Every year, August 20 is World Mosquito Day. On August 20, 1897, Sir Ronald Ross, a British doctor, made the connection between mosquitoes and malaria. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for that discovery. Now, World Mosquito day is used to educate people about the dangers of mosquitoes.
World Mosquito Day is also used to educate people about malaria prevention and awareness. Parasitic protozoans cause this infectious disease. In the United States, about 1,500 cases of malaria are diagnosed every year. Most of the cases are immigrants and travelers who enter the United States from those parts of the world where malaria is common. Throughout the world, about two million people die every year from mosquito-borne diseases, including malaria.
The mosquito belongs to the order Diptera. They have two wings like True Flies. However, unlike True Flies, the mosquito's wings has scales. It is the female mosquito that bites and spreads disease. The males have feathery antennae and their mouthparts cannot pierce the skin. A female's mouthparts create a long proboscis that is able to pierce skin and suck blood. The principle food for the mosquito is nectar or other sugar sources. Mosquitoes are also attracted to old sweat and carbon dioxide. New sweat is odorless – it's when the sweat starts to produce microorganisms.
While some sources say that there are over 2,500 species of mosquitoes in the world, the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) claims that there are over 3,000 different species. A new species, the Anopheles grabhamii, was found in the Florida Keys in 2001, according to the AMCA.
Mosquitoes are quite annoying, but they are also dangerous, in that they spread disease. Their bites can be mildly annoying or painful, depending on a person's reaction to them. They are almost always itchy. These little bugs definitely spoil your leisure time, especially if you are trying to barbecue later in the late afternoon and early evening toward dusk. Additionally, they attack farm animals and have been known to cause cows to have decreased milk production and loss of weight.
Some diseases mosquitoes carry other than malaria include dengue, yellow fever, encephalitis, filariasis, Western Equine encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, LaCrosse encephalitis and West Nile virus. Mosquitoes transfer the disease by releasing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) into your blood. The chemical stimulates the pest to eat, and then inject its saliva into your blood. This chemical also mixes with the platelets in your blood so the bites won't clot.
To help keep your yard free of mosquitoes, be sure to eliminate any standing water. If you must have rain barrels and birdbaths, be sure to use mosquito dunks – they won't harm honeybees, birds or other insects. Be sure to use a mosquito repellant with DEET in it, and have your yard sprayed by a professional. Wearing light-colored long-sleeve clothing also helps to keep mosquitoes from attacking you, as they are attracted to dark colors.
Topical cortisone cream helps with itching. If the bites swell, put an ice pack on them to help reduce swelling. Oral antihistamines also help with the swelling, but be sure to take the appropriate dose. Those who are taking other medications should check with their doctor before taking any kind of drug.
Contact Clint Miller Exterminating if you have a problem with mosquitoes, despite getting rid of water and wearing light clothing. We will come out and spray for mosquitoes and other pests that may be around your home. If you have farm animals, contact us for more information about spraying farms and barn areas.