Florida’s tropical landscapes, temperate weather, and captivating beaches have long been cherished by residents and visitors alike. What makes Florida so attractive also makes it the perfect breeding ground for disease bearing pests like mosquitoes – one of Florida’s most abundant pests.
For the first time since 2003, the Sunshine State has a dark cloud looming: confirmed cases of locally transmitted malaria. With the resurgence of this disease on American soil, the need for effective mosquito prevention measures is more important than ever. You’ve probably got questions, and we have answers so let’s dig into it.
What is Malaria?
Also known as a plasmodium infection, malaria is a disease caused by a protozoan parasite from the plasmodium genus that is spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The identified cases in the US involve the P. Vivax malaria parasite, which typically causes milder symptoms but poses a fatal threat to pregnant individuals and children. Cases of malaria are reported nationwide every year, but they are typically imported from overseas travel.
What Symptoms Should I Look For?
Malaria is a flu like disease, with symptoms presenting around two weeks after infection, but it can lie dormant for up to a year. Symptoms include:
- Body Aches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle or joint pain
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heart rate
Some individuals experience malaria “attacks” which look like shivering/chills, followed by high fever/sweats, and finally a return to normal temperature. Any case of malaria should be treated as a medical emergency, so if you are experiencing these symptoms and suspect malaria, please seek medical treatment.
How Do I Minimize Risk?
While it’s not possible to guarantee complete prevention of mosquito bites, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk:
- Install door and window screens at all entry points to create barriers.
- Use spray repellents that have DEET or picaridin to deter mosquitoes.
- Address standing water by treating and/or removing it promptly.
Understanding Mosquitoes and the Importance of Prevention
Mosquitoes are the carriers of the malaria parasite, transferring it from infected individuals to healthy ones through their bite. The two species of mosquito known for transmission are Anopheles quadrimaculatus and Aedes aegypti, both of which are common in Florida. Aedes mosquitoes are especially concerning, due to their involvement in also spreading other diseases like dengue and Zika, and their ability to adapt to urban environments.
Malaria and other mosquito borne diseases can cause severe illness and even death, so professional mosquito extermination is important now more than ever.
Bug Out, Your Partners in Pest Control
Dedicated to providing our community with quality pest control services, the highly trained experts at Bug Out have over 60 years of experience with the unique pest challenges of Jacksonville, FL. Mosquitoes are a year-round threat in our region, but with our industry leading innovative solutions in mosquito control, you can rest easy. Don’t hesitate to protect your home and family, for a free quote give us a call today!