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Recent discoveries provide proof that man has been battling against the bite for thousands of years

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Yes, research now proves the stereotypical caveman was knowledgeable in mosquito control

When we think of things that come under the category of “pre-historic” our minds automatically gravitate towards fur loin cloths, wooden clubs and dinosaurs. However, did you know that mosquitoes have been around for over 170 million years and survived the ice age even when the dinosaurs did not? This proves that the pesky, blood sucking insects we continuously wage war upon were even a constant thorn in the sides of the cave men. Recent findings show that early man was even using primitive methods of plant-based  mosquito control remedies nearly 77,000 years ago to control their wrath.

Scientists have recently discovered evidence of bedding that was constructed from plant stems and leaves which contained a natural plant derived insecticide. This bedding would have served as much for mosquito control as for comfort at the time. The bedding was discovered in a rock shelter in Sibudu South Africa and is believed to be left by our early ancestors who slept in the shelter from 38,000 to 77,000 years ago.

Mosquito

This resilient creature survived the ice age

The use of these plants and leaves prove that the cavemen had knowledge of the specific insecticidal and medicinal uses of the plants within the world around them. Analysis of the bedding also concluded it was refurbished with the insecticidal plants and leaves on more than one occasion proving again, that the inhabitants of the Sibudu site were well aware of the properties and attributes of the plants and leaves they were choosing to “feather their beds” with at the time.  Researchers also learned from excavation of the sight that the cavemen burnt spent and used bedding in a way to possibly further mosquito control efforts within their living space and to maintain an insect free space for further occupation. This discovery is 50,000 years older than the most ancient preserved bedding we have found in the past.

Now, when you think of our earliest ancestors keep in mind the intelligence and ingenuity that may have kept them mosquito free amid a world of insect frenzy, without the conveniences we know and are accustomed to today. This is truly a miraculous discovery indeed. Our advanced technology in the world of mosquito control all lead back to early man and his battle against the bite, which research can prove has been going on for thousands of years.

No Mosquitoes

No Mosquitoes

When it comes time to enjoy those outdoor activities that we all look forward to over the winter months, contact Mosquito Squad to ensure you and your family stay mosquito free this season. Our methods are proven safe and highly effective in the ongoing battle we wage on the dreaded mosquito- and with Mosquito Squad you will come out the winner every time.

To locate the Mosquito Squad closest to your cave, visit our locations list available on our website.

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Reports show a malaria vaccine is currently in the works to wipe out this killer forever and offer hope to millions.

malaria_parasites and red blood cells

Malaria parasites and red blood cells

Malaria is a disease that most widely affects residents of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Approximately 1,500 cases of Malaria are diagnosed each year here in the US, most of which are among those who travel to these locations or those returning from countries where Malaria transmission occurs. In most cases those travelers return home unaware that they are harboring Malaria until the symptoms start to appear.

Malaria is spread through the bite of a mosquito that is carrying  the parasite Plasmodium falciparum which causes. Up until recently, efforts to develop a vaccine against Malaria have been fruitless due to the inability to prevent the parasite from entering the red blood cells. Findings recently published in Nature reveal that a single receptor that allows for the parasite to enter and infect the human body has now been identified. These findings could put an end to Malaria pills, insect repellents and bed nets for residents of Malaria ridden areas for good.

Zambia4.large insecticde treated bed nets arrive to much anticipation in Zambia

Insecticide treated bed nets arrive to much anticipation in Zambia to aid in the fight against Malaria

The vaccine singles out the receptor that is responsible for the Malaria parasites to invade the human body. The vaccine will change entire cultures and ways of life in areas where Malaria is responsible for millions of deaths. These areas include sub-Saharan Africa where in 2008 and estimated 83,000 people, most of which were young children, died from the disease.

Mosquito Squad is a proud supporter of Malaria no More which promotes expanded knowledge and prevention of the disease through education and access to tools needed to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria.  Mosquito Squad is also excited about the anticipated development of this malaria vaccine that is scheduled to be ready in approximately two years.

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad helping Malaria No More

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad helping Malaria No More

Contact Mosquito Squad to learn more about the Malaria No More program we support and to find out about safe and effective mosquito and tick control in your environment as well. To find a Mosquito Squad location close to home visit our locations list located on our website.

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The vicious cycle of West Nile Virus from the beginning to the end

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Mosquito Squad wants you to learn the facts about West Nile Virus."

As many of you already know West Nile Virus is a virus spread to humans and animals through the bite of a mosquito that has become infected with the virus through feeding off an infected bird.  The question is how does the infected bird become infected with West Nile in the first place?

The cycle of West Nile begins with a mosquito which transmits  the virus to a bird by way of the mosquito feeding from the bird, once the bird has become infected it serves as an amplifying host by developing levels of the virus that are sufficient enough to promote infection to other biting mosquitoes and thus pass it on to us  and other birds and animals through the bite of the infected mosquito that fed from the bird, which was already initially infected by a mosquito to begin with. Although quite confusing, the cycle is also complex, naming the mosquito the guilty party where all aspects of infection from West Nile are concerned. This vicious cycle carries out over and over again and amplifies the disease in birds. The disease was first identified in Uganda in  1937 and  since then has been commonly identified in the Middle eastern regions of the world, Africa and Western Asia. The virus had not been identified in the U.S. until an outbreak in New York in September, 1999. Since the New York outbreak more than 30,000 people have been reported with the virus and out of those 1,200 have perished from the virus. As of 2011 46 states have reported outbreaks of West Nile.

Blue Jays and crows are more likely to die from West Nile Virus than other birds.

Blue Jays and crows are more likely to die from West Nile Virus than other birds.

Many types of birds are likely to be infected with the West Nile Virus, but studies have shown that crows and blue jays are more likely to perish from the infection. In the 1999 New York area West Nile epidemic there was a huge die off of crows from the disease. Since this occurrence more than 200 species of birds found dead in the United States have tested positive for the virus. There is a detailed species list available through the CDC website that identifies the infected birds mortality rate from 1999 to present. You may visit here to view the list  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/birdspecies.htm The identification of these species were reported thanks to the help of the public reporting cases of dead birds to their state and local health departments whom is responsible for collection and testing of dead birds all across the US.

Mosquito

The root of the West Nile epidemic lies in the mosquito.

Birds serve as vectors, or intermediate carriers for the disease from the minute the infected mosquito bites them. In many cases sick birds won’t show any sign of the virus and in other cases birds can just fall out of the sky dead from the virus. When a human becomes infected with the virus it can take on three forms, one of which is an asymptomatic  infection, the second is West Nile fever which is a mild febrile syndrome and the third is the most severe form of the virus which is called West Nile meningitis and West Nile encephalitis. Meningitis and encephalitis are neuroinvasive disorders which causes acute swelling of the membrane and lining of the brain and the brain itself.

Since there is no immunization for protecting us from West Nile the best way to lessen the chances of becoming infected with the virus is to minimize the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Taking control of your property is key to controlling mosquito populations.

Here are some helpful hints to keep mosquitoes away…

  • Keep your property mowed and free of debris and brush piles.
  • Keep your bushes and plantings trimmed, tidy and avoid letting them get overgrown
  • Make sure gutters and downspouts are free of debris that might cause moisture to collect
  • Tip, toss out and turn over outdoor items that are not in use or those that may serve as reservoirs for moisture
  • Check screened areas for rips or tears frequently and repair immediately to avoid mosquitoes from entering your home
  • Frequently dump and refill bird baths or other areas where water can stand and serve as a place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs
  • Have you property treated by a licensed professionall to kill and control mosquitoes
Mosquito_Squad_spraying_your_yard

Mosquito Squad can help you take control of your property and keep it mosquito free.

Mosquito Squad is dedicated to keeping you and your family safe from mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus. Our safe and effective barrier spray , as well as out mosquito misting systems offer you outstanding mosquito control. Contact us today to learn more at 877-667-7823

804.353.6999 • info@mosquitosquad.com

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Is there trouble brewing in that mud puddle?

An underwater army of Culex larvae, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

An underwater army of Culex mosquito larvae, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Mosquitoes cannot exist without water, and I don’t mean just to serve as to keep them hydrated. Female mosquitoes need water in order to lay their eggs and carry on the cycle of life, and thus preserve the nature of the mosquito species itself. Many folks think that it takes a large amount of water for mosquitoes to lay eggs in. This is a common misconception. The truth is it takes very little water at all for a female mosquito to lay hundreds and even thousands of eggs to nurture her blood-thirsty offspring.

Many sources of water that are commonplace in any yard, on any street and around every house and business can be a source for concern. Mosquitoes are known vectors of illnesses and diseases such as West Nile Virus, Malaria, Meningitis and Encephalitis just to name a few, therefore citizens should become educated in the manner and locations that could potentially serve as a Petri dish for disease.

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free.

Storm drains, road ditches, flower pots, mud puddles, discarded soda bottles, children’s outdoor toys and even crevices in trees that can hold water make perfect nurseries for Mrs. Mosquito to carry on her legacy of irritation, pain and disease. All around the US, record rainfalls  this season have produced swollen rivers, lakes and creeks that can boost the population of mosquitoes across the country. There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes around the world all looking for a place to carry on the family name, so here are some ways to reduce the chances of making your property attractive to expectant female mosquitoes.

  • Inspect the areas around your home and property often and discard any items that are collecting moisture
  • Tip, toss, turn over and throw out any items not in use or that serve no purpose other than as water reservoirs
  • Make sure to keep your property trimmed of overgrowth and free of debris
  • Keep gutters and storm drains free of brush and debris that can cause water to accumulate
  • Empty and change water in bird baths and wading pools at least once per week
  • Inspect screens on windows and doors to make certain mosquitoes don’t find their way indoors
  • Have your property treated by a licensed professional
Mosquito life cycle, courtesy of Leon County Mosquito Control, Tallahassee, Florida.

Mosquito life cycle, courtesy of Leon County Mosquito Control, Tallahassee, Florida. ( Notice the blue area that shows the importance of water on the mosquitoes life cycle)

These simple safeguards can keep your and your family safe from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. Mosquito Squad is waging war on these pests with our mosquito control and prevention programs . Our safe and effective barrier spray is highly beneficial as part of keeping mosquitoes off your property.  Our  Barrier sprays are applied at regularly scheduled intervals during the season to keep you mosquito free all season long. We also offer an automatic mosquito misting system that disperses a spray at timed intervals throughout the entire day.

Even though mosquitoes have been around for over 170 million years, Mosquito Squad can help you take control of your property to keep you and your family safe and mosquito-free. Contact us today to learn more

804.353.6999 • info@mosquitosquad.com

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This silent predator is the world’s deadliest. Mosquitoes?

angry-bear

The mosquito is deadlier than a bear believe it or not.

We have witnessed bear attacks and lion attacks on the TV. The new millennium promises a reality show at every click of the remote. From hunters being chased by bears to gazelle falling prey to lions in Africa, it is all laid out for the whole world to see. Now, how would you feel if I told you the deadliest predator on earth doesn’t roar, or growl? In fact you won’t even feel it attack you until after the damage is already done. The deadliest predator on earth, my dear friends, is the mosquito. The mosquito is responsible for more deaths worldwide than wild animal attacks. The mosquito is the silent predator who strikes and leaves disease in its wake. For this reason alone the mosquito should make us all fearful for it gives no warning of it’s oncoming bite.

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito and tick free.

Haven’t you ever wondered why most times you don’t see the mosquito that left that red, itchy welt on your leg? The mosquito has the uncanny ability to bite without you knowing it is happening unless you just happen to look down and catch the act in progress. Mosquitoes actually inject a numbing agent which their bodies produce, into us as they feed from us. Many insects in nature inject a similar numbing agent while they feed, such as the bed bug. This numbing agent enables the mosquito to take their fill in a discreet way. The area that the mosquito has fed from will become itchy only after the mosquito has fed. This itching and swelling is our own bodies reaction to the anticoagulants which are also present in the mosquitoes saliva. These anticoagulants are responsible for allowing the mosquito to feed from us liberally without the complication of our blood becoming clotted during feeding. While the mosquito feeds, the blood she is taking from us fills her abdomen where a sensory nerve within her abdomen will alert her that she is full. If you were to somehow cut or disable the nerve within the mosquitoes abdomen she would actually feed off of us until she exploded!

Keep you and your family off the menu this season with Mosquito Squad

The deadliest predator on earth the mosquito.

The science of the mosquito is dangerous because with other dangerous predators you can run when you see or hear their approach, no such warning is present with the mosquito. Our only defense is to prevent them from getting to you and your family. Blood is crucial to the life cycle of the mosquito, without it the female cannot lay her eggs.

Mosquito_Squad_spraying_your_yard

Mosquito Squad spraying your yard to guard against mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile.

There are many ways to prevent and avoid mosquitoes on your property. Keeping brush and debris cleaned up, lawn mowed and gutters cleaned is a good beginning. You also need to regularly inspect your property and around your home to make sure there are no containers or crevices where moisture can accumulate. Keep in mind any area as small as a soda pop bottle top can become a nursery to over 300 mosquito eggs. Tip, toss, turn over and throw away all things that can retain any amounts of moisture. Check any screened areas around or within the home for tears and holes where mosquitoes could move in on you and your family. Have your property professionally treated by a licensed technician to kill and deter mosquitoes on your property, and above all, exercise common sense and think from the mosquitoes point of view.

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Mosquito Squad has many weapons to kill and prevent mosquitoes from entering your property. We offer an automatic mosquito misting system that releases our safe and effective mosquito control spray in timed intervals throughout the day. We also offer a season-long alternative to mosquito control that uses our safe and effective barrier sprays that are sprayed at scheduled intervals throughout the mosquito season. All Mosquito Squad products are approved by the EPA and deemed safe. We offer worry free, hassle free mosquito control that ends the reign of the silent predator in your yard.

Contact Mosquito Squad today to learn more 804.353.6999 • info@mosquitosquad.com

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It’s Dragonfly Mating Season and All is Aflutter.

Splendor of late summer can be found via the dragonfly.

Splendor of late summer can be found via the dragonfly.

Just as we finish up our summer vacations and get ready to send the kids back to school, a jewel of late summer descends upon us. This last glimmer of brilliance before the leaves start to turn their magical hues of amber, gold and scarlet would come to us courtesy of the dragonfly.

That’s right, for those of you who haven’t noticed it is dragonfly mating season. Each year dragonflies come courting from late July until September while the temperatures are still warm. Dragonflies themselves are rooted deep into American and European folklore as being seen as evil and sinister as well as representing  purity and an active lifestyle in Native American cultures. These are all just myths, the truth is the dragonfly is a beneficial insect within our ecosystem because it eats mosquitoes as well as other insects that not only pester us, but also spread illness and disease.

red_dragonfly

This dragonfly will only live about two months in its adult phase.

The life cycle of the dragonfly contains three phases. These phases consist of the egg, the nymph and the adult dragonfly.  The egg stage of the dragonfly begins when the female dragonfly deposits her eggs onto a plant near the water, or into a pond or marsh. Once the egg hatches, thus begins the nymph stage of the dragonflies evolution. The nymph stage of the dragonfly can last up to four years, or until the conditions are favorable for the nymph to emerge from their marshy water home or pond and begin the flight into an adult dragonfly. During the nymph stage the dragonfly will feed on mosquito larvae as well as other larvae and small insects which dwell within or atop the water.   When the water temperature and outside temperatures are just right, the nymph dragonfly will crawl out its watery home and shed its  skin.  After shedding it’s skin, referred to as the exuvia, the adult dragonfly will emerge to feed on insects such as mosquitoes, and begin the search for a mate to start the life cycle anew. Unfortunately, adult dragonflies only live about two months, giving us little time to enjoy their grace and beauty amidst the late summer. Here is a video that shows the nymph dragonfly feeding on mosquito larvae…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miFN2o3woSw

dragonfly

The beautiful dragonfly is also beneficial because it eats mosquitoes and other insects.

So, if you were curious, like I was, as to why it seems like there is a sudden flurry in the dragonfly population during these recent summer days, the answer is clear. It is matchmaking time for these beautiful insects. Enjoy them while you still can in all their splendor, grace and glory before they are gone again until next year.

Mosquito Squad commends the efforts of the dragonfly in helping cut down the numbers in the mosquito populations. Many mammals as well as other insects consider the mosquito among its favorite meals. Mosquitoes continue to be numerous in their populations and dangerous because of the mosquito-borne illnesses they carry. Despite mother natures best efforts, it is still beneficial to exercise mosquito control and prevention within your property to keep mosquitoes at bay. Mosquito Squad offers many programs to kill and control mosquitoes. From our safe and effective barrier sprays, to our automatic mosquito misting systems. If you would like more information on how to keep your property mosquito-free the rest of the summer, and into the fall, contact Mosquito Squad to learn more. 804.353.6999 • info@mosquitosquad.com

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West Nile Virus can turn into a dangerous neuroinvasive disease, with lasting effects.

Mosquito

This little mosquito is responsible for much disease and devastation worldwide than one could ever imagine.

The mosquito-borne illness West Nile virus is a serious concern again this summer all across the country. What you may not know is that according to the CDC ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) one out of 150 people infected with West Nile Virus will develop a more severe form of the disease. This includes development of West Nile Encephalitis, West Nile Meningitis and West Nile Fever.

West Nile Encephalitis and meningitis are closely related to St. Louis Encephalitis, which is also seen here in the US. West Nile Encephalitis is commonly seen in Western Asia, throughout the Middle East and in Africa. It can infect  mosquitoes, humans, horses, birds and other mammals. Scientists believe West Nile Virus which can lead to West Nile Encephalitis  has been in the US since approximately 1999.

West Nile Fever is an asymptomatic outcome to contracting West Nile Virus and can have symptoms that range from fever, chills, and sweats to a stiff neck, swollen lymph nodes and a rash. West Nile fever portrays symptoms that closely mimic those of the annual flu here within the US. For that very reason, many cases go unreported and misdiagnosed. Symptoms of West Nile fever usually resolve within 7-10 days ( much like the flu) but the fatigue and swollen lymph nodes can persist for up to two months.

Photo of West Nile Virus under a microscope

Photo of West Nile Virus under a microscope

The more serious  neuroinvasive diseases , like West Nile Encephalitis and Meningitis,  can attack the nervous system of those infected.  The typical incubation period of West Nile Virus is usually between 2 to 15 days. In cases where West Nile turns into a neuroinvasive disease such as West Nile Encephalitis or West Nile Meningitis symptoms can last for months and leave  permanent neurological damage.

Encephalides , such as West Nile Encephalitis cause an inflammation of the brain. Meningitis affects the membrane surrounding the brain as well as the spinal cord by causing both to swell. These two diseases can be life threatening in the elderly and those with compromised systems. Symptoms of West Nile Encephalitis and West Nile Meningitis include a high fever, severe headache, disorientation, tremors, convulsions and even coma. An individual that displays any of these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

Mosquito_Squad_spraying_your_yard

Mosquito Squad spraying your yard to guard against mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile.

Although there is no vaccine or specific treatment for West Nile Virus, precautions can be taken to minimize your risk of contracting West Nile or one of the neuroinvasive counterparts of the illness. The first and foremost step is protecting yourself from the source of the illness- the mosquito. Complete avoidance of areas where mosquitoes could be present is not realistic, but keeping the area you spend the most time in and around, which is usually your home and yard mosquito-free is within the grasp of reality. Taking control of your own property is by far the best defense against being bitten by a potential disease carrying mosquito. Keeping your property in your control, and not letting mosquitoes get the upper hand is easier than you may think.

The first weapon in taking control of your yard is to eliminate all areas where mosquitoes can breed and flourish, this includes any open containers which can harbor moisture, cleaning up debris piles, keeping your gutters clean and free of debris and keeping your lawn cut and trimmed. If your home contains screened areas, whether it is a porch or windows, regular inspections to make sure there are no rips, tears or separated screens is vital to ensure mosquitoes do not enter your living areas. Having your property treated by a licensed professional is also an important step to maintain a mosquito free residence and property.

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Mosquito Squad can also help you take control of your property by the convenience of their season-long mosquito control. We can apply our safe and effective barrier sprays to kill and prevent mosquitoes from entering the treated premises at regular scheduled intervals throughout the mosquito season. These scheduled sprayings ensure you are receiving the utmost mosquito control available. Mosquito Squad also offers an automatic mosquito misting system that is installed on your property and emits timed sprayings throughout the day. You can contact Mosquito Squad to learn more about their worry free and convenient mosquito preventives and deterrents  which ensure your safety and give you peace of mind.

Contact Mosquito Squad at 804.353.6999 • info@mosquitosquad.com and put an end to the battle each summer against mosquitoes, ticks and the diseases they carry.

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