Rain followed by a couple of sunny days could produce thousands of new mosquitoes in a few short weeks. From there the problem snowballs. Before you know it your property as well as your neighbors, are swarming with mosquitoes.
Why should I worry about mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes carry a host of diseases. These include West Nile, Zika, yellow fever, malaria, and heartworm. Zika virus has been a hot topic for several summers now. The effects of the Zika virus on a newborn are devastating. South Carolina has seen several deaths in the last few years contributed to West Nile virus.
Pets can contract heartworms in two ways. First, mosquitoes don’t cause heartworms, they are only carriers. When a female mosquito feeds on an infected animal she picks up microfilariae. Microfilariae are heartworm larvae. They develop inside the female mosquito for up the 30 days becoming infective larvae. The infected larvae then transfer into the bloodstream of the mosquito’s next meal. Heartworms can grow up to a foot long and live up to 7 years. They migrate to the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Symptoms of heartworms start with an occasional cough and intolerance to exercise. Late-stage heartworm disease causes persistent cough, wheezing, breathing difficulty, loss of appetite and weight, fainting episodes, as well as tiring easily.
If you have a pet that drinks water with infected mosquito larvae in it they could contract heartworms. If you have a dog bowl outside you need to make sure you empty and clean it out before refilling it daily.