Mosquitoes aren't just a mild nuisance. There are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes around the world. Ohio is the home to 59 of them. While many see a mosquito bite as a mere annoyance, there are a few species in Ohio with bites that can cause you real and serious harm. Here's what you need to know about mosquito bites, and just how dangerous they can be.
Mosquito Bites Can Cause Allergic Reactions
When a mosquito bites, the common bump and itchiness are an allergic reaction. In truth, a female mosquito out for blood doesn't technically bite. She basically sticks a straw-like appendage into your skin to suck the blood out.
The ensuing bump and itchiness comes from your body reacting to the mosquito's saliva. The good news is, over time, people can become desensitized to this particular allergic reaction. For some people, a much stronger reaction can occur. These include all the symptoms of any moderate to severe allergic reaction.
In truly severe cases, it's possible for someone to go into anaphylactic shock. Skeeter syndrome is a phrase to describe a mosquito bite allergy.
Mosquito Bites Can Transmit a Number of Diseases
It's amazing just how many diseases can come from a mosquito bite. While many of these diseases can affect humans, mosquitoes can also infect animals as well.
So if you keep animals of any type, it's important to look out for mosquito-borne illnesses that may be affecting them. But to keep the focus on you and yours, here are a few of the more serious diseases that appear in, or close to Ohio.
There's various types of encephalitis, and mosquitoes in Ohio do predominately carry two of them. These include the La Crosse virus (LACV), and the St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV).
Encephalitis is a rare but serious condition involving brain inflammation. Symptoms can include fever, vomiting, headaches and fatigue. If you or anyone else starts to show signs of such symptoms after a mosquito bite, then you should seek medical attention immediately.
West Nile Virus
Cases of WNV occur in Ohio every year. It's possible for no symptoms of WNV to show up at all. This virus can vary from mild to life-threatening. Since it's a virus, there's no cure, but mild cases can go away on their own.
Severe cases can start with flu-like symptoms, but can easily progress into numbness, vision loss, paralysis and even a coma. The people most in danger from WNV are those over the age of 60, and people with impaired immune systems.
There are several other diseases carried by mosquitoes that don't have significant representation in Ohio at the moment. However, it's important to know it doesn't take much for these diseases to cross state lines. A human carrier could come into the state and pass one disease to a mosquito, which can then pass it to others.
- Other strains of encephalitis
- Yellow fever
- Zika virus
The best way to avoid all of these diseases is to do what you can to prevent mosquito bites as much as possible.
How to Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from insect bites, including:
- Wearing repellent
- Wearing light-colored clothing
- Wear long pants and sleeves
Of course, if you have a mosquito problem in or around your property, you should have them professionally taken care of. It's important to protect yourself from potential bites, but you must also remove the source of your mosquito problem.
At Patton Pest Control, we understand mosquitoes aren't just a nuisance — they're a real danger. If you're dealing with a mosquito problem, contact us immediately.