Mosquitoes Carrying the Chikungunya Virus Return to Louisiana

October 22, 2014By

Pest control in Louisiana can mean eliminating all kinds of vermin. However, none may be as dangerous right now as the tiger mosquito. That’s because they’ve returned to Louisiana after a notable absence. Making matters worse, they brought the Chikungunya virus with them. If you see one of these mosquitoes in or around your home, don’t hesitate to call Fischer Environmental Services immediately.

Identifying the Right Mosquito

The Aedes aegypti mosquito can be identified by its black and white stripes. They can grow to as long as 10 mm in length, which makes it fairly easy to notice this pattern. However, some adults will get no larger than 2 mm long.

They are aggressive biters when both indoors and outdoors and, unlike other species, they bite during the day.

Aedes aegypti mosquito

Aedes aegypti mosquito

The Chikungunya Virus

Like the West Nile virus before it, Chikungunya is transferred from victim to victim primarily by mosquitoes. Those who are infected with Chikungunya virus most commonly suffer from severe fevers and pains in their joints. However, many other symptoms exist as well. Sufferers have reported muscle aches, rashes, headaches and joint swelling as well. Although some combination of these symptoms is usually involved, many who have been given Chikungunya showed no symptoms at all.

Generally, the symptoms show up between three and five days after the infection. Often they become so painful that those suffering from Chikungunya have actually become disabled by them.

People over 65 and newborns almost always get a more severe version of the virus than others as well. The same goes for anyone with high blood pressure or diabetes.

The good news is that most people only suffer for about a week. However, in some cases, joint pain has gone on for months before it could be relieved. The other good news is that once you have recovered from Chikungunya virus, you are believed to be immune from it going forward. Best of all, death from the virus is extremely rare.

Treating Chikungunya Virus

If the symptoms aren’t enough reason for you to avoid the aedes aegypti mosquitoes—and really any of them, for that matter—consider that we still don’t have an established treatment for Chikungunya virus. While you should absolutely seek medical attention if you’ve been infected, you’ll most likely be prescribed some painkillers like ibuprofen or naproxen, rest and plenty of fluids to stave off dehydration.

Call Fischer Environmental Services if You Have a Mosquito Problem

Again, although tiger mosquitoes are the most common carrier of this virus, any mosquito can be a candidate. So make sure your property doesn’t have any standing water on it, as mosquitoes congregate and use those areas to breed. Keep your grass and other vegetation short too, but wait until the sun starts going down to mow and prune as tiger mosquitoes prefer the daytime. Plant lemongrass if you can, too, as mosquitoes hate it.

Of course, Fischer can also help by treating your property every two months, ensuring mosquitoes won’t find it very hospitable and will leave within 24 hours.

While Chikungunya virus is far from an epidemic, it’s still a problem you and your loved ones shouldn’t have to deal with. Fischer Environmental Services has an effective Mosquito Management System that includes treating your property every 2 months to give you the best results possible. Call today for a free assessment and control estimate, 1-800-391-2565.

Sources:

http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2014/08/six_people_in_south_louisiana.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/07/mosquito-tests-positive-for-chikungunya-in-harris-county-texas/13733255/

http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/

Filed in: Mosquito Control