The Critter Report: Zika Virus’ Impact on Your Home

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Poorly maintained swimming pools like Councilwoman Vonciel Jones Hill's could become breeding grounds for West Nile Virus-spreading mosquitoes, which mature from an egg in as few as three days. (Photo: Eric Nicholson/Dallas Observer)
Poorly maintained swimming pools like former City Councilwoman Vonciel Jones Hill’s in 2014 could become breeding grounds for Zika. (Photo: Eric Nicholson/Dallas Observer)

With heat and rain continuing to bear down on us even into October, and with Zika Virus making headlines across the U.S., some pest control companies have taken to fearmongering in an effort to sell their services.

As a result, there’s a lot of misinformation and inaccuracy in the world of mosquito protection and prevention. Here are some of the most common questions the folks at Cantu Pest Control get about how to avoid mosquito-borne illnesses and to protect your family this summer and fall in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas.

(I don’t know about you, but I was bit just today.)

Is this Zika Virus really something I should be concerned about?mosquito-83639_1920

Yes. The Zika virus has arrived. Dallas County Health and Human Services has already identified thirty positive cases of Zika virus in humans.

The primary concern is for pregnant women. Experts now believe that Zika Virus can possibly lead to certain birth defects that affect a small percentage of newborn infants whose mothers were infected with the illness.

Most Ob/gyns are urging their pregnant patients to steer clear of Zika territory. It’s always best to be careful, and when the health of a child is at stake, it’s important to take precautions.

Speaking of precautions, what can I do to decrease the chances of a mosquito infestation around my home?

In addition to applying pesticides, there are a number of commercially available appliances and devices designed to curtail mosquito activity.

The most practical, efficient, and effective solution is for homeowners to remove excess weeds or vegetation where mosquitoes might hide. Pulling weeds and mowing lawns on a regular basis will go a long way to curtail mosquito breeding on your property. Also, be sure to remove any areas where standing water may accumulate, as these areas are prime locations for mosquito breeding.

Backed-up drainage ditches, outdoor flower pots, birdbaths, and ponds have consistently proven very attractive to mosquitoes, and it’s recommended that homeowners try to either eliminate these areas or avoid them in order to avoid excessive contact with potentially dangerous mosquito species.

So if I get rid of their hiding places, my home should be mosquito-free, right?

 Well, not exactly, but every extra precaution helps to reduce the chances that you or a loved one will contract a nasty mosquito-borne disease.

Mosquitoes have an extraordinary sense of smell; a large portion of their brains are dedicated to identifying and pursuing the locations of their targets.

Only female mosquitoes feed on blood, which they then use to produce their eggs. Female mosquitoes, accordingly, find their victims through their sense of smell as well as their heat-sensing abilities.

Researchers believe that mosquitoes are more drawn to these chemical concoctions than they are to normal human skin, which means that individuals who choose to wear these types of sweet-smelling products are at a greater risk of being bitten.

Mosquitoes might just be the most useless insect imaginable. I don’t want to see or hear about these pests! Can I get my home sprayed for mosquitoes and be done with it?

We’re here to help. While it’s not always possible to completely eradicate these pests, they can be greatly reduced with harborage reduction. Cantu logo

If mosquitoes have made an unwanted appearance at your home, call Cantu Pest Control at 972-885-3618 in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas to schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced pest control experts.

Cantu Pest Control is a locally owned pest control business that has been providing pest control and pest management services to residential and commercial customers for over thirty-two years. In fact, they treat MY home. We provide safe, customized solutions for all of your pest control needs – using the most advanced technology in the pest control industry.

 

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Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

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