Ticks. They lurk in hidden places waiting for a potential host to walk by. In the spring and summer, it’s best to make a habit of checking yourself and your pets for ticks if you spent any time outdoors. A recent study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Centers for Disease Control evaluated how the tick population is related to weather temperatures.
Ticks thrive in warm weather and their activity rises as temperatures rise over 50 degrees. When there is an above average amount of days over 50 early in the year, the population becomes active earlier and the peak tick season, which typically begins in late May, starts earlier. If there is a lot more precipitation than normal, that will postpone the beginning of the tick season.
The changes in weather also impact ticks through their primary blood host, the field mouse. Mice feed on the vegetation in their habitat. When the summer is exceptionally dry it results in less food for the mice, which means less mouse activity and less ticks.
The study explains that a tick forecast could be created each March after looking at the weather in the first ten weeks of the year, but little can be done to forecast when the end of tick season will be.
Ticks are a common concern for many people. Not only are they a nuisance, but they are also dangerous. Thousands of cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year and it is impacting more of the county each and every year. If you ever go for walks or hikes in areas where ticks are known to be active, it’s important to protect yourself. Wear long loose clothing preferably in light colors so ticks can be spotted. After coming inside make sure to do a thorough tick check of your body to make sure that none are hiding out.
At Mosquito Squad we help our clients protect themselves from ticks and the dangerous illnesses they transmit by protecting their yard. We utilize a combination of our barrier spray treatment and tick tubes when appropriate.
Our traditional mosquito control spray is effective against ticks too. The spray will eliminate adult ticks on contact. We suggest having that spray reapplied every 2-3 weeks depending on your mosquito and tick problem to provide continuous tick control. Additionally, we use tick tubes to eliminate ticks in their earlier stages of development. Tick tubes are placed throughout the property in areas where mice would travel. When the mice find the tube, they take the treated cotton that’s inside back to their nests as bedding. Since many nymph ticks get their first blood meal from mice, they are thus eliminated.
If you have questions on how to reduce the tick population on your property, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.
For the last few months we’ve been following the newest mosquito-borne disease to hit the United States: chikungunya. Up until last week, all the diagnosed cases in the U.S. had been transmitted elsewhere. Travellers to the Caribbean were bitten by infected mosquitoes but didn’t display symptoms until back in the states. Last week, however, marked the first domestic case of chikungunya.
A Florida resident was recently diagnosed with chikungunya, but unlike other patients he had not recently travelled outside the United States. With the first domestic case, does that mean we are on the verge of an outbreak? The CDC says no.
The Centers for Disease Control is currently examining how the Florida man got the virus and keeping an eye on any other domestic cases. When chikungunya hit the Caribbean it spread very quickly, infecting thousands of locals and tourists alike, but the CDC doesn’t see that to be the case in the U.S. They “believe chikungunya will be have like dengue virus in the U.S., where imported cases have resulted in sporadic local transmission but have no caused widespread outbreaks.” Source.
With the outbreaks of West Nile Virus we’ve seen in recent years, we know how serious mosquito-borne disease can be, and how quickly it can spread. It’s very important to protect yourself from mosquitoes, especially at dawn and dusk when they are known to be most active.
At Mosquito Squad, we enhance our client’s outdoor living experience by protecting them from both the annoyance and dangers of mosquitoes. Our mosquito control services effectively cut down the property’s mosquito population. Our traditional, and most popular, mosquito treatment reduces the number of mosquitoes by 85-90%, while our all-natural treatment repels 80%.
Depending on the service that you chose, our trained technicians visit your property every 2-3 weeks to reapply the mosquito control product to the foliage where mosquitoes are known to feed and harbor. And, for even more control, we can install a permanent mosquito misting system that emits small bursts of mosquito spray when mosquitoes are their most active. If you are seeing more mosquitoes than normal, you will also have a remote to use.
If you have questions regarding mosquito control options, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.
We recently heard a story from our Mosquito Squad of Charlottesville location that has us concerned. There was a news piece just a few days ago about a neighborhood that has been bombarded by mosquitoes this year, with homeowners and their pets receiving more bites than they have in previous years. The only thing different this year was a new tire shop that’s now open.
Tires make for perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. When left outside, either in piles or even in the form of a tire swing, they can catch and hold water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water where they hatch and mature. In the Charlottesville example, the tire shop had a large number of tires out on the property, creating a breeding haven for mosquitoes!
Luckily, the owner of the tire shop called Jeff Rude, who provides tick and mosquito control in Charlottesville. He and the Mosquito Squad team came out and treated the tire shop’s property, reducing the mosquito population greatly, however, he did notice other issues throughout the neighborhood, not just at the tire shop. There were tarps as well as buckets with standing water, creating more space for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.
Jeff was recently interviewed by the local news and he explained “We advocate teaming up in the community, making sure that everybody is doing their part.” Everyone needs to check their property for standing water that can increase the mosquito population.
Since tires naturally hold water, they do need to be protected from rain, sprinklers, etc. to minimize mosquitoes. If they are being used for a tire swing or another aesthetic or recreational use, we suggest drilling a hole in the bottom so that water passes through.
When tires cannot be protected from water, professional mosquito control can help. Mosquito Squad’s barrier spray eliminates mosquitoes on contact. Additionally, depending on the area and the mosquito problem, we utilize a species specific growth regulations which stops the mosquito from maturing.
If you have questions on how to reduce the mosquito population on your property, please reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.
For many of us pet lovers, our pets become true members of our family. It’s nice to have them around us in the summer when the weather is nice, however, summer does bring with it some safety concerns for pets. Here are some safety tips to keep Fido safe this summer.
Don’t forget the leash. If you are like me, you like to have your dog off leash as much as you can. In the summer, it’s always important to have a leash on hand, even if you are in a fenced in area. Dogs are naturally curious, which can be unsafe. They can easily fall into pools (not all dogs swim well) or get too close to the grill and food. Leashing your dog when he/she is beginning to wander into areas they shouldn’t is a great way to keep them safe.
Clean up. Make sure to put away outdoor supplies when they aren’t being used. The charcoal you cook with, for instance, may make your food taste great, but it can also make your pet ill if they get into it. Make sure items like charcoal, matches, sprays, and other supplies are out of your pet’s reach.
Keep them out of the heat. Dogs and cats can overheat easily when the weather is hot. Make sure your pet isn’t left alone outside (or worse, in a card) when the weather is warm. Even in shade, dogs can become dehydrated and overheat. Try getting up early to walk your dog in the morning before the heat begins.
Water up! Dogs and cats can become dehydrated easily. Check and fill their water dish more frequently in the summer months. If you are taking your dog to an outdoor event, make sure there is some fresh water available or pack some with you.
Groom them! Proper grooming can provide dogs and cats with some reprieve from hot weather. While you should never shave a dog or cat, animals with long hair can be trimmed, or at least brushed more often to get rid of unneeded fur.
Watch out for pests. It’s great to spend time outdoors with your pets in the summer, but it is also when outdoor pests are most active. Take to your veterinarian about how you can protect your pet from fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and the dangerous diseases they carry. At Mosquito Squad, we help protect your furry friends by reducing your yard’s pest population. If you have questions or are interested in protecting your pet with Mosquito Squad, please call your local office.
The newest vector-borne disease in the news and spreading rapidly in the Caribbean, Chikungunya, has now been confirmed in Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. It’s believed that all patients contracted the disease while travelling abroad, but is a U.S. outbreak possible?
The Centers for Disease Control has been vigilantly watching the disease and is concerned about the possibility of it spreading. Historically, around 25 Americans come back to the States each year after having been infected abroad. The current outbreak in Caribbean is what is cause for concern as it’s a haven for American tourists. If more travelers bring Chikungunya back to the U.S, the likelihood of an outbreak here increases.
West Nile was first brought into the United States by travellers before an outbreak occurred domestically.
Not all mosquito species can carry and transmit chikungunya. The Aedes mosquitoes are virus carrying and are known to transmit chikungunya, eastern equine encephalitis, West Nile, and dengue fever. They also happen to be present in all continents except Antarctica.
Chikungunya is typically not fatal, but symptoms can be uncomfortable and serious. Symptoms begin within 12 days of infection and include fever, joint pain and rashes. Recovery from the disease varies widely based on age, with elderly patients sometimes suffering for 2-3 months.
Protecting yourself from mosquitoes is the best way to protect yourself from mosquito-borne illness. At Mosquito Squad, we urge homeowners to remove any standing water on their properties to reduce the ability for mosquitoes to reproduce. Additionally, we protect our clients’ yards with professional mosquito control. Our trained technicians come to the property every 2-3 weeks to apply a mosquito spray that eliminates mosquitoes on contact and provides continuous protection. Clients can expect a 85-90% reduction in their property’s mosquito population.
If you have questions on how to protect yourself from mosquito and tick-borne diseases, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.