One of the most dangerous animals in the entire world is the mosquito. Though small and inconspicuous, mosquitoes are responsible for the deaths of over 1 million people every year. The vast majority of people who die from mosquito borne illnesses are infected with malaria. Thankfully, we do not have to deal with the spread of malaria in Texas, but there are several other diseases that can affect us in the Lone Star State.
The most dangerous mosquito borne disease that we deal with in the United States is West Nile virus. It is a relatively new disease of importance. Numbers of cases within the United States have grown substantially over the last 20 years, with Texas reporting the 2nd highest case amounts during that time. Already in 2020, 4 counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have shown West Nile activity, with more expected during the warmest months of the year. While only 1 in 5 people infected will develop symptoms, in rare cases, the consequences can be severe. Symptoms may include: head and body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, encephalitis, and meningitis. The southern house mosquito (culex quinquefasciatus) is the one most responsible for its spread and is most active summer through fall at dawn and dusk.
Zika virus has been in the news a lot recently because it was discovered that Zika was responsible for severe birth defects in unborn babies whose mothers were infected during pregnancy. These babies showed defects like microcephaly (small head), brain damage, and even death. Other than in pregnant women, Zika rarely causes serious illness or death. Symptoms include: fever, rash, joint pain, red itchy eyes, muscle pain, and headache. Zika is mainly spread by aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus mosquitoes that are found here in Texas. Most cases are still travel related.
Dengue fever is very common in over 100 countries throughout the world. Luckily, in the United States the risk of developing dengue fever is still very small. Most cases are travel related as people go back and forth from Latin American countries. The main symptoms of dengue fever are fever, nausea, vomiting, rash, aches, and pain behind the eyes. Severe symptoms like shock, internal bleeding, and death can also occur.
Like dengue fever, chikungunya is still mostly a travel related illness. It is especially common in Latin American and Caribbean countries. That being said, there have been cases of Texas-acquired chikungunya, so caution is still advised. Symptoms like fever, joint pain, headache, and rash are common. Newborns, elderly adults, and people with pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes or heart disease, are more at risk for chikungunya and other mosquito-borne illnesses.
Anna, Texas Mosquito Control
Texas is a hot spot in the United States for mosquitoes, so we must be vigilant in our mosquito control efforts. Eliminating mosquito breeding sites and wearing appropriate clothing and insect repellent when outdoors is crucial. If you want to help protect your family from mosquitoes, contact the professionals at EcoArmor Pest Defense. Our Mosquito Assassin Program includes monthly treatments from March through October. At EcoArmor, we get rid of the pests that are bothering you. For pest control in Anna, TX, Frisco, Howe, McKinney, Plano, and the surrounding area, call EcoArmor Pest Defense today.
For more information, check out some more of our Mosquito Prevention Tips.