While most mosquito bites are relatively harmless, a mosquito can sometimes carry diseases like West Nile virus and the Zika virus. Often, people who are infected with these illnesses do not realize that they have contracted the disease. The best way to treat a mosquito-borne virus is to prevent mosquito bites in the first place.

Be Wary of Zika

 As Zika spreads across the world, more people will be infected with this disease. The most common symptoms include a fever, muscle pain, red eyes, a rash, joint pain or a headache. Since symptoms typically mimic a common cold, many people are unaware that they have Zika virus. While Zika is harmless for most people, it can lead to birth defects among pregnant women and can cause paralysis in rare cases.

West Nile Virus

Many of the people who develop West Nile virus will not have any symptoms. About 20 percent of infected individuals will have flu-like symptoms that last for a few weeks or months. In serious cases, brain swelling or death can occur.

Chikungunya Virus

While the Chikungunya virus was originally found in South America and the Caribbean, it has recently spread to the United States. Once you develop this mosquito-borne illness, you will have extreme joint pain for several weeks. After contracting the Chikungunya virus, the only treatment is fluids, rest and pain relief medicine.

Protecting Yourself From Bites

To prevent mosquito-borne illnesses, you should wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when mosquitoes are most likely to bite. Likewise, mosquito repellents and citronella candles can help to ward away insects. At your home, remove standing water sources like buckets and stagnant water. If these measures are not enough, hire a pest control specialist to treat the property for mosquitoes. The mosquito that causes Zika bites primarily during the daytime, so it is important to make sure that you are protected during daytime and nighttime hours.

The top ways to prevent mosquito bites include:

  • – Installing window and door screens in your home
  • – Removing sources of standing or stagnant water
  • – Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • – Unclog gutters
  • – Mow tall grass and trim vegetation
  • – Remove debris in the yard
  • – Plant lavender, basil, peppermint or catnip to naturally repel mosquitoes
  • – Use mosquito repellent

While the previous tips reduce the chances of a mosquito bite, you may still run into problems during the summertime. Once an infestation begins, mosquitoes can breed in stagnant water as small as a bottle cap of water. If you are having problems with mosquitoes, make sure to contact Mosquitonix South Florida for all of your mosquito control needs.