So it Begins…
Has anyone else had any mosquito bites yet?
Because I have! Admittedly, they absolutely adore me. No really, I am like your human mosquito detector. If they are there, I will know about it. And to make matters worse, I’m allergic to their bites.
So it goes without saying that I’ve heard pretty much every theory on why they…ahem…”love” me so much. Apparently my blood is too sweet, or my skin is too thin, and I clearly don’t eat enough garlic. But I don’t eat sugar, I can’t change my skin, and I eat garlic with almost everything.
Seriously, I love that stinky little bulb. And that restaurant where they serve a chicken with about 40 garlic cloves? That sounds like heaven to me.
But all of that is beside the point, because I shouldn’t be getting bitten in my own damn home. Well, at least not as much as I have been, and especially not in March!!!
Marauding Mosquitoes and the Diseases they Carry
The problem though, is insect screens (or rather the lack of them). You see, funny story but my dog actually ran through one of our biggest insect screens while chasing a squirrel. So of course, we’ve had a problem with insect interlopers. Which is not only annoying, irritating, and a hundred other adjectives to convey the same. But nowadays, it’s also a health issue too.
Mosquitoes have always carried diseases; they’re disgusting little creatures. But it used to be that they didn’t carry quite so many diseases (or at least not in this area). However, we’re finding more and more mosquitoes with scary diseases like West Nile Virus and Zika right here in Pennsylvania!
Now it goes without saying that West Nile Virus can make you really sick. But Zika is extra nefarious in the reproductive time bomb that it also brings! Did you know that Zika not only causes birth defects but can also be passed like an STD? That’s terrifying! Moreover, there’s also no known vaccine or cure for Zika.
Insect Screens – One of Your First Lines of Defense
As you might expect, the expert advice here is that people limit their exposure to mosquito bites. But that’s easier said than done. Because even if you cover yourself
with DEET, there are always the odd ones that still get you! (I’m looking at you, Asian Tiger Mosquito!)
In fact, the only form of protection that is 100% effective against mosquitoes (barring human error), is insect screens. They also keep out a whole host of other undesirables too. But they have to be well-fitted, and well maintained in order to work properly. A lot of us have “To Do” lists in early spring. Those of us who keep gardens begin the process of getting everything ready and putting our first crops in the ground. Those of us who like to grill start getting our outdoor areas ready. But how many of us think of going to check our screens?
A screen is only as good as the state of repair it’s in. So please, check your screens and commit to replacing and repairing as necessary. Because I guarantee that while diseases like Zika are still relatively rare in this area, you’ll be far happier this summer if you do.