Mosquitoes: West Nile and Zika Virus Update

August 17, 2017By

If you’ve been watching, reading or listening to the news or social media, then you’ve most definitely heard that both the West Nile and Zika viruses have infiltrated the Gulf Coast.

Both conditions are transmitted by mosquito bites, and the West Nile virus can cause flu-like symptoms and severe fatigue that lasts for months. In extreme cases, West Nile can lead to severe neurological conditions including encephalitis and meningitis.

Zika also causes flu-like symptoms and, in the case of an infected pregnant woman, can cause brain defects in her child including microcephaly.

If you live somewhere with as many mosquitoes as we do, this is serious news.

Here are the facts about what’s happening so far in 2017 with West Nile and Zika here in South Louisiana and Mississippi.

West Nile has been confirmed in people (and animals) in the Baton Rouge area, and parish officials have implemented more spraying programs to combat the mosquito threat. Although no deaths have been reported from West Nile this year, there were two in 2016, and there have been 7 cases diagnosed this year in July alone.

Mississippi has seen 19 cases of West Nile and one death so far in 2017. This illness is no joke.

Fortunately, no mosquito that has been tested in Louisiana has carried Zika virus yet, though a number of people have been diagnosed with the virus after traveling to other areas. If certain types of mosquito (The “yellow fever mosquito” or the Asian Tiger mosquito) bites someone with Zika, the mosquito can undergo a transformation and start carrying the virus, so health officials are taking this seriously.

Mississippi health officials have also not seen any locally-transmitted cases, though people who have recently traveled have been diagnosed.

While it’s true that some Gulf Coast residents still think of both the West Nile and Zika viruses as third world problems, that’s simply not the case. With confirmed cases in the region, and with all the standing water that is currently creating a perfect habitat, it’s only a matter of time before more infected mosquitoes breed, bite and spread these viruses throughout the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast.  

Although not everyone gets sick from these mosquito-borne illnesses, an illness can be dangerous, especially for older or younger people, people with other illnesses, and of course pregnant women. 

Protecting Yourself

Local officials are suggesting that people protect themselves from Zika or West Nile buy staying inside at dawn and dusk, wearing bug spray with DEET, and eliminating standing water from their property (dump out plant pots, buckets – anything where mosquitoes can breed).

If you travel to a Zika-infected area (which includes Florida and Texas), officials recommend taking extra care for 3 weeks after your return home. This is important because if you are infected (and you may not have any symptoms) mosquitoes that bite you can become infected and spread the virus locally. So don’t just protect yourself from bites on your trip, make sure to do so when you get back.

Fischer Environmental has been fighting mosquitoes for over 60 years, and we’re committed to providing you with a mosquito abatement program that will keep you, your pets, and your most immune-compromised family members (including babies, pregnant women and the elderly), safe from mosquito bites that can make you sick.

A Mosquito Abatement Program that Works

When you call on us to rid mosquitoes from your residential or commercial property, we will spring into action by applying adult mosquito-killing materials around your buildings, fences, landscaped areas and other locations on your property where mosquitoes are likely to be found. Amazingly, this treatment of your exterior environment kills most of the adult mosquitoes on your property within 24 hours, stops mosquito breeding, and protects you not only from pesky mosquito bites, but also from dangerous, mosquito-borne viruses including West Nile and Zika.

Once we have treated your exterior premises, we work on preventing mosquito larvae – the immature mosquitoes that develop in water – from developing into adult mosquitoes. To ensure that your property is well treated, we come back for repeat treatments every two months. Even better, the products we use are designed just to target mosquitoes. This means if you have young children, animals or plants on your property, you have no reason to worry about our mosquito treatment chemicals injuring or damaging them.

Why Risk Contracting West Nile or Zika?

With the high prevalence of mosquito bites on the Louisiana and Mississippi and Louisiana Gulf Coast, and the rising number of confirmed cases of West Nile and Zika viruses in our region, it just makes sense for you to treat your property for mosquitoes. This is especially true if you have standing water on your property – which is prime breeding ground for these disease-carrying pests.

Call Us for a Free Property Inspection

We want to make sure that every single one of our Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast clients are satisfied and safe, which is why we provide free property inspections before performing mosquito pest control. If you have a mosquito problem on your residential or commercial property, call us today for a free property inspection at (800) 391-2565.

Filed in: Mosquito Control