National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, which takes place from June 20 to 26 every year, is an event that has become essential over the years. This is because mosquitoes are the cause of many diseases and can kill if precautions aren’t taken. For instance, a disease such as dengue still exists in many developing nations because appropriate measures are yet to be taken by the government. Learn all about mosquitoes by observing National Mosquito Control Awareness Week this year, and make sure you get the kids around you involved too! Let’s join hands and ensure America is protected from these tiny blood-sucking insects for years to come.
History of National Mosquito Control Awareness Week
Mosquitoes may seem small and irrelevant, but they have caused the deaths of thousands in the past few decades. It is important to understand their habitat, the diseases they bring, and how humans can protect themselves. Though mosquitoes are found everywhere now, did you know they didn’t always exist anywhere outside South Africa? At least this is what scientists believe! From South Africa, mosquitoes spread on to the rest of the world and evolved according to the climate of each region. The oldest mosquito fossil, according to the University of Alaska, is believed to be from 79 million years ago. There are currently about 3,000 known species. Out of these, only 176 species are found in the United States. At least 84 of these species are found in Texas alone. Scientists have also revealed that the ancient mosquitoes were about three times as large as today’s mosquitoes. The name, too, evolved over time. For instance, the Spanish called the mosquitoes ‘musketas,’ and the native Hispanic Americans called them ‘zancudos.’
From merely being blood-sucking insects, mosquitoes became feared over the years, owing to the many painful diseases caused by their bites. In fact, they can also transmit several diseases and parasites to dogs and horses, including dog heartworms, eastern equine encephalitis, and West Nile virus. The diseases they can infect humans with include malaria, dengue virus, Zika, and West Nile virus. Seeing the spread of disease, many measures were taken to eliminate mosquitoes. A national organization of mosquito control workers under the name National Mosquito Extermination Society was also formed in the U.S.
National Mosquito Control Awareness Week timeline
A yellow fever outbreak occurs in New Orleans and Pensacola.
New Jersey becomes the first state to authorize mosquito abatement districts.
Fever Outbreak Spreads
About 200,000 cases of dengue fever arise along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida.
The Newsletter is Renamed
‘The Journal of Mosquito Systematics’ newsletter is renamed ‘Mosquito Systematics.’
National Mosquito Control Awareness Week FAQs
What are three common methods to control mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes can be controlled through methods such as prevention, source reduction, larviciding, and ‘adulticiding.’
What is the best time to spray for mosquitoes?
Since mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. This is the best time to spray.
Is mosquito spraying safe?
Yes, spraying is safe and does not harm humans.
How to Observe National Mosquito Control Awareness Week
To best celebrate the day, ensure the mosquitoes in your area are eliminated by using insect-killing sprays. This is essential to protect children from being bitten by mosquitoes and catching diseases such as malaria.
Educate the young
This is the perfect week to sit the children down and explain why mosquitoes must be avoided, and why they need to apply mosquito repellants when they step out of the house. Prevention is better than a cure!
Find out about the diseases
There are numerous diseases caused by mosquitoes and we are barely aware of even half of them! Start researching and find out all the diseases you must protect yourself from. Share your findings on social media.
5 Interesting Facts About Mosquitoes
Different species with different habits
Out of the 3,000 species of mosquitoes, only a few hundred feed on human blood.
Mosquitoes that bite
Only female mosquitoes bite since blood helps their eggs develop.
Humans are not the first blood preference
Mosquitoes prefer horses, cattle, and birds over humans.
Impressive egg-laying ability
Mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at a time.
The mosquito’s lifespan
The average mosquito lives for less than two months.
Why National Mosquito Control Awareness Week is Important
It spreads awareness about diseases
The week is important because it spreads awareness about the numerous diseases that can be caused by mosquitoes. The day helps in highlighting why encounters with mosquitoes should be avoided at all costs.
It teaches us how to keep mosquitoes away
Apart from creating awareness about the diseases caused by mosquitoes, the week also discusses ways in which people can protect themselves from mosquito bites. This includes using insect-killing sprays, e.t.c.
The week is educational for people of all ages. It also gives an interesting overview of the history of mosquitoes, the number of deaths mosquito-borne diseases have caused, and other intriguing facts.
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