaria occurred, and 627,000 people died of malaria, most of them children in Africa. While the risk of locally transmitted malaria in the United States is low, taking precautions to reduce mosquito bites is still essential. The CDC recommends staying alert and taking necessary steps to protect yourself from mosquitoes. It is worth noting mosquitoes can also transmit various illnesses, including West NileZika, and yellow fever.


Symptoms of malaria

After being bitten by an infected mosquito, symptoms usually begin 10 days after infection, although a person may feel ill as early as seven days or as late as one year later. This illness can potentially be life-threatening and lead to reduced blood cells, resulting in conditions like anemia or jaundice. Some other symptoms may include: 

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Chills 
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain

The Florida Department of Health has recommended that anyone in the Sarasota County area who is experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

Everything you need to know about Florida mosquitoes

Mosquitoes cause more deaths each year than any other living creature. Did you know that over 200 different mosquito species are found in the United States? That's a lot of buzzing and biting! Mosquitoes can be found all over the United States, but they tend to thrive all year round in Florida because of the hot and humid climate.

Mosquitoes in Florida can breed effortlessly in stagnant water and require only a spoonful of water to reproduce. Places like this can include: gutters, flower pots, or anywhere rainwater is collected. Marshes, lakes, and pond banks are also common breeding grounds for malaria-spreading mosquitoes. Some species of mosquitoes tend to be most active during the hours of dusk and dawn, while other species are active during the day.

Tips for preventing mosquito bites

There are a number of practical measures you can take to protect yourself from mosquitoes. Locally, the best way to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease is to eliminate mosquito breeding conditions. Below are some helpful tips that you can follow to protect yourself:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, reducing skin exposure
  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellent; follow the label
  • Stay indoors during peak mosquito active hours
  • Drain any still water in surrounding areas
  • Keep grass mowed and remove overgrown vegetation
  • Seal all windows and doors with screens 
bug spray on child

Ehrlich can eliminate mosquitoes

Taking precautions against mosquitoes is essential, but it's best to seek professional help. At Ehrlich, we provide mosquito and tick control services that can help eliminate both mosquitoes and ticks on your property. Our technicians will inspect your property to pinpoint areas with high mosquito populations and then use a barrier treatment with EPA-registered products.

Our treatment is designed to prevent the reproduction of young mosquito larvae, effectively reducing the mosquito population. Utilizing our mosquito and tick control service can significantly decrease your risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes protecting yourself from any mosquito-borne illness. Contact Ehrlich today to schedule your inspection!

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