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FACTS ABOUT MOSQUITOES

Appearance

Mosquitoes are small, about 1/8" to 1/4" long, insects with a brown or dark brown body striped down center. They are usually round and suck the blood of animals and humans.

Life Cycle

Mosquitoes go through four life stages: egg, larvae, nymph and blood-sucking adult.

Warning Signs

Mosquitoes live and breed in any standing water. Once they have hatched, they usually stay within 300 feet. This means most mosquitoes you see in your yard were born there. Female mosquitoes are capable of biting humans and animals more than once.

Mosquito-Related Problems

Historically, mosquitoes have been a major problem in terms of disease transmission worldwide. Today, bites from adult mosquitoes can transmit West Nile Virus to humans and heartworm disease to pets.

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus is an extremely serious disease for which there is currently no specific treatment or vaccine for prevention. It is transmitted to humans through a bite from a mosquito infected with the virus. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on birds with high levels of the virus in their blood. Infected humans develop flu-like symptoms that may result in potentially fatal encephalitis, or brain swelling, in some cases.

Heartworm

Heartworm disease is a serious parasitic disease caused by a long, thin worm that lives in the pulmonary vessels and heart of infected pets. The disease is spread to dogs and cats by mosquitoes. Symptoms may range from none at all to respiratory difficulty and lethargy.

Treatment

The best way to protect you and your pet from dangerous viruses is to reduce mosquito populations in your area and to avoid being outside when the mosquito population is high. Standing water around the home, in rain gutters, wading pools, bird baths, ditches and low areas should be drained regularly. New mosquito prevention products such as Zodiac Pre-Strike are specially designed to stop mosquito infestation around your home. Several preventative treatments for heartworm disease are also available. Do not use human mosquito repellents on pets.

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