The Zika virus has been in the news frequently in recent months as cases have spiked in South America and have started appearing in the United States. Although mosquitoes don’t yet carry the virus inside the United States, travelers have to be on guard for infections when they visit countries like Brazil.
Some athletes scheduled to participate in the Rio Olympic Games have voiced their concerns over competing in a country where mosquitoes carry the virus. Understanding the virus, how to protect yourself against mosquitoes, and where mosquitoes are likely to live can help you avoid catching the virus.
Recent Cases of Zika Virus in Texas
Like other states around the country, Texas has seen several Zika cases inside its borders, but as of June 28, 2016, none of those cases has been the result of a mosquito bite received while inside the United States.
Overall, the state has seen 48 reported cases of the virus with 47 of those cases received by citizens during travel abroad and one of those cases contracted in the United States after sexual contact with someone who already had Zika.
The most cases have been seen in Bexar, Harris, and Dallas Counties, but the large populations of cities like Dallas and Houston are likely to blame for those numbers. Other counties that have seen Zika activity include Travis, Tarrant, Fort Bend, and Denton, as well as Collin Ellis, Grayson, and Lubbock.
According to texaszika.org:
“Texas has reported to the CDC one confirmed case of Zika in a pregnant woman who traveled abroad to an area with Zika transmission. There have been 22 additional pregnancies in Texas with laboratory evidence of Zika infection since tracking and testing for Zika began, but all of those 22 had no symptoms and do not meet the Zika case definition.”
Other states around the country where Zika has been confirmed include California, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Most states around the country have seen at least one case except for Idaho, Wyoming, the Dakotas, and Alaska. Around the world, Zika has shown up in many countries including England, Australia, China, Mexico, and virtually every country in South America.
Protecting Your Family Against Zika
Reducing mosquito populations is essential for preventing the spread of Zika, but some professionals believe it’s only a matter of time before a mosquito in Texas carries the Zika virus.
According to an article from ABC 12 KSAT:
“… ‘fogging’ only works when combating the West Nile virus… the species that carries Zika tend to live right around homes. So, getting to those areas by spraying is not that effective.”
The first step in preventing the virus from impacting your family is draining standing water around the home. Although mosquitoes can live and breed in dry conditions, the likelihood of infection may be reduced significantly through the simple act of removing likely mosquito habitats.
Mosquito Control from BugHead Pest Control
You may have seen trucks traveling through your neighborhood that release fog for killing mosquitoes, but it’s important to do more to prevent mosquitoes from breeding around your home. You can wear long-sleeve clothing and jeans to protect yourself against bites, but it’s hard to maintain that dress code in the summer in Texas.
Here are a few other steps you can take to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home:
- Eliminate standing water around your house.
- Utilize bug lights around your home and near window.
- Install screens on all doors and windows.
- Plant some garlic in your yard.
- Use tarps sparingly or not at all.
Are you worried about Zika virus? Get help from BugHead Pest Control with an inspection and plan of action for getting rid of mosquitoes from around your home.