Pest Control Austin: West Nile Virus in Texas

Mosquito jurassic park west nile 200x175Pest Control Austin: West Nile virus is still a concern in most of Texas. New reports of WNV seem to pop up daily and new cases are confirmed every day.I find myself wondering just how big this threat is. Should we be wearing mosquito proof clothing as if we are on safari every time we leave our homes or offices? I have done some research on these questions and it does seem like there is just cause for some concern. However at least from what I have read, the world is not coming to a West Nile virus end just yet. The chance you could be bitten by a mosquito carrying the West Nile this summer is fairly likely but then what happens. According to the Texas Department of State Health Servicesas many as 80% of those infected with the West Nile Virus will have no symptoms and will recover on their own. However some case can cause severe symptoms and even death. People over 50 and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of becoming ill if they become infected with the virus. There are precautions that can help lower the risk of contracting the virus. This list was also found on the Texas Department of State Health Services. Your best defense is to practice these habits, known as the “Four Ds”:

  1. Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  2. Dress in long sleeves and long pants when you are outside.
  3. Stay indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  4. Drain standing water where mosquitoes breed. Common breeding sites include old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters.

According to the Department of State Health Services web site “symptoms of the severe form of the disease include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis. Only about one out of 150 people infected with West Nile virus will develop this more severe form of the disease”. That’s one out of 150 actually infected. As of August 30, 2012 there have been 981 reported case in Texas and fourty deaths. In 2011 there were 2 West Nile Virus related deaths. Again people over the age of 50 and people with a weakened immune system are at the most risk of falling ill to West Nile Virus.

Mosquitos can be treated in your yards. Some companies install automated misting systems that disperse pesticides into the air. These systems are rather expensive to install and maintain. They require large amounts of pesticide be stored on site and often present problems with drift onto ajacent properties when the wind is blowing. Bug Master offers a monthly mosquito service. Known resting sites such as shady parts of the lawn, ornamental plants, bushes, and other such areas are treated with a residual pesticide. Sense mosquitos spend much of the day at rest in such areas they come into contact with the residual and die. Other control measures include larvicide treatments and the use of BT-i if there is standing water that can not be eliminated. BT-i is a specific biological pesticide that is non harmful to pets, people or fish. Bug Master customers that have used our mosquito services in the past have been very satisfied with the results and tend to ask for the service each summer. When attempting to control mosquitos of course the first step always is to eliminate any standing water. Sprinkler systems often cause water to stand in childrens toys, plastic sheeting around flower beds or anything that will hold water around your yard. Be sure to check under decks and in crawl spaces as well.

source: TexasDepartment of State Health Services