Archive for the ‘Mosquito Control’ Category

Beneficial Garden Insect Warriors

Friday, June 24th, 2016

When it comes to our home gardens, we often feel like it’s us against the insect world. We are lone warriors fighting a battle against a well-trained military force of insect pests. What you may not know is that there is help out there, although it comes from what may seem an unlikely place. Some of those insects that you may spot in your garden are actually on your side, willing to join forces with you to fight against the insect pests that seek to destroy your precious plants. These insect predators are only too happy to act as loyal guardians of your garden.

Who can resist smiling at the sight of the bright, happy colors of the red and black ladybug? They bring back cherished memories from childhood of catching them and watching as they trustingly meandered across the palm of our hand. You might be surprised then to discover that these seemingly sweet bugs are voracious predators of plant-eating insect pests such as aphids. Ladybugs will lay hundreds of eggs near the colonies of these insect pests, which are immediately devoured by the larvae after they hatch.

The praying mantis is an insect predator that every gardener should have in their arsenal. These bugs will gobble up just about any insect they find in their vicinity. Unfortunately, this indiscriminate palate also means they will also eat beneficial insects as well as the insects destroying your garden. If you see these guys in your garden, you’ll want to take note of where they hang out and what kind of insects they’re eating in order to decide whether they are being helpful getting rid of the pests or harmful by eating other beneficial insects.

Do you have ladybugs or praying mantises in your garden? Do you think they are helpful insects to have around?

Yet Another Disease Spread by Mosquitos

Monday, June 13th, 2016

Those insatiable mosquitos have done it once again. They’ve added yet another disease to the growing list of illnesses they can infect us humans with when they choose to make a meal out of our sweet blood. In recent years the Ross River virus has become more and more of a problem for Australian citizens. Around 4,000 Aussies are infected with the mosquito-borne illness every year.

Thankfully, the Ross River virus is not fatal, but its symptoms can put you out of commission for a good few weeks. People infected with the virus experience flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, chills, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain. The symptoms tend to surface around a week after you are infected and, although most people recover within two weeks, some symptoms such as fatigue and muscle and joint pain can last for months. The only protection we have so far is to prevent mosquitos from infecting us in the first place using insect repellent. Outbreaks generally occur when there are higher levels of humidity than normal, and mosquitos actually catch the disease from animals, which they then spread to humans.

Have you ever heard of the Ross River virus? Do you know anyone that has caught it, and what was their experience like?

WATCH: Mosquitoes Use 6 Needles To Suck Your Blood

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Genetically Altered Mosquitos Could Wipe Out Malaria

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Genetically Altered Mosquitos Could Wipe Out Malaria

Scientists have recently developed two ways to genetically alter the genes of mosquitos so that they could effectively wipe out malaria within one season. Two teams of biologists from the Irvine campus of the University of California have engineered a new breed of mosquito that carries two genetic modifications designed to eradicate malaria from the world.

The scientists first modified the genes in mosquitos carrying malaria so that one set of genes shoots malaria antibodies at the parasite, rendering the mosquito immune to the parasite and unable to spread the disease. The second modification, known as a gene drive, helps to spread the first gene throughout a population of mosquitos. When the genetically modified mosquitos are released into the wild, the modified males that mate with wild females send a copy of the gene drive, which spreads the new gene, as well as malaria resistant genes to the female.

Almost all the of next generation of mosquitos would carry this new gene that makes them resistant to malaria, meaning they would spread very rapidly and could take over a wild population within one mating season.

What do you know about malaria? Have you ever traveled to an area where malaria is a problem?

Mosquito Q and A

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Why are mosquitoes considered a dangerous pest?

Mosquitoes are vectors of numerous diseases and are often described as one of the deadliest animals on earth. Some of the most common and well-known diseases transmitted by mosquitoes include Zika, West Nile virus, malaria, dengue and equine encephalitis (EEE). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mosquito bites result in the death of more than 1 million people every year — the majority of these deaths are attributed to malaria and not in the United States.

Where are mosquitoes found?

Mosquitoes are found throughout the U.S., although some species are more common in certain regions. One of these, the Asian tiger mosquito, is found primarily in the South, but it has gradually expanded into the northeast over the past few years. Asian tiger mosquitoes are unique in that they feed during the day, unlike many mosquitoes that feed only at dusk and dawn.

Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a ½ inch of standing water. This underscores the importance of homeowners regularly checking their property for containers that could be collecting water and providing a safe harbor for mosquitoes to breed.

Are mosquitoes more prevalent during a specific season?

Mosquitoes are considered one of summer’s most dangerous pests, but they also thrive in the spring and fall. In fact, mosquitoes will remain active as long as the temperature is above 60 degrees.

What are some precautions that can be taken to help prevent mosquito bites?

There are a number of precautions that people can take to protect their home and family from mosquitoes. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following tips:

  • Eliminate or reduce mosquito-breeding sites around the home. This includes birdbaths, flowerpots, grill covers, baby pools, unopened swimming pools, tires and other objects where water collects.
  • Remove unneeded vegetation or trash from around any source of standing water that cannot be changed, dumped or removed.
  • Screen windows, doors, and other openings with fine mesh, sealing around all screen edges and keeping doors and windows shut to prevent entry.
  • Use mesh that is 18X18 strands per inch, or finer.
  • Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. But, also take proactive measures during the day to protect against daytime biters, like the Asian tiger mosquito the main carrier of Zika.
  • When outdoors, wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus on exposed skin whenever outdoors.

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Monday, April 25th, 2016

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The Zika Virus and Infants

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

The Zika Virus and Infants

Learning that the Zika virus can cause infants to be born with microcephaly was bad enough, but new research has found that it may cause much more damage than we previously thought. The study found that the baby’s brain may suffer even more damage than is initially observed at birth, and it may also affect more than just a baby’s brain.

Doctors have already been performing ultrasounds on infected women to look for signs that the baby’s head is abnormally small, but this new study suggests they may also need to look for signs of other brain damage as well. The study suggests the virus could also cause the brain cavities to store extra fluid, and result in a thinner cortex, the brain’s outer layer.

The damage apparently doesn’t stop there, however. This new case study also found the Zika virus in infants’ developing muscle, liver, lung and spleen in addition to the brain. Doctors are now looking at what kind of impact it might have on these other organs.

And it doesn’t end there. Previously, scientists had reported that the Zika virus only remained in the blood 11 days after infection. However, this new study found that in pregnant women the virus could still be found in the blood ten weeks after infection. The researchers believe that the virus remains so long because, after it replicates in the infected baby, it then goes back into the mother’s blood.

Do you think the Zika virus causes more problems than scientists think even now? What else do you think it could affect?

Mosquito Control Tips | Georgia Mosquito Control

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

To prevent the health risks that can potentially accompany an already-pesky mosquito bite, be sure to follow these mosquito prevention tips from Bug Busters USA

  • When spending time outdoors, apply an insect repellant containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus, and reapply as directed on the label. People who are spending long amounts of time outdoors should also consider wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes to limit exposure to mosquitoes. The main type of mosquito that carries Zika is a daytime biter, so taking preventive measures at all times of the day is crucial.
  • Anyone traveling outside of the United States should be aware of travel advisories currently in effect. Pack plenty of insect repellant and protective clothing. If a person falls ill upon returning home, seek prompt medical attention.
  • Mosquitoes need only about a half an inch of water to breed, so homeowners should eliminate areas of standing water such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects where water collects.
  • Even children’s toys like buckets and sandboxes can collect water and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes right in the backyard, so be sure to keep these objects water-free.
  • Screen all windows and doors, and patch up even the smallest tear or hole on screens.
  •  If there are concerns about mosquito activity on the property, contact a licensed pest control company or the local mosquito abatement district.

Zika Virus Coming to the U.S. in Large #’s?

Friday, April 8th, 2016

Zika Virus Coming to the U.S. in Large #’s?

Over 300 local, state, and government officials, as well as health experts and non-government partners met at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently to discuss how the U.S. can prepare for the inevitable onslaught of the Zika virus. Dr. Edward McCabe, medical director of the March of Dimes, stated that we only have a few months to prepare and make sure the Zika virus does not gain a foothold in the U.S. Officials estimate that the virus will reach us by this summer. The time is coming, and at the moment we are not ready for it.

So, health officials across the country are rushing to get ready for the Zika virus. Officials are trying to increase awareness of the virus and educate citizens on what it is, the dangers it presents, and everything that has happened in other countries with it up till now. They are also improving their mosquito control efforts. This will likely mean we will start seeing workers go door to door spraying insecticides, and even asking to go on properties and spray. However, officials do believe that we already have an advantage due to the strong construction of our homes, our use of screens on windows and doors, and our use of air conditioning. All of these factors will reduce our exposure to mosquitos.

What do you think citizens and the government should do to prepare for the Zika virus?


Ever think your herbs you use for cooking can get rid of your bugs?

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Ever think your herbs you use for cooking can get rid of your bugs?

Thinking about gardening this summer, but do not want the variety of bugs attacking your plants? Well there is a solution and it’s not using pesticides it is using kitchen ingredients. Plants have been around for millions of years and have certain natural chemicals that make them resistant to some bugs. However, as gardeners may know there are some bugs that still come around no matter what the plant may be. What researchers have found is when you plant a certain type of plant that you do not want to attract bugs, you can plant a second type of metabolism that may be found in your kitchen which are herbs. Someone who may be used to cooking spaghetti from scratch may use rosemary in their recipe. As it turns out it helps when you use the same thing for gardening as well. Other natural herbs used to help keep the pests away are thyme, oregano, basil, and lavender. These are just some suggestions for those gardeners out there, but if you feel like you cannot get rid of a pesky bug do not hesitate to call your local pest control company.