Posts Tagged Science
Posted by Robin Steele in All Natural Mosquito Spray, Garlic Mosquito Spray, Mosquito barrier spray, Mosquito Bites, Mosquito Control, Mosquito Factoids, Mosquito misting, Mosquito prevention tricks, Mosquito Squad, Mosquitoes, Mosquitoes In the News, Outdoor Events, Outdoor Living Bug Free on December 23, 2011
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.
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.
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.
Posted by Robin Steele in All Natural Mosquito Spray, CDC, Mosquito barrier spray, Mosquito Bites, Mosquito Control, Mosquito Factoids, Mosquito fun, Mosquito misting, Mosquito prevention tricks, Mosquito Squad, Mosquito-Borne Illnesses & Diseases, Mosquitoes, Mosquitoes In the News, Outdoor Events, Outdoor Living Bug Free, West Nile encephaltis and meningitis, West Nile Virus on November 5, 2011
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.
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.
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 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 • firstname.lastname@example.org
This past week, my daughter and I were out on the back porch planting the usual autumn perennials. It is always a special time when we do our “seasonal” planting together, we get to spend some quality time with one another and I have an opportunity to educate her on different species of flowers and plants, which is a tradition she will one day pass on to her daughter. We decided to plant huge yellow chrysanthemums in correlation with rust colored majestic pansies both of which are so lovely this time of year against the changing leaves within the landscape. As we were busy getting our hands dirty, my daughter pointed out a large spider web right off our back porch attached to the azaleas around it. The spider was in a circular shaped web and the spider residing there was quite large, and scary looking, but yet beautiful in its own way. I discouraged the thought of getting rid of the spider until I learned more about this mysterious beauty. I was curious about the type of spider we have living in such close proximity to our home and decided to do a little research on the spider.
My gut feeling was that the spider we found was a “writing” spider reminiscent of the mythical spider from my favorite childhood book by E.B. White, “Charlotte’s Web”. My intuition served me well. My findings concluded that the spider we have residing within our azaleas is actually an Argiope, or black and yellow garden spider, also known as a corn spider, and referred to as a writing spider as well, just like Charlotte from my beloved childhood novel.
What I discovered is that our guest, the black and yellow Argiope, is a common spider found among fields and gardens because they like to spin their orb shaped webs among bushes , tall plants and flowers. The female Argiope is a good bit larger than the male, and judging by the size of ours, she is obviously a female. The female spins a large web which spirals out from the center and can be as large as two feet across. The male spider will then spin a smaller web for himself on the outside of her web and is has a characteristic zig-zag pattern. We have not yet caught a glimpse of Mr. Argiope yet, but are hopeful to catch a candid soon. The interesting thing about the Argiope is that each evening the spiders will eat their web and build a new one.
The purpose of the web, like all spiders is to trap and digest prey such as insects which are the spider’s main food source. The web also serves as a nursery where the female will lay her eggs on one side of the web and cover them with a papery sac for protection until they hatch in the fall. Then the baby spiders will remain within the protective sac throughout the winter, and will leave when mother nature harkens the arrival of spring. A single egg sac can contain over one thousand eggs. The Argiope like almost all spiders is not harmless to humans and rarely, if ever bites humans except in the rare instance as a defense mechanism if they are grabbed.
There is more to this stunning spider than meets the eye, the black and yellow Argiope eats mosquitoes among the many insects that get caught in its web, which cuts down on the amount of disease carrying mosquitoes that are thriving along the realm of my backyard. Suddenly this spider is beginning to become my friend. They also dine on aphids and flies as well, this spider is helping cut down on mosquito populations and helping to keep aphids off my rose bushes? Based on these findings, we have decided to let the black and yellow beauty make herself at home. We will not disturb her as she raises her young and has her gourmet dinners of my aphids, flies and mosquitoes and other garden pests. Bon appetit !
So, before you squash that spider that makes you squeamish, give some thought to the many ways it may be of great benefit to you and the world around you. Many of the world’s most scream inducing insects and animals, like the spider and the bat, benefit us from being natural predators of potentially dangerous insects such as mosquitoes, making them an effective weapon is the battle for mosquito control. For every mosquito they dine upon is one less we have to potentially put us at risk.
Visit our Mosquito Squad website to learn more about our safe and effective mosquito and tick control programs. Or, look at our location list for a mosquito and tick control location near you.
The bat is a familiar image used to evoke fear and creepiness throughout the year and especially during the Halloween holiday. The infamous vampire bat is used to emulate a shape shifting capability that the vampires of Hollywood have become famous for. But even though we think of the bat as an icon of o-hallows-eve, the bat is as beneficial as it is spooky. Bats like many other birds, fish and mammals live primarily off of a diet of insects, and among those insects on the bat’s menu is the mosquito.
Bats are broken down into two suborders, megabats and microbats. Megabats primarily feed off of fruit nectar and pollen while microbats feed on insects. Microbats are considered to be a mosquito predator and can greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes that are likely to feed off of us as well as infect us with the diseases that they harbor. Bats come out to feed at dusk or right after dark and can eat a whopping 600 to 1,00 insects per hour. This is a substantial amount considering that the population of bats within a fusion can measure into the thousands. When you isolate a single bat eating mosquitoes it doesn’t paint the whole picture as accurately as taking the number of bats feeding off mosquitoes and other insects in one isolated area can.
Contrary to popular belief bats are not blind. Their eyes are quite small and underdeveloped, therefore the bat uses their heightened senses of hearing in order to locate and catch their prey. The bat uses a high-pitched sound that only other bats can hear and when the echoes from this sound hit an insect or another animal the echoes from their sound will bounce back off the prey and lead them to it. This incredible process is called echolocation.
Microbats begin hunting and feeding on their own at around 6-8 weeks of age, and a single microbat can live up to 20 years. Research has indicated that if bats were to become extinct the insect population would explode at an alarming rate putting all of us at a greater risk for insect-borne illnesses and diseases. A group of one thousand bats can eat up to four tons of insects in a years time, this is proof positive that bats play a crucial role in keeping insect populations down and keeping us safer by doing so.
Next time you see a bat at dusk quickly darting through the twilight skies at breakneck speed, take into consideration just how much good that little creature is doing for us by reigning supreme as a natural mosquito predator. As a society we should think of the bat as the crown prince of mosquito control instead of an icon of the prince of darkness.
We thought our barrier control mosquito and tick prevention was pretty good by lasting 2-3 weeks with one barrier spray to your yard. Well, outside of bats, barrier spraying your yard is the next best thing.
Visit our Mosquito Squad website to learn more about our safe and effective mosquito and tick control programs. Or, look at our location list for a mosquito and tick control location near you.
Recently I took my car in for an oil change. The technician told me I needed a new air filter and proceeded to show me the reason why. It seems that a mama mouse had decided to use my car’s air filter for her nursery this year, my filter was full of tissues and other bedding materials that she was using to “feather” her warm, fall nest deep within my cars inner workings. No wonder every time I needed a Kleenex lately the box was empty?
Naturally I had the technician change the filter, but the point of the story is that mice are building their nests now for a warm spot to have their babies, this includes the white footed mice that are responsible for facilitating the cycle for Lyme disease. These mice will need, and will find, by one means or another a material to fill their winter nests. Why not provide the mice with nesting material ( so they will leave my tissues alone) and kill the Lyme carrying ticks that harbor on the mice and within their nests?
Does this sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not, and it is happening more often with the use of tick tubes. Tick tubes are small tubes that contain an insecticide treated cotton to provide a way to kill ticks that harbor Lyme disease by using the mice as couriers. The insecticide is safe for humans and animals, but kills the ticks quickly and efficiently. The insecticide used to treat the cotton is a mild, plant-derived insecticide. Tick Tubes have been proven to reduce the chances of coming into contact with a tick infected with Lyme disease by up to 90%. This innovative tick abatement product presents a win/win answer for us and the mice. The mice get help building their nests and we reduce our chances of coming into contact with this tick-borne illness on our property.
Here is a breakdown on how it works. Mosquito Squad places these tubes at random throughout the areas on your property where mice frequent. The mouse find the tick tube, and along with being a happy mouse for finding great bedding for her winter’s nest, she carries the treated cotton within the tube back and starts building. The young deer tick feed on the mice, this is part of the evolution of Lyme disease. The treated cotton in the nest and around the mouse breaks the chain of disease before it can infect a human because once exposed to the insecticide treated cotton, the tick perishes.
Mosquito Squad uses these innovative tick tubes within their tick abatement program. Contact Mosquito Squad to learn more. Using tick tubes will keep the mice happy, and will give you peace of mind against tick-borne illnesses and disease. 804.353.6999 • email@example.com
Posted by Robin Steele in All Natural Mosquito Spray, Mosquito attracters, Mosquito barrier spray, Mosquito Bites, Mosquito Control, Mosquito Factoids, Mosquito misting, Mosquito prevention tricks, Mosquito Squad, Mosquito Types, Mosquito-Borne Illnesses & Diseases, Mosquitoes, Outdoor Living Bug Free on October 2, 2011
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.
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
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