Posts Tagged mosquito treatments

Avoiding Mosquito Bites at Your Next Outdoor Event

I had quite a few friends get engaged over the holidays and weddings are in full planning. Brides go to great lengths to create a special day for their husbands and guests alike. For some, no details go unnoticed, but for others, things slip through the cracks. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, graduation party or other outdoor event, let us give you a helpful hint: don’t forget about the mosquitoes.

weddingI’ve been to a lot of weddings and outdoor events. Some I remember more than others. Last year my husband and I attended an outdoor wedding at a Virginia plantation. It was beautiful. I don’t remember the food or flowers, but I remember it being a great night. One thing I won’t forget, however, is the amount of mosquitoes. They loved me that night, and I was itching the bites for days!

At Mosquito Squad, we help hosts, event planners and caterers make their events a success by ridding the property of mosquitoes with our mosquito control services.

Our typical mosquito treatments for the yard reduce a property’s mosquito population by up to 90%. The same product is used for our events spray ensuring that mosquitoes are left off the guest list. Depending on the area of the country and the seriousness of the mosquito problem, one or two sprays prior to the event will be recommended. Our trained technicians will come to the event space and spray the vegetation and areas where the mosquitoes are known to feed and harbor. They will pay particular attention to the areas where guests will gather outdoors, too.

Typically, members of the Squad will visit the property 24-48 hour prior to the event to spray. The product will eliminate any mosquitoes on contact and provide continuous protection as mosquitoes feed on the treated plants. If the mosquito problem is especially bad, they will come out twice.

If you’re planning a special event, reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office to discuss your mosquito treatment options. We’re happy to help you as you create the perfect outdoor event.

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New Ways to Find Standing Water

Happy New Year everyone! All of us at Mosquito Squad want to wish you a great 2015.

The Squad is excited for 2015 and to helping our clients fight the bite at home. As always, we’re trying to stay abreast of what’s happening with mosquitoes, ticks and the diseases they carry and a new article from Florida recently caught our attention.

In the mosquito control world, standing water is a big nemesis. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. If the water is circulating or moving, the eggs cannot mature and develop into pests that bite. Florida, which has a lot of mosquitoes, is looking for new ways to locate standing water and they think they’ve found it: drones.

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District plans to use two drones this year in the search for standing water. The drones’ planned flight paths stay away from all airports but can survey remote areas that may otherwise be unseen. With the location of standing water, the municipality can go out and treat the standing water with larvicide and growth regulators.

The Federal Aviation Administration authorized the use of drones for this purpose.

We’re excited to see what comes of this new tool and development. We’re always on the looking out for standing water while treating our clients’ properties for mosquitoes and ticks. We’ll treat any areas that we feel are causing the mosquito population to increase on the property, but we know that mosquitoes can come from other properties, commercial, municipal or residential. If the drones work well, it could be a great way for cities and counties to be more proactive with their mosquito abatement programs.

Reducing the amount of standing water in your yard is the first step in reducing your mosquito population (one impacts the other), that’s why we came up with the 5Ts. The Ts will help you to look for and remove the standing water on your property. Just take a look at this to see what we mean:

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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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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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Mosquitoes’ Natural Predators – who gets rid of them in the wild

Mosquitoes have lived on Earth for millions of years and as they have changed and evolved, so have their predators. While the little pests are resilient, they do have many natural predators. So who are these helpful predators?

Splendor of late summer can be found via the dragonfly.Dragonflies – Dragonflies eat mosquitoes at all stages of their development. Mosquitoes need standing water to development and often do not stray too far from where they hatch. Dragonflies are also known to stay near water. Large populations of dragonflies are known to cut down on the number of mosquitoes in an area because they can easily feed on them before the mosquito reaches maturity.

Mosquito Fish (Gambusia Affinis)

Mosquito Fish (Gambusia Affinis)

Fish – many different types of fish feed on mosquitoes in their egg, larva and pupa stages. One of the most helpful fish to have around when it comes to mosquito control is the aptly named mosquito fish. These fish are only 4 to 7 centimeters long, but they consume a large amount of mosquito larvae. Mosquito fish have been introduced to many parts of the world to combat active mosquito populations, including South America and Russia where they were a major factor in the eradication of malaria.

The bat can eat between 600 and 1,000 bats in a single hourBats – Bats are the only mammals that can fly and are found throughout the world. The majority of bat species feed on insects including mosquitoes. In some areas of the world, people place bat houses on their property as a way to naturally control mosquitoes. While bat houses have been used since the 1900s, some experts wouldn’t recommend them. Although bats do eat mosquitoes, it is less than 1% of their diet. And, maybe it is just me, but I wouldn’t want a bat in my backyard anyway!

Other mosquito predators include purple martins, prey mantises, nematodes and fungi.

When considering mosquito control options, looking to the pest’s natural predators is not your best bet. Professional mosquito control will provide you with better results and the options are plenty.

At Mosquito Squad we have three main forms of mosquito control for your yard. Our most popular service is the barrier spray, that reduces the area’s mosquito population by 85-90%. The spray is applied to foliage around your property and lasts for up to 21 days.

If you would prefer an all-natural product, our barrier spray does come in an all-natural option. It acts as a repellent and isn’t as effective, reducing the population by 80%. Because the all-natural mosquito spray breaks down more quickly, it needs to be reapplied every 14 days.

Lastly, Mosquito Squad offers misting systems that can be installed on your property. The misting system emits small bursts of mosquito control at times of the day when mosquitoes are at their most active.

If you have any questions, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Will the Polar Vortex Eliminate Mosquitoes?

Many parts of the country have been hit with extremely cold temperatures this week due to the polar vortex. While it’s difficult to stay outside for just a few minutes in negative temperatures, we have seen several questions regarding how the cold affects mosquito populations and if they can survive.

mosquito in iceSorry everyone, but the polar vortex isn’t killing off all mosquitoes. Mosquitoes have been on this planet for millions of years so it isn’t surprising that they’re pretty adaptable and can withstand extreme temperatures. Don’t get me wrong, some mosquitoes will die due to freezing cold, but not all.

While some larval mosquitoes may make it through the winter, the vast majority of the pests are in one of two life stages if they are going to survive the cold months: eggs or adults.

Mosquito eggs are very resilient and can lay dormant for years before hatching. All they need to mature is standing water and warmer temperatures. If eggs were laid in low ground, for instance, they will go dormant throughout the winter months. When temperatures rise again and the area is flooded with standing water, the eggs will then begin to mature again.

Adult mosquitoes, if they are to going to live through the summer, must prepare for months of hibernation. Not unlike other animals who hibernate, mosquitoes increase their weight through feeding as they will not seek meals in the winter.

When the temperatures drop, mosquitoes will find shelter to protect them. These include hollowed out wood, storm drains and inside homes and sheds. One 20th century researcher, J. Turner Brakeley, noted that if mosquitoes were able to find their way into heated areas, they would not go into a full hibernation like those in colder environments.

Brakeley found mosquitoes would curl up with their legs underneath their bodies when in hibernation, presumably to try to maintain some body heat.

So there we have it. I may be happier to go through the polar vortex temperatures if I knew it meant a summer without mosquito bites, but that simply is not the case. When the weather warms up again this spring, the mosquitoes will be back in full.

If you have an active mosquito population on your property, we at Mosquito Squad are happy to help you fight the bite! Our mosquito control treatments will reduce the numbers of mosquitoes by 85-90%! The mosquito spray that we utilize kills adult mosquitoes on contact and provides continued protection for up to three weeks. At that point, we would recommend another treatment.

If you have any questions, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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