Posts Tagged Malaria

Do Mosquitoes Transmit Ebola?

Unless you’ve stayed away from all news for the last few weeks (and who really can do that), you’ve heard about the current Ebola epidemic in Africa and cases in the U.S. Ebola is a life threatening disease that currently doesn’t have a vaccine to fight it. One question we’ve been asked recently is can mosquitoes, who transmit numerous disease worldwide, infect people with Ebola?

In short, the answer is no.

2bMosquitoes aren’t born with malaria, yellow fever, chikungunya, dengue fever or other mosquito-borne disease. Female mosquitoes become carriers of those diseases after feeding on a person or animal already infected (only females suck blood). Because mosquitoes don’t go person to person biting, the disease has to survive a complicated digestion process to be passed on.

The reason female mosquitoes require blood is to create eggs. A female mosquito will take in enough blood to properly nourish her eggs and then go and digest. After laying her eggs, she will then require more blood. For her to infect a human with the disease, the viral strands need to stay in the gut and migrate into the mosquito’s saliva. The mosquito injects saliva into its victims as they bite. In the case of malaria, it evolves in the mosquito before getting into the saliva.

Right now, Ebola cannot make its way into the mosquito saliva. And until it can, mosquitoes cannot transmit Ebola.

Despite not playing an active role in the spread of Ebola, mosquitoes are still the most dangerous animal on the planet, killing over 700,000 people each year. They kill approximately 600,000 by infecting them with malaria. While malaria isn’t a threat in the United States, mosquitoes still transmit west nile, dengue fever and chikungunya domestically.

At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients by greatly reducing their property’s mosquito population with our mosquito control services. Our trained applicators visit our clients’ properties every 2-3 weeks and spray the areas where mosquitoes are most likely to feed and live, like bushes and trees. The spray eliminates mosquitoes on contact as well as settles on the vegetation. When a mosquito then goes to feed on a leaf, it will ingest the product.

If you have questions on how to protect your property from mosquitoes, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Did the Nazis Study Mosquitoes as Weapons During WWII?

New research from Tubingen University sheds light on some studies done at one concentration camp during World War II. Researcher Dr. Klaus Reinhardt says that there were biological weaponry studies conducted surrounding mosquitoes and malaria, a scary thought.

mosquito-controlReinhardt was studying the work of Nazi Waffen SS when he found information surrounding a “Entomological Institute” at the Dachau concentration camp in Dachau, Germany. The bug research was first ordered to help combat issues with lice and typhoid fever amongst the Nazi troops.

As Germany began to feel more pressure from both sides in 1944, the Entomological Institute turned their research to mosquitoes, and it wasn’t for mosquito control options. The Nazis looked at different species of mosquitoes to see which one would be most resilient in extreme conditions. Once the best specie was determined, they would be infected with malaria and dropped into enemy territory.

Through studies managed by Eduard May, the Anopheles mosquito was considered the best mosquito for the mission.

Dr. Reinhardt says the experiments happened at Dachau concentration camp “in conjunction with another notorious Nazi experiment – inoculating prisoners with malaria.” Source. The doctor behind infecting prisoners with malaria was executed after the Nuremberg trials.

Luckily, the use of mosquitoes as weapons did not come into fruition; however, they are the deadliest animal on earth. Every year, millions of people die from a mosquito-transmitted disease, with the majority being from malaria.

At Mosquito Squad, we are proud to support Malaria No More. Their goal is end malaria deaths in Africa. Malaria is both preventable and treatable with a set of pills that cost less than $1. So every dollar given, is a life saved.

What many Americans may not be aware of is that malaria was a major health concern in the U.S. until it was eradicated in 1951. The Centers for Disease Control was actually initially founded as part of the concentrated effort to rid the US of the deadly disease.

To help support Malaria No More, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net. We want to thank all of our tick and mosquito control clients that help us give to this effort. In 2013 alone, Mosquito Squad was able to save over 55,000 lives with our support of Malaria No More.

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An air conditioner that kills mosquitoes?

At Mosquito Squad, we like to stay up-to-date on all things mosquitoes and a new product from LG Electronics has piqued our interest. The Mosquito Away air conditioner not only keeps residential properties cool, but kill mosquitoes at the same time!

Mosquitoes are not only annoying but dangerous, especially in Africa. In Kenya, 73% of the population is at risk of malaria and causes 20% of all deaths in kids under 5 years old. With the high rate of malaria, LG believes the Mosquito Away is perfect for Kenya. As Joseph Kim of LG East Africa explains;

“We believe that our new Mosquito Away air conditioner can provide true comfort to Kenya consumers. The challenge of designing a product able to provide an effective, non-toxic way of dealing with mosquitoes was one we were only too happy to meet. With ultrasonic wave technology, impressive cooling performance and low-voltage operability, we are confident that the Mosquito Away air conditioner will meet the needs of the Kenyan market.” Source.

How does the air conditioner kill mosquitoes? Through sound. The machine has a button that turns on a speaker that plays ultrasonic waves. The waves will not harm humans, but they confuse and cause paralysis and death in mosquitoes.

In tests, Mosquito Away effectively decreases the number of female mosquitoes (the ones that bite) by 76% within 24 hours. The World Health Organization has helped test the air conditioner due to it potential to fight malaria.

Kenya isn’t the only country in Africa that is heavily affected by malaria. While we at Mosquito Squad help fight mosquitoes in the U.S, we are also helping in the fight in Africa through our partnership with Malaria No More.

Malaria No More is a non-profit organization with the goal of ending malaria deaths in Africa. They have teams on the ground installing bed nets, providing malaria tests and treatments and educating the locals. Malaria is both preventable and treatable; yet, it kills millions of people every year.

If you are interested in giving to the fight against malaria, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net. A donation of just a dollar is enough to pay for a test and treatment, saving a child’s life.

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Nashville Mosquito Squad Franchisee Gives Back in Africa

When I first met Patrick McKennon he was visiting the Mosquito Squad home office to decide if he wanted to invest in the mosquito control company in Nashville, TN. I distinctly remember his excitement when we discussed our partnership with Malaria No More, a non-profit that aims to end malaria deaths in Africa. Since joining the Mosquito Squad family he has been a proud supporter and advocate of Malaria No More.

In 2012, Patrick, with the help of his clients, raised $11,000 for Malaria No More. In 2013, he took it one step further.

Wanting to truly understand Malaria No More and their mission, Patrick traveled to Africa with his 13-year old daughter Grace last month. The two-week trip to Tanzania provided the McKennons with true understanding and perspective.

AFRICA 334Patrick and Grace started their trip in Serengeti and Ngorongor for a three day safari. They then spent a week in Moshi where they were able to volunteer at two different orphanages. AFRICA 383Patrick explains the kids as happy and have “so much love for so little.”

In Arusha, Patrick and Grace visited A-to-Z nets, the manufacturer of long-lasting insecticide nets. A-to-Z provides nets to Malaria No More and other organizations helping in the fight against malaria. Permethrin, the mosquito control agent, is actually part of the nets’ threads and each net lasts up to 5 years and 500,000 of them are made every day!

AFRICA 506Patrick and Grace didn’t want to be the only ones affected by their trip and wanted to make a big impact in Tanzania.AFRICA 434 They delivered 100 bed nets to a health clinic in Morogoro through Malaria No More and installed another 20 nets to Msamaria Center for Street Kids.

If that wasn’t enough, Patrick took it one step further, sending 7 kids to school starting in January.

While Patrick has gone above and beyond in his support of Malaria No More and the general cause of stopping malaria deaths, he’s not the only one involved in the cause. Mosquito Squad locations across the country are doing their part. Our mosquito control experts have donated to Malaria No More throughout 2013. We want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them.

Malaria is both preventable and curable, yet it remains one of the top three killers of children worldwide. If you want to help us support the cause, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net.

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Malaria Doesn’t Discriminate – Help Join the Fight

I admit that I am a big fan of Rebel Wilson. I find her to be a talented young actress who is absolutely hysterical. The other day I saw a clip of an interview she did where she credited malaria for pushing her to become an actress (stick with me, this will make sense). After school she was a youth ambassador in South Africa when she contracted malaria through a mosquito bite. She became incredibly ill and while in the hospital dreamt that she was an actress. When she recovered, she followed that dream.

Many people believe that malaria is an illness that only affects those that are less fortunate. And while the majority of malaria cases do occur in impoverished areas of Africa, it doesn’t discriminate. People from all walks of life have contracted and battled this terrible mosquito-borne disease. Here are some that may surprise you.

In 1503, Christopher Columbus had to cut one of his voyages short after contracting malaria.

Mother Teresa fell ill with the disease in 1993 while visiting New Delhi. She went to the hospital complaining of a fever, nausea and restlessness. She stayed in the intensive care unit before ultimately being released.

British actor Michael Caine may be Batman’s rock in the films, but in doctors told him he wouldn’t live past 40 after he contracted a rare form of malaria while in the armed forces. One doctor took a chance and combined two other malaria medications and Caine recovered.

Malaria is just one of the serious ailments that Ernest Hemingway survived. He also fought anthrax, dysentery, hepatitis, anemia, a crushed cerebra and ruptured liver!

Mahatma Gandhi became gravely ill from malaria while in prison in 1944. The British released him from jail while sick.

George Clooney got malaria while visiting Sudan. He recovered quickly after starting medication.

During a post-high school survival strip to Africa, Cooper Anderson picked up malaria. He now advocates the same nonprofit that we do: Malaria No More.

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

For the past four years, Mosquito Squad has been a proud supporter of Malaria No More, a nonprofit with the goal of ending malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. One of our franchisees, Patrick McKennon of Nashville, is currently in Africa on a mission with the organization with his daughter. We can’t wait to update you on their trip!

If you want to help fight this terrible disease that is both preventable and treatable, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net.

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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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2011 Brought Advances in the Fight Against Vector-Borne Illnesses

Happy New Year!

One interesting part of starting a new year is always to look over the “best of” lists: Best celebrity weddings, best technology improvements, most fascinating people, etc. Discover Magazine annually puts out the “Top 100 Stories” of the year before. This year, several of Dread Skeeter’s nemeses made the list.

#90: Chronic Lyme Patients Validated

Diagnosing Lyme disease can often be difficult as its symptoms are very similar to other ailments, and in the case of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, some patients have been told they either have chronic fatigue syndrome or are perfectly fine. Well, in 2011 immunologist Steven Schutzer was able to prove that there is a difference between patients with chronic fatigue and post-treatment Lyme patients, proving the syndrome does exist.

Mosquitoes can be deadly when carrying certain illnesses like Dengue Fever and malaria

Mosquitoes can be deadly when carrying certain illnesses like Dengue Fever and malaria

#47: Ending Dengue

According to the Center for Disease Control, 2.5 billion people live in areas where Dengue Fever is present in mosquitoes, resulting in severe headaches, joint, muscle and bone pain and in some cases death. Australian scientists believe they may have the answer. When they injected mosquitoes with the Wolbachia bacterium, the insect was unable to transmit Dengue. 2011 tests proved optimistic when the bacteria was proved to be passed on through reproduction.

#28: Hepatitis B Boosts Malaria Vaccine

Past malaria vaccines haven’t shown great promise in trial, but a new GlaxoSmithKline test is showing a 50% success rate. The vaccine tricks the body into protecting against malaria by heightening the immune system via hepatitis proteins. With the trial running through 2014, we at Mosquito Squad are interested to see how it can help against Africa’s fight against malaria.

#13 Can Gut Bacteria Stop the Spread of Malaria

George Dimopoulos of Johns Hopkins University has found that the Enterobacter bacterium, when ingested by a mosquito, renders that mosquito unable to transmit malaria by killing a parasite that causes malaria. It was a happy mistake that hopefully leads to a cut in the number of malaria cases in future years.

2011 was a big year in the mosquito and tick world. Here’s hoping that 2012 brings the same, but as long as you are bothered by mosquitoes and ticks, Dread Skeeter and Mosquito Squad are here to protect you, your family and your friends.

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