In the United States, we have two mosquito species that are noteworthy vectors for some of the worst mosquito-borne viruses in the world. These two species are: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Aedes aegypti is commonly referred to as the yellow fever mosquito because of its link to this potentially deadly disease. To give you some idea of how dangerous this disease is: In the Spanish-American War, U.S. troops suffered more casualties from yellow fever than they did at the hands of the Spanish army.
The Aedes albopictus, which is referred to as the Asian tiger mosquito, can also carry and transmit yellow fever. Along with yellow fever, Aedes mosquitoes are known vectors for Chikungunya, Dengue, Usutu virus, and are strongly implicated in the transmission of Zika virus. Are they dangerous? Yes. They can be. Fortunately, most of the Aedes mosquitoes that bite you in your Atlanta yard are not carrying a virus. How dangerous a tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) can be to human health is directly related to its exposure to the viruses listed above.
Mosquitoes Aren't Born With Infections
When a mosquito hatches from its egg, it is in its larval stage. In its larval stage, a mosquito can't bite. Therefore, it can't pick up a virus. It can't bite in its pupal stage either. Only adult mosquitoes bite—and only the females bite. The males eat nectar and plant sap. They don't need a blood meal. When adult females take to the air and seek out a blood meal, this is when they may be exposed to a virus.
The most likely source for a disease will be an infected animal. If a female mosquito draws blood from an infected animal and has the ability to spread the disease, it becomes a danger to human health. There are currently no animal reservoirs in Atlanta for the diseases we listed above. In order for tiger mosquitoes to get these diseases, they have to bite infected travelers returning from countries where these viruses have local populations of infected animals.
Tip: One of the first things you can do to protect yourself from dangerous diseases spread by tiger mosquitoes is to watch the news. If you hear of an outbreak, take greater precautions.
Personal Mosquito Protection
You can prevent sickness by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites. Here are a few suggestions.
- Repellent is currently the best way to ward off mosquito bites. Synthetic products last the longest and are less likely to fail. We recommend products that contain DEET.
- If you don't prefer to put synthetic repellent on your skin, consider putting it on your clothing, or use a product that is naturally derived. Mosquito repellents with oil of lemon eucalyptus work the longest. If you don't mind applying a product to your body every 20 minutes, there are several nice-smelling sprays that can be created with essential oils, such as lavender and peppermint.
- Wear loose clothing and cover as much skin as possible. This makes it difficult for mosquitoes to bite you.
- Wear bright colors. This makes it difficult for mosquitoes to land on you.
- Avoid going out at dusk or dawn when Culex sp. mosquitoes are active. They're the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus—the deadliest virus in the United States.
Mosquito Prevention In Your Yard
When it comes to mosquito bite protection in your yard, who wants to spray repellents on themselves all the time? And, who wants to lay next to the pool fully clothed? The best solution for mosquito bite prevention in your yard is not personal prevention. It is far better to address breeding sites and reduce mosquito activity.
Most of the mosquitoes in Atlanta that bite you while you're out in your yard are mosquitoes that have hatched in your yard. It is possible to remove breeding sites to make it more difficult for mosquitoes to develop in your yard.
- Remove containers that capture rainwater.
- Address conditions that cause puddles to form.
- Address damp conditions that make your landscaping damp all the time.
- Install water circulating pumps in stagnant water that can't be removed.
- Dump water out before mosquitoes have a week to develop.
Before female mosquitoes lay eggs in your yard, she is likely to rest in your yard. She is going to prefer to hide in vegetation because she'll feed on nectar in flowers and the sap from plant stems and leaves.
- Reduce weeds and unnecessary vegetation in your landscaping.
- Trim bushes, shrubs, and other plants to allow the wind to move through and dry things out. Mosquitoes don't prefer to hide in dry places.
Mosquito Control In Atlanta
The best solution for mosquito control in Atlanta is to contact Tuxedo Mosquito Control. We install mosquito misting systems that routinely spray a fast-acting botanical mosquito spray to knockdown female mosquitoes before they can reproduce, and before they can bite you while you're in your yard. If you don't have the budget for this, we also offer one-time and monthly mosquito spray services. We can come over as much as you need us. You don't have to be a victim to potentially dangerous mosquito-borne diseases. Reach out to us today.
What Tuxedo Mosquito Customers Are Saying
I would highly recommend Tuxedo Mosquito. Very professional organization. Installation was quick and service has been great. My wife, who seems to be a "mosquito magnet" spent the entire summer in our backyard without getting bit. Money well spent