Despite being known about since the 1950s, it wasn’t until 2015 that Zika really hit the headlines. Images of babies born with microcephaly tore at the hearts of people everywhere. It seemed impossible that such heartache could be caused by something as insignificant as an insect. And yet the mosquito was to blame.
We’ve been lucky in North America. Cases of Zika have been few so far. But as we find ourselves in peak mosquito season, one of the most common questions we’re asked by our customers at Noosa Pest Management is: should I worry about Zika. So, this is us trying to set your mind at rest.
Things You Need to Know About Zika and Mosquitoes in NC
What is Zika?
Zika is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. It can cause a mild fever in those infected, but is often asymptomatic and goes undetected. For most people, it is nothing at all to worry about. However, it has been associated with increased incidence of microcephaly and intracranial calcifications in babies born to mothers infected during pregnancy.
Is Zika in the USA?
It has been. But there have been no reported cases of locally contracted Zika in the USA since late 2017. When the 2016 outbreak occurred, the CDC took control with an immediate plan of action to help prevent spread and care for any people affected. Most cases recorded in the United States were contracted in South America and Africa. Although there were a few locally transmitted cases in Florida and Texas, there have never been any reports of Zika infections contracted in North Carolina.
What can I do to protect my family against mosquitoes?
To start with, you can make your yard less welcome to them. Remove any standing water so there’s nowhere for them to breed. Keep your grass cut short so they have nowhere to hide. Use plants that are repellent to them. But if that’s not enough and it feels like you’re being overrun, Noosa Pest Management can help with mosquito control or a mosquito misting system. Using a 100% botanical insecticide, the automated system will burst into action at times of high mosquito activity, dealing with your unwelcome guests in very short order.
Do mosquitoes carry any other diseases in North Carolina?
Yes. They’re not that common and haven’t made it to the news headlines, but mosquitoes can carry three nasty diseases in NC. La Crosse Encephalitis, West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Some incidences of these illnesses are transmitted through other animals infected by mosquitoes, which then go on to bite humans. But that’s not always the case. So, it’s a good idea to take precautions to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Just like most of the other creatures we consider to be pests, mosquitoes do serve a purpose in the natural world. Largely as a food source. In fact, it’s thought that if mosquitoes were removed completely from the food chain, a huge number of marine species would suffer. Other extinctions could well take place. But, unless you happen to have a marine conservation area in your backyard, you’re probably wise to do what you can to keep mosquitoes out. Zika or no zika, the mosquito does not make a friendly neighbor!