Nobody embodies the phrase “small but terrible” better than mosquitoes. Their minute bodies can carry the deadliest viruses, such as Zika, dengue, and malaria. You may think they only thrive in the tropics, like southeast Asia, but some regions in the U.S. are badly plagued by pesky insects as well.
A mosquito bite may usually be harmless. The red, splotchy spot they leave on your skin just itches and then shrinks quickly anyway. But what are the chances of a mosquito bite containing a virus or parasite egg? That’s right, mosquitoes can also infect you with a live creature, but we’ll talk about that later.
For now, let’s identify some crucial pointers for building a home in a mosquito-inhabited state:
1. Mosquitoes Thrive in at Least Ten U.S. Cities
Mosquitoes prefer warm and humid regions, so these ten U.S. cities are home to many of them:
- Atlanta, Georgia — A pest control company has named Atlanta, Georgia, as the worst city for mosquito activity in 2020. The mosquito season in the state lasts for the better part of the year, so you’d need some serious prevention measures if you’d build a home there.
- Los Angeles, California — Given California’s weather, it’s not surprising why mosquito activity is high there. The state partakes in the annual Mosquito Awareness Week to warn its residents about mosquito-borne illnesses.
- Washington, D.C. — The country’s capital is a fitting capital for U.S.’s mosquito activity, too. As global warming continues to be a problem, the mosquito population in Washington grows. Their activity peaks during the spring and summer, when they start breeding.
- New York, New York — Mosquitoes seek vengeance in NYC as soon as the weather warms. You have to be particularly careful of the mosquitoes there because it has been confirmed that they carry the West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).
- Chicago, Illinois — Increased rainfall activity last year has risen mosquito presence in Chicago. The West Nile virus has also been detected in the mosquitoes that roamed around last spring.
- Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas — Once again, the West Nile virus was detected in the mosquitoes of Dallas-Forth Worth.
- Detroit, Michigan — Encephalitis may be common in this city, as its mosquitoes have been found positive for EEE.
- Charlotte, North Carolina — You’d also need some extensive mosquito control. The city’s mosquitoes have also been tested positive for both West Nile and EEE.
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — The West Nile virus also infects the mosquitoes in this city. Observe extra caution if you’re building your home in the spring or summer, especially when it rains.
- Miami, Florida — The rising tides may be the culprit for the growing mosquito problems in Miami. Florida is also the home for a specific breed of mosquito, the black salt marsh mosquito, which breeds in saltwater.
2. Mosquito is the Deadliest Animal in the World
Small but terrible, and also deadly. If you’ve never had a mosquito-borne disease, that’s not a reason to underestimate the insect’s capabilities. It causes dengue fever, which kills over 20,000 children every year. It also causes malaria, one of the deadliest parasitic infections in the world.
The West Nile virus, though not usually causing symptoms, can still lead to severe illness in about 1 in 150 people. And finally, EEE causes inflammation in the brain, which has life-threatening consequences.
Not only that, but mosquitoes can also carry botfly eggs, and transfer it into humans. If you get bitten by a carrier, the eggs will eventually hatch and turn into larvae. In turn, the larvae will burrow into your skin, causing excruciating pain and a sharp, crawling sensation. They can be extracted with tweezers, but severe cases require surgery.
3. Cover Water Containers in the Construction Site
To prevent mosquitoes from wreaking havoc on the site, don’t leave standing water unattended. If the water is in a container, cover the container with a lid. Turn over empty containers, in case rainwater fills them up. Safely dispose of any unused container that can be a potential breeding site.
If you’re building a pool, fill it with treated water. For an outdoor spa, ensure that it’s always covered. Clean the drains and gutters regularly as well. You may also need to trim grasses and check other areas where puddles can form.
4. Have Mosquito-repellent Plants in Your Garden
As your home nears completion, fill your garden with mosquito-repellent plants. These include catnip, citronella, lavender, lemon balm, marigold, basil, and more. But even if they repel mosquitoes, don’t tend to them unprotected. Anytime you’d go out of the house, especially during the mosquito season, wear insect repellent.
Mosquitoes are either totally harmless or extremely unforgiving, and your chances of encountering the latter are high if you’d live in a mosquito-plagued region. So make your home a hostile environment for them, even during the construction phase.