While some Houston residents have already tested positive for Zika, each of these cases was likely the result of international travel. However, health officials last week reported what is likely to be the first local transmission for the state. The patient, a woman living in Cameron County near Brownsville at the Mexico–US border, had no recent travel history. This means the virus may have spread to Texan mosquitoes.
Why Zika is Dangerous
For most people, Zika is actually completely harmless without any noticeable symptoms. Those who are affected usually experience a rash, itchy red eyes, and/or flu-like symptoms. Rarely, this can lead to serious complications like Guillain–Barré syndrome, which in turn sometimes results in permanent muscle weakness.
However, the biggest dangers are for expecting mothers and women who may become pregnant. Zika disease during pregnancy has recently been associated with severe birth defects. The most common of which, microcephaly, is a permanent condition where the brain fails to develop normally. While local transmission is a new threat, over a thousand pregnant women have already tested positive for Zika in the US.
How to Keep Mosquito Populations Down
The good news is that Zika — unlike the flu or common cold — is difficult to spread from person to person. Controlling mosquitoes is the best way to protect you and your family from this disease.
Integrated pest management is vital for effectively combating the mosquitoes that transmit Zika. The right combination of pesticides and other pest control methods can keep these bugs out of your space. The most effective plan targets all life stages:
- Adults — Misting systems that kill adult mosquitoes on contact along with treatments that repel insects from your property. These can be a one-time application or repeated manual sprays. More recently, pest control experts have developed misting devices that continually protect against mosquitoes all season long.
- Larvae — Mosquito young are aquatic and need clean water to develop. Whenever possible, eliminate standing water from your property. Water features, such as ponds and bird baths, should be treated with mosquito dunks. These inexpensive tools kill mosquitoes without harming other animals.
Preventive Pest Control is Here for You
Houston residents looking for thorough, science-based mosquito control for their home or business should consider the experts at Preventive Pest Control. Please feel free to contact us online or by phone at 281-973-5620.