The familiar buzz of a certain annoying insect can already be heard across north Mobile County. Mosquito season has arrived early, and they are out in full force already. A combination of a mild winter, recent heavy rains, and unseasonably warm weather now have created the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. The problem has not been relegated to our area alone. The entire country is dealing with this major nuisance.
Mosquitoes are more dangerous than their tiny bite implies. Some even consider them the most dangerous animal on Earth. The problem with mosquitoes is that they can transmit diseases. They are known to carry such deadly diseases as malaria, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. Because the insect is so plentiful it is very efficient in spreading diseases to many people in a short amount of time.
The country went through a West Nile virus scare during much of the past decade. The disease peaked in 2003 with 9862 cases. Of those cases 264 proved fatal. Mosquitoes are particularly deadly in third world countries that lack a health care system capable of handling large scale outbreaks of diseases that mosquitoes transmit.
Mosquitoes have a four stage life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. They usually lay their eggs in standing water. The first three life stages mostly stay in the water. These stages last 5-14 days. Mosquitoes can live as adults for as little as a week to as long as several months.
To help prevent mosquitoes around your house, make sure there is no standing water when possible. Don’t allow buckets, kid’s pools, etc to fill with rain water and sit for days. These make perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Mobile County will not begin spraying for mosquitoes until April 1, but they will come out and spray your yard individually. To get them to come out, call the Mobile County Health Department Mosquito Control at 251-690-8124.