Zika, mosquito

PHOTO: CDC

Combating the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus is serious business. Business?

Many landscape and lawn care companies have been offering tick control for years to clients living near wooded or brushy areas to help combat tick-related diseases such as Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

More recently, many contractors have also added mosquito control. For the most part, these professional applicators provided this service so that property owners could entertain on their properties without being eaten alive by mosquitoes in the evenings. Now, will many of these same contractors be promoting their mosquito-control services as a health measure? What do you think?

The Zika virus, of course, has been linked to birth defect microcephaly and a growing number of other neurological conditions as well. Cases of these disorders are caused when a fetus is exposed to the virus. They began showing up in alarming numbers in Brazil in 2015. These maladies have since been confirmed in many other Latin American countries, and more recently in the United States.

The virus is spread in several ways, but primarily by the bite of several species of Aedes mosquitos. On April 11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the geographic range of Aedes mosquitos is far larger than previously thought and the effects of the disease are more damaging than previously thought.

The virus is spread in several different ways, but primarily by the bite of infected Aedes mosquito species. The CDC says the mosquito species is now found in 30 U.S. states.

The CDC’s previous map indicated Aedes mosquitos stuck along the hot and humid Gulf Coast; reached into Georgia and South Carolina; and appeared in pockets in the Southwest and California. The new map shows they might be distributed throughout the South and Southwest, and stretch into states including Maryland, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

Recently, the Obama administration asked for $1.9 billion to research and combat the spread of the Zika virus.

“We continue to be learning pretty much everyday and most of what we’re learning is not reassuring,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the CDC.

Are you thinking about adding mosquito-control services to your lineup, or changing your current marketing message to include Zika? Let us know in the comments below.