Can Atlanta mosquito control systems deal with the Zika virus? In short, no it cannot, but it may be able to control the mosquito species that spread the virus. Let’s look at that a bit closer. Zika virus disease is spread to the population by means of bites from the Aedes mosquito. So the question is, is this species of mosquito native to Georgia, and to Atlanta in particular.
The quick answer, unfortunately, is yes, it can be found in Atlanta. It is the same mosquito species that transmits dengue and chikungunya, both notifiable diseases. While the highest risk level for Zika is 10 (Miami) that for Atlanta is 8. This is based on population and number of visitors from Zika-affected countries. The species is present already – all it takes is for even one insect to carry the virus after getting it from a visitor from an infected country. We were warned by health officials back in January that the Zika virus was likely to hit Georgia.
So let’s not go into what the Zika virus does or how prevalent it may be in Georgia or even Atlanta itself. If we focus too much on the whats, whys and wherefores, then we are in danger of losing sight of the most important factor – how to protect ourselves. The safe view to take is that Zika is among us, and that we must take every step possible to protect ourselves and our families – particularly pregnant women.
Prepare for Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes
As of May 11, there have been no locally-contracted incidences of Zika reported in the USA. So far, all 13 cases in Georgia have been contracted abroad by tourists or those working in affected countries. However, there is no doubt among the experts that the first locally contracted incidence is not far off. You can reduce the chances of that being you by taking some simple remedial steps.
- Have your yards inspected by a mosquito control firm such as MrMister.
- Check the report and have any suggested work carried out.
- Have specific hazard areas, such as around drains, downpipes and ponds/pools manually sprayed on a regular basis, until it is believed all mosquito larvae have pupated or been destroyed.
- Install an automatic mosquito spray to keep mosquito populations down around your home.
- Until the Zika threat has gone, wear mosquito repellant, particularly in the spring, summer and fall months.
- Keep your eyes open, and be aware of what an Aedes mosquito looks like.
If you take all the above steps, and carry them out seriously, then you should be able to get through the year without having an Aedes mosquito feed on your blood and transmit the Zika virus to you. Most Atlantans take mosquito control steps as a matter of course, although the Zika virus scare will likely have prompted them into making special preparations this year.
Know what to do and then do it! Just as important, check out what your neighbors are doing and persuade them to take similar protective action. Nobody can fight an army of Aedas mosquitoes alone, but if you all get together with protective mosquito spraying and mosquito control systems, then you can defeat them and prevent the Zika virus from visiting your home.
But don’t panic, because there have been no reported cases yet that have been contracted by bites within mainland USA. They have all been related to people who have visited infected countries.
Get more information on avoiding the Zika virus and fighting the Aedes mosquito by calling us on (404) 941-0720 or contact us here.