Malaria in America: How Wary of Mosquitoes Should Floridians Be?

Man with headache in florida

Florida’s enchanting landscapes, warm climate, and abundant water sources are what many residents and visitors cherish. However, amidst the beauty, a hidden threat looms the risk of malaria transmission by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are one of the most serious pest issues for home and business owners in Florida, and for the first time in 20 years locally transmitted cases of Malaria have been confirmed in Florida and Texas. With the advent of these cases, the importance of mosquito prevention is at an all-time high. 

Malaria Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Malaria

Also known as a plasmodium infection, malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that is spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes. There are many types of malaria parasites, some more harmful than others. The US cases have been identified as the P. Vivax malaria parasite, a strain that typically causes milder symptoms but can be fatal for pregnant individuals and children. 

What Are the Symptoms? 

Symptoms of Malaria are very similar to the flu: 

  • Fever 
  • Chills 
  • General feeling of discomfort 
  • Headache 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Muscle or joint pain 
  • Fatigue 
  • Rapid breathing 
  • Rapid heart rate 
  • Cough 

Some people experience malaria “attacks” of chills, followed by high fever and sweating, then a return to normal temperature. Symptoms typically begin within a few weeks of infection, but some malaria parasites can lie dormant for up to a year. Any malaria case should be considered a medical emergency, so if you suspect you may be suffering from malaria, please seek medical treatment. 

How Can I Prevent Infection?

While there’s no way to ensure prevention of an infected mosquito bite, there are ways you can mitigate the risk:

  • Barriers such as doors and window screens at every entry point 
  • Repellants including DEET or picaridin 
  • Treatment and removal of standing water

Understanding Mosquitoes’ Role and the Need for Prevention  

Mosquitoes serve as carriers for malaria parasites, transferring the disease from infected individuals to healthy ones through their bites. In Florida, species like Anopheles quadrimaculatus and Aedes aegypti are known transmitters of this parasite. Aedes mosquitoes are particularly concerning, given their adaptability to urban environments and their involvement in the spread of other diseases like dengue and Zika.  

Malaria can lead to severe illness and even death, especially in vulnerable populations. Preventing mosquito bites reduces the risk of transmission and safeguards community well-being. To counter the threat of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases, comprehensive prevention strategies are imperative. That’s where the experts at Florida Pest Control come in. 

Expert Care You Can Trust 

The highly trained professionals at Florida Pest Control have over 70 years of experience serving the residents of Florida. With a passion for providing quality service, and innovative solutions, our team is dedicated to keeping you safe and your home free from pests. For a free quote, call us today! 

What You Need to Know About the Malaria Outbreak in Florida

Person scratching mosquito bites

On June 26, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health advisory for residents of Florida and Texas. Within the last two months, they have identified multiple locally acquired malaria cases in those states. So, what does that mean, and what should you do to protect yourself? The experts at Florida Pest Control explain what you need to know about malaria, how it spreads, and how you can keep the disease at bay.

What is Malaria?

Malaria is a potentially life-threatening disease that spreads to humans through mosquito bites. It typically begins with flu-like symptoms such as chills, muscle aches, vomiting, and fatigue. However, if it is left untreated it can lead to death by causing kidney failure, seizures, and other serious conditions. 

Most people experience symptoms within four weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito, though some can develop the illness much later – even up to a year after the initial infection. If you think that you may have malaria, you should seek immediate medical attention for a diagnosis and treatment.

Why Are the Recent Malaria Cases Significant?

Malaria is a widespread disease that affects many parts of the world, though it is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions. But, if it’s a global problem, why has the CDC put out a health advisory for these cases in particular? 

The reason why these malaria cases are so significant is that they are the first locally transmitted cases in the United States since 2003. Over the last 20 years, nearly all instances of malaria in the US have occurred shortly after a person traveled to a place where malaria is more common. Even though the current outbreak is not large, it’s crucial to contain the disease before it can become a more widespread problem in the US.

Is Malaria Contagious?

Contrary to what many people believe, malaria cannot spread from person to person. It only spreads through infected mosquitoes. That is why one of the best ways to prevent the disease is to avoid mosquito bites.

How Can I Prevent Mosquito Bites?

It may seem impossible to avoid mosquitoes, especially during summertime here in Florida. However, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from mosquitoes:

  • Limit mosquito populations on your property: The fewer mosquitoes on your property, the less likely you are to be bitten. Since these pests need stagnant water to breed, start by eliminating even the smallest puddles that accumulate in your yard. Check your gutters, playground equipment, landscaping features, upturned buckets, and other spots that water could gather.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants: Though some mosquitoes can bite through clothing, they are less likely to access your skin if you are wearing protective clothing. 
  • Avoid going out at dawn and dusk: Mosquitoes are crepuscular creatures, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. Staying indoors during these times can help you avoid massive swarms and reduce your likelihood of being bitten. 
  • Use mosquito netting and check your screens: The last thing you want is to have mosquitoes buzzing around your home. Repair any holes in your door and window screens, and consider sleeping under a mosquito net. You can also use mosquito netting to protect your porch so you can enjoy sitting outside without worrying about bites. 
  • Apply an EPA-registered repellent: The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of registered products that can help deter mosquitoes and other pests. To find the right option for your needs and to learn about safely applying repellents, visit their site here.
  • Avoid wasting your time with ineffective DIY methods: There are endless tips and tricks on the Internet that promise to keep mosquitoes away. Unfortunately, many of these tips are not worth the effort and money – and some can even backfire. Read through our other blog to learn which mosquito prevention tips aren’t effective

Professional Mosquito Extermination Services

Struggling with mosquitoes on your property? Overwhelmed with mosquito prevention and want help getting started? The experts at Florida Pest Control have you covered! Our state-licensed technicians have proudly served homes and businesses throughout Florida since 1949, and we offer comprehensive mosquito control that is rooted in Integrated Pest Management techniques. We will create a custom treatment plan that is tailored to your space and lifestyle needs. To get help removing mosquitoes from your property, give us a call today!

Mosquito Control: What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

A child itching their leg with mosquitos swarming around them.

Mosquitoes are a problem every Floridian knows about due to the year-round warm and humid climate. While professional exterminators are the best solution to your pest problem, there are things you can do for at-home mosquito control. However, it’s important to know which mosquito control methods work and which ones don’t. . 

Dangers of Mosquitoes

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mosquito bites account for the deaths of more than 700,000 people every year, with a majority of these deaths due to malaria. Diseases from mosquito bites fall into Vector-borne diseases, which also include malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus, and yellow fever. Along with diseases, mosquitoes also cause itchy bites that can cause an allergic reaction in some people. It can vary from redness and swelling to, in rare cases, severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis. 

With these dangers, it’s no wonder that you would want to find a way to control mosquitoes around your home and yard.

What You Shouldn’t Do

There are dozens of DIY mosquito control methods on the Internet, but many of them are ineffective – and some could even attract more pests to your property. While some methods work, here is a list of the ones that you shouldn’t waste your time or money on:

  • Citronella Candles: These candles work in a small area, lose their potency quickly, and have to be replaced often. 
  • Bug Zappers: Bug zappers use an ultraviolet light to attract insects. Mosquitoes are not attracted to this light and it will kill more beneficial insects.
  • Coffee Grounds: Mosquitoes are not attracted to the smell of coffee and there are not enough insecticidal properties, such as caffeine, for coffee gounds to be a proven and effective repellant. 

What You Should Do

While EPA-approved DEET-based insect repellents work well, there are other natural ways that you can prevent mosquitoes from making you their next meal. 

  • Add Mosquito Netting: Outdoor seating areas are a buffet line for mosquitoes. By adding mosquito netting around your seating area and your doors provides a barrier from mosquitoes and other insects. 
  • Remove Standing Water: Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. To avoid an infestation directly in your yard, make sure to drain any standing water. This water can accumulate in buckets, wheelbarrows, or debris in your yard. 
  • Outdoor Fans: Mosquitoes are weak fliers and their plans are thwarted easily with a swift breeze. By using multiple outdoor fans that oscillate, you can help prevent mosquitoes from easily landing on you and your family. 

Licensed Mosquito Exterminators

If you’ve tried some natural methods to eliminate mosquitoes but they keep coming back, it may be time to call a professional. Florida Pest Control are the mosquito experts. They have been protecting homes and businesses across Florida since 1949. We offer mosquito prevention services and long-term mosquito control to provide home and business owners with the peace of mind that these pests are taken care of. Call today to get a free quote! 

Mosquito Season is Here: How to Get Ready

a mosquito on the rim of a pot outdoors

Temperatures in Florida stay warm enough, especially in central and southern Florida, that mosquitoes always have the ideal conditions to thrive. It is always a good time to take inventory of where standing water is, and what can be done to eliminate it. Just as you have taken the time to keep your yard beautiful to the eye, now it’s also time to get ahead of those mosquitoes. While we will never be able to live without mosquitoes, there are ways we can learn to deal with them. Let’s take a closer look at some facts you may not know.

Mosquitos in Florida

  • GROWING UP: Some mosquitoes’ life cycle can be egg to adult in 4 days, but most require about 2 weeks.
  • TIME TO BITE: A female mosquito is able to bite after only 2 days as an adult.
  • LIFESPAN: Female mosquitoes often live up to a month, but they can certainly cause a lot of problems during that short time! Most male mosquitoes live for 2 weeks.
  • FEMALE MOSQUITOES: Only the female mosquito bites people and animals to draw blood and obtain protein to properly develop her eggs. Female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at one time.
  • DISEASES: Pathogens mosquitoes may transmit, including endemic viruses (i.e., West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis) and exotic viruses (i.e., Zika, dengue and chikungunya) are a real danger. In addition, many of these mosquitoes are considered pestiferous to communities all over Florida. 
  • WATER WORLD: A mosquitoes’ life will always revolve around a water source. All mosquitoes require water during their egg, larval, and pupal stage for maturation. Adult female mosquitoes lay their eggs in the water.
  • SPECIES: There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes. Two of Florida’s most common mosquito species are Aedes albopictus, more commonly known as the Asian tiger mosquito (or simply tiger mosquito) due to its black-and-white-striped body and legs. And the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, better known and the yellow fever mosquito.

Preparing for Mosquitoes

What can you do to keep mosquitos out of your yard in Florida? There are a few precautions you can take. 

Adult mosquitoes gather to rest in shady, cool areas. So by keeping your grass and shrubs trimmed short, as well as avoiding overgrown vegetation around your home, your eliminating potential hiding places. 

Grown mosquitoes also look for bodies of still water that they can breed in. This could apply to swimming pools and backyard ponds, but they can easily use still water in bird baths, buckets – even a leaky sprinkler system. Checking all of these sources is key in deterring mosquitos. 

Precautions should be taken to avoid these pests. Not only for your family’s comfort, but to help eliminate the transmission of disease-causing pathogens. Lastly, residents should make sure all screens are in place and in good condition to prevent mosquitoes from getting into your homes. Prevention can go a long way in avoiding mosquitoes around our homes and neighborhoods.

Florida Pest Control is an expert in Mosquito Pest Control for Florida

At Floridal we provide comprehensive pest control services to help reclaim the outdoors for family fun again! Effective insect control depends upon a multi-pronged approach. Do all you can to make your home and property less inviting to these pests that feed on your family and pets. Take precautions to prevent getting bitten. It’s important to work with a professional exterminator with experience in our region. Our team of technicians at Florida is well-versed in the many strategies it takes to prevent and get rid of all kinds of common Florida pests. Get in touch today for a free quote!