Controlling Mosquitoes with Successful Community Strategies
We all need to become more serious about mosquitoes. Mosquito-borne illnesses on the rise are becoming a greater and greater threat. One of the best strategies to counter this involves communities adopting new habits to helps with controlling mosquitoes and reduce mosquito breeding areas.
Already we’ve seen EEEV, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, become a problem. You may have heard of it referred to as EEE or Triple-E. The illness isn’t just dangerous, it’s deadly. While it’s rare to get, those who do get it suffer. A third of all reported cases result in death. Those who survive are often left with debilitating mental and neurological problems that progress and can lead to disabling disorders, permanent impairment, or even paralysis. Massachusetts leads all states with reported cases of EEEV.
Zika virus is still relegated to the Southern U.S. and isn’t a problem in Massachusetts right now. West Nile virus is still a danger – it can cause fever, disorientation, and sudden paralysis. There are still thousands of cases a year, but the mortality rate has reliably hovered near five percent.
There are other types of encephalitis that are common in the U.S. Encephalitis can be understood as inflammation of the brain. This can develop into symptoms, such as confusion, seizures, loss of sensation, lethargy, and even deeper neurological problems, such as paralysis, coma, and death.
We are seeing mosquito-borne illnesses on the rise. Although these diseases impact the elderly and the young particularly hard, when it comes to mosquito-borne illnesses, all age groups are at risk.
One of the most successful strategies that’s been employed has been neighborhood awareness. If you empty out cans of standing water, or treat standing water that’s collected in old stumps, or tires, or rain barrels, then you’ve reduced the places for mosquitoes to breed on your property. That alone will make very little difference.
However, if your entire neighborhood makes these things a habit, you can drastically reduce your community’s exposure to mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses. If elderly neighbors aren’t too mobile, then offer to do it for them. It can make a huge difference.
DO NOT treat any areas that are natural bodies of water or wetlands. This is illegal, more destructive than you realize, and harms many animals that eat mosquitoes and their eggs.
If you’re worried about mosquitoes in your area, you can ask Ransford Environmental Solutions about different habits that you and your neighbors can adopt, and what treatments work best.