Santa Barbara Pest Control Exterminator News

Mosquito, Tick, & Flea Bite Illnesses Increasing

By Kevin O'Connor on Jul 09, 2018 at 06:54 AM in Santa Barbara Pest Control, Santa Barbara Mosquito Control

Insect Control Facts for Santa Barbara

Mosquito, Tick, & Flea Bite Illnesses Increasing

Illnesses from mosquito, tick and flea bites have actually tripled in the U.S. over the last 13 years, according to a new report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There were more than 640,000 cases reported between 2004 and 2016. In addition, nine new germs spread by mosquitoes and ticks were discovered during this time in the United States (Facts for this article were gleaned from: CDC Vital Signs Report, May 1, 2018).

Mosquitoes Can Transmit Infectious Diseases in Santa Barbara

While male mosquitoes eat only plant matter, female mosquitoes bite humans because they need nutrients in the blood to produce eggs. An interesting study showed that consuming just 12 ounces of beer makes a person more likely to be bitten by a mosquito. I guess mosquitoes prefer to “drink at home” instead of in a bar.

According to research, mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide from breath, heat from our bodies and the lactic acid that humans secrete. Exercising and exerting yourself outdoors raises body temperature and the amount of carbon dioxide you’re expelling, thus making you more attractive to mosquitoes.

Effective and Not-so-effective Mosquito Control Measures

Because citronella masks the chemicals that humans secrete that are attractive to mosquitoes, many people burn citronella candles. According to CDC, however, the candles are only mildly effective. Mosquitoes can sense those chemicals in your skin whether or not citronella candles are burning. Although these candles will work to keep mosquitoes away from the area, they have a very limited radius and are most effective when used in enclosed patios unless the wind is blowing strong.

The bug sprays proven to be most effective against mosquitoes are those that use diethyltoluamide (DEET), a pesticide geared towards protecting you from all sorts of bugs; use one that contains 50 percent of DEET or less. CDC recommends using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tool to be sure to find a repellent that will be effective in protecting yourself. Also, look for insect repellents with EPA-approved labeling that specifies protection against mosquitoes in general or Aedes mosquitoes in particular.

Dress for Santa Barbara Pest Control Success!

Researchers have declared that mosquitoes are most attracted to colors that are the most similar to animals that the insects usually prey upon, which are large, dark-colored mammals. That’s why mosquitoes are less attracted to light-colored clothing; so wear light colors, plus loose-fitting clothing to make it more difficult for biting females to reach your skin through the fabric.

Although some bees will die after stinging you, mosquitoes typically bite many times. After a female mosquito bites you she will go off to lay eggs and eventually will be back for more nutrients.

“Zika, West Nile, Lyme, and chikungunya—a growing list of diseases caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, tick, or flea—have confronted the U.S. in recent years, making a lot of people sick. And we don’t know what will threaten Americans next,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. “Our Nation’s first lines of defense are state and local health departments and vector control organizations, and we must continue to enhance our investment in their ability to fight against these diseases.”

More Pest Control Facts

Researchers have identified the following factors in mosquito and tick diseases:

  • A total of 642,602 cases of disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, tick, or flea were reported in the U.S. and its territories from 2004 through 2016.
  • The number of reported tickborne diseases more than doubled in 13 years and accounted for more than 60 percent of all reported mosquito-borne, tickborne, and fleaborne disease cases.
  • From 2004 through 2016, seven new germs spread through the bite of an infected tick were discovered or recognized in the U.S. as being able to infect people.

“The data show that we’re seeing a steady increase and spread of tickborne diseases, and an accelerating trend of mosquito-borne diseases introduced from other parts of the world,” said Lyle Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases in the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. “We need to support state and local health agencies responsible for detecting and responding to these diseases and controlling the mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas that spread them.”

Protect Your Family from Mosquito, Tick, and Flea Bites

  • Use an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Treat items, such as boots, pants, socks, and tents, with permethrin.
  • Take steps to control ticks and fleas on pets.
  • Find and remove ticks daily from family and pets.
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes, ticks, fleas inside & outside your home.
  • Obtain a solid service contract with a quality pest control company, such as O’Connor Pest Control with their professional expertise.

[Facts for this article were gleaned from: CDC Vital Signs Report, May 1, 2018].

Contact O'Connor Pest Control today if you are having problems with mosquitoes or other unwanted summer "guests," or call us at 805-687-6644 for immediate service!