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While it is true that certain types of birds and bats eat mosquitoes, putting up bird and bat houses on your property will not necessarily help prevent the transmission of the West Nile Virus. Several agencies have tried to control mosquitoes by using birds, bats, dragonflies, and frogs. However, according to the American Mosquito Control Association, there is no proof that bats, purple martins, or other animals that eat insects are able to eat enough adult mosquitoes to make a difference.
One reason for this is because purple martins fly and eat during the day and most mosquitoes are active at night. In addition, most bats eat June bugs and moths but do not eat mosquitoes. Also, bats can transmit the rabies virus, and encouraging them to live in your yard could pose a health risk to your family and neighbors.
Mosquito control can be divided into two areas of responsibility - individual and public. Public spraying to control mosquitoes is just one of many pest control methods used for effective long-term mosquito control. The reduction, elimination, or treatment of mosquito breeding areas is the best and most cost-effective technique for mosquito control. The most important things you and the citizens of your community can do to reduce the risk of exposure to the West Nile Virus are to eliminate mosquito-breeding areas in your environment and limit your exposure to feeding mosquitoes. Many female mosquitoes can lay 100 to 300 eggs on the surface of fresh or stagnant water every third night during its life span.
Here are some simple things you can do to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites in your environment:
No. West Nile Virus is spread to humans mainly through the bite from an infected mosquito. There is no proof that West Nile virus can be spread from person to person or from animal to person.
West Nile Virus transmission to people only occurs from the bite of an infected mosquito. Keep in mind, most people who become infected with West Nile Virus will have no symptoms at all. About 20% of people infected with West Nile Virus may develop mild flu-like symptoms. Less than 1% of those bitten by infected mosquitoes become severely ill.
To be tested for the West Nile Virus, you should contact your health-care provider. If necessary, a blood sample will be taken and sent to a laboratory for testing. Some states and jurisdictions are no longer collecting dead birds because they have sufficiently established that the virus is in an area, and additional testing will not reveal any more information. Shifting resources away from testing of dead birds allows those resources to be devoted elsewhere in surveillance and control.
You are right. Studies show that they actually attract mosquitoes into your yard. In addition, most insects killed by bug zappers include moths, beetles, and other harmless bugs - not mosquitoes. Mosquito control products are big business.
Americans have invested billions of dollars in zappers, repellers, and other products that claim they will keep pesky mosquitoes from biting. In almost every case, the merits of the product are rarely backed with scientific testing. All products should be thoroughly researched before you purchase them. Your best bet would be to use a proven method for keeping your home and property mosquito-free.
Some states and jurisdictions are no longer collecting dead birds because they have sufficiently established that the virus is in an area, and additional testing will not reveal any more information. Shifting resources away from testing of dead birds allows those resources to be devoted elsewhere in surveillance and control.