Mosquito biting skin

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Mosquito diseases

Mosquitoes have been traced back as the culprit behind more deaths due to disease than any other animal on the planet. Mosquitoes transmit disease by feeding on someone who has the disease. The virus or bacteria ends up in the mosquito's gut and then has to make its way through several hurdles to finally end up back in the salivary glands, which then helps pass it through the mouth and into the person being bitten. The list of viruses and disease from mosquito bites is growing and the symptoms vary from virus to virus.

Diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes because their mouthparts form a needle-like structure that both sucks up blood and injects saliva. The saliva serves the purpose of acting like an anesthetic so you do don't feel the bite, but also an anticoagulant so that the blood flows freely. It is the saliva that carries pathogens that can lead to disease, not that there is a risk of blood from another person getting into another bite.

Some mosquito-borne diseases that can be transmitted include:

  • Zika Virus - a virus that has only recently been linked positively to mosquitoes that usually presents little problem for those initially infected. The virus symptoms usually show up as something like rash, fever, muscle aches and other minor ailments. However, the virus has been connected with issues that can occur down the road, including birth defects like microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome.

  • West Nile Virus (WNV) - a virus that only appeared in the United States in 1999 and is one of the arboviruses that mosquitoes transmit. West Nile can affect people differently and can lead to encephalitis and meningitis and become a serious risk to humans.

  • Canine Heartworm - our furry friends are not immune to mosquitoes or their diseases, either. Heartworm is a parasite that exists in mosquito saliva and can cause congestive heart failure in dogs and some cats.

  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) - a serious illness that is famous for infecting and killing horses, but the disease can exist and cause health problems in a variety of mammals, including humans. 

  • Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE) - another serious, but less deadly, encephalitis disease transmitted by mosquitoes and found primarily in areas west of the Mississippi River.

  • La Crosse Virus (LAC) - another version of encephalitis that initially features cold-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fever and headaches and can advance to seizures, coma, paralysis, brain damage and death.

  • St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) - first appearing in a major outbreak in St. Louis in 1933, this disease still affects around 128 people in the United States every year. This also often first presents like a cold and gets worse rapidly.

  • Malaria - although malaria is not a big concern in the United States right now, it just takes one mosquito to travel to the U.S. having bitten someone infected to start an outbreak. Malaria is a parasite that begins with  flu-like symptoms before becoming much more serious. Generally, it is the Anopheles mosquito that transmits malaria.

  • Dengue Fever - another disease that is not common in the U.S. but outbreaks do happen and can happen. Dengue Fever is commonly spread via the Aedes aegypti and can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever that causes bleeding that can lead to dangerously low blood pressure.

Mosquito control professionals

At Ehrlich, we have been helping homes and businesses take care of their mosquito problems for decades. Each of our mosquito control Technicians is trained to find mosquito hiding places in order to create the most effective barrier and offer advice that can help you prevent their return.

Call us today at 1-800-837-5520 or fill in our online form to schedule an appointment.

We will discuss your situation and come up with the right mosquito control and mosquito prevention solution for your property. So stop worrying about mosquito-borne diseases and viruses such as the Zika virus by calling in the mosquito control experts.

We can even help if you have an upcoming outdoor event planned, but call a professional today!

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