Home precautions for mosquito-borne illnesses
Hawaii currently is experiencing a Dengue outbreak on the Big Island with 260 confirmed cases; additionally, it is likely that Zika will become a problem in Hawaii, since we have the mosquito vectors, Aedes aegypti and A. albopictus. Both of these mosquitoes are black and white striped and can vector Zika and Dengue. Hawaii has other factors that make it conducive to Dengue and Zika. Hawaii has tropical weather, and incoming infected people from geographical areas were Zika currently is a problem (Samoa, Tonga and tropical Latin America). Zika is suspected to cause Microcephaly (a birth defect) and Guillain-Barre (a neurological disorder). Previous Dengue infections appear to increase the risk of complications with Zika infections. Because of these reasons, Governor Ige declared a state of emergency in order to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases in Hawaii.
Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions, a member of the National Pest Control Association, would like to share some concerns about Zika virus. This illness is an emerging mosquito-borne disease and it continues to grow. The public is urged to take precautions now to help curb the spread.
Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA stated, “The number of reported travel-related cases continues to increase. We are monitoring the situation closely and working to help educate the public on ways to not only avoid contact with mosquitoes when traveling to regions where the disease is present, but also how they can eliminate breeding grounds at home.”
Zika virus causes mild flu-like symptoms in about 20 percent of infected people, but the main concern among leading health organizations centers is a possible link between the virus and microcephaly, a birth defect associated with underdevelopment of the head and brain. The World Health Organization recently declared Zika virus a global health emergency.
The following are suggestions for mosquito prevention tips: •The type of Aedes mosquito that carries Zika virus is a daytime biter, so people should take steps to protect their skin from mosquito bites at all times of the day by applying an insect repellent containing at least 20 percent DEET, an active ingredient in insect repellents. Also, consider wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts. •Homeowners should eliminate areas of standing water around the property such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools and grill covers. It’s also recommended to screen all windows and doors, and patch up even the smallest tear.
Dr. Marisol Quintanilla, board-certified entomologist and Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions technical director, stated, “Our Mosquito Program helps reduce populations of biting mosquitoes. Just as important is our inspection of your property as well as recommendations to eliminate breeding sites. While impossible to eliminate all mosquitoes, our program will reduce populations of adult mosquitoes. We use products that will kill adults (adulticides) and prevent mosquito larva from developing (insect growth regulators).
“Our program does not guarantee that you will never be bitten by mosquitoes since they can fly in from neighboring yards and properties. Our goal is to reduce populations and help you eliminate areas where mosquitoes breed. Our program does offer a reduction in the numbers of mosquitoes and thus reduces your chances of being bitten. Personal protection such as the use of DEET will also help reduce mosquito bites.
“Follow us at sandwichisle.com, Facebook, or call 456-7716 to keep abreast of mosquito control.”
Some information courtesy of National Pest Management Association
SANDWICH ISLE PEST SOLUTIONS
contact // 456-7716
web // sandwichisle.com