Posts Tagged mosquito prevention

Is your Natural Scent Repelling Mosquitoes

mosquito_bitePersonally, I’m one of the unlucky people that mosquitoes LOVE. If I stop on a walk with my dog, I’m sure to get a few mosquito bites that turn into large welts. One of my best friends, however, barely ever gets mosquito bites. While I am jealous, microbial ecologist Rob Knight explains that it isn’t all that surprising.

Sorry to all you germ-aphobes out there, but even if you shower three times a day, you still have billions of microbes that live on your skin. The diversity of microbes can vary vastly from human to human. These microbes produce chemicals and scents that may attract mosquitoes.

Forty-eight males volunteered to illustrate how different skin microbes can be more or less attractive to mosquitoes. They were asked not to shower for two days and to refrain from certain types of food and beverages like alcohol, garlic, etc. To increase the number of microbes to be tested, the men had to wear socks for 24 hours.

The researchers then rubbed glass beads on the bottom of the men’s feet to grab samples of the skin for testing. Mosquitoes were then introduced to the beads as mosquito bait. Some beads were placed in the highly attractive category while others were poorly attractive. The highly attractive beads were more likely to have a high concentration of certain microbes, while the poorly attractive group have a diverse population of microbes.

Based on these tests, “researchers say that it’s possible that some people’s smell acts as a natural deterrent” (Source) to mosquitoes.

Unfortunately, we don’t have control over the microorganisms on our skin and the scent they produce. To ensure mosquitoes stay away, you have to protect yourself. On your property, mosquito protection doesn’t mean you have to burn candles or spray your skin. Professional mosquito control treats the foliage on your property to eliminate mosquitoes on contact and provide continuous control for up to 21 days, but how does it work? Mosquitoes feed primarily on plants. Mosquito Squad’s barrier spray leaves a residue on the plants that the pest will ingest when it feeds, eliminating them.

If you have questions on mosquito control in your yard, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Mosquitoes top the list of most worrisome pest

At Mosquito Squad, we pride ourselves on ridding our clients’ properties of mosquitoes and ticks so they can enjoy the outdoors without space. Mosquitoes, as we know, are not only annoying, but dangerous and a new survey done by The National Pest Management Association is showing just how worrisome they are.

In the study conducted by Harris Interactive, American’s were asked what pests worry them the most in the summer, including mosquitoes, ticks, stinging instead (like hornets and bees), spiders and bed bugs. 62% said they were concerned with mosquitoes, followed by 38% worried about stinging insects and 30% concerned about ticks.

Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association, doesn’t seem to be too surprised by the findings: “It’s no wonder mosquitoes are of most concern for the public, considering last year was one of the deadliest West Nile virus seasons on record, with 286 fatal cases reported to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.” Source.

54% of respondents said that they are concerned about contracting disease from summer pests, follow by 43% worried about pain associated with a sting and 35% concerned about a pest infestation in their home.

Henriksen explains that the risks associated with summer pests are still a concern; “mosquitoes and stinging insects are very active up until the late fall, around October. It’s important for people to take proper precautions when spending time outdoors, especially amid concerns over [West Nile virus] and reports of increased cases of Lyme disease.”

Depending on the area of the country, our Mosquito Squad locations are providing tick and mosquito control applications through the end of October, beginning of November. As long as our clients are being bothered by mosquitoes, we will be there to help get rid of them.

The key to protecting yourself against vector-borne diseases is to protect yourself from the pests that transmit them. Getting rid of standing water on your property, for example, is a great way to cut down on the number of mosquitoes in your yard. Mosquitoes, in general, don’t venture far from where they first hatched.

The survey also showed that women were more concerned about pests during the summer months. 87% of women noted that they were concerned about pests, while 82% of them stated their concerns.

Americans with children are more concerned about summer pests than those without at 90% and 82% respectively.

If you are like the majority of people out there that are concerned with mosquitoes and ticks, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office. We will work with your to find a tick and mosquito control option that will work for you.

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With a lot of Rain Comes a lot of Mosquitoes

Many parts of the country have experienced a lot of rain this year. With rain, comes a lot of mosquitoes. I was recently talking to a member of our franchise support staff who travels all over the country visiting our Mosquito Squad locations and he was telling me about the huge mosquito populations from Georgia to Maine to Chicago. Even areas that are just experiencing small bursts of rain are seeing the increase in these pesky bugs.

Standing water is essential for mosquito reproduction. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water and in just a few short days (if the weather conditions are right), there can be 10s or 100s of new mosquitoes. When it rains, as you can imagine, small pools of water (many of which you wouldn’t notice) begin to form in different areas, creating the perfect spot for mosquitoes to breed.

At Mosquito Squad, we’ve had a growth in our client numbers due to the rain. It is so hard to combat mosquitoes and rid your yard of their presence when rain continues to come so professional mosquito control is much needed. In some cases, we have had to increase the number of sprays for the season to fight them effectively.

Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, but they can bite any time of day. In summers like this one where we have had a lot of rain, we encourage our clients to take extra preventative measures when venturing outside their mosquito control protected yard. Loose long sleeved shirts and pants are a good first step (less skin to bite), but also topical mosquito spray should be applied to areas of the skin that aren’t covered. When rain and mosquito numbers are high, we usually see an increase in the number of mosquito-borne illnesses, so mosquito prevention is very important.

On another note, we came across this video recently and had to share it. We all know what mosquito bites look like long after the mosquito is gone, but have you ever seen what it looks like when it’s happening? I don’t just mean the mosquito on your skin; I mean close up underneath the skin. It’s crazy! Scientists recently took this video of what it looks like under a microscope. You can see the mosquito’s labrum curving along under the skin until it finds the blood vessel and sucks. Take a look and see what you think!

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Mosquitoes are Out, Protect You and Your Family from Bites

It’s officially mosquito season and they are out in droves. Many areas of the country had abnormally wet weather this winter and into the spring, making it the perfect condition for mosquitoes. I’m lucky enough to see some of the comments that prospective clients write on their service requests and recently it seems like everyone is getting attacked by mosquitoes! Here are just some of the comments:

Please come and spray by yard, my kids can’t go outside without bites

Mosquitoes are really bad this year, we need someone to come take a look at our yard.

HELP US! THEY’RE EVERYWHERE!

Asian Tiger MosquitoOver the years I’ve heard and tried many “tricks” to mosquito control. You see, I’m one of those people who always get bitten by mosquitoes and continue to itch for days (my dad always tells me it is because I’m so sweet – thanks Dad!). No matter what I tried, I got mosquito bites. The only course of action for me was to be more proactive and get rid of the mosquitoes in my yard before they could get to me.

The key to getting rid of mosquitoes in your yard is to get rid of their breeding grounds: standing water. This is harder than it seems because mosquitoes will lay eggs in very small amounts of water. Did you know that 300 mosquito eggs can be laid in as little as a bottle cap of water? For me, I walked around my property and took note of all the places that could hold water and tossed it. Here are some things to take note of if you are evaluating your yard:

  • Kid’s toys
  • Dog dishes
  • Bird paths
  • Pots
  • Catch basins
  • Yard debris

Getting rid of standing water is a key part of mosquito control in your yard because mosquitoes do not venture far from where they hatched. So if they are hatching in your yard, they are there to bite you. Unfortunately getting rid of all the standing water on a property is much easier said than done. Inevitably, despite my best efforts, there is standing water on my property that mosquitoes can use to lay eggs. And since I’m so sensitive to mosquito bites, I became even more proactive and started to treat my yard with mosquito spray. By having my local Mosquito Squad (yes, I’m a client too!) team come out and treat my yard every three weeks, I keep the mosquitoes out of my yard and, more importantly, away from my skin!

As I read the service requests, I completely understand that frustration of being bitten by mosquitoes even when you think you’ve tried everything. Our Mosquito Squad owners take pride in providing relief from the dangers and annoyance of mosquitoes and ticks. And it’s really easy; you don’t even have to be home!

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Dead mosquito – Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

The average mosquito barrier spray takes between 15 and 30 minutes depending on the size of the property. Our trained technicians apply the treatment to the areas where mosquitoes feed and harbor. After 30 minutes for drying, you are welcome to come out and enjoy your yard once again. The spray will last up to 21 days before you need another treatment.

If you have questions on mosquito control and how the Mosquito Squad services work, please reach out to your local Squad. We’re here to help!

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Mosquito Control Products – do they work?

With the increase of vector borne diseases, utilizing mosquito control is an important part of your outdoor living experience. No one likes to be bitten by mosquitoes, but they are not only annoying, but dangerous. Last year the United States had an outbreak of West Nile Virus that impacted many states.

Mosquitoes can be dangerous when carrying certain illnesses like Dengue Fever

Integrated Pest Management will help you Fight the Bite in your yard

Every day it seems like there is a new mosquito control product that promises to protect you and your family against mosquitoes, but we all know that not every products works. People have varying success with candles, sprays, phone applications (really?) and other tricks that you hear about. The key to mosquito control, as we at Mosquito Squad try to teach, is integrated pest management. Using a mosquito control repellent once, while it may help for the moment, will not help fight the overarching issue – you have mosquitoes in your yard.

The EPA has a page on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) that focuses more on pest management for farmers, however the same principles apply to your yard, just on a smaller scale. Here are the 4 steps of IPM:

1 – Set Action Thresholds. The threshold is when you decide that action is needed. One bite may not mean that you need professional mosquito control. For me, my threshold is not being able to be outside comfortably without bites for a half hour.

2 – Monitor and Identify Pest. This step is much more complicated at the commercial level, but for the homeowner, not so much. Take notice of the bugs that are bothering you. Are they mosquitoes? Ticks?

3 – Prevention. This is the first step of mosquito control in the yard. For the homeowner, prevention includes what you can do to your property to help prevent mosquitoes. The best way to prevent mosquito population increases is to stop them from breeding and reaching maturity. Mosquitoes breed and mature in standing water. Make a note to get rid of any puddles on your property or tip over anything that holds water (like toys and dog dishes) at least once a week.

4 – Control. After trying to prevent mosquitoes, if it hasn’t stopped the problem, it’s time to control them using a professional mosquito control product. At Mosquito Squad, we treat the areas that mosquitoes are known to feed and harbor. The mosquitoes are killed on contact and future pests, when they come to feed on the treated vegetation, they will ingest the product and die. One treatment lasts for up to 21 days.

All four steps of IPM are important, that’s why most mosquito control products on the market truly don’t work. The only include one step (and do that poorly most of the time).

If you have questions on IPM, please contact your local Mosquito Squad.

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