Hurricane Irma leaves Orlando vulnerable to mosquitoes, pests, and disease.

Its a sight to behold. Floating mounds of fire ants sailing around the flooded streets of Central Florida as if they are taking a joy ride on a river raft. A frightening sight indeed. Haven’t seen anything this frightening floating down a river since the horrific cinematic adventure, “Deliverance”. However, fire ants aren’t the only post hurricane threat to Central Floridians.

Orlando Floating Fire ant mounds hurricane Irma Orlando Pest Control

Irma has left surviving rodents such as rats and mice in search of food and new harborage areas. The rodents, much like people have  have become displaced by Hurricane Irma. Your home is vulnerable because it has all the elements these homeless creatures seek. Food, water, and shelter.  To prevent your home or business from becoming easy lodging option for newly displaced rats and mice;  follow these tips. 1) Removed readily available food sources including excessive pet food bowls left in and around your home. Also remove unnecessary debris, junk, and shelter areas around your home or business. 2) Frequently empty trash cans inside and outside your home or business. Trash is gourmet filth for all types of pests including flies, roaches, mosquito breeding and rats and mice.

The aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Central Florida has also left us with fallen trees, a  sink hole behind an Apopka Middle School, massive piles of debris, high water, power outages, and an endless supply of cesspools, water puddles and newly formed contaminated swamps that have a key ingredient mosquitoes require to mass reproduce – stagnant water.

The aforementioned source for mosquito breeding is virtually unlimited now in the wake of the swathe of Irma destruction. Millions of stagnant water cesspools left behind as subsidized mosquito breeding grounds courtesy of Irma and will be the source of a mosquito epidemic in Orlando September and October of 2017. Fortunately most of the mosquitoes that proliferate in post flood cesspools are the pesky variety instead of the disease carrying variety, according to expert on vector-borne pathogens,  Dr. Derrick Mathais, assistant professor of mosquito and arbovirus biology at the University of Florida.  There was was an epidemic of mosquitoes this summer in  after an unusually high number of mid-summer storms blew millions and millions of mosquitoes into the Miami area from the Everglades swamps. Orlando will suffer a similar epidemic than to an unforgiving storm named Irma.

Scientists explain that some Hurricanes with their strong winds and flooding waters will actually wash away most mosquitoes. However, Orlando likely didn’t get enough of a hurricane type force to wipe out the local populations. Additionally, a scientist in New Orleans did not see the mosquito surge they expected in the weeks after Katrina. But not so fast. There is often a latency period for these types of mosquito populations.  A perfect example of this phenomenon was the field data collected by Louisiana scientists that proved even though the weeks following Katrina didn’t immediately yield the massive numbers of the mosquitoes they would have expected, a year later scientists found that incidences of West Nile Virus actually doubled.

Hurricane Irma couple with the changing of seasons here in Orlando has led to exponentially more issues with pests like fire ants, mosquitoes, mice and rats. Envirosafe Pest Control Orlando offers one time/ event mosquito treatments or several convenient packages.  We also offer a very popular Ultra Yard Plan that includes year-around mosquito protection. Call us today at:  407-580-7124 To learn more about Mosquito-Borne Diseases please see the information below:

ZIKA:

 

Presently, the Florida Department of Health has reported that there have been no reports of zika transmissions in Orlando or Central Florida. My of the visitors to our area are understandably concerned about Zika. The often ask, “is zika virus at Walt Disney World”? The answer is there is presently no reported cases of active transmissions of the Zika virus in Orlando or Central nor has it ever been reported at Walt Disney World Resort. Visit Florida Department of Health for up-to-date information.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the best way to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses is by preventing mosquito bites. The CDC encourages the use of protective clothing and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents, which are evaluated for effectiveness. The CDC recommends the following:

Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks to cover skin, when possible.
Use Insect Repellent:
Always follow the product label instructions.
Reapply insect repellent as directed.
Do not spray insect repellent on the skin under clothing. Apply insect repellent to bare skin and clothing.
For those using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.
According to the CDC, insect repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective, for adults, when used as directed.
For Babies and Children:
Always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children.
Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old.
Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
For the latest information, check the CDC website: www.cdc.gov.

WEST NILE:

 

West Nile Virus causes mild to severe illness. The first cases of West Nile showed up in Florida in 1999. Originally identified in 1937 in Uganda, West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that can cause mild to serious illness. West Nile did not reach the states until 1999, when it first appeared in New York. By 2001, West Nile reached our sunny state of Florida. Since then, every state in the US, aside from Alaska and Hawaii, have reported human cases of WNV. It is now considered an epidemic in certain parts of the US, and outbreaks tend to peak in late summer. To date, the CDC has received over 2,038 reports of WNV.
80% of people with WNV experience no symptoms at all. Just 1% of the population develops the most serious symptoms associated with the virus, including meningitis or encephalitis, as well as serious and irreversible neurological damage, coma, paralysis, or even death.
Symptoms of WNV show up within 2 to 14 days after exposure. The most common mild symptoms include fatigue, pain/discomfort, headache, or fever. Most mild infections clear up within a couple of weeks without medical intervention. There is an effective WNV vaccine for horses, but researchers are still coming up with a human version of the vaccine.

MALARIA:

Florida in 1887:  Malaria and Alligators

 

ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS:

 

St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) is passed between birds and mosquitos. Before WNV arrived in the US, SLEV was the most common type of mosquito-transmitted disease in the states. In 2014, just 2 cases of humans with SLEV were reported, and these were the first reported cases since 2002. In 1990, 223 cases were reported in Florida, yet after the introduction of WNV in the states, cases of SLEV decreased considerably. Interestingly, researchers believe this is because WNV infections may offer immunity to SLEV in birds.
Symptoms of SLEV surface between 4 and 12 days after you are bit by an infected mosquito. Most people experience no symptoms at all, but symptoms can include headaches, fever, encephalitis, meningitis, or coma. People 50 and over are at the greatest risk of SLEV. Treatment currently includes symptomatic treatment and care.

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