Posts Tagged swat malaria

An air conditioner that kills mosquitoes?

At Mosquito Squad, we like to stay up-to-date on all things mosquitoes and a new product from LG Electronics has piqued our interest. The Mosquito Away air conditioner not only keeps residential properties cool, but kill mosquitoes at the same time!

Mosquitoes are not only annoying but dangerous, especially in Africa. In Kenya, 73% of the population is at risk of malaria and causes 20% of all deaths in kids under 5 years old. With the high rate of malaria, LG believes the Mosquito Away is perfect for Kenya. As Joseph Kim of LG East Africa explains;

“We believe that our new Mosquito Away air conditioner can provide true comfort to Kenya consumers. The challenge of designing a product able to provide an effective, non-toxic way of dealing with mosquitoes was one we were only too happy to meet. With ultrasonic wave technology, impressive cooling performance and low-voltage operability, we are confident that the Mosquito Away air conditioner will meet the needs of the Kenyan market.” Source.

How does the air conditioner kill mosquitoes? Through sound. The machine has a button that turns on a speaker that plays ultrasonic waves. The waves will not harm humans, but they confuse and cause paralysis and death in mosquitoes.

In tests, Mosquito Away effectively decreases the number of female mosquitoes (the ones that bite) by 76% within 24 hours. The World Health Organization has helped test the air conditioner due to it potential to fight malaria.

Kenya isn’t the only country in Africa that is heavily affected by malaria. While we at Mosquito Squad help fight mosquitoes in the U.S, we are also helping in the fight in Africa through our partnership with Malaria No More.

Malaria No More is a non-profit organization with the goal of ending malaria deaths in Africa. They have teams on the ground installing bed nets, providing malaria tests and treatments and educating the locals. Malaria is both preventable and treatable; yet, it kills millions of people every year.

If you are interested in giving to the fight against malaria, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net. A donation of just a dollar is enough to pay for a test and treatment, saving a child’s life.

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Smelly Socks Help Fight Malaria

While this sock may repulse most of us, it attracts malaria-carrying mosquitoes

While this sock may repulse most of us, it attracts malaria-carrying mosquitoes

This story out of London, I must admit, made me giggle. How many of us have unfortunately received an unwanted whiff of smelly feet? I have and it’s gross, but apparently smelly socks are joining the fight against malaria. Yes, socks may help fight the most dangerous mosquito-borne disease.

In a recent lab study, mosquitoes were introduced to smelly dirty socks. The mosquitoes that were infected and were carrying malaria were more attracted to the odor than those without the disease. In fact, they were three times more likely to be attracted to the smelly socks.

So what does it mean? As Dr. James Logan of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine explains, “every time we identify a new part of how the malaria mosquito interacts with us, we’re one step closer to controlling it better.” Source.

Up until this point, scientists didn’t know if carrying malaria made a mosquito more attracted to humans. This research, proved that. The hope is that traps can be created to target malaria mosquitoes using their sense of smell. By using smell as the trigger, scientists believe it would be difficult for the pests to avoid traps. Andrew Reed, a professor of biology and entomology at the University of Pennsylvania, explains that “the only way mosquitoes could (develop resistance) is if they were less attracted to human odors. And if they did that and started feeding on something else, that would be fine.” Source.

The next step in researching and developing a trap is to synthetically reproduce the foot odor, which has to be just right. Mosquitoes have very keen senses of smell so extensive testing will be needed to pinpoint the chemicals that attract them and the create the right balance.

Mosquitoes are the most deadly animal on earth due to the number of disease they transmit through their bites. Malaria, in particular, is estimated to kill 600,000 people a year. Most of those deaths take place in Africa. What a lot of people don’t realize is that malaria is both preventable and treatable. At Mosquito Squad, we do our part in helping fight malaria through our partnership with Malaria No More. Malaria No More is a nonprofit whose goal is to stop malaria deaths in Africa.  They raise awareness and funds to help provide protective bed nets, malaria tests and malaria treatments.

For many of us in the United States, we weren’t alive or remember a time when malaria was an issue in our country, but it was. The Centers for Disease Control was first created with the goal of eradicating malaria from the US. Insecticide was sprayed by airplanes as well as around homes and by the beginning of the 1950s, malaria was no longer considered an issue in the United States.

While our pest control company locations help fight mosquitoes and the diseases they carry here, we are always following the latest news on what is happening in the fight to end malaria. If you would like to learn more about malaria and Malaria No More, please visit their website. You can help fight malaria by donating at SwatMalaria.net.

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Cellphones help to fight malaria?

No. I’m not talking about mosquito repelling phone apps here. Researchers in Kenya are using cell phone data from millions of cell phone users to track the prevalence of mosquitoes in certain areas:  “That data was used to track where people traveled. The researchers then superimposed maps of population density and the rate of infection of malaria. The prevalence of the number of people infected with the disease combined with the travel data was then used to establish a per-day probability that a person would be infected if they visited a specific location.” Source.

Researchers were able to see why there were rises in malaria cases where mosquitoes aren’t common. It was because people were traveling to areas where mosquitoes carrying malaria were very common. After being bitten, those people returned home, carrying malaria with them. With this data, travelers are more informed on their personal health safety when it comes to this preventable, but deadly disease.

Although this study was first used to study malaria, researchers are already looking at other ways to use it, including tracking Dengue fever which is prominent in many tropical locations. They actually believe that Dengue will be easier to track because it’s more common in urban areas where there are more cellphone towers, which means more human movement data. Malaria, on the other hand, is more prevalent in rural areas.

Help Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad get rid of Malaria

Help Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad get rid of Malaria

At Mosquito Squad, we are interested to see more from this study. It could help people protect themselves properly before traveling to places where their probability of being infected with malaria is high resulting in more people getting sick.

Malaria, as I mentioned is preventable, yet it kills a child in Africa every minute. We’re proud supporters of Malaria No More whose goal is to end all malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. They’re making great strides towards their goal by providing protective bed nets to families. One ten dollar bed net has the ability to protect a mother and two small children while they sleep at night.

To donate to Malaria No More, please visit SwatMalaria.net.

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Helping Minimize Malaria Deaths in Africa – You can help

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad helping Malaria No More

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad helping Malaria No More

A few years ago, Mosquito Squad joined Malaria No More in its goal toward near zero malaria deaths in in Africa by 2015 and we are happy to continue our support.

Malaria is rampant in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, killing a child nearly every minute, yet it is both preventable and treatable. Malaria No More helps fight the growth of malaria by helping to provide protective bed nets at $10 apiece.

At Mosquito Squad, we have committed more than $50,000 to the effort and encourage our nearly 100 franchisees to provide information and ways to donate to their customers. “We are so fortunate that parents in our country don’t worry about the possibility of their children contracting malaria,” says Scott Zide, president of Outdoor Living Brands, Mosquito Squad’s parent company. “We can’t think of a better organization that fits with our values and our corporate goals of making our world a better, safer place to live, not only in backyards across America but in the villages of Africa as well.”

Take a look at the video below and donate to Malaria No More at SwatMalaria.net.

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