The state of Pennsylvania recently reported that on May 3rd, it detected its first West Nile virus-carrying mosquito. The state started testing mosquitoes in 2000 and this year brought its earliest detection ever.
According to the Business Journals, “typically, the state’s first West Nile Virus-carrying mosquito is found in mid-June.” Adds the Department of Environmental Protect Secretary Mike Krancer “the unseasonably warm weather in March caused the virus cycle to begin early this year…our staff will continue to monitor mosquito populations and conduct spraying to reduce the threat to public health.”
Last year, the first West Nile Virus-carrying mosquito was found on May 17, 2011. From there it was found in 59 counties and six human infections were confirmed.
West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans via mosquito bites. It’s been reported that 100s of cases are diagnosed every year and according to the CDC, it’s estimated that 300,000 Americans have been ill due to West Nile Virus since it arrived in the United States 11 years ago. Symptoms, including high fever, headache, body aches and nausea, usually appear between 3 and 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Serious cases can lead to encephalitis or meningitis. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and if the virus is known to be present in the area. Older adults are more likely to become ill when infected with West Nile Virus.
There is no specific treatment for West Nile. Instead, the exhibited symptoms are treated. Unfortunately, there isn’t a vaccine to protect against West Nile in humans and domestic pets (there is one for horses). The best way to prevent infection is to prevent mosquito bites. At Mosquito Squad, we do that through our 5Ts of mosquito control.
Tip – Tip over small objects in your yard that hold standing water, including dog dishes and children’s toys. Mosquitoes breed in standing water; cutting down on the breeding grounds will reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard.
Toss – toss out excess grass, leaves and firewood from yards.
Turnover – Turn over larger items like bird baths and planter saucers periodically.
Remove Tarps – When tarps aren’t pulled tightly, they leave areas for small puddles where mosquitoes can breed.
Treat Accordingly – Getting rid of standing water won’t get rid of all the mosquitoes around your property. A mosquito control spray will protect your yard against mosquitoes for 21-days.
At Mosquito Squad, we are happy to help family enjoy their backyards without the threat of West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases. If you are interested in how mosquito control can help you, please visit us online at MosquitoSquad.com or call your local Mosquito Squad office.