Archive for category Mosquito Types

New Mosquito Species Enters US

From time to time we see the news of a new animal or bug entering the U.S. Some don’t thrive well in our eco-system and habitat while others, like the stink bug, blossom in the new conditions. When it comes to mosquitoes, we’ve seen that a large number of species can thrive in the states and we’re now watching a new one: the Aussie Mozzie.

mosquito controlThe Aedes notoscriptus is an Australian mosquito species with the nickname the Aussie Mozzie. It was found in the Los Angeles area of California in June, its first ever spotting in the United States. As the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District’s spokesman Jason Farned explains: “in Australia this mosquito is very widespread and capable of transmitting several viruses.” Source.

The Aussie Mozzie is described to have similar characteristics as the Asian tiger mosquito. The Asian tiger mosquito received notable attention a few years ago as its population boomed. Both the Asian tiger and Aussie Mozzie are most likely to bite during the day (most mosquitoes bite around dusk and dawn). They are known city dwellers that lay their eggs in containers.

Like many other mosquito species, the Aussie Mozzie infects humans and animals with disease including the Barmah Forest and Ross River viruses. Both viruses can be serious, but are non-lethal. Their symptoms include joint pain, rashes and fever.

In addition to transmitting mosquito-borne disease to humans, the Aussie Mozzie also infects dogs with heartworm. Heartworm is one of the most serious illnesses a dog can face. Heartworm is a parasite that settles and grows in the heart and lungs of its host, most commonly the dog. Dogs with heartworm may display symptoms through coughing, exhaustion, weight loss and fainting. Once diagnosed, dogs have to through a series of treatments to kill and get rid of the heartworm that could take several months.

Currently only a few Aussie Mozzies have been confirmed in California. Homeowners in the areas have been encouraged to report any day biting mosquitoes so they can be tested. As the mosquito control experts, we at Mosquito Squad will stay on top of the news and let you know everything there is to share.

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Chikungunya Continues to Spread in Caribbean

Not even a year ago, we at Mosquito Squad became aware of a mosquito-borne illness that was growing in numbers in the Caribbean called chikungunya. The Centers for Disease Control warned travelers of the illness in December and stated that is was “very likely” to end up in the United States and now a new report from Haiti is illustrating how serious this disease can be.

Haiti reported their first chikungunya cases last week with 14 confirmed cases. Just one week later, health officials have confirmed over 1,500 cases!

mosquito controlChikungunya is transmitted through the bite of an affected Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same mosquito that transmits dengue fever and yellow fever. The Aedes aegypti is most common in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Chikungunya causes a high fever that will last several days as well as headaches, joint pain and rashes. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for the disease at this time.

Chikungunya is most common in Africa and Asia. Like many other bugs and diseases, it was brought to the Caribbean through travel. Now that mosquitoes are entering their peak breeding months, it is imperative that locals and travelers protect themselves against mosquito bites as the number of cases could easily continue to rise.

We are often asked how a mosquito infects through their bite. Only female mosquitoes bite for blood as it is necessary to produce eggs. When she injects her proboscis into the skin, she releases saliva and anti-coagulants. The viruses or diseases that the mosquito carries are present in the saliva and are transmitted through the bite.

Not all mosquitoes transmit or carry disease, but it is smart to protect yourself from them when you can. At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients with our mosquito treatments for the yard. For our seasonal clients, we visit the property every 2-3 weeks and treat the foliage and areas of the yard where mosquitoes are known to harbor. That mosquito control spray will eliminate the mosquitoes on contact and provide continuous protection for up to 21 days.

While professional outdoor pest control can reduce your mosquito population by 85-90%, you still need to protect yourself when you leave a treated property. We suggest wearing long, loose fitting clothing or spraying exposed skin with a DEET product.

If you have questions on how to protect yourself from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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The Basics of the Mosquito

Over the years, we at Mosquito Squad have shared a lot of information on mosquitoes. The different types, how they choose their prey, the diseases they carry, etc. We were excited to see a new video that was released today that provides a great snapshot on our most dreaded pest. Take a look at this video from TED-Ed, Lessons Worth Sharing:

We at Mosquito Squad are very familiar with both the annoyance and dangers of mosquitoes. For those of you that may not be aware, Mosquito Squad was born from a need. Our sister company, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, had lighting designers that would be eaten alive when designing and installing outdoor lighting systems. It was such a nuisance that our founders, Boyd Huneycutt and Scott Zide, who were involved with Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, decided to provide a service to help. From there, Mosquito Squad was born.

Mosquito Squad prides itself on giving our clients their yards back. Our effective mosquito control spray reduces your mosquito population by up to 90% for up to 21 days!

If you are looking for a gift for that hard to buy for person on your list this holiday, a gift certificate for Mosquito Squad services is something completely unexpected. Allow your friends or family members to know what summer is like without mosquito bites! For more information, reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Education During Mosquito Control Awareness Week

Next week, June 23rd through June 29th, 2013 is Mosquito Control Awareness Week, sponsored by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA). According to the AMCA, the goal of the week is to “educate the general public about the significance of mosquitoes in their daily lives and the important service provided by mosquito control workers.”

A swarm of mosquitoesAnyone who has been bitten by a mosquito knows they are annoying. The bites swell, can itch for days and, if you are like me, you’ll scratch them over and over again making them last longer. Knowing how bothersome they are is one thing, but understanding the dangers of mosquitoes is another.

Some people may not understand how dangerous mosquitoes can be. Mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on the planet due to the diseases they transmit through their bites. We may not have a problem with malaria here in the United States anymore, but that doesn’t mean we are safe from mosquito-borne disease.

Last week we discussed West Nile virus and what to expect from this sometimes deadly disease, but with Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Dengue Fever, mosquitoes can make a lot of people ill in numerous ways. And let’s not forget our canine friends. Every year, dogs are infected with heartworm through the bite of a mosquito.

At Mosquito Squad, we often talk about our professional mosquito control services, but it is important for people to understand the best ways to protect themselves against mosquitoes when they leave their protected yard. The first step is to understand mosquitoes.

While they are most active at dawn and dusk, they are out and about at all times of the day. They are usually found in areas with more mature vegetation as they feed mainly on plants (female mosquitoes need blood meals to lay their eggs).

If you are going to enjoy the sun around some water, make sure that water isn’t stagnant. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, but the eggs won’t survive in moving water. They don’t usually travel far from their breeding grounds, so if there is a lot of standing water in a certain area, there will be a lot of mosquitoes.

Cover up. If you are going to be in an area where you know there will be mosquitoes, consider wearing a loose long sleeve shirt and pants. Loose clothing is harder for mosquitoes to bite you through.

kill mosquitos and ticks at commercial venuesWhen it comes to your backyard, your best protection is mosquito treatments for your yard. Mosquito Squad’s mosquito barrier spray kills adult mosquitoes on contact and provides 21 days of protection thereafter. By spraying the areas that mosquitoes are known to feed and live, we are able to get rid of 85-90% of mosquitoes on your property. If you aren’t satisfied with the results, we’ll come back and spray your yard again.

If you have any questions on Mosquito Control Awareness Week or how you can protect yourself and your friends and family from these annoying (an dangerous) pests, contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Asian Tiger Mosquito is Nothing Compared to the Mega – Mosquito

The Asian tiger mosquito population has been growing of the last few years. The black and white stripes on their body and legs are easily recognizable. As the Asian tiger mosquito continues to bite people as they enjoy they outdoor living spaces a new mosquito is coming to Florida: the mega-mosquito (yes, I’m serious)!

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Imagine this Asian tiger mosquito, except 20 times larger and you have the mega-mosquito!

As the name suggests, the mega-mosquito is a much larger mosquito specie, up to 20 times larger than the Asian tiger mosquito!  They have the same black and white stripes as the Asian tiger mosquito, but are known to be much more aggressive and the bites hurt! As Entomologist Paul Kaufman explains, the mega-mosquito isn’t new to the United States, “When you read historical accounts of the first European settlers in the Southeast and they talked about gigantic mosquitoes, this was the one they were talking about.” Source.

Researchers believe that the 2012 hurricanes brought hundreds of mega-mosquitoes to Florida. The storms, along with bringing the mosquitoes, created the perfect breeding ground with tons of water. While the ground has dried up in some areas, as soon as it becomes saturated again the eggs will start maturing again. “’Because of the events last year, and the eggs laid, we can expect large numbers of these mosquitoes again,’ Entomologist Phil Kaufman said.” Source.

While Kaufman suggests people cover their bodies with long shirts and pants, it may not be enough to combat the mega-mosquito’s aggression. It can bite through shirts and its bite will hurt much more than the normal mosquito species due to its size.

The Asian tiger mosquito, as well as the most common Aedes aegypti, breed in any standing water and are found in both suburban and urban areas. The mega-mosquito, in comparison, has only been observed near floodwater. Both species are most active at dawn and dusk and only the females will seek a blood meal to aid in reproduction, but the mega-mosquito are not known to transmit vector-borne diseases.

What I find most alarming about the mega-mosquito, or Gallinipper as they are called, is that common mosquito repellants may not be effective in fighting them. The bodies are so much larger than the species that normal repellants protect against that there isn’t enough of the active ingredients in it to kill the mega-mosquito. Professional mosquito control, as opposed to mosquito spray bought at the grocery store, should be effective in controlling the mega-mosquito population. The amount of active ingredients is higher and works differently than what is applied to the body. We at Mosquito Squad urge homeowners to seek an outdoor pest control company to protect their yard if they see mega-mosquitoes in the area.

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46 Million Year Old Mosquito Fossils Show Little Difference

For such small little things that easily are squash-able, mosquitoes are strong. They have managed to outlive the dinosaurs and come back year after year at full force. Unlike humans, mosquitoes seem to have evolved very little over the millions of years that they’ve been annoying their prey. New fossils from Montana support that theory.

Mosquitoes may be strong enough to evolve very little over millions of years, but they don't stand a chance against this guy.

Mosquitoes may be strong enough to evolve very little over millions of years, but they don’t stand a chance against this guy.

Dale Greenwalt and his team have been discovering and studying fossils found in northeastern Montana for years. They’ve unearthed approximately 20,000 insect fossils, including two new species of mosquitoes recently. The fossils were found in Eocene, or shale, deposits and are believed to be forty six million years old. To the average person, they look just like the bugs Mosquito Squad protects against today. “we can find morphological differences that distinguish specific species,” says Greenwalt, “but overall they are extremely similar.” Source.

The mosquito fossils are very well preserved. While many insect fossils are preserved in amber, these were embedded in rock. Looking at the pictures, seen here, it is just like looking at the common backyard mosquito. Scientists were able to study everything, including wing veins and organs go discern the new species: Culiseta kishenehn and Culiseta lemniscata. They explain that Montana’s subtropical or tropical climate forty six million years ago helped to preserve and protect the quality of the fossils.

We at mosquito squad are always interested in learning more about the bugs we help to fight, but our question is, could these buggers withstand Dread Skeeter and his mosquito control barrier spray?

We don’t think so.

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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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