Mosquitoes are dangerous creatures on earth due to their ability to transmit deadly diseases to humans. Florida’s warm and humid climate provides the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, making the state a hot spot for mosquito-borne illnesses. These diseases not only affect humans but also have a great impact on the state’s economy and tourism industry.
Despite efforts by the state and local governments to control mosquito populations, these pesky insects continue to pose a threat to Floridians and visitors alike. This article will explore the most common mosquito diseases in South Florida, their symptoms, and ways to protect yourself from these deadly diseases with professional mosquito control treatments. So, let’s dive into the details!
Let’s discuss the most common mosquito diseases in South Florida and their symptoms to know more about them!
West Nile Virus is a viral disease transmitted to humans through infected mosquito bites. It’s among the most commonly transmitted mosquito diseases in South Florida and is caused by the Culex mosquito. The symptoms of WNV infection can vary from mild to severe, and most people, typically 8 out of 10, do not develop any symptoms. However, the common signs of West Nile Virus may include:
- Body aches
- Joint pains
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin rash
- Swollen lymph nodes
In severe cases, WNV can cause meningitis or encephalitis, leading to neurological complications and even death. There is no precise treatment for WNV, and the focus is on managing the symptoms.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but potentially deadly viral disease that affects horses and humans. It is caused by an eastern equine encephalitis virus, transmitted to humans and horses through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Symptoms of EEE can range from mild flu-like symptoms to severe ones. Here are the starting or mild symptoms:
- Muscle aches
However, more severe symptoms include seizures, coma, and brain inflammation (encephalitis) that can lead to death. There is no specific treatment for EEE, and no vaccine is currently available for humans.
Dengue fever is another viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes, primarily the Aedes aegypti species. This is among the commonly found mosquito diseases in South Florida and is in abundance in Miami-Dade County, with 500 travel-associated dengue cases. The symptoms of dengue fever can range from mild to severe and can include the following:
- High fever (above 101°F or 38°C) that lasts for 2-7 days
- Headaches, often severe
- Joint and muscle pain
- Pain behind the eyes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rash appearing anywhere on the body
- Mild bleeding from the nose or gums or easy bruising
In serious cases, dengue fever can lead to a more serious condition known as dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can cause severe bleeding, organ damage, and in some cases, death. It is important to get medical help if you or someone you know may have dengue fever.
St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) is a viral disease that affects the nervous system. It is caused by the St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV), a Flavivirus family member transmitted by mosquitoes. SLE is endemic in the United States, with cases reported in all 48 contiguous states and in Mexico, the Caribbean, and South Florida.
It feeds both on humans and birds. However, humans are considered incidental hosts, meaning that the virus does not replicate as well in humans as it does in birds but can still cause illness. Most people infected with SLEV do not show any symptoms, but the mild symptoms include:
SLE can progress to a more severe form of the disease, leading to brain inflammation (encephalitis) or the membranes around the brain or spinal cord (meningitis). It’s one of those common mosquito diseases in South Florida that develop the most in elderly people.
You must follow proper mosquito control tips to keep yourself and your family safe from these viral diseases. To help you in this regard, here are the ways you can adopt for mosquito-borne disease prevention:
- Use mosquito repellent: Apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin and clothing to prevent mosquito bites. Use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Don’t become a mosquito magnet.
- Wear protective clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers to cover your skin, especially during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Use mosquito nets: Use bed nets treated with insecticide to protect yourself while sleeping.
- Use mosquito traps: Use mosquito traps or insecticides to kill mosquitoes in and around your home.
- Eliminate standing water: Mosquitoes grow in stagnant water, so eliminate any standing water around your home, such as in flower pots, buckets, and gutters.
- Maintain a clean environment: Keep your home and surrounding areas clean and well-maintained. Also, dispose of any trash or debris that could collect standing water.
With the implementation of all these measures, you have to ensure the complete removal of these destructive pests before the arrival of peak season. This is where mosquito control companies can help you.
There are different mosquito diseases in South Florida that can cause mild and severe health issues. So, you should adopt proper mosquito control measures to ensure your home stays safe.
However, typical mosquito pest control tips aren’t that effective, and you may need a professional pest control company to help you. Gregory Pest Control is the best in this regard! We offer environment and pet-friendly mosquito traps that kill the mosquitoes before the proper development stage. With our reliable services, you can rest assured that you and your family are protected from all mosquito-borne diseases!
Owner/President of Gregory’s Pest Control
I’m a 2nd generation pest control owner who started working for my father in 1999. I was raised in South Florida and feel blessed to call it home for my entire adult life. As a long-term Florida resident, I recognize the challenges of controlling the many different pests that thrive in our subtropical climate. In particular, I understand how difficult it can be to prevent pests from invading our homes and businesses. By helping families solve their pest problems so they can live safer, more comfortable lives, I feel I am also meeting my family’s commitment to help our community. When I’m not out fighting pests, you can find me on the golf course or out on a soccer field where I have been fortunate enough to coach soccer to kids of all ages for the past 20 years.