Tires and Mosquitoes on your Property? Is there a connection?

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.

iStock_000011912713SmallTires 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.

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Mosquito Borne Chikungunya Continues to Spread

We are in the midst of mosquito season and a new mosquito borne virus continues to be reported across many parts of the U.S. Chikungunya, which was first reported in Florida in May, has now been diagnosed in Texas, Massachusetts, Arizona, Ohio and 22 other states. The average number of cases in the U.S. has been around 28 per year, but there have been over 120 cases so far this year, and we are in the height of mosquito season!

A swarm of mosquitoesIt’s believed that all of the American chikungunya cases have been transmitted to the patients while traveling abroad and hasn’t been transmitted in the U.S, but that could change. As the Centers for Disease Control explains: “With the recent outbreaks in the Caribbean and the Pacific, the number of chikungunya cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States from affected areas will likely increase. These imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in the continental United States.” Source.

Chikungunya is most commonly found in Africa and Asia. This past fall, the Caribbean reported larger numbers of the disease, spreading throughout the area, illustrating how quickly it can spread.

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine or cure for chikungunya, but it is rarely fatal. Its symptoms include fever, severe joint pain and rashes. Symptoms occur in the first 12 days after transmission and, unlike West Nile, the majority of people with chikungunya will display symptoms.

When it comes to mosquito-borne disease, the best course of protection is an integrated pest management system, with both do-it-yourself and professional action. Reducing the amount of standing water is the first step in cutting down your property’s mosquito population. It takes just a little bit of water for female mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

No MosquitoesEven if you tip over outdoor objects or toss trash, it is incredibly difficult to get rid of all the standing water on your property, and even if you did, you will still have mosquitoes on site. A professional mosquito control company is the second step to protecting you and your family against mosquitoes and the illnesses they carry. By applying a mosquito spray to your property every 21 days, Mosquito Squad will greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard (usually by 85-90%)!

If you have questions on how to protect yourself from mosquito-borne disease, please reference the CDC website at cdc.gov or contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Keep your Pet Safe this Summer

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.

pet-summer-safety

We at Mosquito Squad are happy to help keep this little pup safe in the summer (and give him a toy to play with).

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.

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Mosquito Control Awareness Week Aims to Educate Homeowners

Happy Mosquito Control Awareness week everyone!

This week marks Mosquito Control Awareness Week as declared by the American Mosquito Control Association. This annual awareness program aims to educate the public on the impact mosquitoes can have on their daily lives as well as how mosquito control companies can help with their mosquito population.

Female mosquitoes require a blood meal to produce eggs, but that small bite can leave some people itching for days! Humans are allergic to mosquito saliva which triggers the reaction. While mosquitoes are simply annoying for most people, they can be dangerous. It’s estimated that mosquitoes kill over 700,000 each year with the diseases they transmit.

Dread versions2During this Mosquito Control Awareness Week, Dread Skeeter and the rest of the Mosquito Squad are teaching homeowners how to reduce the mosquito population on their property.

TIP. Mosquitoes require standing water for their eggs to mature and hatch. By cutting down on the amount of standing water on the property, you are also cutting down the number of mosquitoes. Tip over objects that hold water including birdbaths and fire pits.

TOSS. Yard debris like grass clippings, leaves and firewood can be a haven for mosquitoes and ticks. If you aren’t intending to use it, throw it out.

TURN. Objects left out in the yard can hold enough water for a mosquito to lay her eggs. Make sure that children’s toys, dog bowls, plant saucers and other objects are turned over when they aren’t being used (or at least every few days).

REMOVE TARPS. Most tarps aren’t pulled tight enough over the items underneath, resulting in water pooling. Our mosquito control technicians often notice tarps over wood, grills or sports equipment that are the perfect place for mosquito eggs to mature.

TAKE CARE. Every home requires regular maintenance. You may clean your gutters, have your irrigation checked and cut your grass to make your home look better, but that will also help you to control your outdoor pests.

TEAM UP. If your property abuts another one, talk to your neighbors about removing the standing water from their property. You could remove all the water from your yard, but if your neighbor has a lot of standing water, you very well could continue to have a mosquito problem.

TREAT. Having a professional mosquito elimination spray applied to your property can reduce your mosquito population by up to 90%! At Mosquito Squad, we visit our clients’ homes every 2-3 weeks to protect them from the nuisance and dangers of mosquitoes and ticks and reduce the need to spray DEET on their skin.

If you have questions regarding your mosquito control options, please contact your local Mosquito Squad location.

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Chikungunya Confirmed in more States

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?

178503521The 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.

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Keep Your Guests Happy at your Next Outdoor Event

weddingJust last year I attended an outdoor wedding in New England. It was an absolutely gorgeous summer night with perfect weather. The cocktails and reception were outside. It was lovely, until dusk set it. As the sun got lower, the property was bombarded by mosquitoes. There were mosquito wipes and bracelets on hand for guests and not only did they smell bad, but they also didn’t work. I personally went home with a few welts that I itched for a few days after the event. The scenario is completely avoidable when you plan your outdoor event properly and have professional mosquito control.

Whether it is a wedding, graduation party, barbecue or other outdoor party, a special events mosquito control spray can help you keep mosquitoes off the guest list and away from your friends and family.

With a Mosquito Squad special events spray, our technicians visit the property 24-48 hours before the event. If you have a particularly bad mosquito problem, we may suggest us coming out twice before the party. During the application, our trained technicians will spray our mosquito control products on the areas of the property that mosquitoes are most likely to harbor as well as the areas where guests will gather. The mosquito mist will eliminate the pests on contact, greatly reducing the property’s mosquito population right away. After we’ve left, the product will eliminate mosquitoes when they feed on the treated plant material.

While it may be easy to organize a spray for a family barbecue, for larger events like weddings there is a lot more to coordinate. Mosquito Squad is happy to work with caterers, event planners or other vendors to schedule the right time to come out and protect the property from mosquitoes. It is common for us to come the day before or early in the morning before other vendors are there setting up.

Don’t let annoying mosquitoes ruin your outdoor event. Instead, have a professional mosquito control company visit the site. If you have questions or would like to discuss logistics, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Vector-borne disease apparent early in 2014 season

At Mosquito Squad, we pride ourselves on protecting our clients from the annoyance and dangers of mosquitoes and ticks.  As the weather continues to warm up, we’ve seen an influx of requests for tick and mosquito control for the yard. And with news across the country of vector-borne disease, it is no surprise people are looking for ways to keep the bugs at bay.

kill mosquitos and ticks at commercial venuesJust last week, we discussed Chikungunya having been found in Florida and now new reports of dengue in the area have locals concerned over an outbreak. Dengue fever is a virus transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. Symptoms of dengue include rash, fever and muscle and joint pain. While there is no specific medication for dengue, patients that are able to stay hydrated are able to fight the disease successfully.

While Florida is being hit by these tropical mosquito-borne disease, early mosquito and bird tests in Illinois are positive for West Nile in the area. Many municipalities across the country catch and test mosquitoes. It not only helps them gauge how much municipal spraying is needed, but it also lets them know if mosquitoes carrying certain bacteria are present.

With an increase of ticks in many areas of the country, officials are concerned about the growing numbers of Lyme disease as well.  From Michigan to Virginia to Vermont, local health officials are warning residents to be vigilant and take precautionary measures when spending outside in areas where ticks are known to be active.

Reducing your exposure to mosquitoes and ticks is the best way prevent vector-borne disease. At Mosquito Squad, we use a combination of mosquito spraying and tick tubes to cut down on the pest population on the property. Having continuous outdoor pest control, normally applied every 2-3 weeks, during the busy mosquito and tick months will reduce your mosquito population by 85-90%!

If you have questions on how to protect yourself from vector-borne disease, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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