West Nile virus has been getting a lot of media attention in recent years as several states have been affected by the virus. In fact, already this year, mosquitoes captured in Bellevue have tested positive for the virus; thankfully though, no human cases have been reported in Nashville this year, but as of September, 2012, the CDC reported 3,142 cases of the West Nile virus disease in people, including 134 deaths.
So what is West Nile virus exactly? WNV is a serious illness that is most often spread by infected mosquitoes. A simple mosquito bite by an infected mosquito can develop into severe illness and may be accompanied by the following symptoms:
Swollen lymph glands
Skin rash on chest, stomach and back
It is important to note that the severity of symptoms varies by person and some (approximately 80%) will not exhibit any symptoms.
While West Nile virus has not been as much of a problem in Nashville and Middle Tennessee as in harder hit areas including Texas and Mississippi, it has been confirmed and residents throughout the state should be aware of problem. It is impossible to control WNV just as completely getting rid of mosquitoes (they are exceptional breeders) is often a task in futility. The good news is that you can take action to reduce mosquito activity on your property as well as correct conditions that attract them in the first place. Here are a few tips from the Nashville pest control pros at All-American Pest Control:
Eliminate standing water – Mosquitoes breed in water and only require a small amount to do so. By emptying water from drainage ditches and gutters as well as from buckets, flower pots and other items around your property that allow water to collect you can reduce possible breeding sites. Also, empty kiddie pools and store on their sides when not in use and refresh bird baths often.
Pest-proof your home – Take a look at the screens covering your windows and doors. If there are any rips, tears or holes, you should repair or replace. Also seal any gaps around windows and doors (this will help deter other pests as well).
Avoid peak mosquito hours – Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk so you should avoid outdoor activity during those times.
Mow- As the temperatures climb during the day, mosquitoes will seek shelter in cooler areas. Often times, grass, weeds and overgrowth provide the accommodations they are looking for when it’s hot so keeping your lawn manicured and overgrowth trimmed back will help eliminate shelter.
Dress to prevent mosquito bites- Wearing long sleeved shirts and pants when it is hot out may not sound like a great idea, but it can help you prevent mosquito bites. If you are planning on being outside when mosquitoes are most active, we highly recommend you dress appropriately and wear an insect repellent that contains an EPA-registered active ingredient.
Mosquito prevention is a serious matter and although it may seem like a slight overreaction, consider this- 3,142 is the highest number of WNV cases since September 2003. If you are concerned about mosquitoes around your home, All-American Pest Control can help. We offer mosquito reduction services in Nashville, Hendersonville and Brentwood as well as throughout our Middle TN service area. To find out how we can help you protect your family from mosquitoes, please schedule your free home evaluation today!