In our little quiz we asked you to name the deadliest creature on earth. There was a broad range of answers including cows, bees, spiders, rats and cats. But your number one answer was Humans. The accurate answer is not humans even though we assume so because of bombs, wars. and nuclear devices. This may be an accurate answer if we include all the wars and senseless killings throughout civilization, but annually humans cause fewer deaths than the top killer on the list.
Before we get to the actual answer, you may be surprised to know that domestic dogs are very high on the list, causing 40,000 deaths annually. Second only to snakes that claim 50,000 lives annually. There's a huge gap between until we get to the Assassin bug, which claims 12,000 lives annually, because of Chagas disease that enters the blood stream. The Tsetse fly, is responsible for Sleeping Sickness and claims 9,000 lives. We might guess lions, tigers and bears to be fairly high on the list, but they claim a small number in comparison to all others. About 100 annually. Some guessed Hippo's. Well they do kill more than lions and elephants annually, but still well under the leading culprit with 500 lives annually. Crocodiles are bad dudes and in the news fairly frequently, due to the 1,000 lives they take annually, BUT the tapeworm and roundworm claim even more lives, 2,000 and 2,500 respectively. And though Sharks have been in the news a lot lately, their average death toll is 10.
From snakes to our two finalists, there's another huge gap in annual deaths. Even today we cannot dispute the effects of rats with their roll in the loss of thousands of lives during the Bubonic Plague, and that continue to cause death and infection into this century from the rat flea infestation. Each year there are some reports of death caused by those fleas. And though many of you believe Humans are the deadliest creature, humanity claim 475,000 lives annually. Second ONLY to the deadly Mosquito that claims 725,000 lives by transmitting malaria, West Nile and countless other diseases, causing another 200 million people to be affected in one way or another by the diseases transmitted. In the news most recently is the Zika virus, spread by mosquitoes, and other avenues of transmission by unsuspecting victims, that causes deformities in unborn babies, and has now been found in more than 20 US States. Mosquitoes are not just deadly to humans but they also cause diseases in animals. West Nile affects fowl of which are first indicators when there is an outbreak. Fowl pox (not to be confused with chicken pox) is a problem primarily in the south, but can be anywhere if mosquitoes are allowed to propagate without control; affecting poultry and though there is no cure for it, the surviving fowl will be immune. Find a link below for my article on Fowl Pox.
Let this all serve as a reminder to protect yourselves and your chickens by preventing standing water that can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. If you have stagnant ponds there is a mosquito fish that you may be able to obtain from your local fish and wildlife agency to place in the ponds to eat the mosquito larvae. Bats and Frogs are also beneficial in controlling mosquito populations. Empty all containers of stagnant water, and avoid standing water around the coops and chicken runs to prevent your birds from succumbing to water borne illnesses and diseases caused by mosquito infestation.
There are a few plants that help repel mosquitoes, that you can plant around the coops and around your active outdoor areas. The mint family, such as peppermint, catmint or catnip and lemon balm. Citronella is a well known mosquito repellent, lavender and rosemary smell nicer than Citronella and are pretty options as well as safe around your animals and fowl. Basil, marigold and geranium have pungent odors that mosquitoes are not fond of. A few containers around the picnic or patio table will not only look attractive but serve double duty by helping to keep mosquitoes at a distance. Protecting yourself, your family and your animals during mosquito season is vital. Doing what you can now, to prevent all standing water, in and around your chickens and other livestock will help keep the populations down. Mosquitoes are most active right at dusk, so whenever possible avoid outdoor activities at that time.
For more information about Fowl Pox please check out my article on the topic: http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-blog/fowl-pox-in-chickens
Chicken Coop Chatter© All copyrights reserved 2011-2017