Posts Tagged mosquito barrier spray

Are the Tick Population and Weather Temperatures Related?

Ticks. They lurk in hidden places waiting for a potential host to walk by. In the spring and summer, it’s best to make a habit of checking yourself and your pets for ticks if you spent any time outdoors. A recent study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Centers for Disease Control evaluated how the tick population is related to weather temperatures.

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracksTicks thrive in warm weather and their activity rises as temperatures rise over 50 degrees. When there is an above average amount of days over 50 early in the year, the population becomes active earlier and the peak tick season, which typically begins in late May, starts earlier. If there is a lot more precipitation than normal, that will postpone the beginning of the tick season.

The changes in weather also impact ticks through their primary blood host, the field mouse. Mice feed on the vegetation in their habitat. When the summer is exceptionally dry it results in less food for the mice, which means less mouse activity and less ticks.

The study explains that a tick forecast could be created each March after looking at the weather in the first ten weeks of the year, but little can be done to forecast when the end of tick season will be.

Ticks are a common concern for many people. Not only are they a nuisance, but they are also dangerous. Thousands of cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year and it is impacting more of the county each and every year. If you ever go for walks or hikes in areas where ticks are known to be active, it’s important to protect yourself. Wear long loose clothing preferably in light colors so ticks can be spotted. After coming inside make sure to do a thorough tick check of your body to make sure that none are hiding out.

At Mosquito Squad we help our clients protect themselves from ticks and the dangerous illnesses they transmit by protecting their yard. We utilize a combination of our barrier spray treatment and tick tubes when appropriate.

Our traditional mosquito control spray is effective against ticks too. The spray will eliminate adult ticks on contact. We suggest having that spray reapplied every 2-3 weeks depending on your mosquito and tick problem to provide continuous tick control. Additionally, we use tick tubes to eliminate ticks in their earlier stages of development. Tick tubes are placed throughout the property in areas where mice would travel. When the mice find the tube, they take the treated cotton that’s inside back to their nests as bedding. Since many nymph ticks get their first blood meal from mice, they are thus eliminated.

If you have questions on how to reduce the tick population on your property, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Heartworm Awareness Month – Protect those Pets!

Happy Earth Day everyone!

April, in case you didn’t know, is heartworm awareness month. Heartworm is a deadly disease that affects both dogs and cats and is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Here are some things you should know about heartworm and how to protect your beloved pets from this dangerous illness:

  • It's important to protect these cute guys from the dangers of mosquitoes

    It’s important to protect these cute guys from the dangers of mosquitoes

    Heartworms enters the body in a larvae stage. They then make their way to the heart and lungs where they develop into mature worms

  • A heartworm can reach up to 12 inches in length (gross)
  • Heartworms do not affect humans
  • Symptoms of heartworm include coughing and not wanting to exercise
  • Monthly heartworm medication not only protects your pets against infected bites, but will kill any immature heartworms present in the body
  • Cats are less susceptible to heartworm than dogs
  • 25% of the feline heartworm cases occur in indoor cats
  • There is no heartworm treatment for cats, just prevention. Dogs can be treated for heartworm, but it is a costly and difficult treatment
  • Heartworm is present in all 50 states, but is most common on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts
  • Adult heartworms look like cooked spaghetti
  • A heartworm blood test looks for and detects a protein in the blood that is produced by female heartworms
  • Heartworms can live in the canine body for up to 7 years
  • The first article covering heartworm was written in 1847 and published in the Western Journal of Medicine.

Heartworm is a serious illness that is easily prevented. If you are a pet owner, make sure to have your furry friend regularly tested for heartworm (as recommended by your veterinarian) and is given its monthly heartworm medication.

Mosquito-borne illness, including heartworm, West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever, is a growing concern in the United States. At Mosquito Squad, we help protect families from these dangerous pests with our mosquito control for the yard. Our protective mosquito spray is applied to the areas of your yard where mosquitoes are most likely to feed, breed and harbor, ridding the areas of mosquitoes before they can bite you. Our barrier spray is available in both the standard and all natural formula. The standard formula lasts up to 21 days and reduces your mosquito population by up to 90%. The all natural option, in comparison, needs to be reapplied every 14 days and cuts the mosquito population by 85%.

If you have questions regarding Mosquito Squad and our mosquito control services, please reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Mosquitoes Emerge in Warmer Weather, first case of West Nile in 2013

This past week has brought with it some warm weather on the east coast. I love spring and summer, the heat, the sunshine, being outdoors, it’s just an enjoyable time of year, except for one thing: mosquitoes.

When temperatures start to rise in the spring, mosquitoes begin to emerge and threaten to ruin our outdoor fun. For many parts of the United States, they’ve been active for several weeks now. Some of our Mosquito Squad locations are already out and about protecting yards from mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes need two things to reproduce: blood and standing water. Male mosquitoes do not bite, but instead only feed on plant proteins. Females, on the other hand, need the protein from blood to lay their eggs. They smell carbon dioxide and know they can find blood at the source. After a blood meal, the mosquito then needs standing water to lay its eggs, and it doesn’t need much. Up to 300 mosquito eggs can be laid in as much as a bottle cap full of water!

While the itch from bug bites is enough motivation to rid your yard of mosquitoes, they also carry and transmit dangerous diseases. Last year there was an increase in the numbers of confirmed West Nile cases in the US. The Centers of Disease Control reports a total of over 5,300 cases over 48 states. Symptoms can include fever, headaches, fatigue and joint pain. As a result, many states and municipalities are increasing their mosquito control efforts this year to help fight the spread of West Nile.

Despite enhanced efforts to fight the spread of West Nile and other vector-borne disease, Mississippi is reporting the first human case this year, a full two months before the first human case in 2012. Even with municipalities doing more to cut down the mosquito populations in public areas, homeowners should be protecting their properties from mosquitoes as well.

Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad

Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad

At Mosquito Squad, we offer our clients three residential mosquito control options:

  1. Our 21-day mosquito barrier spray program brings a trained applicator to your home once every three weeks. The spray is applied to the vegetation on your property where mosquitoes are known to feed and harbor.
  2. The barrier spray is also available in an all-natural version. As opposed to the standard barrier spray, the all-natural option should be applied to the property every two weeks.
  3. If you would like something more permanent, an installed mosquito control misting system may be a good option. The misting system emits small bursts of mosquito spray at times of the day when mosquitoes are most active.

As spring and summer begins, it’s important to make sure you can get the most out of your outdoor spaces. If you have a mosquito problem, reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office. Dread Skeeter and his squad are sure to help!

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Animal Paralysis due to Ticks?

dog-tick-paralysisIf you read this blog, you know that I am a huge dog lover (come on, look at that face). I make sure that my four-legged companion is fed correctly, has the right amount of exercise and gets the necessary shots and medicine to keep him strong and healthy. There are some ailments, however, that are difficult, if not impossible, to prevent and one can be caused by the dreaded tick.

I recently read an article about a dog that started displaying disturbing symptoms. An otherwise healthy dog all of a sudden started losing control of her legs. Seeing the animal get worse, it ended up being diagnosed as tick paralysis and after removing more than 4 ticks from the dog, it was able to fully recover.

Tick paralysis is a relatively common illness that mostly affects cows and sheep, but has been known to affect dogs and some humans. Tick paralysis occurs when a tick attaches and feeds for an extended period of time. A female tick causes the disease with toxins in the salivary glands. Weakness in the legs is usually the first symptom and begins 2-7 days after the tick bite. The symptoms can worsen very quickly, spreading to the trunk and head within hours, but rarely ends in death.

The treatment for tick paralysis is simple: remove the attached tick. Unlike other vector-borne diseases, tick paralysis isn’t caused by a virus or bacterium that stays in the body long after the parasite is removed. Instead, it’s a chemical reaction to the tick, so when the tick is properly removed, the symptoms fade quickly.

Although it is most common in dog and Rocky Mountain ticks, over forty species of ticks are known to cause tick paralysis. The best way to protect your animals from the dangers of ticks is to protect them as best you can. Mosquito Squad’s barrier spray, misting systems and tick tubes are a few ways to protect your property and animals against ticks (and mosquitoes of course!). All of our services aim to get mosquitoes and ticks before they have the opportunity to bite.

Tick control in your yard isn’t always enough to protect some of your pets from ticks, especially dogs that may go hiking with their owners. For example, although I protect my property from ticks, I still give my dog a topical medication because we hike and walk in wooded areas where ticks are known to be. Additionally, it’s imperative that you check your animals for ticks on a daily basis during tick season to ensure they don’t have time to attach and transmit any dangerous diseases.

If you have questions regarding any of our tick and mosquito control services, reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.

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West Nile and Mosquito Control

When a new season starts for Mosquito Squad, I tend to think about the year and season that just past. What happened? What were people talking about? 2012 was the season of West Nile. In July, August and September, you couldn’t go a day without seeing an article with new West Nile numbers in the news. Corporately, we saw more people emailing us about how to protect themselves at the end of summer than ever before.

A swarm of mosquitoesWest Nile Virus is a dangerous disease transmitted through infected mosquitoes. The symptoms, like many other vector borne diseases, mirror those of the flu. Fever, joint pain, headache and fatigue are common amongst patients. While most people with West Nile never display symptoms, other can become extremely ill or even die. The best way to protect yourself against the disease is to protect yourself from mosquitoes.

As we enter 2013, we at Mosquito Squad hope that more homeowners recognize the importance of mosquito control before we start to hear about a West Nile epidemic again. Mosquito control isn’t only about having a mosquito free yard, but more importantly about protecting you, your family and your pets from the diseases they carry. Our teams  protect against the annoying pests through our barrier spray. The spray is applied to vegetation where the mosquitoes are known to feed and harbor. It kills mosquitoes on contact and continues to protect the property for up to 21 days.

Following a year that brought out a lot of mosquitoes and cases of vector borne disease, we recommend ensuring you or your municipality are protecting the outdoor areas you frequent. Our season long package makes sure that your yard is protected every 3 weeks without you having to worry abut it.

If you want to learn more about our mosquito control options, including an all natural option, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Looking back on 2012 and West Nile Virus

The end of every year brings an onslaught of lists looking back on the past 12 months. The best news stories, the best videos, the best couples, etc. all those lists and more. In a recent list of the Biggest Health Stories of 2012, Fox News placed West Nile in the number 13 spot. With over 5,000 confirmed cases and 228 deaths, it was the worst year for the virus since 2003 (according to MedPage Today, there was excessive testing in 2003 which boosted that year’s numbers).

Photo of West Nile Virus under a microscope

Photo of West Nile Virus under a microscope

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been researching the surge of cases this year and looking for trends or reasons behind the numbers. Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear answer. As Marc Fischer, a medical officer for the CDC says “there’s no single or specific factor that we can point to as to why, or if, a year is going to have high or low activity.” Source.

West Nile is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. Mosquitoes most commonly get the virus from birds, but can get it from other vertebrate. Because it’s a cycle that changes from location to location, studies are most effective when done locally. What elevated the spread of West Nile in Texas will be different than what happened in Maine for instance.

Fischer and his team have studied the virus to check for mutations that may have made the virus stronger, resulting in greater symptoms and confirmed cases (most people with West Nile will never display symptoms). The flu, for example, is known to continually mutate. There is no evidence to suggest the virus is changing but will be monitored over several years.

In short, questions regarding West Nile and why 2012 was such a bad year for the virus remain unanswered. We can’t properly guess what 2013 will bring, so it is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites. And what is the best way to avoid mosquito bites? To get rid of mosquitoes!

At Mosquito Squad, we suggest the 5 Ts of mosquito control for yards. They center on the idea of getting rid of standing water where mosquitoes breed and like to harbor: Tip, Toss, Turnover, Remove Tarps and Treat.

Tip over any objects like kids’ toys and watering cans. Toss out any leftover yard debris like clippings and leaves that can puddle water inside. Turnover dog dishes and plant saucers once a week to make sure mosquitoes don’t have a chance to breed. Tarps hold water so make sure they are tight. And lastly treat. At Mosquito Squad, we provide effective mosquito control with our barrier spray service. Our technicians spray the vegetation where mosquitoes feed and harbor, creating a protective barrier around our clients’ property. We come back every 21 days to keep families and their guests safe from mosquitoes.

If you are interested in learning more about Mosquito Squad, please contact your local office.

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West Nile Numbers Continue to Grow

2012 is the worst year on file for West Nile virus and the numbers continue to grow. In the last week alone, the reported number of people infected with the mosquito-borne virus has increased 35%. According to the Centers for Disease Control, experts expect that number to grow until the end of September.

There have been 2,636 cases of confirmed cases of West Nile this year.

But history says that we are over the peak. Dr. Lyle Petersen from the CDC says that “based on historical data, health officials are hopeful that the nation has ‘turned the corner’ on the epidemic for this season.” Source.

He did however caution that those states that continue to have unusually warm weather may continue to see the number rise until temperatures start to drop. Mosquitoes become less aggressive in cooler temperatures and usually die when it turns freezing.

While 80% of those people bitten by an infected mosquito will never display any symptoms, the cases that have been diagnosed this year have been serious. 118 people have died and 53% of patients have developed “serious illness, such as meningitis or encephalitis.”

It’s important to make sure that you are protecting yourself from West Nile with effective mosquito control. Mosquito Squad offers a barrier spray that will cut your yard’s mosquito popular by 85-90%. It last for three weeks upon which another spray is needed.

As school and student sports seasons have started across most of the country, it’s important that kids protect themselves if they are in an untreated area, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are known to be most active. A topical mosquito spray can be used to repel the mosquitoes in those cases.

If you have questions about how to protect you and your family against West Nile, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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