The itchy bumps on your arm. The buzzing sound in your bedroom that’s keeping you nervously awake at night. The frustration to discover your bug spray hadn’t protected you on your camping trip. We’ve all dealt with the nuisance of mosquitoes. But did you know that these pesky little insects are also one of the deadliest animals on the planet?
Mosquitoes spread diseases. This is something that virtually everyone knows. However, the extent of mosquito’s deadliness as a disease vector is a little less well known. Over 700,000 people die of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes every year. For context, only 10 people died of shark attacks in 2020. It’s estimated that anywhere from 5-50% of every human who has ever lived died as the result of a disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Controlling mosquito populations is critical.
In and around your own home, your best bet is to replace, remove, or cover any sources of standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water. Any sources of water that can be dumped should be, at least once a week. If a source of standing water cannot be dumped,it needs to be sealed or, if that isn’t possible, covered in a mesh to fine for adult mosquitoes to fly through. It is also part of the reason why it is critical to repair any leaks as quickly as possible. Water collecting under your sink is a perfect breeding ground and hiding place for mosquitoes.
For additional protection, you should consider calling in a professional to treat problem areas. Mosquito control, because it is so important, is usually done with a lot of cooperation with local government and the CDC. A trained expert can navigate the local recommendations and regulations, and choose the best insecticides to use to best protect your home from mosquitoes.
If spending a day outside, be sure to use bug spray and reapply it consistently. Most bug sprays have been shown to be incredibly effective at preventing mosquito bites.
The good news is, most mosquitoes you will encounter are what are known as “nuisance mosquitoes.” Their bites itch and dealing with them can be frustrating, but they are basically harmless. So long as you do the work to prevent mosquito bites when they’re a nuisance, you should be able to prevent them before they become a threat.