Mosquitoes in Hot Weather: The Threat You Should Know

Mosquitoes in Hot Weather: The Threat You Should Know

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If you have not been bitten by a mosquito before – then you are definitely one of the lucky ones.

This is especially true in the midst of this summer’s heat wave in many parts of the country.

Mosquito bites usually only cause itching and irritation, but they can lead to something worse.

Here are the health risks of overheating:

Mosquitoes can spread pathogens, or germs, through their bites, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes on its website.

A person who has been bitten and sick by a mosquito may develop a mosquito-borne illness, such as West Nile virus, dengue fever, or malaria. (Some mosquitoes bite but do not spread germs.)

“Recently high temperatures and stagnant water create an ideal breeding environment for mosquitoes,” said one health professional.
(iStock)

“Longer days and summer weather lead to more people outside when mosquitoes are most active, at dawn and at dusk,” Marshall Lips, a Boulder County Environmental Health Specialist (BCPH) noted.

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He also said, “Recently high temperatures and stagnant water create an ideal breeding environment for mosquitoes.”

West Nile virus has been detected in mosquito traps in cities across Boulder County, according to Boulder County Public Health, and Fox 31 in Denver also reported.

Mosquito traps in Boulder County, Longmont, Erie and Superior have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the BCPH.

Be sure to drain any standing water outside your home.

The same health agency shared the four “Ds” tips for preventing mosquito bites this summer.

1. Defense: Use insect repellents or alternatives to keep mosquitoes away.

2. Dress: A long-sleeved dress and pants (as hot as it may be!).

Most people never get sick, or only get mildly ill from West Nile virus — although some rare severe cases can be fatal.

Most people never get sick, or only get mildly ill from West Nile virus — although some rare severe cases can be fatal.
(iStock)

3. From dusk to dawn: Avoid the outdoors from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

4. Drainage: Make sure any standing water is drained out of your home.

Not all mosquitoes bite – and other key facts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that more than 3,500 species of mosquitoes have been found worldwide.

Not all mosquitoes bite people or animals.

However, when these insects bite humans, the most common reactions are itching and swelling at the site.

Mosquitoes can bite during the day as well as in the evening.

Mosquitoes can bite during the day as well as in the evening.
(iStock)

The CDC shared the following key facts about the insect on its website.

Adult mosquitoes live indoors and outdoors.

Mosquitoes can bite both day and night.

Adult mosquitoes live about 2-4 weeks depending on the species, humidity, temperature, and other factors. (Female mosquitoes often live longer than male mosquitoes.)

Mosquitoes become infected with germs, such as viruses and parasites, when they bite people and animals.

Female mosquitoes bite humans and animals just to get a blood meal. (Female mosquitoes need a blood meal in order to produce eggs.)

Mosquitoes become infected with germs, such as viruses and parasites, when they bite people and animals.

A young man appears spraying mosquito repellent in the woods.

A young man appears spraying mosquito repellent in the woods.
(iStock)

Only a few infected mosquitoes can start an outbreak in the community – and put people at risk of contracting the disease.

fixed outside the house

To control mosquito populations outside your home, the CDC recommends a set of steps.

Because mosquitoes lay eggs near water bodies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people empty and rub, stir, cover, or dispose of any water-containing items such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, swimming pools, or birdbaths. Or dishes flower pots or trash containers in at least once a week.

Cover water storage containers tightly (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay their eggs.

Also, tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay their eggs.

For containers that don’t have lids, use wire mesh that has holes smaller than that of adult mosquitoes, the CDC advises.

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Fill tree holes to prevent water from filling them.

If you have a septic tank, repair cracks or gaps.

Also cover open holes or plumbing pipes. Use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.

fixed inside the house

To keep mosquitoes out of the home, the CDC suggests three main tips.

Install, repair and use window and door screens.

Close doors, including garage doors. Do not leave the doors open.

Use the air conditioner when possible.

Anopheles stephensi mosquito gets a blood meal from a human host in this photo obtained by Reuters on November 23, 2015.

Anopheles stephensi mosquito gets a blood meal from a human host in this photo obtained by Reuters on November 23, 2015.
(Reuters/Jim Gathany/CDC/Handout via Reuters)

The truth is that mosquitoes tend to rest in dark, damp places like under sinks, in showers, in closets, under furniture or even in the laundry room, the CDC notes.

Caring for your home and family includes emptying, scrubbing, and throwing away any objects that may have water (such as vases and flower pots), as they may contain mosquito eggs and larvae; And use an indoor insecticide if you still have mosquitoes in your home (always follow label directions).

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You can also hire a pest control professional to treat areas of the house.

Lemon and Eucalyptus Oil (OLE) can also be used to keep mosquitoes away.

The CDC offers many tips about mosquito control and mosquito bite prevention on its website.

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