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What Is The Mosquito Repellent Ingredient Known As DEET? And How Should It Be Applied To Skin?

What Is The Mosquito Repellent Ingredient Known As DEET? And How Should It Be Applied To Skin?

Many mosquito species found in urban and suburban areas throughout the US transmit disease to humans, and the most commonly transmitted mosquito-borne diseases in the country vary by region. For example, the often deadly disease known as eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is contracted from mosquitoes in the northeastern coastal states, particularly Massachusetts, and during the Zika virus scare, residents of Florida and other Gulf Coast states were at the highest risk of contracting the virus.

Historically, mosquito-borne disease has not posed a significant threat to residents of Arizona, but mosquitoes that carry the west Nile virus recently established a permanent habitat in the state. In fact, during 2019, Arizona saw more West Nile infection cases than any other state in the country, and during 2019, at least 16 individuals in Arizona died from the disease. Now that mosquito-borne disease is a serious threat in Arizona, it is important for residents to take measures to prevent mosquito bites. It has become common knowledge that insect repellents containing the ingredient known as DEET are more effective at preventing mosquito bites than other non-DEET repellent products, but few people know what DEET actually is beyond this often repeated information.

N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide, or DEET, is the active ingredient in many insect repellent products, but contrary to popular belief, DEET does not kill mosquitoes on contact, and it does not necessarily repel mosquitoes either. DEET impairs the sense of smell in mosquitoes, which deprives them of their ability to sense human breath and sweat odors. DEET repellents are likely to repel mosquitoes after they land directly on a patch of skin where repellent has been applied. DEET insect repellents should be applied to clothing and bare skin, and ingesting the chemical must be avoided, so repellent should never be sprayed directly onto the face; instead, DEET should be rubbed into facial skin with fingertips.

Do you use DEET insect repellent during the spring and summer?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Which Mosquito-Borne Diseases Are Emerging In Urban And Suburban Areas In Arizona?

Which Mosquito-Borne Diseases Are Emerging In Urban And Suburban Areas In Arizona?

Mosquitoes have not always been a major public health threat in Arizona, but now that the West Nile virus has become permanently established in the southern half of the state, it has become more important than ever for residents to apply mosquito repellent and to stay aware of mosquito-borne disease trends around the state. This year has seen an unprecedented number of West Nile Virus cases in Arizona, most of which have occured in Maricopa County. As of October 18th, the number of confirmed and suspected cases of West Nile virus in Arizona is 383, and this figure only includes 2019 cases. Of these cases, 17 have resulted in death. Due to the sudden appearance of West Nile cases in Arizona, many residents are concerned that additional mosquito-borne diseases may become common in the state in coming years. Unfortunately, many of the mosquito species that inhabit urban areas of Arizona are capable of carrying multiple diseases that have not been known to infect humans in the state.

Several mosquito species, both urban and rural, carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Culex tarsalis and Culex quinquefasciatus are two urban mosquito species that transmit the majority of West Nile infections in Arizona, but Culex tarsalis is significant for transmitting a number of different diseases to humans in various parts of the world. In Arizona, this species can transmit a number of encephalitic diseases to humans, and they transmit both St. Louis encephalitis and western equine encephalitis sporadically in Arizona, but the latter disease is more common in horses and livestock. Aedes aegypti is another mosquito species of concern in Arizona, as this species spreads the Zika virus as well as dengue fever. This species has transmitted both of these viruses along the Gulf Coast in recent years, but neither disease is endemic to Arizona. However, experts believe that this is likely to change in the coming years due to the abundance of A. aegypti throughout the state, and many researchers believe that the establishment of dengue fever in the state may be unavoidable in the future.

Do you think that the Zika virus and/or dengue fever will become common in Arizona before 2030?

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Arizona Is Now Seeing More West Nile Cases Than Any Other State, And Seven Residents Have Died From The Disease This Year Alone

Arizona Is Now Seeing More West Nile Cases Than Any Other State, And Seven Residents Have Died From The Disease This Year Alone

Those who assume that mosquitoes are only abundant in humid regions of the US are wrong, as the driest region of the US sees a higher rate of West Nile virus disease cases than any other region in the country, including subtropical and tropical regions like southern Florida and Hawaii. Arizona has emerged as the state with the highest number of west Nile-infected residents, and surprisingly, most cases are occurring in southern Arizona where the climate is particularly dry.

The significant increase in West Nile virus cases this year does not surprise researchers who found mosquito populations to be unusually high last spring. The high mosquito population this year is due to the relatively rainy 2018-2019 winter season in Arizona, which provided the first generation of urban-dwelling mosquito species with an abundance of stagnant water sources that were ideal for breeding.

Most of these breeding sites are located on residential and urban properties where rainwater collects within various objects commonly found on lawns. For example, bird baths, garbage and recycle bins, ornamental ponds, potted plants, tires, wheelbarrows, clogged gutters, water puddles beneath outdoor faucets, children’s toys, and ground depressions can all gather rainwater where massive numbers of mosquito eggs can develop into adult mosquitoes within a period of 7 to 10 days. Simply removing these water sources from residential lawns would drastically decrease the rate of West Nile disease cases, as urban mosquitoes rely primarily on these water sources for breeding.

Seven deaths have occurred in Arizona this year alone due to West Nile infection, and the latest statistics released a week ago show that most West Nile infections have been contracted in Maricopa County this year. Currently in Maricopa County, 135 confirmed West Nile cases and three more probable cases have been documented, which far outnumbers the usual 20 West Nile cases that are recorded at this time of year in Arizona. Both federal and state officials are now working together to reduce disease-carrying mosquito populations in Arizona.

Have you noticed mosquito swarms within your neighborhood this year?

 

 

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A Few Mosquitoes In America Have Been Found Carrying A Rare And Deadly Virus

Given the copious amount of news coverage on the Zika outbreaks, as well as the aggressive public health campaign to convince people to take precautions against disease-carrying bugs, most Americans probably think that they are well aware of the diseases that mosquitoes can spread to humans. However, a recent finding in North Carolina will cause many people to think twice about this assumption. Researchers in North Carolina captured several mosquitoes that had been carrying a life threatening virus, but you have likely never heard of this particular mosquito-borne disease. The virus is known as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and two cases have already been reported in one single county. The virus is a threat to both humans and horses. Luckily, no human cases of EEE have been reported in the United States this year, but one horse has already died as a result of sustaining a bite from a mosquito that had been carrying EEE.

In Onslow County, North Carolina, researchers have found more EEE-carrying mosquitoes. These mosquitoes can spread the devastating virus to humans and horses through one single bite. According to Pamela Brown, Community Relations Officer for the Onslow County Health Department, some people who contract EEE may show no symptoms, while others may develop flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. If you or anyone you know is experiencing these symptoms, then a visit to the doctor is in order. Those that contract the disease, but fail to seek medical attention, can rapidly develop more serious medical issues, including seizures, coma and sometimes death. Using repellent every time you step outdoors and being mindful of areas that contain standing water can prevent bites from infected mosquitoes. The CDC states that EEE is one of the most significant mosquito-borne diseases in the US. Thirty three percent of Americans who contract EEE die as a result of the virus. Most people who survive the disease will sustain serious brain damage as a result of brain swelling.

Had you ever heard of EEE? Does learning about this virus make you concerned for your safety this summer?

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Mosquito Protection Tips | Magic Pest Control

Mosquito Protection Tips | Magic Pest Control

Many people may connect the height of mosquito season, occurring in the summer through early fall, to the irksomely itchy welts that accompany mosquito bites. But, there are far worse associations to make with these blood-sucking pests, such as the health threats they pose to humans in their daily lives—even in their own backyards. To help protect the community against mosquito-related health risks, Magic Pest Control is reminding the public about threatening mosquito-borne diseases as well as prevention tips to avoid bites.

Thanks to professional pest control there are certain serious, and sometimes even deadly, mosquito-transmitted illnesses, such as malaria, that we rarely see in the U.S. But, the public should remember that there are still harmful diseases including the Zika, West Nile and chikungunya viruses present in the U.S. that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. In order to protect against these health threats, knowledge about each disease and general mosquito prevention is key.

The main ways to avoid mosquito bites and better protect against mosquito-transmitted diseases include:

  • Applying insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon-eucalyptus or IR3535 when outdoors and use as directed on the product label. Apply repellant over top of sunscreen, and reapply every four to six hours.
  • Minimizing outside activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, though it is important to note that mosquitoes that transmit chikungunya are active throughout the day.
  • Wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors.
  • Eliminating areas of standing water around the home including clogged gutters, birdbaths, flower pots, tires and kiddie pools or untreated pools. Mosquitoes need only half an inch of water to breed.
  • Screening windows and doors, and patching torn screens.