One in every 100 Americans have been infected with West Nile Virus whether they know it or not! And that number has grown according to a study in the journal “Emerging Infectious Diseases“. The few weeks surrounding Labor Day are the most active for the virus in Washington. Mosquitoes remain active until temperatures drop below 50 degrees; which isn’t until late fall in most regions of the U.S.
In Fact, mosquitoes, generally regarded as a summertime pest, are also known to thrive in the fall, continuing to transmit a multitude of diseases including Dengue fever, various strains of Encephalitis and West Nile Virus in the process. Just one bite is all it takes to transmit disease, so ongoing precautions are essential, especially in the fall.
Bite Prevention the Best Protection
West Nile Virus can cause serious illness, including encephalitis (inflamation of the brain) or meningitis (inflamation of the lining of the spinal cord and brain), and can be fatal. Symptoms can range from mild (fever, headache, body aches and stiff neck) to severe (tremors, convulsions, paralysis and coma). WNV is carried by birds and spread by infected mosquitoes, and has thus far killed hundreds of millions of birds and infected more than 29,000 people in the U.S. since the first reported outbreak there in 1999.
Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites
Getting rid of breeding sites around the home will reduce the health risks associated with mosquitoes. They don’t need much to breed; an inch or two of water that has collected in a child’s toy, a flowerpot, or an old tire. Stagnant pools, birdbaths and fountains are another mosquito favorite. Ensure gutters are cleaned out too so they don’t hold standing water.
Interrupt the Breeding Cycle
Minimize your mosquito problem; this season and the next, by devising an effective mosquito control plan using the best available strategies, including mosquito traps. However, the effectiveness of mosquito traps does vary from brand to brand and location to location. The aim of the trap is to interrupt the breeding cycle and decrease mosquito populations that way. It typically takes about 2 months to kill enough female mosquitoes to make a population collapse. Mega-Catch™ traps have been independently and scientifically tested and are one of the best at doing what they claim – effectively attracting and killing mosquitoes…. by the hundreds!