Dr. Goo’s Corner: Mosquitoes

Disclaimer:  The following are general guidelines to follow and do not constitute medical advice.

Spring brings with it flowers, pollen, birds and bees! But it also brings pests that are returning from their winter break.  For many of us, mosquitoes are a real problem that keeps us from enjoying the outdoors.  But more importantly, mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus.  They can also cause heartworm in dogs.  *Click here for a brief outline on these diseases*  These diseases are very serious but fortunately, rarely directly related to mosquitoes.

In General

In general, the problem with mosquito bites is due to an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva and the problems associated with swelling and scratching of the mosquito bite.  When a mosquito bites you they inject saliva which helps keep the blood from clotting. The saliva causes an inflammatory reaction which causes the itching and swelling associated with the bite. Most people just get a big irritating lump on the skin which if they scratch becomes more swollen and lasts longer.  But some people actually have an allergic reaction to the mosquito saliva and can become very ill.

For the itching and swelling, anti-histamines are recommended.  Diphenhydramine (commonly known as Benadryl – TM) can be used orally or applied in creams or lotions combined with calamine. Anti-inflammatory steroid creams may help too – creams like 1% hydrocortisone.

Interesting Fact: Only female mosquitoes bite and suck blood to obtain protein for their eggs; male mosquitoes suck nectar.

Impetigo

Even if you don’t get sick from the mosquito, many people scratch their bites until they bleed. When the skin is open it is susceptible to secondary infection. Children and adults can get a skin infection called impetigo which is a superficial skin infection caused by bacteria called staph and strep.  Impetigo causes open sores and crusting (honey colored) and swelling in the areas. Impetigo is usually worse in the summer when children are out playing in the dirt, getting bitten by mosquitoes, and then getting those sores infected. Excellent hygiene (SOAP and WATER) can prevent most impetigo and cure mild cases.  Over the counter antibiotic ointments (like Bacitracin) can help too as well as prescription ointments like mupurocin. There may be enlarged glands in the area, fever, and a spreading rash. Usually more severe impetigo needs an oral antibiotic so contact your doctor if you think you have impetigo and need medicine for it.

Heartworm

Man’s best friend can be affected with heartworms which are also transmitted by mosquitoes. So protect your entire family against these pests.

Prevention

The best prevention is to eliminate mosquitoes from your environment. Since this is virtually impossible to do completely, several strategies should be employed:

  • Be sure to get rid of any standing water around your home to avoid breeding areas for the mosquitoes. Old tires are notorious for having water inside of them so be sure to get rid of any tires in or around the yard.
  • Call Northwest Exterminating.  Their Green Mosquito Control Program is a 7 month program which sprays the shrubs, bushes and plants where mosquitoes and ticks like to hide.  This will greatly reduce the mosquito and tick population in your yard and will act as a barrier and repellent for any stray mosquitoes that fly into the area.
  • By wearing long pants, long sleeve shirts, hats and socks you can protect yourself from mosquitoes and their bites.
  • Also, use of insect repellents is a good idea. There are many products on the market; but the most popular is DEET.  DEET contains repellents and comes in many different forms and concentrations.
  • Screened in porches, mosquito netting and other barriers are helpful too.

Give your family the best protection against mosquitoes by calling Northwest Exterminating for their Green Mosquito Control Program.  Be sure to ask for your FREE inspection!

Thanks,

Dr. Goo

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

Why Do Mosquitoes Love Me So Much?

It’s a question that people always ask themselves.  “Why do mosquitoes seem to like me better than everyone else?”  It’s not in your head…mosquitoes are more attracted to some people than others.  Mosquito season is right around the corner so it’s important to know what is drawing these blood-suckers your way.

Signals that attract mosquitoes:

  • Body heat – blood circulation causes your body to radiate heat
  • Carbon dioxide – if you’re breathing, you’re producing it
  • Movement – when objects move, they produce changes in waves of light that act as signals for mosquitoes
  • Smell – sweating, exercising or eating/drinking certain foods (beer is a big culprit) produces lactic acid which is an attractant
  • Color – mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, the darker your clothing, the more likely you are to be bothered

According to scientists, just one of these attractants isn’t enough for mosquitoes to react – a combination of these attractants is what gets the mosquitoes surrounding you.

Mosquitoes are known to spread diseases.  Northwest Exterminating‘s Green Mosquito Control can protect you and your family from their bites.  Call us at 888.466.7849 or visit us online for more information.

 

5 Bugs to Love

Valentine’s Day is a day of LOVE!  Bugs aren’t something that we usually “love” but in the spirit of the holiday, here are 5 bugs to love!

  1. Ladybugs are not only one of the cuter bugs out there but they are beneficial because they eat large quantities of aphids, mites and other arthropods that feed on various plants in your yard or garden. Imported more than 100 years ago to defend orchards and orange groves, ladybugs can eat up to 5,000 pests in their lifetime.
  2. Earthworms are nature’s most efficient composters.  These scavengers create the kind of well-aerated, humus-rich soil gardeners call “black gold.”
  3. The love bug is also known as the honeymoon fly, kissing bug, or double-headed bug.  The adult is a small, flying insect common to the southeastern United States, especially along the Gulf Coast.  During and after mating, adult pairs remain coupled, even in flight, for up to several days.
  4. The praying mantis is named for the “praying” position that it often assumes.  This insect will eat just about any living thing it can fit in its mouth, helpful or not. It is known to consume mosquitoes, nocturnal moths, bees, beetles, small lizards, even frogs—as well as fellow praying mantises.
  5. Bumblebees collect nectar and the pollen that will make tomato plants and apple trees produce more fruit.  The female bumblebee can sting but they much prefer to stick to gentler business.