Mosquito-Borne Illness: Eastern Equine Encephalitis

As one of the deadliest animals in the world, mosquitoes transmit a number of harmful, and often fatal, diseases. The most well known of these diseases include malaria, Zika virus, and West Nile virus.

In our last Mosquito-borne Illness Spotlight, we focused on malaria, a mosquito-borne illness that causes hundreds of thousands of deaths per year. In addition to these illnesses, mosquitoes are also responsible for transmitting a disease known as Eastern Equine Encephalitis. 

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is one of the lesser-known diseases spread by mosquitoes. However, it can be quite serious, often leading to devastating effects. At Mosquito Authority, we make it a priority to educate our customers on not only how to practice mosquito control but also the negative and potentially harmful effects mosquitoes can have.

Here is some basic information about Eastern Equine Encephalitis and steps to prevent mosquito bites in and around your home:

Where does Eastern Equine Encephalitis most often occur?

Mosquitoes can be found all over the world, although only certain species are responsible for EEE. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most cases of EEE in the United States occurred in Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, New York, and North Carolina from 2010-2019. 

What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis?

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is transmitted by mosquitoes of the Aedes, Coquillettidia, and Culex species. Although it is extremely rare, EEE can have very serious symptoms. Symptoms of EEE can range from fever and joint pain to encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and meningitis (swelling of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). According to the CDC, about a third of EEE cases are fatal, while many survivors end up with mild to severe brain damage. 

How is Eastern Equine Encephalitis transmitted?

EEE is transmitted to humans or animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Similar to malaria, EEE cannot be directly transmitted from person to person. According to the CDC, “Transmission [of EEE] to humans requires mosquito species capable of creating a “bridge” between infected birds and uninfected mammals such as some Aedes, Coquillettidia, and Culex species…”

What precautions can be taken to help prevent mosquito bites around the home?

Taking the proper precautions when it comes to mosquito-proofing your yard and home is critical to mosquito control. Here are some ways you can help lower the risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes in your own outdoor space:

  • To reduce your children’s risk of mosquito bites, dress them in clothing that covers their arms and legs.
  • Always apply sunscreen before applying mosquito repellent.
  • Always be sure to use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent and read the label and instructions thoroughly.
  • Empty any items in your yard that can hold water such as flower pots, tire swings, birdbaths, and children’s toys.
  • Keep patio or outside doors closed when possible to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Hire a professional mosquito control company

Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance, but they are also vectors for dangerous diseases. While DIY mosquito control is important, the best way to reduce your risk of mosquito bites and mosquito-borne illness at home is to hire a professional mosquito control company. At Mosquito Authority, our priority is ensuring your safety from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.


To find your local mosquito control company, click here.

Franchise Owner Gives Back

We are excited to share that Franchising.com recently picked up our story on Anthony Duncan and how he is using his position as a franchise owner to give back to his community. 

While we are proud to offer the best mosquito and tick control services at Mosquito Authority, we also take pride in seeing how our franchise owners contribute to and care about their communities. In addition to providing their customers with excellent service, our franchisees often think of unique ways to help those around them. 

2020 was a year when helping others and giving back played a large role in many of our lives. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, small businesses that managed to survive the economic downturn had the opportunity to give back to their customers and communities in a variety of ways. Small businesses can have a big impact when they go the extra mile for customers, and that is exactly what was needed during this past year.

Now, as we begin 2021 facing some of the same struggles, small business owners continue to prove an asset to their communities. Anthony Duncan, one of our long-time Mosquito Authority franchisees, is one of those small business owners doing what he can to contribute to his community.

After looking at his business plan for 2021, Anthony decided to do something for all of the healthcare workers who have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic since its beginning in 2020. Anthony will seek to provide 100 free treatments per month to front-line COVID-19 medical workers as a way to help those who are seeing the worst of the pandemic.

This initiative is even more impactful considering the need to stay home and social distance during this time. “I want to contribute in any way possible,” Anthony says. “With mosquito control, we’re helping people enjoy their outdoor living spaces at a time when many are mainly staying home because of Covid restrictions or for their own safety.”

 
We are so proud to have Anthony and his team as part of our franchise community and love hearing how much our franchise owners truly care about their communities. To read the whole story of what Anthony is doing to help those in his community, read the full article on Franchising.com.

4 Things Mosquitoes Love

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, and we hope you are finding ways to spend time with your loved ones this year. With this in mind, we are highlighting some things that mosquitoes love. Read on to learn some of these insects’ favorite things (and how to avoid being one of them!):

Standing water

Standing water is at the top of the list for a big reason: this is where mosquitoes breed and lay their eggs. In fact, mosquitoes only need about ¼ inches of water to lay their eggs in. So, how do you avoid an army of mosquitoes in your backyard? Be sure to get rid of any standing water from items such as toys, tire swings, planters, trash can lids, kids’ pools, and more. If you have birdbaths in your yard, change out the water once a week.

Type O Blood

Have you ever heard someone complain that they are particularly attractive to mosquitoes? Well, it turns out they may be right. According to the results of a study conducted by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), mosquitoes are more attracted to people with Type O blood than any other type. The study also showed mosquitoes were attracted to Type A blood less than Type O, but more than other blood types. 

While there isn’t anything you can do about your blood type, there are extra precautions you can take, such as making sure to wear insect repellent, to avoid becoming a mosquito’s next meal.

Dark Clothing

Style matters– at least when it comes to avoiding mosquito bites. Mosquitoes rely on their smell and sight to find hosts, and dark colors stand out to them. So, people dressed in dark colors such as black, navy, or red tend to attract a lot of mosquitoes when they are outside. To make yourself a bit less attractive to these pests, try to wear light-colored clothing when you are active outdoors.

In addition to wearing light-colored clothing, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you are outside for a long period of time can help reduce your chance of getting bitten by mosquitoes. The less exposed skin you have, the less room for mosquitoes to bite.

Sweat

It might sound unpleasant, but mosquitoes are very likely to bite someone if he or she is sweating. According to the NIH, mosquitoes are highly attracted to the scent of human sweat because it contains lactic acid. If you are working or playing outside, particularly on a hot day, make sure to apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to prevent mosquito bites.

Now that you know a little bit about what mosquitoes love, you can better protect yourself and your family by practicing proper at-home mosquito control. By getting rid of standing water, consistently applying mosquito repellent, and avoiding dark clothing, you can reduce your chances of being bitten by mosquitoes.

While DIY mosquito control is good, the best way to prevent mosquito bites around your home and outdoor space is to hire a local mosquito control company. At Mosquito Authority, we guarantee you will have a mosquito-free home and you won’t be bothered by these pests in between treatments.


To find your local mosquito control company, click here.

The Science Behind Mosquito Bites

Ever wondered what happens when a mosquito bites you? Why the bite itches? How to treat the bite?

Everyone knows mosquitoes are a nuisance, but not everyone knows how these creatures work. Despite their small size, mosquitoes can cause a lot of harm– not to mention they are the deadliest animals in the world

Knowing the science behind mosquitoes and their bites is important for us as mosquito control professionals. We also believe it is important to educate our customers on these things in order to practice thorough mosquito control. So, here are some things you might not have known about mosquitoes, their infamous bites, and how to treat them:

Why do mosquitoes bite?

The short answer is, mosquitoes bite to survive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, female mosquitoes need a blood meal to lay their eggs. In order to get that blood meal, they must feed on humans and/or animals. Because blood meals are only needed to lay eggs, male mosquitoes do not bite people and typically feed off of flower nectar and fruit juices.

What happens when a mosquito bites you?

Mosquitoes have a mouthpart on their heads called a proboscis. Female mosquitoes use their proboscis to pierce the skin of their host and suck its blood. Since male mosquitoes do not need to feed on blood, their proboscis is not strong enough to pierce the skin of a human or animal.

Why do mosquito bites itch?

Mosquitoes are known for leaving a nasty bite when they are done feeding on a host. But what makes a mosquito bite itch? It’s actually very simple: when a mosquito bites a person (or animal), it injects a little bit of saliva into the host. The itchiness that follows is a result of your body reacting to the mosquito’s saliva. 

How do you treat a mosquito bite?

There are a few different ways you can treat a mosquito bite. The CDC recommends the following:

  • Washing the bite with soap and water
  • Applying an ice pack for 10 minutes to reduce swelling and itchiness
  • Applying a mixture of baking soda and water

How can you prevent mosquito bites?

While knowing how to properly treat mosquito bites is important, learning how to prevent mosquito bites is even more crucial. The purpose of mosquito control is to protect you and your family from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, which means putting an end to mosquito bites. Here are some ways you can prevent mosquito bites around your home and outdoor space:

  • Get rid of any standing water in your yard. Standing water tends to collect in items like trash can lids, tire swings, and children’s toys.
  • Wear insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when you are outside.
  • Minimize your outdoor activity during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are typically most active. 
  • Hire a local mosquito control company

Hiring a local mosquito control company is the best way to ensure mosquitoes stay away from your property. At Mosquito Authority, we use proven treatments to make sure you have a mosquito-free yard. 
Find your local mosquito control company here.

Mosquito-Borne Illness: Malaria

It is no secret that mosquitoes are one of the most bothersome pests on the planet. In addition to invading your outdoor space and ruining your summer fun, mosquitoes are also the deadliest creatures in the world. According to the American Mosquito Control Association, over 1 million people die worldwide from mosquito bites every year. These insects are vectors for a number of diseases such as dengue, Zika, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, and malaria. 

In our last mosquito-borne illness spotlight, we discussed Zika virus. This week we are introducing you to probably the most well-known and deadly mosquito-borne illness in the world– malaria. 

As mosquito control professionals, we want our customers to have all the facts when it comes to these pests and their potential health risks. Here are some commonly-asked questions about malaria and information on how to prevent mosquito bites around your home:

Where are mosquitoes found?

Most people become infected with malaria from the bite of an Anopheles mosquito. Members of this species typically inhabit tropical and subtropical areas of the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is why malaria outbreaks are common in places such as Africa, Asia, and South America.

What is malaria?

Malaria is caused by a parasite that infects Anopheles mosquitoes. According to the CDC, there are four types of malaria parasites that infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae. Symptoms of malaria typically include high fever, chills, and other flu-like symptoms.  

How is malaria transmitted?

Anopheles mosquitoes become infected with malaria by taking a blood meal from a previously-infected person. When an infected mosquito takes its next blood meal, the parasites within its saliva are injected into the host. Malaria is not contagious; a person must be bitten by an infected mosquito to contract the disease.

What precautions can be taken to help prevent mosquito bites?

Part of thorough mosquito control is knowing how you can prevent mosquito bites from occurring in your outdoor space. Here are some tips on how you can reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes around your home and outdoor area:

  • Get rid of standing water in your yard. This includes changing the water in birdbaths and emptying items such as trash can lids, tire swings, and toys of water that has collected.
  •  Try to reduce your outdoor activity during the hours of dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outside.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellent products.
  • Keep windows and doors closed to avoid letting mosquitoes in your home.
  • Hire a local mosquito control company.

Mosquitoes are much more than annoying insects. In many areas of the world, they transmit serious and often deadly diseases like malaria. As mosquito control professionals, our goal is to help protect you and your family from these pests and the diseases they carry so you can have peace of mind in your backyard.
Find your local mosquito control company here to prevent these pests from taking over your outdoor space.