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Say Goodbye to the Bugs Blog

Keep up with the latest news and insights from Cypress Creek.

For many Houston residents, summer brings sun, heat, rain, and with it, more opportunities to go outside and have some fun. Unfortunately, summer also brings out a lot of pests. And while you may notice some of these like ants and cockroaches year-round, the increased Houston heat provides a thriving environment for them and more pesky pests. For example, ticks and scorpions, actually prefer warmer temperatures.

If you feel like mosquitoes and Houston summers go together like peanut butter and jelly, you’re not wrong. In fact, Houston is the 7th worst city in the country when it comes to mosquitoes. And with rain and rising temperatures on the horizon, the mosquito population will only increase.

Recently Houston has been ranked highly on two different new lists of the U.S. cities that are in the midst of fighting against the worst problems with mosquitoes. That’s not exactly the kind of notoriety a city is looking for—particularly with mosquito borne diseases on the rise. For a variety of reasons, Texas has a history of mosquito problems; an issue that can have some grave consequences.

Mosquitoes are tiny-but-fierce creatures who will ruin any outdoor party! Not only can their buzzing annoy and their bites irritate, they can also be carriers of harmful diseases that are dangerous to your family. Here are some of the myths (and related truths) that you need to know in order to have the best mosquito control for your home and property.

Mosquitoes are creatures whose size belies their power. Tiny but mighty, these blood-sucking insects spread so many diseases that they are considered to be the deadliest animal on earth. Those mosquito bites don’t just itch and annoy—they can also carry serious viruses such as West Nile virus, Chikungunya, Zika virus, and more.

As summer arrives, it brings warm weather, sunshine, family barbeques and….disease? Unfortunately, pest borne diseases can cause many health and financial problems for families. Diseases carried by insects have been growing in recent years, and another drastic rise is predicted again this summer.

Why is it that you can be outside in the evening with friends and they emerge unscathed while you end up polka dotted with pink, puffy mosquito bites? What is it about you that is so attractive to those blood-sucking, disease-carrying critters? Studies show that certain humans—at least 20% of them—are especially attractive to mosquitoes. Several factors determine whether mosquitoes will be drawn to one person over another. Mosquitoes use sight and scent to find their human prey, meaning that the way you look and smell will be critical in whether or not you act as an attractive blood source. Some of these are factors you can control, while others (such as blood type and breathing rate!) are a bit more challenging. Here are some of the contributing factors that make mosquitoes more attracted to certain people:

Not only are they annoying, itchy and sometimes painful, mosquito bites can also be extremely dangerous. In fact, tiny mosquitoes are considered to be the deadliest animal in the world. Several varieties of mosquitoes, such as Asian Tiger, Northern House, Culex and Aedes, can be carriers for dozens of diseases. Because of this, a mosquito can be much more dangerous to the health of your family than it's size indicates.

Protecting yourself from mosquitoes and tick-borne diseases is critical in keeping your family healthy and happy. A great way to ward off pests that carry diseases is to use insect repellent. But if you aren’t applying it properly, it won’t work as effectively as it should. Did you know that you’re probably doing it wrong?!

Hot weather and standing water come with significant nuisances related to pest control. One of the most dangerous and annoying pests that need control in Houston are mosquitoes. Bringing deadly diseases at worst and itchy bites at best, mosquitoes can be prevented and managed through basic diligence and access to professional pest control services. Three forms of mosquito control include preventing breeding sources, protecting yourself, and caring for your community.

Have you ever been at barbeque or picnic at dusk with several friends and family members, and the next day you notice that you have mosquito bites all over you but the other people you were with were barely affected? Mosquitoes are small, buzzing, and potentially dangerous creatures that are attracted to humans for a variety of reasons. And certain people happen to draw them in more readily than others.

As the sun begins to shine and the weather begins to warm, the pests also start to come out. Buzzing, blood-sucking mosquitoes, which are truly the deadliest animal on the face of the earth, have often been lying dormant over the winter and are ready to come out in full force. As you consider mosquito control for your home, neighborhood, or business, you’ll need to think about controlling both the larvae and the adult mosquito population.

As the weather warms, we all look forward to summer days. But what we don’t get excited about are those buzzing little creatures that can buzz in our ears, suck our blood and leave us itching for days. These critters have a bad reputation, and there’s a good reason for that since they leave us desperate to find ways to exercise mosquito control. On the other hand, these intricate little insects are also rather interesting.

While most people expect that the end of summer means the death of mosquitoes, the fact is that they survive throughout the year, simply going dormant during the winter. And because the idea of “winter” in Texas is relative in comparison to the incredibly hot summers, even the winter months can bring weather that is unseasonably warm filled with rain and flooding. Because of the humidity combined with warmth, the weather conditions in Houston in the winter are ideal for breeding the more than 80 aggressive species of mosquitoes that reside in the area.

With a warm, humid climate and an active system of bayous and waterways, Houston is a veritable breeding ground for mosquitoes. That means it can also be a prime location for Zika virus and other diseases the mosquitoes carry. The more you know about Zika, the better you can protect yourself and your family. A number of helpful hints and Zika virus facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can help you do just that. Mosquito Bite Prevention Tips Since no vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus, the most effective way to prevent the disease is to prevent mosquito bites. Insect repellent can come to the rescue, especially if you choose one that’s registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and deemed safe for all family members, even breastfeeding and pregnant mothers. You can search for EPA-registered repellents here. Active ingredients should include one of the following: DEET KBR 3023, aka picaridin IR3535 2-undecanone Para-menthane-diol (PMD) or oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) Additional bite-prevention tips include: Wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts Covering strollers, baby carriers and cribs with mosquito netting Ensuring your home’s screens are intact and securely in place Using air conditioning instead of opening doors and windows Dumping out any standing water around the yard at least once a week Protecting yourself during the day and night, as mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus can bite at any time during a 24-hour period Zika Virus Facts and Tips Keep an eye out for the symptoms: Rashes, joint pain, red eyes and fever are the most common symptoms of the virus; others include headaches and muscle pain. Know symptoms aren’t always present: A person can be carrying the virus yet never exhibit any symptoms. The virus can still be spread to the carrier’s sex partners. Know how it’s spread: A person carrying Zika virus can pass it along to his or her sex partners. Wearing condoms can help prevent spread of the virus one partner to another. Zika Virus and Pregnancy Get checked during prenatal visits: The CDC recommends all pregnant women in the U.S. should be assessed for possible signs, symptoms or exposure to Zika virus at each prenatal care visit. Read More: Zika Virus: Mosquitoes Pose a New Threat to Pregnant Women Wait before pregnancy attempts: Attempts to get pregnant should be put on hold by both men and women diagnosed with the virus. Women should wait at least two months after their symptoms showed up before attempting to get pregnant; men should wait at least six months before attempting to get their partner pregnant. Know the risks: Infants and fetuses infected with Zika before birth have been linked to a number of problems. These include: Microcephaly, a condition in which a baby’s head is notably smaller than expected Stillbirth and miscarriage Poorly developed or absent brain structures Eye and hearing defects Impaired overall growth Zika virus has been detected in breast milk, although there are no reports of passing along the disease through breastfeeding. Register with the CDC: Pregnant women infected with Zika virus are encouraged to sign up with the CDC’s U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry. The agency is working with health departments and other organizations to gather information about infant outcomes and pregnancy linked to Zika in pregnant women. Mosquito season in Houston typically begins around March or April, and then tapers off in the fall’s cooler weather. Even though mosquitoes may be less active when temperatures dip below 50 degrees, several species will continue to survive until a frost hits. Protecting yourself and your family from Zika virus starts with knowledge, something you can continue to acquire all year long. Photo Credit

The Brazos County Health Department recently confirmed the first local  case of Zika Virus. The patient became contracted the virus after traveling outside of the United States to an area with mosquitoes infected with Zika Virus. Currently there are no Zika cases in Texas from people that have been bitten locally. That does not mean you are safe from the diseases mosquitoes spread, including dengue, malaria  and chikungunya.

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