The Aedes mosquito family is known for carrying and transmitting Zika virus, and it is one of the most common species found in Austin. As the winter approaches, mosquitoes will be scarce until late winter or early spring. However, it is important to know the current Zika facts and tips for preventing it in 2017.

Updated Zika Facts

According to the CDC in June, there were under 15,000 cases for the earlier part of the year and late 2015. These cases were linked to travelers who visited areas with Zika outside of the United States. When the CDC gathered more data since then, they found that there were 30,000 cases. This constitutes a much larger risk projection for 2017. However, they also said that approximately 80 percent of Zika cases go unreported because the victims are asymptomatic.

Areas To Avoid

In the winter, mosquito populations in the Austin area are not as heavy. As the spring approaches, it is important to avoid heavily wooded areas. This is especially true when there is water nearby. Lakes and rivers are common breeding grounds. When the humidity rises, the mosquito populations are bigger. Even a backyard can be a danger zone around dusk. Mosquitoes are more active then and are attracted to pools, spas, landscaping ponds, leaky sprinkler heads and even water dishes for pets. Backyard gatherings without professional mosquito treatment and bug spray create the potential for a health disaster. Always wear insect repellent with at least 40 percent DEET when going into areas with mosquitoes. Also, wear long sleeves if possible, and avoid wearing any perfume or scented lotion.

Risks Of Zika

Zika can cause flu-like symptoms when it is more severe. However, many people have no symptoms or such mild cold-like symptoms that they mistake Zika for a cold or allergies. The symptoms resolve on their own without medical treatment and have not been known to cause any life-threatening issues. The main risk of Zika is for pregnant women. Since they can pass the virus to their unborn baby, the child may develop microcephaly. This birth defect results in stunted head and brain growth. It leads to developmental disorders and a permanently smaller-than-usual head. Zika can be spread through sex. Safe sex with a condom is recommended for pregnant women. For those who are trying to conceive, it is important to wait until Zika has completely left the blood stream before attempting to become pregnant.

One of the most effective ways to prevent mosquitoes is to have regular professional pest control treatments. At Mosquitonix Austin, we assess your unique needs and property to find the ideal plan for you. Call for a free estimate.