Tag Archives: science

Deer Ticks

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NO TICKS—CALL cropped-msf_5957-blog-art-2.jpg

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Spring Is Just Around The Corner

 

Call Mosquito Squad for a love filled spring. Love should be in the air not Mosquitoes.
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Did You Know

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A bottle cap can hold enough water for a mosquito to lay up to 300 eggs.

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October is Liver Cancer Awareness Month

Mosquito Squad supports liver cancer month.

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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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Mosquitos with Black and White Stripes?

Ever see a Mosquito with Black and White stripes?   These are the Asian Tiger Mosquito.

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Originally from Asia, this Mosquito can now be found in the US.  Primarily in the Southeastern states it is making it’s way North and West.   These fierce tiger mosquitoes live up to their name, biting during the day, especially in the afternoon. For this reason, they’re sometimes also called “forest day mosquitoes.” Both males and females have white stripes along the thorax, or body, though you’re more apt to notice the females, because they’re the ones who bite.

They are also easily scared away during the biting process and therefore will find several sources for this blood meal.   This characteristic makes it even more dangerous as it will spread diseases from one host to another.   Diseases such as dengue fever, encephalitis and yellow fever, as well as heartworm in cats and dogs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Eastern equine encephalomyelitis and Cache Valley viruses have actually been found in Asian tiger mosquitoes in the United States, though they are potential carriers of additional diseases, if people or animals who have yellow fever or other diseases come to the United States and get bitten. Right now, that’s not a danger.

So the next time you swat a mosquito, be aware of this dangerous species.   If you see these stripes report it to the Health Department, immediately.

Distribution of the Asian Tiger Mosquito in the United States

Distribution of the Asian Tiger Mosquito in the United States

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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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A Spoonful of Sugar

Source: Mobile Mag

Source: Mobile Mag

A new way to administer vaccinations could be distributed in the near future.  This would have an enormous impact for many Malaria stricken countries have a hard time keeping hypodermic needles safe and keep live vaccinations viable.  That’s why scientist’s at King’s College have come up with a small painless method of administering vaccines without need for injections or refrigeration.

The small disc has tiny sugar micro-needles that dissolve in the skin.  The dried vaccine is mixed in with the sugar micro-needles that dissolve. This method is revolutionary for transporting and administering vaccines.  Now we can just stick the sugar coated disc onto someone and have them be able to receive the vaccine without the use of possibly dirty needles or useless vaccines that have become to warm.  Now we just need the Malaria vaccine to be created, another project that seems close on the horizon.

The effectiveness was found to be the same between the traditional injection method of a live vaccine and this new painless dried vaccine.  Mary Poppins had it right all along, sugar does help the medicine go down a little easier.

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The Dreaded Snow Mosquito

Just when you thought it was ok to go outside…we learn about snow mosquitoes!

Photo by svintuss

Photo by svintuss

Don’t be fooled by the name – this mosquito doesn’t go around biting during the snowy months, but they do hibernate so they can be some of the first to emerge come Spring. They stay cozy in leaf litter or in loose tree bark waiting for melting snow to lay eggs in.  They don’t stay completely dormant like other mosquitoes the aedes communis still stays relatively active during the freezing months.  These mosquitoes have the ability to drain their bodies of fluids in order to stop them from freezing.  This allows them to survive temperatures well below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

So how do you keep these frosty mosquitoes away?  When snow starts to melt try to eliminate as much standing water around your home as possible. The same 5 T’s apply in the winter time as it does in the summer.

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. REMOVE TARPS. If tarps stretched over firewood piles, boats or sports equipment and grills 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.

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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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