How to Avoid the Health Threat of Mosquitoes in Georgia
August 1, 2018
Picture this: You’re outside with friends and family finally spending quality time together on a sunny summer day. But suddenly, you have to move the party inside because mosquitoes are biting your guests. As a Georgia resident, you know the headache that they cause – in fact, Atlanta has more of them than any other city in America. But headaches aren’t the only effect of this pest, as they also spread a variety of illnesses in our area – whether it’s in backyards, parks, or baseball fields.
When to Worry About Mosquitoes
While small and seemingly easy to swat, experts agree that mosquitoes are the deadliest creatures on Earth, spreading diseases that kill people by the thousands every year. The so-called “vampires” of the insect world become busier when temperatures begin to rise in our neck of the woods. In Georgia, you’re especially at risk of getting mosquito transmitted diseases from April through October, making this the time to take action. Keep in mind that:
- More than 3,000 species of the insects exist
- Several hundred of the 3,000-mosquito species dine on human blood
- Three main species transmit diseases from human to human
Why Are Mosquitoes So Dangerous?
Their bites may be annoying, but the ability to transmit diseases is what makes mosquitoes dangerous to people. How are they able to infect so many? They’re the killers that they are because they feed on blood, making disease transmission easy. While humans take extreme caution when dealing with the blood of someone who is infected, a mosquito will carry a disease from one person or animal to another without regulations or borders.
The pests are able to spread diseases in several different ways, but the most common one is by picking up a virus, bacteria, or fungus when it lands on someone and bites them, becoming a vehicle to the dangerous substance it has picked up. Some dangerous substances like viruses are even able to reproduce during the time they spend being carried around by a mosquito. The insects transmit diseases like:
- Zika virus
- West Nile virus
- Japanese encephalitis
Making them even more dangerous is the fact that the pests are able to travel several miles carrying a deadly disease. One mosquito species called the Salt Marsh has been recorded traveling as much as 100 miles while carrying people-killing cargo.
Common Mosquito Species in Georgia
In Atlanta, there are three mosquito species that most commonly infest the area: the Aedes, Culex, and Anopheles mosquitoes. Two of the three, the Aedes and Anopheles, are particularly dangerous to humans. The Aedes species carries all of the scary fever diseases, including Chikungunya, Yellow, and Dengue, while the Anopheles mosquito species is notorious for infecting the world with malaria.
The Strengths of the Silent Attackers
Mosquitoes may only fly a little over a mile an hour, but in comparison to their size, that’s very fast. They beat their wings around 600 times per second as they prepare to take off, gently pushing them into the air with their lanky legs. What helps them avoid being swatted is their reaction times: They react 100 times faster than we do. By the time you begin moving your hand, the mosquito has already reacted. After the insect makes its escape, it’s on its way to the next victim.
As mosquitoes make it onto your skin for a meal, you may not even feel them bite. To understand why, it’s important to know that the pests don’t actually bite – rather, they use long snouts called proboscis to pierce the skin and suck the blood out. As they do so, their saliva acts as a mild painkiller that prevents you from feeling the “bite.” They may be spreading dangerous viruses into your body without you realizing it, furthering the need to take preventative action.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
So, what are the most effective ways to avoid mosquito bites? In the past, DEET was an effective mosquito repellent that kept the pests away, but there have been concerns dating all the way back to the ‘80s about its effects on humans. If you’d rather use a more natural repellent, look to picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil. The former has long been used in other parts of the world, while the latter is the only plant-based insect repellent approved by the Center for Disease Control.
Beyond using sprays, there are many ways to prevent mosquitoes – and often by simply avoiding them.
- Stay inside as much as possible during peak mosquito hours: Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. You’ll see more of the pests then because the wind tends to die down, letting the insects feed more easily.
- Wear light-colored clothing when you’re spending time outside: Experts confirm that the insects aren’t as attracted to light colors as they are dark because they use their vision to find food. The pests also fly near the ground, so to locate food, they generally search for things that contrast against the horizon.
Mosquito Control: Keeping You and Your Family Safe
With so many mosquitoes in Georgia, specifically Atlanta, the pests aren’t merely a frustration, they’re also a health concern when temperatures soar. At Allgood Pest Solutions, we stop mosquitoes – and the diseases they spread – with our combination of breeding site reduction and thorough treatments. First, we’ll inspect your property to determine the scope of your problem, then decide what course of action to take. Contact us to get mosquito control from the experts today!