Tag Archives: mosquitoes

Mosquitoes in the Fall

 

Summer is coming to and end.  What does that mean?  It means no more vacations to the beach, the kids are starting a new and exciting school year. The hot and humid weather is coming to and end. Some people look forward to the end of summer because they’re eager to say goodbye to mosquitoes. Unfortunately, mosquitoes don’t disappear with the hot summer temps.  What do they do?

They thrive in cooler weather. Mosquitoes can be just as active as in the summer. Since they are cold-blooded, they do hibernate or die off, but only once temperatures are consistently below 50°F. So, in the early fall months, they feel right at home in the cool, but not cold, weather. The cooler temperatures that most of us look forward to, also mean mosquitoes are more active during the day, instead of in the evening.

The mosquito spends the fall preparing for winter. Certain species lay winter-hardy eggs that can survive the cold and then hatch when Spring comes with warmer temperatures and rain. The females of other species mate, fatten up, and go into hibernation in protected places, such as in a log or under a house. When the weather warms up in the spring, the female emerges and lays eggs. Very cold temperatures signal the end of the biting. Some mosquitoes may be able to survive the winter, but they certainly won’t be out biting you once the temperatures drops. The first frost is typically the time when you can say goodbye to those buzzing pests.

 

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Will This Patch Make You Invisible?

While the Kite patch might not give you superhero powers to turn invisible, it can help you hide yourself from pesky, disease carrying mosquitoes.  The founders of the Kite Patch started this venture to make a difference around the world and change the way we prevent mosquito borne illnesses in areas that need it most: Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America.

Kite is a simple sticker that you wear on your t-shirt.  It uses non-toxic chemicals to mask the carbon dioxide our body gives off for 48 hours.  This is effective because mosquitoes track us through our CO2 emissions up to 100 yards away (the size of a football field!)  They are trying to not only reduce the need for spraying ourselves with bug spray and lotions but making  a low cost sticker that is affordable to those who need it.

They are still working on the manufacturing and plan to do a field test in one of the most mosquito disease ridden areas in the world, Uganda.  Once they begin manufacturing they promise that for every Kite Patch sold, a person of need will receive one as well.  There is a constant wave of new technology to help eradicate mosquito borne illnesses, but this is a step in a completely new direction.

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It’s Mosquito Control Awareness Week!

It’s that time of the year again! Mosquito Control Awareness Week!  We here at Mosquito Squad not only want to help keep your yard bite free but we want you to be able to as well!  We have some simple tips you can do in your own yard to keep the mosquitoes at bay.  Take a look and see some common areas around homes that mosquitoes love to hang out.

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You can make sure these areas don’t become mosquito hotels by following the 5 T’s!

#1:  Tip – Reduce standing water to eliminate mosquito threats, including those in children’s sandboxes, wagons or plastic toys; underneath and around downspouts, in plant saucers and dog bowls. Other hot spots include tarps, gutters, and flat roofs.

#2: Toss – Remove excess grass, leaves, firewood and clippings from yards.

#3: Turn – Turn over larger yard items that could hold water like children’s portable sandboxes or plastic toys.

#4: Tarp – If tarps stretched over firewood piles, boats or sports equipment aren’t taut, they’re holding water.

#5: Treat – Utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug spray on the body. Mosquito Squad’s eliminates up to 90% of the mosquitoes and ticks on a property.

We want you and your family to have a safe and enjoyable experience in your yard.  We know that mosquitoes can be annoying but they can be dangerous as well.  Carrying diseases like West Nile and potentially spreading heart warms in pets, reducing your mosquito population is beneficial for all members of your family!

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Planning on becoming a vegetarian?

The Lone Star Tick

The Lone Star Tick

Well you might have to if you get bit by the Lone Star Tick.

The Lone Star Tick is causing allergies to the sugar alpha-gal commonly found in red meat, marshmallows and gel-capped vitamins.  Allergic reactions have vary from hives to anaphylactic shock.  The difference between this allergy and other food allergies is that the reaction takes up to several hours to occur, hours after you’ve consumed the sugar.  That is because it takes time for your system to digest the food to then expose the alpha-gal into your system.

The Lone Star tick is commonly found in Texas and other nearby states but they also reside in Michigan so we do need to take precautions.  However, just like deer ticks and Lyme Disease, not every one who gets bit by the Lone Star tick acquires this alpha-gal allergy.  But if you get bit by a tick and then experience any allergic reactions to anything containing the sugar alpha-gal please let your doctor know immediately.  In the meantime here are our Mosquito Squad’s 6 C’s to help protect you and your family from ticks.

C #1: Clear Out. Reduce your tick exposure by clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas. Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic. Separate them with wood chips or gravel. Don’t position playground equipment, decks and patios near treed areas.

C #2: Clean. Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house and lawn edges, mow tall grasses and keep your lawn short.

C #3: Choose Plants. Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and/or install physical barriers to keep deer out of your yard. Check with your favorite nursery to determine the best plant choices.

C #4: Check Hiding Places. Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick walls, and patio retaining walls are popular hiding places.

C #5: Care for family Pets. Fully pet your animals daily, this will help you find any ticks that have landed on them before they detach in your home. Family pets can suffer from tick-borne diseases and also carry infected ticks into the home. Talk to your vet about using tick collars and sprays. As with all pest control products, read and follow the directions.

C #6: Call the Pros. Mosquito Squad utilizes both the barrier spray that can kill live ticks on the spot as well as “tick tubes.” Strategically placed, “tick tubes” prompt field mice to incorporate tick-killing material in their bedding, effectively eliminateing hundreds of tick nymphs found in each mouse nest.

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Not all Mosquito Treatments are Created Equal

Standing water is a breeding haven for millions of mosquito eggs

Standing water is a breeding haven for millions of mosquito eggs

If you’re like any of the people I’ve talked to this week, then you know how bad mosquitoes are in Southwest Michigan right now.  With all the rain we got in April mixed with the warm weather we’ve been enjoying, mosquitoes are making a comeback this season, and they’re making it a big one.  I think one of our customers put it best when they said that they couldn’t go outside without the mosquitoes shaking their hand and asking them for their seating preference while the mosquitoes feasted on them.

Kidding aside, this year is already much worse for mosquitoes than last year and we want to help.  There are a couple companies who claim to offer services that take care of mosquitoes and possibly ticks too.  These companies offer a knockdown treatment only.  This means that once a month they come and take care of any mosquitoes that happen to be in your yard at the time they are treating it.  These treatments have zero residual effect and will not keep you and your family bite free 4 weeks later, let alone 2 weeks later.

Start enjoying your mosquito & tick free yard today!

Start enjoying your mosquito & tick free yard today!

We at Mosquito Squad know that to be the most effective you need to include a knockdown treatment and a time-released treatment.  And your yard needs to be treated every 3 weeks, not every 4-6 like several other companies.  We want to make sure that you don’t become a mosquitoes next meal, while you’re trying to enjoy yours. We are specialists when it comes to treating mosquitoes and ticks.  We have focused in and targeted these particular pests, instead of treating in general, hoping that it will take care of the ones you want.  Our specialty sprays include a spray for Mosquitoes and Ticks and now another specialty spray that targets Fleas and Gnats.  And as mentioned before, ALL of our services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  So that means, if you ever experience any issues with our services we’d be more than happy to make it right.

So don’t be unhappy 25% of the time with less protection and fewer sprays, be happy 100% of the time with a system and product we know will take care of 85-90% of your mosquito population.  Start taking back you yard today!  Call us for a free estimate 269.932.1444.

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Lyme Disease Awareness Month

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and with how many calls we’ve been getting about ticks this month we wanted to share a little about staying safe and protected from ticks.  We’ve made it easy with the 6 C’s for Tick & Lyme Disease Protection!

C #1: Clear Out. Reduce your tick exposure by clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas. Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic. Separate them with wood chips or gravel. Don’t position playground equipment, decks and patios near treed areas.

C #2: Clean. Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house and lawn edges, mow tall grasses and keep your lawn short.

C #3: Choose Plants. Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and/or install physical barriers to keep deer out of your yard. Check with your favorite nursery to determine the best plant choices.

C #4: Check Hiding Places. Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick walls, and patio retaining walls are popular hiding places.

C #5: Care for family Pets. Fully pet your animals daily, this will help you find any ticks that have landed on them before they detach in your home. Family pets can suffer from tick-borne diseases and also carry infected ticks into the home. Talk to your vet about using tick collars and sprays. As with all pest control products, read and follow the directions.

C #6: Call the Pros. Mosquito Squad utilizes both the barrier spray that can kill live ticks on the spot as well as “tick tubes.” Strategically placed, “tick tubes” prompt field mice to incorporate tick-killing material in their bedding, effectively eliminateing hundreds of tick nymphs found in each mouse nest.

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Cell Phones Help in the Fight Against Malaria

216 million people worldwide get infected with malaria.  655,000 people die from the disease.  90% of those deaths are in Africa.  Malaria is spread via the bites of mosquitoes infected with a parasite and early symptoms are flu like and include fever, nausea, and aches.  If left untreated it can be fatal.  Since 2000, death rates have dropped by a 1/3 in Africa thanks to better prevention and control programs, but the region remains a hot spot.

Malaria is still a pressing issue for a lot of countries, particularly in Africa.  That is what prompted Harvard researchers to track the spread of malaria in Kenya.  However, not how you might expect.  They used cell phone data (calls and messages) from 14.8 million cell phones.  Using cell phone records from June 2008 through June 2009 they tracked the timing and origin of calls and texts, all users remained anonymous.  Each call and text was fed through one of 11,920 cell towers in 692 Kenyan settlements.  The individual’s location was then logged.  People were ascribed a home area based on their most often used cell tower.  Then each journey within the country could be tracked as cell phone users moved to different cell tower ranges.   This built a picture of how they were traveling between towers on a weekly or monthly basis.

Using this data researchers created detailed maps of travel to and from malaria hot spots and made predictions about how human travel has affected the transmission of the disease.  Human travel is an integral piece of the malaria puzzle.  Mosquitoes fly approximately 1/2 a mile in their lifetime.  People travel much further. Not only is it possible for mosquitoes to hitch rides in travelers belongings, but people themselves help the spread of the parasite.  Aysmptomatic travelers could carry the parasite over a hundred miles. Now humans do not infect other humans directly.  An infected human may arrive to a new area and be bitten by a malaria-free mosquito. The human infects that mosquito.  The mosquito, now infected bites another person, and the cycle continues.

These findings help better understand how human travel patterns can spread disease and lead to improved public health efforts to curb the mosquito-borne infection.  The disease travel map points out exact areas for concentrating malaria control efforts and suggests places where stopping malaria won’t have a big impact.  Regional routes around Lake Victoria are major disease corridors for malaria. Towns along the routes are not spots for transmitting malaria to the rest of the country.

Researchers stated, “Mapping the routes of parasite dispersal by human carriers will allow for additional targeted control by identifying the regions where imported infections originate and where they may contribute substantially to transmission.”  It is important to know where these hot spots are because with tight budgets it’s impossible to screen and treat everyone.  Phones could be tools for targeting resources with practical applications.

With this information, governments could focus efforts on areas that were likely to both contribute and receive the highest number of infections. New control efforts could include boosting surveillance in these places, improving communication about the risk of travel to these areas, and perhaps sending text messages to travelers if they are visiting a high risk region. “As mobile phone data sets becomes increasingly available and representative of entire populations, we anticipate that studies like the one we present here will become common for understanding a range of different infectious diseases,” Buckee, et al.

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