Connecticut's Least Wanted
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Posted by Brendan on July 16, 2015



THE MOSQUITO: Mosquitoes are well known by most people because of their pesky biting habit. Of greater concern, they are the most significant vector of disease in history, responsible for more human deaths than any other animal, with diseases such as West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever, filariasis, dengue fever, and encephalitis. There are approximately 150 species of mosquitoes found in the United States and 49 different species of mosquitoes in Connecticut alone.   

Mosquitoes have adapted to almost every kind of aquatic situation such as permanent ponds and marshes, temporary flood water or woodland pools, drainage ditches, and water contained in tree holes, leaves of plants, or artificial containers. 

A common misconception is that mosquitoes require blood to live. Mosquitoes actually feed on nectar. Male mosquitoes are NOT blood drinkers at all; however the female mosquito does require a blood-meal in order to lay her eggs. Once she has laid her eggs, the female will seek out more blood in order to produce more young. She continues this cycle during her entire lifespan, which is only about two weeks.

MOSQUITO HAZARDS: Of the many diseases that Mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis have had a heavy impact on Connecticut and the North Eastern states.

WEST NILE VIRUS: This virus has been an issue in other countries for centuries, but was first identified in Connecticut in 1999. The following year in an effort to learn more about West Nile Virus in Connecticut, The Department of Public Health collaborated with various other state agencies to implement Mosquito Surveillance Systems. These systems helped to track West Nile Virus infections in humans, horses, wild birds, and mosquitoes. In the first five years it was determined that mosquito surveillance was the best sustainable indicator of potential human infections, therefore in 2006 the monitoring of wild birds was discontinued.

EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS: This virus is commonly called Triple E or the Sleeping Sickness it is an alphavirus (group IV virus positive sense, single-stranded RNA genome) and arbovirus (virus transmitted by arthropod vectors) able to infect vertebrates such as humans, rodents, birds, horses, and even fish. Present in North America it was first recognized in Massachusetts in 1831 when 75 horses died of encephalitic illness. The first confirmed human cases were identified in 1938 when thirty children died of encephalitis in the northeastern United States. Symptoms in humans include: high fever, muscle pain, altered mental status, meningeal irritation, photophobia, and seizures. These symptoms usually occur 3 to 10 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

MOSQUITO CONTROL: The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station maintains 91 mosquito trap sites in 73 different towns in Connecticut. These sites were strategically selected using factors such as; mosquito habitat, proximity to residential areas, and historical findings related to mosquitoes. The information gathered from these sites helps guide statewide prevention as well as control measures. However even with these systems in place West Nile Virus is still significant in Connecticut, with 120 confirmed human cases between the years of 2000-2014 out of which 3 ended in fatalities.

MOSQUITO EXTERMINATION: Although the state of Connecticut has implemented many different strategies regarding control measures for mosquitoes, the threat is still present. With such infection statistics it's important to know a local mosquito exterminator who is knowledgeable in both mosquito habitat, and mosquito breeding grounds so as to attack the problem from its source. Guardian Pest Control is local and knowledgeable our certified technicians are here to help keep you and your family safe from the #1 vector of West Nile Virus....The Mosquito.  

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CT Pest Control Association American Mosquito Control Association National Pest Management Association American Mosquito Control Association American Mosquito Control Association