Posts Tagged summer activities

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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City dwellers feel the wrath of the Asian tiger mosquito.

summer camp memories

Do your summer camp memories include mosquitoes?

Where does your memory bank take you when you think of being bitten by a mosquito? Is is that summer you went to camp and brought home the knowledge of how to tie 5 different knots, and a body covered in itchy welts? Maybe, just maybe, it was last week’s backyard barbecue when your husband outdid himself with his BBQ chicken and the mosquitoes outdid themselves as well, running all your friends home early.

When most of think about the type of setting mosquitoes prefer we picture a backyard, or the woods. We rarely ever picture a metropolis sprawling with tall buildings and alive with honking taxis, but that is exactly where officials are reporting scourges of mosquitoes, and even worse, the dreaded Asian tiger mosquito is taking up residence. It is like reading that cherished old children’s tale about the city mouse and the country mouse, the only difference is the mice are actually mosquitoes and this story is not bound for a happy ending.

On July 20th, 2011 The Wall Street Journal confirmed the presence of the Asian tiger mosquito in New York City. This mosquito loves urban areas. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) is developing a cost-effective way to control these mosquitoes. The Asian tiger is showing up in urban areas such as NY city for the simple reason that urban areas stay 5-10 degrees warmer than rural areas. These mosquitoes love the heat and humidity, as they are daytime feeders as well as evening feeders, unlike other species of mosquitoes who only feed during the evening hours. The conditions are perfect for Asian tiger mosquitoes to hang out longer, and with the nationwide heat wave, we are seeing them earlier into the season as well.  The Wall Street Journal cites that the Asian tiger mosquitoes arrived three months earlier this year than they did last year, this year they made their appearance in June. To read the entire WSJ  article visit http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303795304576454312427933764.html

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito

The Asian tiger mosquito is an invasive species with its roots traced back to Southeast Asia. It showed up in America in 1985  when it hitched a ride in a shipment of used  tires bound for the port of Houston, Texas. Since that fated shipment in 1985 the rest is history. These mosquitoes have spread like wildfire all the way up the East coast as far as Maine. The Asian tiger gets its name from its distinct black and white striped markings that mimic those of a tiger.

Not only do Asian tiger mosquitoes feed during the day, they are also aggressive feeders sometimes attacking their victim several times until they are satisfied. These mosquitoes also require very little water to lay their eggs in to multiply the species and thus, they multiply quickly and in large numbers. They can lay their eggs in the holes of a tree, wet leaves, ditches and very miniscule amounts of water to be efficient breeders. It is important to keep all containers turned over and thrown away to discourage infestations from beginning in your own backyard. These mosquitoes can lay hundreds of eggs in a container no larger that a soda bottle lid. Keeping your gutters clean and free of debris also a good way to discourage these pests from multiplying as well. Mosquito Squad outlines the important “5 T’s” to mosquito control in this informative piece http://mosquito-control-blog.com/2011/06/13/the-five-ts-in-mosquito-prevention/

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Common sense precautions are key to preventing experiencing this mosquitoes wrath. Having a licensed professional treat your property is a great way to prevent mosquitoes from your living areas as well. Mosquito Squad has a proven, safe and effective barrier spray program that kills mosquitoes that are in your yard and prevents further infestation from the residual left from the spray. These sprays are scheduled in intervals throughout the mosquito season to give you season-long mosquito control. Mosquito Squad can also install a super effective mosquito misting system on your property that is highly effective in giving you continuous control. After all, out of sight and out of mind is the best solution to dealing with mosquitoes.

Contact Mosquito Squad today to learn more and put an end to the scourge of mosquitoes on your property. Contact us at 877-667-7823 or email us at info@mosquitosquad.com we can put an end to your mosquito ( and tick) woes.

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Don’t let mosquitoes ruin the rest of your summer

Was your 4th of July celebration filled with the worst of the uninvited guests-mosquitoes?

Was your 4th of July celebration filled with the worst of the uninvited guests-mosquitoes?

How was your Independence day celebration? Did you and your family and friends get together for a little outdoor grilling, conversation and to show your patriotism for our nations birthday? I am sure like many folks all over this great land of ours you planned your celebration with relaxation, comfort and enjoyment in mind. But apparently the mosquitoes “thought” they were invited to the festivities as well!

Yikes, the mosquitoes came for the fun and invited all their friends and family as well. Maybe your celebration went a little like this… there were mosquitoes at the cookout, mosquitoes at dinner, mosquitoes while roasting marshmallows, mosquitoes during conversation and mosquitoes while we were trying to enjoy that decadent after dinner dessert or beverage. If this reads like a page from your diary, Mosquito Squad has the answer to all your mosquito woes.

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

On Independence day, and any other day during this season, many of us entertain outdoors and this is especially true during the dusk and evening hours.  Mosquitoes are evening feeders and like to feed under the veil of night and cooler temperatures. Mosquitoes usually feed during those same times that we enjoy entertaining so effective mosquito control is a necessity for anyone who enjoys entertaining  outdoors during the spring and summer.

Mosquito Squad makes mosquito control effortless with our barrier sprays. Our safe and effective barrier spray kills mosquitoes and prevents more mosquitoes from “celebrating” in your yard. Mosquito Squad sprays regularly scheduled sprays throughout the season to keep your property free of the little pests all summer long. Our barrier spray is applied approximately every 21 days for continuous mosquito control. We also have an all-natural solution which offers  effective continuous mosquito control and is applied approximately every 14 days. When I say Mosquito Squad is effortless, it truly is, all you do to get started is contact your local Mosquito Squad to sign up and that’s it- we do the rest. You won’t have to worry about scheduling the spraying, or keep track of anything, we take care of the rest. You probably won’t even give mosquitoes a second thought since you and your family won’t be getting bit.

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

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

The season is still young, don’t let mosquitoes ruin your outdoor fun this summer. After all, it’s summertime, remember, and the living is supposed to be easy…isn’t that how the song goes? Make it easy to keep mosquitoes away from your and your family with Mosquito Squad.

Contact Mosquito Squad today to find and more and to sign up for our barrier spraying. We offer season long tick protection as well. Call  877-667-7823   or email us at info@mosquitosquad.com   and get removed from the mosquitoes menu.

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Spray Your Yard Not Yourself This Season With Mosquito Squad

Dread Skeeter Mosquito Control

Dread Skeeter Mosquito Control

Hopefully, by now all of us are aware of the dangers that mosquito bites can cause. Not only do mosquito bites itch like mad and cause severe discomfort in our lives,the bite from that pesky mosquito can be carrying a disease or bacteria that can make us very ill and in some cases even prove fatal.

I am sure you want  to keep yourself and your family happy and healthy during the mosquito season, and free of mosquito bites. Here is the question I ask you…

Would you rather spray yourself ( meaning your body) every time you have to go outside OR spray your property to control those pesky mosquitoes?

I am sure most of you would answer the latter. Having to continuously apply topical insect repellent every time you venture outdoors can be time-consuming, irritating and if you live in an area of the country where mosquitoes are extremely bad, quite expensive. Not only do topical insect repellents such as DEET, pose health risks when used excessively, they are sticky, and most smell bad. Do you want to host a backyard graduation party for your son smelling like bug spray? Some chemicals in common topical insect repellents can even keep you from sleeping well at night and affect your mood.

Children enjoying a mosquito free backyard

Children enjoying a mosquito free backyard

Mosquito Squad has the right answer to keep you and your family healthy, happy and free of mosquitoes this season. We can apply a safe and highly effective barrier spray to your property this season. Not only will it keep those mosquitoes away it will prevent more mosquitoes from entering your treated property. We even offer an all natural mosquito barrier spray made with garlic. This natural garlic spray is a wonderful alternative to our already safe barrier spray, especially those of you who have small children and are going with a “greener” lifestyle.

If you are tired of constant trips to the store to purchase topical insect repellent and feeling sticky and icky this season, give us a call. Our licensed technicians can meet with you to discuss treating your property and giving you peace of mind to enjoy your summer.  So, go ahead and host that backyard graduation bash and enjoy the scents of the season minus the bug spray.  877-667-7823

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Good Horse Sense- the Risk of Eastern Equine Encephalitis is on the Rise

Is your horse at risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis?

It is not just man’s best friend and your furry feline who are at risk for mosquito-borne illness’s. Many of our beloved pets are at risk to contract deadly diseases from the mosquito, this includes our horses. If you are a horse owner or horse lover who enjoys the company of a gallant steed like I am, then you need to be aware of the dangers that mosquitoes can bring to you and your horse.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is spread by simple mosquito bites and can be fatal to our beloved horses. Eastern Equine Encephalitis is also referred to as “sleeping sickness” among veterinarians and horse folk. It was first recognized in 1831 when 75 horses died in Massachusetts from the illness. This virus was first isolated from the brain of a horse infected with EEE ( Eastern Equine Encephalitis ) ,in 1933 and in 1938 the first confirmed human cases of the disease were identified when 30 children perished as the result of the illness in the northeastern United States.

Symptoms of EEE are usually noticeable about 5 days after a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito. Initially the horse will seem depressed and become quiet. Other signs include impaired vision, aimless circling and wandering even when stalled, an irregular staggering gait, head pressing and rubbing, an inability to swallow, paralysis, convulsions and eventually death.

Since humans can be infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis as well, Symptoms in humans infected with the illness may include high fever, chills, sudden onset of a headache and vomiting, disorientation, seizures and coma.

Mosquito Squad protects horses from mosquitoes and ticks

Keep your horse from being at risk of contracting EEE

There is no specific treatment for EEE in humans or in equine, care is based on symptoms. So the best treatment is prevention of mosquito bites. Bites can be prevented by reducing the number of mosquitoes in the area. There are a couple of solutions for your horse stables and pastures. In your pasture, Mosquito Squad provides a mosquito barrier spray. This is a safe and effective spray that eliminates 90% or more of the mosquitoes and ticks from the area. It is sprayed every 3 weeks throughout the heavy mosquito season. Mosquito Squad also offers a mosquito misting system. Read this story about our misting system installed in a barn in Nashville.

The illness is rare in humans and common sense safeguards reduce your chance of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Have a licensed professional apply a mosquito barrier spray to your outdoor living areas is a good idea to avoid being bitten.

Even though the illness is rarely seen in humans, the numbers of our equine friends being infected is on the rise. Horses, donkeys, mules and ponies are all at risk of this deadly illness. The threat is real and horse owners need to educate themselves on preventing the illness. Fortunately, there is an EEE vaccine for equine now available. Since there is no treatment for a horse already infected with the illness, vaccinations are essential for the prevention of the disease. The vaccination is given in two doses 30 days apart, and a booster given every six months. These are preferably administered in the early spring through the early fall. Talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate vaccination schedule for your horse.

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad fights mosquito and tick bites

Prevention of mosquitoes is also key in keeping your equine healthy. Safe stabling practices and eliminating sources of standing water in the barn, paddocks and pasture is essential. This includes moist hay or grain, open containers and water troughs.

Simple safeguards and knowledge should be exercised from your backyard to the stable in order to keep you and your horse happy and healthy. Give Mosquito Squad a call, when can make good “horse sense” out of keeping mosquitoes away. 877-667-7823.

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Be In The Know Before You Go

Dread Skeeter Mosquito Control

Dread Skeeter Mosquito Control

Spring is right around the corner, and so is spring break for many schools and universities around the country. Many spring breakers plan to head to the coastline in search of warmer weather during this time. Florida, Cancun and the Bahamas are popular spring break destinations for their tropical climate and beautiful sandy beaches. Spring break in many areas of the country has become a right of passage, for a lot of young men and women this is the first trip without mom and dad. Whether this is the case, or you are planning spring break with the family to an island getaway, with warmer temperatures comes an uninvited guest…….the mosquito.

The mosquito has already reared it’s ugly head in warmer locations around the country and around the world. When you plan your tropical trip make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen, and the bug spray. Many of us plan to travel without taking into consideration the insects that inhabit our destinations. It is a real bummer to go down to the beach on the first day of your spring break or vacation ready to relax and have a good time only to end up covered in itchy red bites a half hour into the day. Thankfully, there are many precautions you can take against these little pests. Keep yourself “in the know when you go”. Remember: knowledge is power and if you are prepared with the knowledge to keep the mosquitoes off you then they won’t have the power to ruin your vacation.

Mosquitoes are at their most active late in the afternoon through early evening. This does not mean they cannot bite at other times throughout the day. If you are planning a hike or picnic or any other activity through or close to a wooded area, for example, at lunchtime, the probability of getting bitten if not protected is highly possible. Mosquitoes will retreat during the warmest part of the day to cooler spots such as a wooded area, or natural setting to avoid direct sunlight and extreme heat. This means they can still bite in a vast array of settings, even during the middle of the day.

Mosquitoes are also attracted to us by carbon monoxide. The more buddies you bring to that beach volleyball game before dinner unprotected will more than likely end up as the buffet item for the nearby mosquitoes. As you participate in any strenuous activity you take deeper breaths, and breath heavier, when you exhale there is more carbon monoxide, thus attracting the mosquitoes

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

All is not lost folks, don’t trade out your reservations to Key West to head to Colorado or Montana. Like I mentioned earlier “be in the know before you go”, this means thinking ahead and making sure you are prepared. Make sure you pack a good quality insect repellent. Make sure when applying the insect repellent it is applied after the sunscreen. Also make sure to pack long pants, a jacket and a hat, if planning outings near the woods or forest. If sleeping in non air-conditioned or non screened areas make sure the facilities you are staying at have nets to sleep under. It is also a good idea in some areas to spray the net with insect repellent.

Planning your spring break abroad to assure you are mosquito bite free is easy. Even if you aren’t planning on traveling and deciding to stay home for spring break, these same precautions are smart to use if the mosquitoes have hatched in your necks of the woods. If planning any backyard activities it is also a good idea to have a licensed professional treat the area. Give your local Mosquito Squad representative a call, they will ensure you can have a vacation anytime in your own backyard, now -go have some fun.

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Abandoned Pools Pose Big Threat

Across the country over the last couple years, the once fun and relaxing neighborhood swimming pools are quickly turning into the breeding ground for mosquitoes and West Nile virus. As I read through some of the stories posted on-line, I was surprised to see some of the figures surrounding this idea.

 In California alone: “California officials estimate that there are tens of thousands of abandoned pools in the state”

 Another troubling sign to emphasize the failure to maintain pools is the overall drop in sales: “A pool builder in north Phoenix who estimated business was off 40 percent to 70 percent. Business is just as bad in Florida, where builders like Ben Evans, the chief executive at American Pools and Spas in Orlando, said he had let much of his staff go as orders for pools dropped to 150 this year, from about 1,000 the previous year.”

If I was a baby mosquito, that’s where I’d want to grow up!

If I was a baby mosquito, that’s where I’d want to grow up!

These abandoned pools have turned into a mosquito breeding paradise. As a result cases of West Nile Virus, even in densely populated cities, are rising at alarming rates. Actions are being taken to solve this problem by treating the pools, but with so many our there it is a tough battle that will take time.

 Mosquitoes travel up to one mile from their original breeding grounds. To protect your yard and your family from being at risk, as about a Mosquito Squad barrier spray for your home. Enjoy the outdoors without the worry or risk!

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