Posts Tagged mosquito spraying

Mosquito Borne Chikungunya Continues to Spread

We are in the midst of mosquito season and a new mosquito borne virus continues to be reported across many parts of the U.S. Chikungunya, which was first reported in Florida in May, has now been diagnosed in Texas, Massachusetts, Arizona, Ohio and 22 other states. The average number of cases in the U.S. has been around 28 per year, but there have been over 120 cases so far this year, and we are in the height of mosquito season!

A swarm of mosquitoesIt’s believed that all of the American chikungunya cases have been transmitted to the patients while traveling abroad and hasn’t been transmitted in the U.S, but that could change. As the Centers for Disease Control explains: “With the recent outbreaks in the Caribbean and the Pacific, the number of chikungunya cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States from affected areas will likely increase. These imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in the continental United States.” Source.

Chikungunya is most commonly found in Africa and Asia. This past fall, the Caribbean reported larger numbers of the disease, spreading throughout the area, illustrating how quickly it can spread.

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine or cure for chikungunya, but it is rarely fatal. Its symptoms include fever, severe joint pain and rashes. Symptoms occur in the first 12 days after transmission and, unlike West Nile, the majority of people with chikungunya will display symptoms.

When it comes to mosquito-borne disease, the best course of protection is an integrated pest management system, with both do-it-yourself and professional action. Reducing the amount of standing water is the first step in cutting down your property’s mosquito population. It takes just a little bit of water for female mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

No MosquitoesEven if you tip over outdoor objects or toss trash, it is incredibly difficult to get rid of all the standing water on your property, and even if you did, you will still have mosquitoes on site. A professional mosquito control company is the second step to protecting you and your family against mosquitoes and the illnesses they carry. By applying a mosquito spray to your property every 21 days, Mosquito Squad will greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard (usually by 85-90%)!

If you have questions on how to protect yourself from mosquito-borne disease, please reference the CDC website at cdc.gov or contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Mosquito Control Awareness Week Aims to Educate Homeowners

Happy Mosquito Control Awareness week everyone!

This week marks Mosquito Control Awareness Week as declared by the American Mosquito Control Association. This annual awareness program aims to educate the public on the impact mosquitoes can have on their daily lives as well as how mosquito control companies can help with their mosquito population.

Female mosquitoes require a blood meal to produce eggs, but that small bite can leave some people itching for days! Humans are allergic to mosquito saliva which triggers the reaction. While mosquitoes are simply annoying for most people, they can be dangerous. It’s estimated that mosquitoes kill over 700,000 each year with the diseases they transmit.

Dread versions2During this Mosquito Control Awareness Week, Dread Skeeter and the rest of the Mosquito Squad are teaching homeowners how to reduce the mosquito population on their property.

TIP. Mosquitoes require standing water for their eggs to mature and hatch. By cutting down on the amount of standing water on the property, you are also cutting down the number of mosquitoes. Tip over objects that hold water including birdbaths and fire pits.

TOSS. Yard debris like grass clippings, leaves and firewood can be a haven for mosquitoes and ticks. If you aren’t intending to use it, throw it out.

TURN. Objects left out in the yard can hold enough water for a mosquito to lay her eggs. Make sure that children’s toys, dog bowls, plant saucers and other objects are turned over when they aren’t being used (or at least every few days).

REMOVE TARPS. Most tarps aren’t pulled tight enough over the items underneath, resulting in water pooling. Our mosquito control technicians often notice tarps over wood, grills or sports equipment that are the perfect place for mosquito eggs to mature.

TAKE CARE. Every home requires regular maintenance. You may clean your gutters, have your irrigation checked and cut your grass to make your home look better, but that will also help you to control your outdoor pests.

TEAM UP. If your property abuts another one, talk to your neighbors about removing the standing water from their property. You could remove all the water from your yard, but if your neighbor has a lot of standing water, you very well could continue to have a mosquito problem.

TREAT. Having a professional mosquito elimination spray applied to your property can reduce your mosquito population by up to 90%! At Mosquito Squad, we visit our clients’ homes every 2-3 weeks to protect them from the nuisance and dangers of mosquitoes and ticks and reduce the need to spray DEET on their skin.

If you have questions regarding your mosquito control options, please contact your local Mosquito Squad location.

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Eastern Equine Encephalitis on the Rise

Horses from Kentucky to Maine are being infected and dying from Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Veterinarians across the country encourage all horses not only be vaccinated, but receive booster shots.

Is your horse at risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Is your horse at risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, is a mosquito-borne virus that was first found in the 1830s in Massachusetts when 75 horses died from the disease. EEE does not only affect horses. Humans can become sick from the disease as well. After a human is infected by a mosquito bite, he or she will begin to display symptoms within 10 days normally. Symptoms include fever, muscle pain, headaches and seizures to name a few. There is no vaccine or cure for humans and the fatality rate is 35%.

Those areas of the country, namely in New England, that have confirmed human cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, have started spraying for mosquitoes.

While the human fatality rate due to EEE is 35%, the equine fatality rate starts at 70% and can go as high as 90%. Horses begin to display symptoms between 7 to 21 days after infection. One nickname for EEE is the sleeping sickness due to the way horses behave when they have it. The first symptoms of the disease are usually a high fever and bursts of excitement or nerves. As it gets more serious and brain lesions begin, horses will look drowsy, their ears will droop and they will walk around aimlessly. Paralysis ultimately sets in and it can die within a few days of paralysis.

The most recent case to hit the news was of a horse in Maine that died from EEE despite having the vaccine. The sad story highlights the importance of six month booster shots for EEE. The initial inoculation consists of two vaccines 4 to 6 weeks apart. After the adult horse has been vaccinated, it will need booster shots before any mosquito season. In areas where EEE is a problem, it is suggested to administer the booster every six months.

The EEE virus can only be transmitted to humans and horses through the bite of an infected mosquito. Humans, for example, cannot get it from a horse that is battling EEE.

As municipalities take action and administer more public mosquito spray, we at Mosquito Squad encourage homeowners, and horse owners to consider professional mosquito control.

The majority of our residential clients use the mosquito control barrier spray to protect their property. Our trained technicians come out to the home every three weeks to spray the areas where mosquitoes are known to feed and harbor. The spray itself will kill adult mosquitoes on contact and then provide that protection for up to three weeks.

For properties with horse stables, we suggest an installed mosquito misting system instead of the barrier spray. Instead of having a technician come and spray every three weeks, a system is installed on your property. Two to three times a day, when the mosquitoes are known to be their most active, a short burst of mosquito spray will emit from the system, protecting the area. If they are particularly bad, there is a button you can press for another short spray. Mosquito systems are a great way to keep the mosquitoes away on larger properties. Mosquito Squad will not only install the system, but come back to fill your product when needed and winterize your system at the end of the season.

If you have any questions on how to protect yourself and your horses from mosquitoes and the dangerous disease they can transmit, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Massachusetts Evaluates Mosquito Larvicide Bill

2013 has been a wet year for many parts of the country and you know that that means: mosquitoes, swarms of them. In anticipation for another large year for mosquito-borne illnesses, Massachusetts legislation is looking at a new mosquito bill that can help fight the bite.

It's time to start thinking about controlling the mosquitoes in your area

It’s time to start thinking about controlling the mosquitoes in your area

From 2001 to 2009, municipal workers were allowed to administer non-toxic pesticides in storm drains. Storm drains are the perfect place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs because they not only hold water, but it’s also difficult to drain completely. Before 2009, municipal workers were allowed to drop pesticide pellets into the drains to cut down on the amount of mosquitoes hatching and they want that capability back after a year of widespread and fatal cases of West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in the area.

In 2012 several Massachusetts towns closed community parks at dusk due to high rate of mosquito-borne disease. There has been a  lot of spring rainfall that has led lawmakers to consider the bill again.

As State Representative Jason Lew explains, “it has never been clear to us why [the Department of Agriculture Resources] didn’t renew it” when the legislation expired in 2009. After the law relapsed only licensed pest control workers could apply the pesticide. Allowing municipal employees to administer the larvicide would ensure the catch basins were treated in a timely manner.

Larvicide is a pest control treatment that targets the culex species larvae. The non-toxic pesticide stops the larva from maturing into mosquitoes that can transmit disease.

At Mosquito Squad, we will administer species specific growth regulators in areas that hold standing water that you can’t get rid of. For example, a client may have a pond or drain that holds water that they can’t get rid of. If it goes untreated, even a Mosquito Squad treatment won’t stop the mosquitoes from maturing and biting. To ensure that our professional mosquito control is the most effective it can be, those areas are treated with a growth regulator that stops maturation.

As we’ve seen the numbers of reported mosquito-borne illnesses continue to rise, we are happy to see that local governments are taking mosquito control more seriously. While we help protect our clients and their families at home, it’s important they have protection in community areas like parks and local fields.

If you have questions on mosquito control and what you can do to fight the bite, please 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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Another Bad Year for West Nile Virus? Looks Like It!

2012 was a record year for West Nile Virus with over 5 thousand reported cases! And those are just the people who displayed symptoms! Eighty percent of people infected with West Nile will never show any symptoms and will recover on their own so we can only imagine how many people had this mosquito-borne disease. We are only a few months into this year’s mosquito season and it’s already looking like it could be another big year of West Nile.

A new study out of Texas is reporting higher numbers of southern house mosquitoes, the specie of mosquito that most frequently transmit the disease in the area. Texas had the highest number of West Nile cases in 2012 and as a result implemented increased mosquito spraying and testing this year. When comparing 2012 and 2013 trapping numbers, there is more potential for mosquitoes carrying West Nile this year than last.

Traps out of Dallas County Texas were analyzed three times in the month of May, on the 11th, 18th and 25th respectively. Each time the number of southern house mosquitoes went up. Understanding the numbers and potential threats, will hopefully lead to increased awareness of the dangers that mosquitoes can transmit.

Nearly 290 people died from West Nile Virus last year. Certain municipalities cancelled outdoor events because of the threat. We at Mosquito Squad are happy to see that many areas of the country have responded with larger mosquito control budgets to protect their communities. More widespread spraying is taking place as well as treatment for areas that are known to hold a lot of standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

While governments are taking action on public properties, homeowners still need to take action at their own home, especially if they spend time outdoors. We’ve always called our tips to get rid of mosquitoes the 5Ts and we’ve made it easy to remember. Just take a look at this…

While this video is fun, the underlying message is serious. The 5Ts are important steps in combatting the mosquito population on any given property. Survey your yard and take note of areas where you 1) see standing water or 2) see an abundance of mosquitoes. That will tell you the most important areas to treat.

Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, which will develop into mosquitoes in just a few days. And it doesn’t take a lot of water to do it in. A bottle cap provides enough water to lay up to 300 eggs in! It may be difficult, or even impossible, to get rid of ALL the standing water in your yard, do what you can, especially to the larger containers. For example, that bird bath you have may be beautiful, but it’s the best place for a mosquito to lay its eggs if it isn’t turned over on a regular basis.

Mosquitoes, unfortunately, aren’t easily eliminated from a property without professional mosquito control treatments. That’s where Mosquito Squad comes into play! Our trained applicators will come to your property and treat the foliage that mosquitoes feed on. Our spray is able to get in underneath the foliage that are difficult to get to on your own.

If you have questions on the best way to get rid of mosquitoes, please reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.

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