Archive for category end Malaria in Africa

Smelly Socks Help Fight Malaria

While this sock may repulse most of us, it attracts malaria-carrying mosquitoes

While this sock may repulse most of us, it attracts malaria-carrying mosquitoes

This story out of London, I must admit, made me giggle. How many of us have unfortunately received an unwanted whiff of smelly feet? I have and it’s gross, but apparently smelly socks are joining the fight against malaria. Yes, socks may help fight the most dangerous mosquito-borne disease.

In a recent lab study, mosquitoes were introduced to smelly dirty socks. The mosquitoes that were infected and were carrying malaria were more attracted to the odor than those without the disease. In fact, they were three times more likely to be attracted to the smelly socks.

So what does it mean? As Dr. James Logan of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine explains, “every time we identify a new part of how the malaria mosquito interacts with us, we’re one step closer to controlling it better.” Source.

Up until this point, scientists didn’t know if carrying malaria made a mosquito more attracted to humans. This research, proved that. The hope is that traps can be created to target malaria mosquitoes using their sense of smell. By using smell as the trigger, scientists believe it would be difficult for the pests to avoid traps. Andrew Reed, a professor of biology and entomology at the University of Pennsylvania, explains that “the only way mosquitoes could (develop resistance) is if they were less attracted to human odors. And if they did that and started feeding on something else, that would be fine.” Source.

The next step in researching and developing a trap is to synthetically reproduce the foot odor, which has to be just right. Mosquitoes have very keen senses of smell so extensive testing will be needed to pinpoint the chemicals that attract them and the create the right balance.

Mosquitoes are the most deadly animal on earth due to the number of disease they transmit through their bites. Malaria, in particular, is estimated to kill 600,000 people a year. Most of those deaths take place in Africa. What a lot of people don’t realize is that malaria is both preventable and treatable. At Mosquito Squad, we do our part in helping fight malaria through our partnership with Malaria No More. Malaria No More is a nonprofit whose goal is to stop malaria deaths in Africa.  They raise awareness and funds to help provide protective bed nets, malaria tests and malaria treatments.

For many of us in the United States, we weren’t alive or remember a time when malaria was an issue in our country, but it was. The Centers for Disease Control was first created with the goal of eradicating malaria from the US. Insecticide was sprayed by airplanes as well as around homes and by the beginning of the 1950s, malaria was no longer considered an issue in the United States.

While our pest control company locations help fight mosquitoes and the diseases they carry here, we are always following the latest news on what is happening in the fight to end malaria. If you would like to learn more about malaria and Malaria No More, please visit their website. You can help fight malaria by donating at SwatMalaria.net.

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

World Malaria Day and Mosquito Squad Service Day

At Mosquito Squad, we pride ourselves on being more than just a tick and mosquito control company; we are a company that cares about our local and global communities. Next week we are celebrating two special days for Mosquito Squad: World Malaria Day and Mosquito Squad Service Day.

Mosquitoes, as many of you know, are the deadliest animal on the planet, killing millions of people every year! How do they do it? They transmit diseases including malaria, West Nile, Encephalitis and Dengue fever through their bite. The most serious and deadly illness they transmit is malaria. Malaria kills a child in Africa every minute. Every minute! The worst part? It is both a preventable and treatable disease. Many people don’t realize that malaria was a serious issue in the United States in the 1950s until it was eradicated, yet the epidemic continues in other parts of the world.

Dread Skeeter and the rest of the Mosquito Squad is happy to support Malaria No More in their mission to end malaria deaths in Africa

Dread Skeeter and the rest of the Mosquito Squad is happy to support Malaria No More in their mission to end malaria deaths in Africa

While Mosquito Squad fights mosquito-borne disease domestically with our mosquito control options for the yard, we help fight malaria internationally through our support of Malaria No More. Malaria No More has made huge strides in fighting this deadly disease in Africa by providing protective bed nets, malaria tests and malaria treatment. While malaria deaths in Africa are down 33% since they started, we have a long way to go to reach their goal of ending malaria deaths in Africa by 2015.

Next Thursday, April 25th, is World Malaria Day. On this day, we ask our clients and supporters to help fight malaria by making a donation to Malaria No More through SwatMalaria.net. Any amount will help to save the lives of children in Africa.

The day after World Malaria Day is Mosquito Squad Service Day where our franchisees are committed to giving back to their local communities. From planting trees or picking up a public park, our franchisees are donating their time. Here in Richmond, our corporate support team is teaming up with Mosquito Squad of North Richmond and Mosquito Squad of South Richmond to plant trees on a city block. I’ll be sharing pictures and details of the day after the event. Who knows, Dread Skeeter may even make an appearance!

Every day, we at Mosquito Squad are lucky enough to protect our clients’ properties from annoying and dangerous ticks and mosquitoes. Our mosquito control services are effective in enhancing the outdoor living experience on a property. We are thrilled to provide our service, but we are happy to give back too.

If you are interested in learning more about Mosquito Squad, our services or our partnership with Malaria No More, please contact your local Squad.

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Mosquito Squad Attends the Malaria No More International Honors

At Mosquito Squad, we provide our customers with effective mosquito control, but we also believe it’s important to educate and fight against dangerous vector-borne diseases. Our desire to help led us to our partnership with Malaria No More, a non-profit organization whose mission is to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015.

Mosquito Squad Brand strategist Larry Spada, marketing manager Karin Harrison, Mosquito Squad of Nashville owner Patrick McKennon, Malaria No More Peter Chernin and Mosquito Squad support member Adam Shew and the 2012 International Honors. (Photo by Scott Gries/Invision for Malaria No More/AP Images)

Last week, Malaria No More had their 2012 International Honors dinner in New York City. We were fortunate enough to be involved too! Three members of our support team and one of our franchisees, Patrick McKennon, who provides mosquito control in Nashville, were invited to help honor one of MNM founders, Peter Chernin.

Emceed by Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers, the night honored Chernin for his efforts and contributions in the fight against malaria. Malaria is both a preventable and treatable disease that is rampant in parts of Africa. A child dies every minute due to the mosquito transmitted illness. MNM raises money to stop the spread of malaria by giving bed nets for families. They also have teams on the ground in Africa delivering treatment at clinics.

As Chernin explains: “Ending deaths from malaria represents an unprecedented opportunity to effect global change. The world has made a tremendous impact in just six years, reducing malaria deaths by one-third in Africa by driving funding, attention and education needed to stamp out this disease.”

Chernin and McKennon (Photo by Scott Gries/Invision for Malaria No More/AP Images)

A highlight of the trip was seeing Mosquito Squad of Nashville’s Patrick McKennon present a check to the organization for $11,000. The Mosquito Squad – Malaria No More relationship is one that he takes incredibly seriously and he was able to raise the money through contributions from his clients as well as personal funds. We at the corporate office are so happy and proud to see his commitment to Malaria No More.

In addition to Chernin and Meyers speaking at the event, NBC Smash star Katharine McPhee recounted her trip to Africa with Malaria No More and what it meant to her.

If you are interested in helping fight malaria, visit SwatMalaria.net to donate.

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

Cellphones help to fight malaria?

No. I’m not talking about mosquito repelling phone apps here. Researchers in Kenya are using cell phone data from millions of cell phone users to track the prevalence of mosquitoes in certain areas:  “That data was used to track where people traveled. The researchers then superimposed maps of population density and the rate of infection of malaria. The prevalence of the number of people infected with the disease combined with the travel data was then used to establish a per-day probability that a person would be infected if they visited a specific location.” Source.

Researchers were able to see why there were rises in malaria cases where mosquitoes aren’t common. It was because people were traveling to areas where mosquitoes carrying malaria were very common. After being bitten, those people returned home, carrying malaria with them. With this data, travelers are more informed on their personal health safety when it comes to this preventable, but deadly disease.

Although this study was first used to study malaria, researchers are already looking at other ways to use it, including tracking Dengue fever which is prominent in many tropical locations. They actually believe that Dengue will be easier to track because it’s more common in urban areas where there are more cellphone towers, which means more human movement data. Malaria, on the other hand, is more prevalent in rural areas.

Help Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad get rid of Malaria

Help Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad get rid of Malaria

At Mosquito Squad, we are interested to see more from this study. It could help people protect themselves properly before traveling to places where their probability of being infected with malaria is high resulting in more people getting sick.

Malaria, as I mentioned is preventable, yet it kills a child in Africa every minute. We’re proud supporters of Malaria No More whose goal is to end all malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. They’re making great strides towards their goal by providing protective bed nets to families. One ten dollar bed net has the ability to protect a mother and two small children while they sleep at night.

To donate to Malaria No More, please visit SwatMalaria.net.

, , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Mosquito Squad Joins Malaria No More to Draw Attention to Malaria Epidemic Through World Malaria Day on April 25, 2012

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad helping Malaria No More

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad helping Malaria No More

Tomorrow is the fifth annual World Malaria Day and this year’s theme is simple: “Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria.” To help do our part, Mosquito Squad continues to support Malaria No More in its goal of reaching near zero deaths in Africa by 2015. In fact, we recently committed more than $50,000 to help fight this treatable and preventable disease. If you want to help us in our fight against malaria, donate at SwatMalaria.net on World Malaria Day!

Established by the World Health Assembly, World Malaria Day was started in 2007 to provide “education and understanding of malaria.” Its first theme was “Malaria – a disease without borders.” Although malaria is heavily concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, it, at times, reached epidemic levels in many parts of the world, including Europe and North America.

In honor of World Malaria Day, here are some facts about the disease that you may not know:

  • The world malaria comes from the Italian words for “bad air” because the disease was first thought to be a result of bad swamp air.
  • It is the world’s deadliest disease, killing over 650,000 people a year, most of which are children
  • Some Egyptian mummies show signs of malaria
  • Aristotle, Homer and Hippocrates all described the symptoms of malaria in their works
  • Shakespeare alludes to malaria in eight of his plays
  • In Europe, it spread as far north as Russia
  • The Incas were the first to find relief from malaria using bark from the cinchona tree
  • George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant all suffered from the disease
  • British physician Ronald Ross was the first to discover that malaria was carried by the mosquito in 1897
  • The US Center for Disease control was initially set up with the mission to control the spread of malaria
  • Malaria was eradicated in the US in the 1950s
  • Malaria mosquitoes need to drink blood every three days
  • Symptoms of the disease usually appear 10-15 days after a person is infected

World Malaria Day is a day to spread awareness of the disease as well as a day to take action. A donation of just $10 to Malaria No More can help protect a mother and three small children against this terrible illness. To give now, visit SwatMalaria.net.

, , , , ,

1 Comment

Helping Minimize Malaria Deaths in Africa – You can help

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad helping Malaria No More

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad helping Malaria No More

A few years ago, Mosquito Squad joined Malaria No More in its goal toward near zero malaria deaths in in Africa by 2015 and we are happy to continue our support.

Malaria is rampant in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, killing a child nearly every minute, yet it is both preventable and treatable. Malaria No More helps fight the growth of malaria by helping to provide protective bed nets at $10 apiece.

At Mosquito Squad, we have committed more than $50,000 to the effort and encourage our nearly 100 franchisees to provide information and ways to donate to their customers. “We are so fortunate that parents in our country don’t worry about the possibility of their children contracting malaria,” says Scott Zide, president of Outdoor Living Brands, Mosquito Squad’s parent company. “We can’t think of a better organization that fits with our values and our corporate goals of making our world a better, safer place to live, not only in backyards across America but in the villages of Africa as well.”

Take a look at the video below and donate to Malaria No More at SwatMalaria.net.

, , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Bill Gates Donates $750 Million to Help Fight Malaria

Last week, Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates pledged $750 million (yes, you heard that correctly, $750 million) to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The fund had to cancel over $1 billion of spending last year that would have gone to expanding programs fighting the diseases. Gates explained “These are tough economic times, but that is no excuse for cutting aid to the world’s poorest” – source.

The Global Fund was created in 2002 “to dramatically increase resources to fight three of the world’s most devastating diseases, and to direct those resources to areas of greatest need,” source. In the case of malaria, the Global Fund has helped to provide over 230 million mosquito nets to protect against infection. 230 million malaria drug treatments have also been send to Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia where the spread of malaria is most prevalent.

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad helping Malaria No More

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad helping Malaria No More

We’re happy to see that a big name like Bill Gates is bringing more attention to something that is dear to our heart: fighting malaria. What a lot of people don’t know is that malaria was common in the United States until the 1940s when National Malaria Eradication Program addressed the growing problem. The program included “drainage, removal of mosquito breeding sites and spraying of insecticides.” – source.

Malaria is both preventable and treatable, yet it still takes a life every minute. Every minute! To do our part, Mosquito Squad has partnered with Malaria No More in their quest to end malaria deaths by 2015. If you are interested in donating, please visit SwatMalaria.net.

, , , , ,

1 Comment

%d bloggers like this: