New Tick-Borne Disease Found in Kansas

This past summer a Kansas man was infected with a fast-moving illness that took his life after 10 days in the hospital. Otherwise a healthy man, doctors tried treating him with a series of antibiotics that unfortunately didn’t work. After much research, a new microbe has been found and named the Bourbon virus.

Tick BiteNo, this virus has nothing to do with the Bourbon drink, but instead is named after the county in which the only known victim lived. The virus was discovered by researchers with the Centers for Disease Control. It’s believed that the male farmer was infected through the bite of an infected tick while spending time outdoors.

When the man fell ill, the illness got serious very quickly. The Bourbon virus can cause fever, muscle ache, loss or appetite and can lead to lung and kidney failure. Because it is a virus and not a bacteria, antibiotics didn’t help fight the disease.

The patient was tested for tick-borne illnesses but the tests came up negative.

Thee are many more studies that need to be done to get a clear understanding of the Bourbon virus as this is the first known case. Dr. Dana Hawkinson with the University of Kansas Hospital explains: “we have to assume this has been around for some time, and we haven’t been able to diagnose it. We suspect there have been milder cases and people have recovered from them, but we don’t have a lot of information.” (Source.)

Tick-borne diseases can be very serious if not diagnosed and treated properly. If you spend time outdoors in the months ticks are known to be active, it’s important to thoroughly check your body for ticks. If you see one, remove it and place in a plastic bag in case you feel it needs to be tested. If you start to feel sick or experiencing any known symptoms, go to a doctor.

At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients from the nuisance and dangers of ticks with our tick treatments for the yard. We use a combination of our barrier spray and tick tubes to attack the ticks at different stages of their lifecycle, greatly reducing their opportunity to infect homeowners.

If you have questions on tick control for your yard, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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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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Thankful to Named to Top Franchise Concepts List

The holiday season and end of the year is the best time to reflect on what’s passed and be thankful for what you have. At Mosquito Squad, we’re so happy to be named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2015 list of top franchise concepts and want to thank all those who helped us get here.

Mosquito Squad is the only pest control franchise named to this year’s list and our spot is due to both our clients and our franchisees. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you.

With nine years of mosquito and tick elimination under our belt and 90,000 yards protected, we’re so appreciative of where the business is. With over 160 locations across the U.S. we’re excited to finally be opening locations in Florida and Arkansas in 2015. As our president and founder of Mosquito Squad, Scott Zide, explains: “our ‘Squad’ concept has resonated with consumers and homeowners throughout North America who want to take a proactive stance against the nuisance and diseases that both mosquitoes and ticks bring.”

Again, thank you to all of our clients and franchisees for helping us grow the Mosquito Squad name.

If you are unfamiliar with Mosquito Squad, we’re America’s leading tick and mosquito elimination company. We protect families with our effective yard treatments. Our traditional barrier spray treatment is applied to the areas of the property where mosquitoes are known to feed and live, including around and in bushes and high grasses. The spray will eliminate mosquitoes on contact and provides continuous protection for up to 21 days.

For our tick control service, we combine our barrier spray and tick tube treatments. While the spray eliminates adult ticks on contact, the tick tubes help with nymph ticks before they bite you. Tubes that are filled with treated cotton are placed along fences and foundations and other areas where mice may pass. Most ticks get their first blood meal from mice. The mice take the cotton back to their nests for bedding material and the pesticide that’s on the cotton eliminates the ticks.

If you have questions or want to be more proactive with your mosquito and tick control in 2015, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

And because it’s the season; Happy Holidays from all of us at Mosquito Squad:

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World Health Organization Reports Decline in Malaria Deaths

Mosquito Squad has been a proud supporter of Malaria No More for years. Their goal sounds simple: end malaria deaths, but much goes into it. Hundreds of thousands of people, primarily children, die from malaria each year.

But, there’s good news.

Photo Credit: Malaria No More

Photo Credit: Malaria No More

Yesterday, the World Health Organization published its 2014 World Malaria Report and report that there has been a 58% decline in the number of child deaths from malaria in Africa!

We can see the dedication working! More and more women and children have access to bed nets and treatment than ever before. But, the work isn’t done yet. There were still over 400,000 children that died of malaria last year in Africa.

Malaria No More and Mosquito Squad are committed to the fight against malaria not just in Africa, but worldwide. This holiday season, please donate to the cause at SwatMalaria.net.

As educational and medical help continues, here are some of the new innovations Malaria No More is supporting:

  • A malaria test that can detect malaria even if the patient isn’t displaying symptoms,
  • Better medication that can fight the disease more quickly, hopefully with just one pill,
  • More and better technology to help African clinics manage test and treatment stocks and predict outbreaks,
  • And vaccines that prevent humans from contracting malaria when bitten by an infected mosquito.

Ending malaria deaths may seem like a lofty goal, but it is entirely possible to see a world without malaria deals in our lifetime. It is both preventable and treatable. Experts were able to attack malaria and eradicate it from the United States in just a few years back in the 1940s and 50s. The Center for Disease Control was actually first created to address the growing issue of malaria in the US and now, we don’t worry about it here.

If you want to join in the fight and be part of the legacy of ending malaria deaths, please donate now to SwatMalaria.net.

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Who Wouldn’t Want a Mosquito Free Year?

The holidays are officially here. The lights on the malls are on and radio stations have started playing Christmas music. Do you know what that means? It’s time for Christmas shopping. If you’re like me, this is something that fills you both with excitement and dread. Excitement because I like giving my loved ones gifts, dread because there is always someone I have a hard time buying for.

If you have that hard to buy for person on your list too, I have a gift idea for your: a mosquito-free 2015.

Yes, it’s an out-of-the-box idea, but it’s also sure to please. With a Mosquito Squad gift certificate for service, you can let your friends or family enjoy the spring and summer outside without bites.

Mosquito Squad provides continuous mosquito protection throughout the year with our traditional season-long package. Every three weeks, trained technicians visit the property and spray the areas of your property where mosquitoes are their most active. That spray eliminates mosquitoes and tick on contact.

How does the spray last three weeks you ask? The spray settles on the vegetation it is sprayed on. Mosquitoes feed on plant sugars (female mosquitoes only suck blood for protein to lay eggs). When they try to feed on the plants, they ingest the treatment, eliminating them. The spray has a component in it that makes it last despite the weather, but after 21 days, it does need to be reapplied.

If you’re interested in giving a Mosquito Squad gift certificate to a friend or family member this holiday season, contact the local office in the recipient’s area. Our team will simply need the address and idea of the size of the property to give you a quote. Or, you can give a dollar amount!

We hope that we made your gift giving a little bit easier with this idea. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving this week!

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Stinkbugs Spread to 41 States

For some homeowners, it seems like the brown marmorated stinkbug takes over their home in the fall months. They make their way inside for the winter, sometimes in swarms. It’s hard to imagine that the stinkbug didn’t come into the United States until the 1990s. In just 20 years, they have spread their populations widely, now being noticed in 41 states.

More concerns arise as the stinkbugs move west (they’re most invasive on the east coast). Tracy Leskey, entomologist with the United States Department of Agriculture, explain that “it’s a big concern. Sacramento is in the heart of a lot of big-time agriculture.” (Source.) Stinkbugs have recently been spotted in Sacramento, CA and Portland, OR. Farmers are now worried because the pests often feed on local crops.

Looking at study information, it’s not surprising that stinkbugs have gone from coast to coast so quickly. Leskey explains that the typical bug flies up to 3 miles a day, but some has been noticed flying up to 75 miles in just one day!

Wasps are the stinkbug’s most common parasite in its native Asia, but they haven’t made their way to the United States. Kim Hoelmer, acting director of the USDA’s Overseas Biological Control Laboratories, says “it may be a while before we can set an army of foreign wasps on stinkbugs in the U.S.” (Source.) There just isn’t enough research, yet.

While stinkbugs thrive in the United States, Mosquito Squad has helped many homeowners fight the battle against these pests at home. Our trained team applies a spray to the areas of the home and property that stinkbugs are known to harbor or enter the home, eliminating them.

This is the time of the year when stinkbugs look to make their way inside. If you are noticing stinkbugs on your property, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Bill Gates Makes Stand for Malaria Eradication

Bill Gates has long been a supporter of malaria eradication and research, but in a recent speech at Association of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene he once again brought it back into the spotlight.

Melinda and Bill Gates made their first call for malaria eradication 7 years ago alongside the World Health Organization. Since then, the Gates Foundation has made large donations to help the cause while spreading the word through speeches, blogs, etc. (don’t you remember when Gates released mosquitoes during a speech in 2009?).

While Gates addressed ebola (which is on everyone’s mind) in his speech at ASTMH, the majority of his time was spent discussing malaria because of his hope for the future. He explains in his blog that “based on the progress I’m seeing in the lab and on the ground, I believe we’re now in a position to eradicate malaria – that is, wipe it out completely in every country – within a generation.” Source.

Because of their optimism, the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation is increasing its donation to the malaria cause by 30%.

What many people don’t realize, is that malaria was an issue in the majority of the world not too long ago. It wasn’t eradicated from the United States until the 1950s, and that is without the knowledge and science that we have now. This video from Bill Gates’ blog is a great representation of where the disease was, where it is now, and where we’re going:

Mosquito Squad is a proud supporter of Malaria No More. We’re dedicated to seeing an end to malaria deaths and we’re seeing great progress. In the four short years we’re partnered with Malaria No More, we’ve seen the number of deaths in Africa decrease by 50%!

Malaria No More helps fight malaria by providing prevention, treatment and education to the areas of Africa most affected by this disease. Please help us in the fight by donating to Malaria No More at SwatMalaria.net.

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