News about the spread of the Zika Virus has been ubiquitous on TV, the internet, and Facebook newsfeeds since its first appearance in the Americas. We took a moment to speak with Graduate Entomologist Bert Snyder from Palmetto Exterminators about the mosquito-carried virus.
Why is the Zika Virus so dangerous?
Zika Virus is spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes in the Aedes genus, the same mosquitoes that carry dengue fever and chikungunya. Zika causes mild flu-like symptoms in about twenty percent of infected people. However, the main danger and concern is for pregnant women and women who are trying to become pregnant because Zika has been linked to microcephaly, a birth defect associated with underdevelopment of the head and brain resulting in neurological and developmental problems.
How can people, especially women, protect themselves from the virus?
People should take steps to protect their skin from mosquito bites by applying insect repellant containing at least twenty-percent DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon-eucalyptus. Also, they should consider wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed-toe shoes. Homeowners should identify and eliminate sources of standing water on their property, such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, and grill covers.
Will a backyard mosquito treatment help to keep the virus at bay?
Homeowners who are concerned about mosquito activity in their own yards should contact a licensed pest control operator to discuss mosquito prevention and treatment options. Licensed pest control operators are trained to identify and treat for mosquitoes in residential settings in order to significantly reduce the mosquito population in one’s own backyard.
Palmetto Exterminators and Mosquito Control