From the concerns over the threat of mosquito borne diseases at the Summer Olympics in Rio to the first confirmed Zika virus transmissions in the United States, the news about mosquitoes has left Michigan homeowners with questions and concerns.
Griffin Pest Solutions wants to help answer your questions about mosquitoes: the potential threats they pose and what steps you can take to prevent mosquito bites as you enjoy the great outdoors this summer.
Q: Why are mosquitoes considered a dangerous pest?
A: There are more than 60 species of mosquitoes are found across Michigan and many are known to be vectors (carriers or transporters) of important diseases such as West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and St. Louis Encephalitis.
According to researchers at Michigan State University, neither of the mosquito species that carries the Zika virus is found in Michigan. The Asian Tiger mosquito, the main vector of Zika, will not establish in Michigan until our climate warms dramatically because it cannot tolerate even mild winter conditions. Therefore, the chance of contracting Zika via local transmission by mosquitoes in Michigan is extremely low to non-existent.
However, the Kent County Health Department recently confirmed that mosquitoes caught in traps near Grand Rapids and East Grand Rapids tested positive for the West Nile Virus but cautioned that no humans have tested positive for the disease.
Q: Where are mosquitoes found?
A: Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a ½ inch of standing water. This reinforces the importance of regularly checking your property for containers that could be collecting water and providing a place for mosquitoes to breed.
Q: Are mosquitoes more prevalent during a specific season?
A: Mosquitoes are considered one of summer’s most active pests, but they also can thrive in the fall and remain active as long as the temperature is above 60 degrees.
Tips to Help Prevent Mosquito Bites
• Eliminate or reduce mosquito-breeding sites around the home. This includes birdbaths, flowerpots, grill covers, children’s toys and sandboxes, baby pools, unopened swimming pools, tires and other objects where water collects.
• Remove unneeded vegetation or trash from around any source of standing water that cannot be changed, dumped or removed.
• Screen windows, doors, and other openings with fine mesh, sealing around all screen edges and keeping doors and windows shut to prevent entry. Use mesh that is 18×18 strands per inch, or finer.
• Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
• When outdoors, wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes.
• Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus on exposed skin whenever outdoors.
If you have a problem with or have questions about mosquitoes call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@https://www.griffinpest.com/.