Archive for category Mosquito prevention tricks

Could the Asian Tiger Mosquito Cause Outbreak in 2013?

The Asian tiger mosquito is one of the most easily recognizable mosquito species due to its black and white stripes. They were first discovered in the U.S. in the 1980s and have grown in population ever since. Unlike many mosquito species, the Asian tiger mosquito is known to thrive in cities like New York and now Cornell University is studying whether or not the pest can lead to an outbreak of chikungunya in 2013.

Close-up of Asian Tiger Mosquito

Close-up of Asian Tiger Mosquito

Chikungunya is a vector-borne disease that has similar symptoms to dengue fever. Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain and headaches. Chikungunya is normally brought to the United States through travelers from Africa and Asia. Cornell University has been studying the disease and its possible growth in the U.S. through the Asian tiger mosquito.

Climate warming and international travel was looked at to see how it can affect the spread of Chikungunya through a computer model. The model shows that if one person carrying the disease is bitten by an Asian tiger mosquito, there is a high probability of an outbreak, in some areas affecting 1 in every 5,000 people. According to the prediction, outbreaks could occur in New York during August and September, in Atlanta from June to September and year-round in Miami. The Asian tiger mosquito will be a significant carrier of the disease due to its urban dwelling life.

There is no vaccine for Chikungunya at this time so health officials are urging travelers and homeowners to protect themselves by ridding areas of standing water and wearing long sleeves, pants and repellent at times when mosquitoes are most active. It’s important for those travelers leaving the country to also know the risk and symptoms of the areas they travel to.

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito

While it will be interesting to see if Cornell’s predictions are correct, we at Mosquito Squad think it is always important to protect yourself from mosquitoes, ticks and the harmful disease they can spread. Asian tiger mosquitoes, like all mosquitoes, breed in standing water, and not just large bodies of water. Three hundred mosquito eggs can be laid in a puddle as small as a bottle cap! Make sure you empty any standing water from your yard at least once a week and more frequently when temperatures are warmer. Mosquito reproduction occurs more quickly in warmer temperatures.

Some properties will need professional mosquito control to rid the space of mosquitoes. For that, you have Mosquito Squad!

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Recent discoveries provide proof that man has been battling against the bite for thousands of years

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Yes, research now proves the stereotypical caveman was knowledgeable in mosquito control

When we think of things that come under the category of “pre-historic” our minds automatically gravitate towards fur loin cloths, wooden clubs and dinosaurs. However, did you know that mosquitoes have been around for over 170 million years and survived the ice age even when the dinosaurs did not? This proves that the pesky, blood sucking insects we continuously wage war upon were even a constant thorn in the sides of the cave men. Recent findings show that early man was even using primitive methods of plant-based  mosquito control remedies nearly 77,000 years ago to control their wrath.

Scientists have recently discovered evidence of bedding that was constructed from plant stems and leaves which contained a natural plant derived insecticide. This bedding would have served as much for mosquito control as for comfort at the time. The bedding was discovered in a rock shelter in Sibudu South Africa and is believed to be left by our early ancestors who slept in the shelter from 38,000 to 77,000 years ago.

Mosquito

This resilient creature survived the ice age

The use of these plants and leaves prove that the cavemen had knowledge of the specific insecticidal and medicinal uses of the plants within the world around them. Analysis of the bedding also concluded it was refurbished with the insecticidal plants and leaves on more than one occasion proving again, that the inhabitants of the Sibudu site were well aware of the properties and attributes of the plants and leaves they were choosing to “feather their beds” with at the time.  Researchers also learned from excavation of the sight that the cavemen burnt spent and used bedding in a way to possibly further mosquito control efforts within their living space and to maintain an insect free space for further occupation. This discovery is 50,000 years older than the most ancient preserved bedding we have found in the past.

Now, when you think of our earliest ancestors keep in mind the intelligence and ingenuity that may have kept them mosquito free amid a world of insect frenzy, without the conveniences we know and are accustomed to today. This is truly a miraculous discovery indeed. Our advanced technology in the world of mosquito control all lead back to early man and his battle against the bite, which research can prove has been going on for thousands of years.

No Mosquitoes

No Mosquitoes

When it comes time to enjoy those outdoor activities that we all look forward to over the winter months, contact Mosquito Squad to ensure you and your family stay mosquito free this season. Our methods are proven safe and highly effective in the ongoing battle we wage on the dreaded mosquito- and with Mosquito Squad you will come out the winner every time.

To locate the Mosquito Squad closest to your cave, visit our locations list available on our website.

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Mosquito breeding season maybe over, but West Nile Virus is still a reality for many states in the US

Dread Skeeter Mosquito Control

Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad

It is the time of year when most people think that mosquitoes are a distant memory of summer past. West Nile Virus as well as other mosquito-borne illnesses and diseases don’t rear their ugly heads until the latter part of the mosquito season. The duration of the mosquito season varies from  state to state, but typically mosquitoes are active from April until October. As 2011 draws closer to an end the CDC ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) released it’s findings for West Nile Virus for the present year-to-date  on November 29th, 2011.

The findings show that for 2011, there have been a total number of 658 reported cases of West Nile Virus in the United States so far. This number reflects both neuroinvasive as well as non-neuroinvasive cases reported. Out of the 658 reported cases of West Nile Virus, 452 of those cases were diagnosed as neuroinvasive.  Neuroinvasive West Nile Virus means that the disease affects the nervous system. This can include encephalitis which is inflammation of the brain and meningitis which is an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord. Meningitis can also lead to acute flaccid paralysis which is an inflammation of the spinal cord. Non-neuroinvasive cases reflect those patients that display less acute signs of West Nile Virus.  In many instances the true number of those affected by non-neuroinvasive aspects of the disease can differ greatly from the actual number of reported non-neuroinvasive cases because a great deal of those infected do not seek medical attention when the disease is mild. In some of the mildest cases the patient many times does not even know they are infected. All of these numbers reflect both mild and severe cases confirmed as well as probable human disease cases occurring between January 1st, to November 29th, 2011.

Photo of West Nile Virus under a microscope

Photo of West Nile Virus under a microscope

Some of the states that show the highest level of reported cases include California with 151 confirmed West Nile cases and 8 deaths as a result of the disease. Next in line are Arizona with 58 confirmed cases, Mississippi with 51, New York with 43 and Illinois and Michigan tie with 33 confirmed cases. Nationwide the total number of deaths attributed to the disease totals 40.  Only five states show non-human activity and those are Washington, Maine, Oklahoma, Oregon, and South Carolina.  There is only one state which has reported no West Nile Virus activity  either human or non-human for the year so far, and that is Maine.

This very important data  reminds us of the importance of reporting any symptoms of the disease early. The CDC’s  data also includes non-human infections and deaths reported by way of birds and other animals. If a high number of dead birds are reported in a specific geographical region it alerts the CDC and local health departments in that area to be on the alert for human cases that may present themselves.

Mosquito

The mosquito is responsible for this years current West Nile numbers

In all our efforts to prevent and control mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illness, including nationwide, statewide and down to our own backyards we all hope each year that the impact of West Nile is less. These finding remind us that before we know long mosquitoes will begin breeding again and now is the time to plan for the upcoming season. The winter months give us a great opportunity to inspect our own surroundings and devise a mosquito control plan for the upcoming season to keep our families safe from mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile. Take time to inspect your property for areas that are prone to hold water such as lawn and patio furniture, children’s play areas, bird baths, planters left from spring blooms and even gutters to ensure they are free of debris. Check any screened areas or windows for damage or tears and have them repaired before spring arrives. Getting your property in tip-top shape before the arrival of the mosquito season will start a good habit and help keep you safe and bite free. Hiring a professional mosquito control company to ensure you are on schedule prior to the invasion of mosquitoes in April is also a great way to keep mosquitoes and the diseases they harbor out of your property and out of your life.

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Mosquito Squad has a safe and effective way to keep mosquitoes and the risk of mosquito-borne illness out of your property. Our mosquito programs will begin at the dawn of the 2012 mosquito season. We offer a worry free mosquito control program that entails Mosquito Squad’s barrier spray service scheduled at regular intervals to kill and prevent mosquitoes all season long. Contact Mosquito Squad to learn more. You can contact a Mosquito Squad location close to home by visiting our website at http://www.mosquitosquad.com/ContactUs.html

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The vicious cycle of West Nile Virus from the beginning to the end

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Mosquito Squad wants you to learn the facts about West Nile Virus."

As many of you already know West Nile Virus is a virus spread to humans and animals through the bite of a mosquito that has become infected with the virus through feeding off an infected bird.  The question is how does the infected bird become infected with West Nile in the first place?

The cycle of West Nile begins with a mosquito which transmits  the virus to a bird by way of the mosquito feeding from the bird, once the bird has become infected it serves as an amplifying host by developing levels of the virus that are sufficient enough to promote infection to other biting mosquitoes and thus pass it on to us  and other birds and animals through the bite of the infected mosquito that fed from the bird, which was already initially infected by a mosquito to begin with. Although quite confusing, the cycle is also complex, naming the mosquito the guilty party where all aspects of infection from West Nile are concerned. This vicious cycle carries out over and over again and amplifies the disease in birds. The disease was first identified in Uganda in  1937 and  since then has been commonly identified in the Middle eastern regions of the world, Africa and Western Asia. The virus had not been identified in the U.S. until an outbreak in New York in September, 1999. Since the New York outbreak more than 30,000 people have been reported with the virus and out of those 1,200 have perished from the virus. As of 2011 46 states have reported outbreaks of West Nile.

Blue Jays and crows are more likely to die from West Nile Virus than other birds.

Blue Jays and crows are more likely to die from West Nile Virus than other birds.

Many types of birds are likely to be infected with the West Nile Virus, but studies have shown that crows and blue jays are more likely to perish from the infection. In the 1999 New York area West Nile epidemic there was a huge die off of crows from the disease. Since this occurrence more than 200 species of birds found dead in the United States have tested positive for the virus. There is a detailed species list available through the CDC website that identifies the infected birds mortality rate from 1999 to present. You may visit here to view the list  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/birdspecies.htm The identification of these species were reported thanks to the help of the public reporting cases of dead birds to their state and local health departments whom is responsible for collection and testing of dead birds all across the US.

Mosquito

The root of the West Nile epidemic lies in the mosquito.

Birds serve as vectors, or intermediate carriers for the disease from the minute the infected mosquito bites them. In many cases sick birds won’t show any sign of the virus and in other cases birds can just fall out of the sky dead from the virus. When a human becomes infected with the virus it can take on three forms, one of which is an asymptomatic  infection, the second is West Nile fever which is a mild febrile syndrome and the third is the most severe form of the virus which is called West Nile meningitis and West Nile encephalitis. Meningitis and encephalitis are neuroinvasive disorders which causes acute swelling of the membrane and lining of the brain and the brain itself.

Since there is no immunization for protecting us from West Nile the best way to lessen the chances of becoming infected with the virus is to minimize the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Taking control of your property is key to controlling mosquito populations.

Here are some helpful hints to keep mosquitoes away…

  • Keep your property mowed and free of debris and brush piles.
  • Keep your bushes and plantings trimmed, tidy and avoid letting them get overgrown
  • Make sure gutters and downspouts are free of debris that might cause moisture to collect
  • Tip, toss out and turn over outdoor items that are not in use or those that may serve as reservoirs for moisture
  • Check screened areas for rips or tears frequently and repair immediately to avoid mosquitoes from entering your home
  • Frequently dump and refill bird baths or other areas where water can stand and serve as a place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs
  • Have you property treated by a licensed professionall to kill and control mosquitoes
Mosquito_Squad_spraying_your_yard

Mosquito Squad can help you take control of your property and keep it mosquito free.

Mosquito Squad is dedicated to keeping you and your family safe from mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus. Our safe and effective barrier spray , as well as out mosquito misting systems offer you outstanding mosquito control. Contact us today to learn more at 877-667-7823

804.353.6999 • info@mosquitosquad.com

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Is there trouble brewing in that mud puddle?

An underwater army of Culex larvae, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

An underwater army of Culex mosquito larvae, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Mosquitoes cannot exist without water, and I don’t mean just to serve as to keep them hydrated. Female mosquitoes need water in order to lay their eggs and carry on the cycle of life, and thus preserve the nature of the mosquito species itself. Many folks think that it takes a large amount of water for mosquitoes to lay eggs in. This is a common misconception. The truth is it takes very little water at all for a female mosquito to lay hundreds and even thousands of eggs to nurture her blood-thirsty offspring.

Many sources of water that are commonplace in any yard, on any street and around every house and business can be a source for concern. Mosquitoes are known vectors of illnesses and diseases such as West Nile Virus, Malaria, Meningitis and Encephalitis just to name a few, therefore citizens should become educated in the manner and locations that could potentially serve as a Petri dish for disease.

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free.

Storm drains, road ditches, flower pots, mud puddles, discarded soda bottles, children’s outdoor toys and even crevices in trees that can hold water make perfect nurseries for Mrs. Mosquito to carry on her legacy of irritation, pain and disease. All around the US, record rainfalls  this season have produced swollen rivers, lakes and creeks that can boost the population of mosquitoes across the country. There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes around the world all looking for a place to carry on the family name, so here are some ways to reduce the chances of making your property attractive to expectant female mosquitoes.

  • Inspect the areas around your home and property often and discard any items that are collecting moisture
  • Tip, toss, turn over and throw out any items not in use or that serve no purpose other than as water reservoirs
  • Make sure to keep your property trimmed of overgrowth and free of debris
  • Keep gutters and storm drains free of brush and debris that can cause water to accumulate
  • Empty and change water in bird baths and wading pools at least once per week
  • Inspect screens on windows and doors to make certain mosquitoes don’t find their way indoors
  • Have your property treated by a licensed professional
Mosquito life cycle, courtesy of Leon County Mosquito Control, Tallahassee, Florida.

Mosquito life cycle, courtesy of Leon County Mosquito Control, Tallahassee, Florida. ( Notice the blue area that shows the importance of water on the mosquitoes life cycle)

These simple safeguards can keep your and your family safe from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. Mosquito Squad is waging war on these pests with our mosquito control and prevention programs . Our safe and effective barrier spray is highly beneficial as part of keeping mosquitoes off your property.  Our  Barrier sprays are applied at regularly scheduled intervals during the season to keep you mosquito free all season long. We also offer an automatic mosquito misting system that disperses a spray at timed intervals throughout the entire day.

Even though mosquitoes have been around for over 170 million years, Mosquito Squad can help you take control of your property to keep you and your family safe and mosquito-free. Contact us today to learn more

804.353.6999 • info@mosquitosquad.com

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The Culiseta melanura mosquito is putting the elderly at risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Dread_versions2

Learn the 5 "T's" in mosquito prevention and tell those mosquitoes "bite me"

Most people think that EEE, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, is a disease that only strikes equine such as horses, ponies, mules and donkeys. Though in most cases humans are not at as great a risk of contracting EEE, those with compromised immune systems and health problems, especially among the elderly, are at a higher risk of contracting the illness. EEE is characterized by causing swelling of the brain, although some who  become infected will be asymptomatic. Those older individuals that become infected with the virus are more vulnerable to experiencing the more severe side of EEE than most. Early symptoms of EEE  are headache, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, cyanosis, convulsions and coma.

What is EEE?

EEE or Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a virus that is spread through the bite of a mosquito carrying the virus. The virus is maintained between a cycle of the mosquito and a bird, and some cases is passed onto what is called a dead-end host such as an equine or a human. Dead end hosts mean that the virus can not be passed any further once it has reached this host.  Although many mosquito species are known vectors of the virus the Culiseta melanura mosquito has raised the alarm among states with high reports of EEE, especially among elderly residents and those that are immune compromised. Approximately one-third of all human EEE infections prove fatal.

culista melanura

Culiseta melanura

Who is the Culiseta melanura mosquito?

This mosquito can be found from Canada all the way into Florida and is unique in the way in which it is able to reproduce. Culiseta melanura are cold adapted and  have the ability to over-winter their larva until the warm temperatures of spring cause them to awake and begin their vicious cycle of feeding and spreading disease. This mosquito lays its eggs in stagnated pools and wherever water accumulates in quantities of 30 to 300 eggs at one time. This mosquito can reside in a variety of places from old tires, rotting trees to wetlands. Just like other mosquito species the male primarily feeds off nectar, and the female’s feed off blood from unwitting hosts.

Mosquito_Squad_spraying_your_yard

Mosquito Squad spraying your yard to guard against mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses.

What can I do  to prevent getting EEE?

The most important way to avoid possible infection is to make sure you don’t get bitten, because the mosquito that bites you could possibly be carrying EEE. Avoid potential mosquito infested areas, make sure to inspect your yard and areas around you home on a regular basis to keep standing water from becoming a nursery for mosquitoes. This particular species of mosquito loves moist areas.  Mosquito Squad has developed a helpful way to keep your property safe from mosquitoes by using a system called the 5 T’s of mosquito control. These helpful hints will keep standing water and areas that are prone to accumulated moisture to a minimum, when inspecting your property don’t overlook areas like gutters, and the crevices in outdoor furniture for they make perfect breeding grounds  for mosquitoes if filled with debris or moisture. You can learn more about the 5 T’s and other helpful hints by visiting http://mosquito-control-blog.com/2011/06/13/the-five-ts-in-mosquito-prevention/

The 5 T’s of mosquito control are:

  • Tip
  • Top
  • Turn over
  • Tarps ( remove)
  • Toss

If you are unable to thoroughly inspect your property yourself, then ask a loved one or friend to check the areas surrounding your home for you.

No Mosquitoes

No Mosquitoes

Another way to aid in protecting yourself is to have your yard treated by a licensed professional to kill and prevent mosquitoes that may possibly be lurking. Mosquito Squad offers a full-service mosquito control program from automatic mosquito misting systems to our safe and effective barrier sprays, both of which protect you and your family all season long from the Culiseta melanura and other species of mosquitoes as well.

Contact Mosquito Squad to learn more 877-667-7823  http://www.mosquitosquad.com/

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This silent predator is the world’s deadliest. Mosquitoes?

angry-bear

The mosquito is deadlier than a bear believe it or not.

We have witnessed bear attacks and lion attacks on the TV. The new millennium promises a reality show at every click of the remote. From hunters being chased by bears to gazelle falling prey to lions in Africa, it is all laid out for the whole world to see. Now, how would you feel if I told you the deadliest predator on earth doesn’t roar, or growl? In fact you won’t even feel it attack you until after the damage is already done. The deadliest predator on earth, my dear friends, is the mosquito. The mosquito is responsible for more deaths worldwide than wild animal attacks. The mosquito is the silent predator who strikes and leaves disease in its wake. For this reason alone the mosquito should make us all fearful for it gives no warning of it’s oncoming bite.

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito and tick free.

Haven’t you ever wondered why most times you don’t see the mosquito that left that red, itchy welt on your leg? The mosquito has the uncanny ability to bite without you knowing it is happening unless you just happen to look down and catch the act in progress. Mosquitoes actually inject a numbing agent which their bodies produce, into us as they feed from us. Many insects in nature inject a similar numbing agent while they feed, such as the bed bug. This numbing agent enables the mosquito to take their fill in a discreet way. The area that the mosquito has fed from will become itchy only after the mosquito has fed. This itching and swelling is our own bodies reaction to the anticoagulants which are also present in the mosquitoes saliva. These anticoagulants are responsible for allowing the mosquito to feed from us liberally without the complication of our blood becoming clotted during feeding. While the mosquito feeds, the blood she is taking from us fills her abdomen where a sensory nerve within her abdomen will alert her that she is full. If you were to somehow cut or disable the nerve within the mosquitoes abdomen she would actually feed off of us until she exploded!

Keep you and your family off the menu this season with Mosquito Squad

The deadliest predator on earth the mosquito.

The science of the mosquito is dangerous because with other dangerous predators you can run when you see or hear their approach, no such warning is present with the mosquito. Our only defense is to prevent them from getting to you and your family. Blood is crucial to the life cycle of the mosquito, without it the female cannot lay her eggs.

Mosquito_Squad_spraying_your_yard

Mosquito Squad spraying your yard to guard against mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile.

There are many ways to prevent and avoid mosquitoes on your property. Keeping brush and debris cleaned up, lawn mowed and gutters cleaned is a good beginning. You also need to regularly inspect your property and around your home to make sure there are no containers or crevices where moisture can accumulate. Keep in mind any area as small as a soda pop bottle top can become a nursery to over 300 mosquito eggs. Tip, toss, turn over and throw away all things that can retain any amounts of moisture. Check any screened areas around or within the home for tears and holes where mosquitoes could move in on you and your family. Have your property professionally treated by a licensed technician to kill and deter mosquitoes on your property, and above all, exercise common sense and think from the mosquitoes point of view.

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Mosquito Squad has many weapons to kill and prevent mosquitoes from entering your property. We offer an automatic mosquito misting system that releases our safe and effective mosquito control spray in timed intervals throughout the day. We also offer a season-long alternative to mosquito control that uses our safe and effective barrier sprays that are sprayed at scheduled intervals throughout the mosquito season. All Mosquito Squad products are approved by the EPA and deemed safe. We offer worry free, hassle free mosquito control that ends the reign of the silent predator in your yard.

Contact Mosquito Squad today to learn more 804.353.6999 • info@mosquitosquad.com

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