Mosquitoes In The South

Mosquitoes In The South

The South is known for many things like warm weather, sweet tea, and southern hospitality. Unfortunately, the south is also known for another thing – mosquitoes! Mosquitoes thrive in warm, humid climates like we have here in the southern United States. As the weather warms, mosquito season begins and peaks in the mid-summer months. Mosquitoes can breed in less than 1 inch of water so the South offers them a multitude of habitats to expand their populations.

Mosquito bites cause irritation and itching of the skin. Besides this nuisance, mosquitoes can also transmit diseases that can threaten the health of both humans and animals. Here are some of the most common diseases that can be spread by mosquitoes:


  • Spread by Anopheles species of mosquito
  • About 1700 cases per year in the US
  • Most cases are from travelers returning from malaria infected countries
  • Serious disease, sometimes fatal
  • Symptoms include high fevers, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, nausea and vomiting
  • Curable if diagnosed and treated promptly
  • The potential for the disease to re-emerge in the US is present especially in the South


  • Spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito
  • Rarely occurs in the US but rampant in Puerto Rico and Latin America
  • Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding (especially of the nose and gums)
  • No vaccine to prevent in the US but there are vaccines registered for use in other countries
  • No specific treatment; treat symptomatically with pain relievers, fever reducers, rest, and fluids


  • Spread by the Aedes species of mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus)
  • Very similar to dengue and Zika
  • Symptoms include fever, joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, and rash
  • Rarely fatal but extremely debilitating
  • No vaccine to prevent
  • Treatment is symptomatic with rest, fluids, fever reducers, and pain relievers


  • West Nile Virus has been detected in over 30 species of mosquitoes
  • Cases have been reported in all of the continental US
  • Most people (8/10) do not have any symptoms at all
  • 1/5 people have a high fever
  • 1/150 people develop encephalitis which can be fatal
  • No vaccine to prevent
  • Treatment is symptomatic with fever reducers and pain relievers


  • Spread by the Aedes species of mosquito
  • Also spread by sexual contact and from pregnant mothers to their fetus
  • Cases have been reported in all of the continental United States
  • Symptoms include fever, rash, headache, joint pain, red eyes, and muscle pain
  • Zika can also cause birth defects when passed to babies from their mothers during pregnancy
  • No vaccine to prevent
  • Treatment is symptomatic with rest, fluids, pain relievers, and fever reducers


Now that you know some of the diseases you can contract from mosquitoes what can you do to prevent them? Avoiding mosquito bites is the #1 way to prevent all of the diseases mentioned above. Check out these tips to avoid mosquito bites and help keep them away from yourself and your home.

  1. Eliminate standing water around your home, especially in old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys, and any other containers that can hold water.
  2. Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, and rain barrels at least once a week.
  3. Empty and change water in outdoor pet bowls daily.
  4. Check gutters for clogs which can cause water to pool. Clean them regularly, especially during the summer season. Consider installing gutter guards to help prevent clogs.
  5. Drain and fill any temporary pools of water around your home with dirt. Try to get your yard as level as possible.
  6. Keep swimming pool water treated appropriately and circulating.
  7. Make sure window and door screens are in good repair. Cover any gaps in walls, doors, and windows to keep mosquitoes from getting into your home.
  8. Keep doors and windows closed and stay indoors as much as possible, especially during the summer months.
  9. Keep your grass cut short and rake up any fallen leaves. Mosquitoes like to rest on grass during the day so keeping it short will eliminate this. Leaves can hold enough water for mosquitoes to breed so keep them raked up, as well.
  10. Replace your outdoor lights with yellow “bug lights.” These don’t eliminate mosquitoes but they do attract less of them than regular lights do.
  11. If you have to go outside, wear long sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks. Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks to protect as much skin as possible.
  12. If you have to be outside in areas where there are a large number of mosquitoes, use head nets, long sleeves, and long pants.
  13. Use EPA-registered mosquito repellents but  be sure to follow precautions and instructions carefully.
  14. Avoid using scented bath products if possible. While the connection is unknown, studies have shown that mosquitoes seem to be attracted to fragrances found in shampoo, perfume, cologne, and lotion.
Mosquito Diseases: Are You at Risk?

Mosquito Diseases: Are You at Risk?

Mosquitoes are known carriers of several viruses, transmitting disease and parasites to people and animals that come in contact with them via painful bites. While some of these diseases don’t pose serious health risks, others can be deadly (over one million people die each year from mosquito-borne diseases, according to the AMCA!). Here are 3 common mosquito diseases you should be cautious of this summer:

Zika Virus

What is it?

First discovered in 1947, Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, originated in Uganda, Africa. Shortly after, outbreaks of Zika were detected throughout tropical areas in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands, according to the CDC. Now, mosquitoes carrying Zika have been identified in many countries, including the U.S.

How do you get it?

Primarily transmitted by the Aedes species, infected mosquitoes can spread Zika to humans and animals through bites. These mosquitoes are active during daytime and evening hours. Zika can also be sexually transmitted from one infected partner to another, from pregnant women to unborn babies, and through blood transfusions.

What are the symptoms?

Common symptom of Zika include rash, fever, joint and muscle pain, headache, and/or red eyes and can last for up to a week, but many infected won’t show any symptoms at all. Zika is dangerous specifically for pregnant women as it can cause birth defects, a condition called Microcephaly, in fetuses. This can cause brain and eye defects, hearing deficits, and impair growth.

How do you prevent it?

Because there’s currently no vaccine to treat and/or cure Zika, the best way to protect yourself is by preventing mosquito bites. Keep arms and legs covered in loose, light-colored clothing when outdoors and use insect repellent. Repair or replace missing or damaged window and door screens at home and keep them closed as often as possible. Control mosquito populations around your home by getting rid of adult mosquitoes as well as reducing mosquito reproduction with home mosquito treatments from a licensed pest control company. Most companies offer eco-friendly mosquito treatment options that are family and pet-friendly, if having your yard treated with chemicals is a concern. If pregnant, the CDC advises to avoid traveling to countries with known Zika outbreaks  – see the list here – and refrain from unprotected sex.

What if you have it?

Check with your doctor to get tested. To minimize symptoms, drink lots of fluids, get plenty of rest, reduce fever or pain with over-the-counter pain medicines (avoid aspirin), and prevent additional mosquito bites. If you’re bitten by a mosquito once infected, you can pass Zika to other mosquitoes, who will then infect someone else – increasing the spread of Zika. If you’re pregnant and suspect you have Zika, contact your physician immediately.

West Nile Virus

What is it?

The first occurrences of West Nile in the U.S emerged in New York in 1999 with 62 confirmed cases and 7 human deaths, according to the AMCA. West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus carried by many different mosquitoes, one of the most common being the Culex species.

How do you get it?

West Nile is most often transferred from birds to mosquitoes, and then from mosquitoes to humans and animals through bites.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may develop 3-14 days after bitten. Typically only 20% of people infected with West Nile virus will experience symptoms which include headache, body aches, and fever and usually last a week or less. Rarely, the virus develops into West Nile encephalitis which can cause high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, muscle weakness, convulsions, paralysis, and sometimes death. This is most common in people over the age of 50.

How do you prevent it?

Like Zika, there is no vaccine for West Nile virus. Prevent the virus by preventing mosquito bites.

What if you have it?

See your doctor. A blood test can determine if you’re infected with West Nile virus. If symptoms are severe, hospitalization may be necessary.


What is it?

Dengue, a mosquito-borne virus, is the leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics according to the CDC (400 million people infected each year). While it rarely occurs in the U.S., it’s important to be aware of dengue while traveling to popular tourist destinations like Puerto Rico, parts of Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific islands. Dengue is carried by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito species which are found throughout the world.

How do you get it?

Mosquitoes carrying dengue infect humans through bites and infected humans can infect other mosquitoes, when bitten.

What are the symptoms?

Most cases of dengue in the U.S. were acquired through travel abroad. Symptoms include severe headache, high fever, eye pain, joint pain, muscle pain, and rash. Severe cases can cause stomach pain, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and bleeding from gums and/or nose.

How do you prevent it?

Mosquito bite prevention is key when traveling to areas with known dengue outbreaks as there is no vaccine for dengue or medications to treat it. It’s especially critical for people with dengue to avoid mosquito bites so the disease isn’t spread from person to another mosquito.

What if you have it?

If symptoms are mild, lots of rest and fluids are recommended. For more severe symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately.

The Dangers of Mosquitoes

Are Mosquitoes the Most Deadly Animal? The Dangers of Mosquitoes.

Bill Gates recently wrote “The Deadliest Animal in the World” on his blog, ‘gatesnotes’. In this article, Mr. Gates quotes some pretty startling statistics about the dangers of mosquitoes and their threat to humans. Mosquitoes kill more people each year than any other animal in the world. How’s that for the tiny, annoying bug that we often sarcastically refer to as the “state bird”?!

Mosquito infographic - bill gates blog

Source: gatesnotes “The Deadliest Animal in the World

There are over 2,500 species of mosquitoes around the world (covering every region except Antarctica). Besides termites and ants, mosquitoes outnumber every other animal.

What makes mosquitoes so dangerous?

Mosquitoes can carry malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, West Nile, and encephalitis. Malaria alone threatens half of the world’s population and is responsible for killing more than 600,000 people each year. Dengue fever causes serious illness and death, especially among children. Cases of dengue fever were discovered in Florida last year. Read more on Bill Gates recent trip to Indonesia to learn more about the fight against dengue fever HERE.

We encourage you to read Bill Gates full blog on the dangers of mosquitoes. For more information on what you can do to control mosquitoes around your home visit

May's Pest of the Month – Mosquitoes

MosquitoesTake Back Your Yard!Don’t let mosquitoes suck the fun out of your Summer!


  • Breed in stagnant water such as ponds, marshes, drainage ditches, etc.
  • Can be found in almost every type of landscape on Earth except deserts and the Arctic.
  • Bite most often at dusk and dawn.




  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flower pots, bird baths, etc.  Mosquitoes only need about one half inch of water to breed.
  • Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
  • Wear long pants and sleeves when outdoors whenever possible.
  • Use an insect repellant that contains DEET.
  • Call Northwest Exterminating for a professional inspection and treatment plan for breeding sites.

Enjoy your yard this Spring and Summer.  Call Northwest Exterminating for more information on our Green Mosquito Program!

Diseases Caused by Pests

With our commitment to healthier living and working environments, we at Northwest understand the importance of good pest management for personal health. Living in a hygienic environment and minimizing exposure to unwanted pests can literally save lives. For instance, the lives of twenty-five million Europeans during the Late Middle Ages were claimed by fleas that had spread the bubonic plague. They managed this feat by using another pest as a host – rats! Modern improvements on hygiene, sanitation and pest management have dramatically reduced the impact of this disease.


Another more common disease brought on by insects is Lyme disease. This disease is carried by the deer tick in the form of a bacterium called Borrelia bugdorferi. If a deer tick bites you, the bacterium enters the bloodstream and will lead to skin rash and in extreme cases, paralysis. When caught early, antibiotics can eliminate the bacteria before it causes furthermore harm.

Mosquitoes in particular can carry a host of diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, pogosta disease, and West Nile virus. They carry similar traits in that when infected, a person will experience a fever indicating that more serious effects are on the way such as meningitis or arthritis.  All these diseases can lead to death if not caught or treated properly. For some of these diseases, the best form of prevention is pest management. Northwest Exterminating provides solutions to reduce the presence of mosquitoes in and around your home or work environment.

If you come in contact with a pest and feel you may have been exposed to any disease, be sure to immediately seek medical attention. Many of these diseases, as well as others such as malaria or rabies can be treated when caught early.

Melissa Brown
[email protected]



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