How Dangerous Are The Mosquitoes In Memphis? 

5/14/2021

Mosquitoes are one of the more annoying and dangerous members of the fly family. A mosquito has two wings and long, spindly legs. They are from 6 to 12 mm long. Only the female mosquito bites. The part that bites is a long proboscis that they jab into their prey. Mosquitoes inject saliva with an anticoagulant into their prey to keep the blood flowing. 

mosquito biting a memphis tennessee resident

Adult mosquitoes in Memphis spend the day hanging out in shrubs, woods, dense vegetation, sewers, and drainage ditches. Since mosquito eggs develop in water, any still water is likely to attract them. The eggs hatch into wigglers, which eat organic matter and microorganisms. The wigglers pupate, and the adult emerges from the pupae. Only adult females attack humans and other animals. They need blood to develop their eggs. 

Mosquitoes Are Dangerous 

When asked what the most dangerous creature in the world is, most scientists would answer, “The mosquito.” Mosquitoes carry terrible diseases. When they bite, they can inject those diseases along with their saliva. Some mosquito-carried diseases are: 

  • Chikungunya – 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, people develop a fever and joint pain. Some people may get a headache, joint swelling, muscle pain, or a rash. There is no vaccine or treatment for this disease. 

  • Dengue fever – 3 billion people are at risk of Dengue. The most common symptoms are fever, nausea, vomiting, aches and pains, and rash. Dengue can become severe and life-threatening. There is a vaccine, but you can only get it after you have had Dengue once. Otherwise, it makes things worse. 

  • Malaria – About 2,000 cases of malaria are identified in America a year. Most of those are in travelers returning from sub-Saharan Africa. Symptoms include fever, chills, and a flu-like illness. Left untreated, malaria can kill. There are preventive medications that can be taken while traveling. There are several treatments for malaria, as well. 

  • West Nile virus – This is the most frequent mosquito-borne disease in America. One in five people who are infected display symptoms. One in 150 of those people develop severe West Nile virus and may die. Symptoms include headache, fever, vomiting, body aches, diarrhea, and joint pains. In severe West Nile virus cases, the patient’s central nervous system becomes involved. About 1 out of 10 of these people die. 

  • Yellow fever – This is rare in the United States, even in people traveling to places that have it. The symptoms are fever and aches and pains. Severe symptoms are liver problems with jaundice. There is no treatment, but there is a vaccine. 

  • Zika virus -- Most people who get Zika do not show symptoms. However, Zika infects the unborn fetus and causes severe birth defects. The most common of these is a very small head. Pregnant women should not travel to areas where Zika is a problem. Zika can be sexually transmitted.  

Prevention Of Mosquitoes 

Prevention is twofold: remove the larvae and prevent the adults from biting you. Larvae must have water to live.

  • Dump all water out of containers in the yard. 

  • Do not let water in birdbaths or potted plant saucers remain more than a week without changing it.  

  • Change the water in animal troughs every week.  

  • Fill holes in trees with sand or concrete and fill holes made by tires.   

  • Rain barrels should be covered by mesh screens.   

  • If you have an ornamental pond, stock it with mosquito-eating minnows or goldfish.

There are times when you must go outside where the mosquitoes are. Wear long-sleeved, tight weave shirts, and long pants. Avoid areas full of mosquitoes. Avoid shade and abundant vegetation. Use DEET on your clothes and body. Fix window and door screens so mosquitoes can’t get inside. Avoid being out at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. 

Get Help For Mosquitoes In Your Yard 

If you are holding an outdoor party or just want to enjoy your yard, Dart Pest, Lawn & Wildlife can help. When you contact us, we will come out for a free inspection. We will then formulate a plan to eliminate mosquitoes, and give you an estimate. We offer one-time as well as ongoing mosquito control. Call Dart Pest, Lawn & Wildlife today at (901) 479-0760 and get rid of your mosquitoes

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