Are Mosquitoes Dangerous?

Throughout the summer months and even into early fall, you may have heard some stories on the news about mosquito-related disease and illnesses and have wondered whether or not mosquitoes in your area are harmful to you, your family or your pets.

Do Mosquitoes Carry Diseases?

While mosquitoes are in fact a vector pest, also known as an organism, typically a biting insect or tick that can transmit a disease or parasite from one animal or plant to another, not all mosquitoes are dangerous or able to transfer disease.

Should I Be Concerned About Mosquito-Borne Diseases?

We recently met with our New York City and Northern New Jersey Technical Specialist, John Kane, who revealed, “Some of what ends up in the news is exciting and/or scary sounding. But it’s important to be aware whether or not the mosquito-related or vector borne illnesses being discussed on the news are a cause for concern or not.”

  • Chikungunya, one of the diseases we’ve heard about this summer, is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes that causes fever and severe joint pain, according to the World Health Organization.
  • However, neither Chikungunya, nor the closely related Dengue fever of the tropics, are prevalent in the United States and are extremely rare throughout our coverage areas.
  • Kane, also a board certified entomologist, explained Chikungunya typically occurs in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
  • Travelers may return to the U.S. with cases of this after vacationing abroad, but it’s usually not enough to get a transmission cycle started in the U.S. Besides a few isolated cases, these issues are quickly resolved and people are restored to full health.

Preventing Mosquito Diseases

Despite vector-borne illnesses occurring throughout the world, you should still consider employing mosquito control at home and throughout your property to reduce the potential threat these pests can cause, like West Nile Virus.

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