mosquito hanging on a leaf

In March of 2015, the entire world was glued to their tv screens and news sites as Brazil reported a large outbreak of a rash illness, which has become known as the Zika Virus. The virus quickly spread to other countries and the World Health Organization labeled it as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Spreading throughout 86 countries, the Zika virus continues to be a major concern.

While everyone has heard of the Zika virus, many individuals are still unclear as to exactly what it is and why it still is considered a health concern years later. The dedicated mosquito professionals at Unique Outdoor Illumination & Mosquito Pros have researched this pressing topic to help educate our community on what to be aware of and how you can best protect yourself.  

What Is the Zika Virus?

The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first discovered in Uganda’s Zika forest in 1947. Before the 2015 outbreak, the Zika virus wasn’t well documented and most cases were predominantly in Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific. The major Zika virus outbreak in 2015 occurred in Brazil, which resulted in it spreading to North America as well.

What Are the Symptoms of the Zika Virus?

The Zika virus affects many people every year, though most individuals have mild to no symptoms. The most common symptoms are as follows:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Joint Pain
  • Red Eyes
  • Muscle Pain

The Zika virus can affect an individual for several days to a week. Thankfully, cases that are severe enough to land someone in the hospital are rare and it is extremely rare for death to occur because of the virus. Once an individual has been infected with the Zika virus, they are less likely to contract it a second time.

How Is the Zika Virus Transmitted?

The Zika virus is dangerous because most of the transmissions come from the small bite of a mosquito, from the Aedes species, that has been infected. These mosquitoes are prevalent in the United States, especially in the Midwestern and Southern states, like Texas.

Human-to-human transmission is also possible through sexual contact or from a mother to her baby during pregnancy. 

Why Is the Zika Virus So Dangerous?

While the symptoms may be mild, there is an increased health risk to unborn babies which makes the Zika virus a major health concern. Pregnant women who are infected with the Zika virus can transmit the disease to their baby, which can cause complications and major brain defects for the fetus.

It is highly recommended that pregnant women postpone their travels to countries where the Zika virus is most common, such as Brazil, Africa, and Asian countries. It is also recommended that mosquito control and steps to avoid mosquito bites are also taken. 

Is There Treatment for the Zika Virus?

As with most viral infections there is no known treatment except to aid the symptoms. The virus has to run its course before it leaves the individual completely.

How Can I Protect My Family From the Zika Virus?

mosquito misting control center

There is currently no vaccine that can prevent the zika virus. The only and best way to protect you and your family is to protect yourself from mosquitoes and mosquito bites. Here are some tips from your experts at Unique Outdoor Illumination & Mosquito Pros.

When Outside, Wear Protective Clothing

Most mosquitoes are most active during the early morning and the early afternoon. During these times, if you are going to do yard work or go on a walk, it is important to wear protective clothing. Protective clothing for mosquitoes includes long-sleeved shirts and long pants. There is also special bug repellent that can be purchased and sprayed on clothing to help make them more mosquito-proof. However, it is important to note that these repellents are not always effective for every type of mosquito. 

Always Wear Bug Spray or Insect Repellent

When going outside during the hotter parts of the day, long sleeves may not be the best choice as you can get overheated. To protect yourself and your family, make sure you are using bug spray when going outside. The Environmental Protect Agency has registered these ingredients in insect repellents as effective against mosquitoes. Always check the packaging of the repellent for the following ingredients before buying:

  • DEET
  • Picaridin
  • IR3535
  • Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus
  • Para-Menthane-Diol
  • 2-Undecanone

Make sure you use the insect repellent as directed. When properly used, these repellents will be safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding women. However, do not use these products that contain oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than three years old. If they ingest these chemicals, it can be harmful to them.

Invest in Mosquito Control Services for Your Yard

When it comes to protecting your property from mosquitoes, the best way to do this is with manual mosquito fogging services or a comprehensive automatic mosquito misting system. The specially formulated insecticide is designed to disrupt the life-cycle of the mosquito, preventing them from being able to call your outdoor living spaces home. Both options are gentle on helpful insects such as butterflies and bees while being hard on biting insects.

What Is the Difference Between a Manual Fogging Service and an Automatic Mosquito Misting System

man misting bushes to get rid of mosquitos

A manual fogging service involves a trained mosquito professional coming out once a month to spray your yard with the insecticide. This is great for fast results before a major outdoor event such as a party or a wedding. However, it is important to note that the insecticide will begin to lose its effectiveness towards the end of the monthly cycle, allowing for mosquitoes to move in. Manual mosquito fogging services are a short-term solution.

Automatic mosquito misting systems are the best way to combat mosquitoes from moving into your property as they provide a thorough mist of insecticide at dusk and dawn. This provides 24/7 protection against mosquitoes and other biting insects. The best part is that our specially formulated insecticide is safe for use around children and pets.

Don’t Fear the Zika Virus and Contact Your Trusted Mosquito Experts

Mosquitoes may be a formidable enemy but when you have the knowledge and experience of the mosquito experts at Unique Outdoor Illumination & Mosquito Pros on your side, you can rest assured that you are protected. Our team offers comprehensive mosquito control services either by installing a new automatic mosquito misting system or performing manual mosquito fogging services.

We also offer repair and refill services for our automatic mosquito misting systems. This ensures that you never have to worry about a gap in your protection. Contact our team today for more information on our mosquito misting services or to schedule an appointment with one of our mosquito experts