Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world. They are responsible for killing several million people each year, according to the World Health Organization. As carriers of parasites, bacteria, and other viruses, they transmit hundreds of millions of cases of malaria, dengue, yellow fever, West Nile Virus, and Zika virus, along with other diseases from one human or animal host to another.
West Nile Virus
The West Nile Virus can affect people, horses, birds, and other animals. The Virus starts with flu symptoms and may progress to coma or death in 3-15% of infected people. Anyone can become infected by West Nile; however people over age 50 are most at risk of severe diseases, coma, or death. Most people who become infected with West Nile Virus do not develop any symptoms. Up to 20% of infected people will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most of these people recover completely, but symptoms can last for several weeks. Less than 1% of infected people develop a severe illness. The symptoms of this severe illness include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, paralysis, and even death.
Mosquito Control Efforts
A mosquito undergoes four life cycle stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Females deposit their eggs in moist soil or places with standing water, such as ponds, wetlands, ditches, catch basins, and various containers. Controlling mosquitos when they are larvae is considered the most effective way to reduce populations.
The City of Mobridge is working to reduce the mosquito population and possible exposure to mosquito-born illness. This includes site inspections, placing traps, treating mosquito breeding sites with insecticides, and spraying pesticides throughout the city.
How to prevent Mosquito-Borne Disease?
The most effective way to avoid West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent mosquito bites. Ways to protect yourself include:
When outdoors, use insect repellents. Repellents containing DEET provide longer-lasting protection. Always follow directions on product labels.
Wear long sleeves and pants from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
Make sure to have screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
The best way to reduce the number of mosquitoes is to get rid of mosquito breeding sites. Here are steps that can be taken:
Empty standing water from containers such as flowerpots, gutters, buckets, tires, birdbaths, etc.
Drain or fill in low areas in the yard and make sure ditches, drains, and culverts are draining properly.
Repair water leaks around the house.