Best Insect Traps

What are mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes are small insects that carry malaria and other diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika virus. They have been known to cause some severe infections. Mosquito bites may cause minor symptoms like redness or swelling at the bite site. However, they can lead to serious complications including encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the nose and throat), and even death.

How do mosquitoes transmit disease?

The mosquito’s saliva contains a protein called Plasmodium falciparum. When bitten by a mosquito, it will usually infect you with this parasite if not treated immediately. If untreated, the infection can progress rapidly and result in a coma or death. There are several ways that mosquitoes spread malaria:

Biting flies (drosophila)

These tiny insects carry the parasite, which then travels through your blood stream to your liver where it multiplies and causes inflammation of the liver causing jaundice (yellowing of skin). This condition results in low blood sugar levels leading to fatigue, weakness, headache and nausea.

Tsetse fly

This fly is a carrier of the parasite and also causes the disease itself. This is one of the most dangerous forms of malaria since it can be fatal without immediate medical attention.

The tsetse fly harbours the parasite, which enters your bloodstream through contaminated blood when bitten by these flies. The disease is also known as visceral malaria since it attacks internal organs like the brain, lungs, and heart.

While malaria is most common in tropical and subtropical areas, the disease has been found all around the world. You can also contract the disease through blood transfusions and other contaminated body fluids, or from an infected mother to her unborn child.

What are some other mosquito-borne diseases?

There are several other mosquito-borne diseases, which can affect you and your family. A few of the most common mosquito-borne diseases include:

Zika virus

Zika is a virus spread to humans primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.

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These symptoms normally last for several days to a week. Once infected, there is no specific treatment and most people will recover without complications. However, several cases have shown the virus can also cause severe neurological birth defects in unborn children when the mother is infected during pregnancy.

West Nile virus

West Nile is a disease of the central nervous system spread by infected mosquitoes. The most common symptoms are fever, headache, neck pains, and vomiting.

Other symptoms include muscle weakness, vision loss, and paralysis. In some cases, encephalitis or meningitis can also occur. Most people recover with no long-term effects, but a small number of people may suffer permanent damage.

Dengue fever

Dengue is a severe flu-like illness that causes sudden fever, aching bones, rash, and headache. Dengue fever is caused by any of four different types of the dengue virus, which is spread by daytime biting mosquitoes.

Dengue can develop into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) causing bleeding, low blood pressure, and organ failure. The illness can be deadly without proper medical treatment.

Chikungunya

Chikungunya is an illness that causes severe joint pain and affects infants and children more than adults. Other symptoms include fever, muscle pain, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

Chikungunya is caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. This disease doesn’t always show symptoms but can last for several weeks. Most people recover completely but in some cases, the joint pain may persist for many months or even years.

How can you keep mosquitoes away from your property?

There are several things that you can do to keep mosquitoes from being a nuisance on your property. Although mosquitoes are known for carrying diseases, most bites do not carry a risk of infection and are simply an annoyance. Some ways that you can keep mosquitoes from being a nuisance on your property are:

Keep swimming pools clean and chlorinated

Keep bird baths clean and empty them after use

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Stock ornamental pools with goldfish, as they eat mosquito larvae

Cover water storage containers like buckets, drums, or wheelbarrows

Seal all cracks and crevices in and around your home where water can collect

Turn over unused containers so they can’t collect water

Repair roof leaks

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Sources & references used in this article:

Comparing the efficiency of insect traps by CB Williams – Bulletin of Entomological Research, 1951 – repository.rothamsted.ac.uk

Three non-toxic insect traps useful in trapping wasps enemies of honey bees by N Bacandritsos, I Papanastasiou, C Saitanis… – Bulletin of …, 2006 – researchgate.net

Non-setting adhesives for insect traps by L Ryan, DH Molyneux – International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, 1981 – Springer

Recent modifications in the design of Malaise insect traps with a summary of the insects represented in collections by N Marston – Journal of the Kansas entomological society, 1965 – JSTOR

The use of various insect traps for studying psocid populations by R Roesli, R Jones – Proceedings of the 6th International …, 1994 – spiru.cgahr.ksu.edu

A technique for measuring trapping efficiency of electric insect traps by AW Hartstack Jr, JP Hollingsworth… – Journal of Economic …, 1968 – academic.oup.com

Insect traps tested as an aid to pest management in milled rice stores by RJ Hodges, H Halid, DP Rees, J Meik… – Journal of Stored Products …, 1985 – Elsevier

Summary of investigations of electric insect traps by TE Hienton – 1974 – books.google.com