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MARCH 16 2022 / PEST AND TERMITE
If you were shown a photo of a shark, a lion, a crocodile, a snake, a snail, and a mosquito and you were asked to pick the most dangerous animal, which one would you choose? While sharks are one of the most feared animals in the world, they account for less than 6 deaths per year. Lions rarely kill more than 22 people in a year.
Though it is hard to get concrete data on exactly how many deaths crocodiles are responsible for, a conservative figure would be around 1,000 deaths annually. Freshwater snails have them all beat because these seemly harmless animals are linked to the transmission of schistosomiasis, which claims the lives of more than 20,000 people a year.
But some researchers estimate that snail-related deaths could be as many as 200,000! While this is startling, it doesn't compare to the threat mosquitoes present. Yup. Mosquitoes. Not only are they more dangerous than the other animals listed above, but they are also widely considered to be THE most dangerous of all animals on earth due to their ability to contract and transmit diseases that can lead to death.
If you were to guess; how many people on the planet would you say die from contact with mosquitoes each year? Conservative estimates link mosquitoes to more than 750,000 deaths annually. Some experts believe this number is higher than 1,000,000. Those are some scary numbers!
Obviously, most of those mosquito-related deaths are outside of the United States, but that doesn't mean we are completely protected from the threat of mosquitoes here in the States. U.S. citizens get sick with mosquito-borne viruses all the time but, due to a strong medical infrastructure, fatalities are rare.
It can be a miserable experience to get infected by a mosquito-borne virus—even if it doesn't kill you. And with so many potential viruses to get sick with, there are a lot of opportunities for misery.
In America, we see cases of West Nile virus, Malaria, Dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya, Zika virus and several forms of encephalitis, such as St. Louis encephalitis, LaCrosse encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis and more. Mosquitoes can also transmit dog heartworm, which can be life-threatening to dogs. If you have a furry family member, it is important to remember that they are at risk as well.
When you get bitten in your backyard, most of the time you will only get an itchy red welt. Sometimes, you may have slight symptoms that go away quickly on their own. Even deadly viruses like West Nile only produce symptoms a small percentage of the time.
But there is always the chance of severe sickness. And if you contract a potentially deadly virus, would you know it? The symptoms of mosquito-borne viruses can easily be mistaken for the flu or the common cold. It happens all the time.
We recently found out that there is a fate worse than death when the Zika virus started showing up in the continental United States. This is an illness that can cause microcephaly in unborn babies and lead to birth defects.
All it takes is one bite from an infected mosquito. If you have a neighbor who has returned recently from a trip to South America where Zika is endemic, you could be at risk. A mosquito could bite your neighbor and wander over into your yard. It's a scary thought but one that must be considered. The world is getting smaller. It only takes a few hours for someone to get from South America to Ronald Reagan National Airport.
A dangerous mosquito virus can strike at any time. Why take the risk when mosquito reduction in your backyard can easily be added to your residential pest control plan?
If you live in the DC area, let the team at American Pest help you mitigate the threat of mosquito-borne diseases and protect your family and your property from over 30 common DC-area pests. Mosquitoes aren't the only pests that can have a negative impact on your health and finances.
We offer industry-leading residential pest control service in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia that is backed by our Pest-Free Pledge Guarantee. Reach out to us today to schedule a free in-home pest control estimate to get started. We'll send a licensed and experienced pest professional to your home to help you figure out what pest pressures you are dealing with and what methods will work to get those pests under control.