Archive for the ‘Mosquito Control’ Category

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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.

New Fashion Statement

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

New Fashion Statement

Everyone is familiar with spray on bug repellent, but did you know that there are insect repellent clothes? The military has been using insect repellent clothes called Insect Shield since 2002. This apparel boldly goes where no repellent has gone before, with a repellent blended with the actual fabric that lasts as long as the lifetime of the piece of clothing. They repel anything from mosquitoes to chiggers to spiders. These clothes are hardcore, which is probably why the military has been using them since they came out on the market. When the military first started using the product cases of Lyme disease were on the rise. After the new uniforms were introduced, however, the number of cases dropped to zero.

But, now you too can purchase insect repellent garments through companies like L.L. Bean and Buff. Other new heavy duty insect repellents on the market contain permethrin, which you can spray onto your clothes and it will last for the next three washings.  However, users are advised to closely follow the instructions for how to apply the spray and avoid getting it on your skin. This usually involves spraying the item of clothing and then letting it dry completely before wearing it.

Would you consider using these new hardcore insect repellents on your clothes? Wouldn’t this make camping and having fun outdoors so much easier and less stressful?

You Can Fly how long?

Friday, March 25th, 2016

You Can Fly how long?

Researchers have just discovered the insect that makes the longest trek away from home when they migrate for the winter. The winner is under two inches long, has transparent wings…and is a dragonfly, specifically the Pantala flavescens, aka the wandering glider. These little guys travel an incredible 4,400 miles or more, traveling over oceans and to completely different countries.

The main issue insects have to deal with when flying over large distances is conserving energy. The clever wandering glider dragonfly has learned to rely on their enlarged wing base to allow them to hitch a ride on strong, shifting seasonal wind. This means that they don’t have to constantly expend energy to actively fly from one location to another. They can glide on weather currents for extraordinary distances.

However, one would think this is difficult considering dragonflies need freshwater to reproduce, making traveling across oceans seem like a bad idea. But, the wandering glider dragonfly has adapted its migration schedule to account for this. They actually follow shifting rainfall patterns so they can reproduce in freshwater rain pools throughout the year. And how do they account for food on these long trips? They’ve adapted to eating aerial plankton and other small insects while they are flying. Talk about catching a meal on the go.

What do you think of this incredible ability of the wandering glider dragonfly to travel such large distances and even over oceans? Are you impressed yet, or do they need to have supernatural powers too?

SC Johnson Helps in the Fight Against the Zika Virus

Monday, March 14th, 2016

SC Johnson Helps in the Fight Against the Zika Virus

SC Johnson announced previously that they planned to donate at least $15 million to help protect people against the Zika virus. They have recently made their first major donation to the cause in the form of 60,000 cans of OFF! Insect repellent.

SC Johnson just donated 60,000 cans of OFF! Insect repellent to the CDC for use in protecting people in areas infected with the Zika virus. The insect repellent is going to be distributed in prevention kits by the CDC. This batch is specifically targeted at helping pregnant women in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. The kits will contain OFF! insect repellent, which contains a high concentration of DEET, education materials, and other products and tools to use to prevent people from contracting the Zika virus.

SC Johnson had also sent an initial donation of OFF! insect repellent in February to the CDC when they needed resources immediately. Those products also went into 5,000 prevention kits, which have already been distributed.

What do you think of commercial companies like SC Johnson helping out in the fight against the Zika virus? Should more companies be offering aid, and which ones?

The Culprit Behind the Zika Virus

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

The Culprit Behind the Zika Virus

Spring is coming, and that means our good friends the mosquitos will be back in business full time. The Aedes mosquito is causing quite a stir this year, spreading all sorts of fun illnesses to innocent people. And now it has added a new one to its list. The Zika virus has spread rampantly throughout Central and South America in the past year, and officials see it coming to the U.S. next. While the virus is not spread from person to person, a person can be infected by a mosquito and then pass it on to another mosquito, who can pass it on to more humans. So far the only Americans that have caught the virus were people who traveled to infect areas, but the virus can be transmitted for up to two weeks after a person is first infected, meaning that person has plenty of time to bring it back to the U.S. even if they no longer show symptoms.

The main culprit behind the spread of the virus, the Aedes mosquito, is a rare beast among mosquitos. Unlike most mosquitos, these guys are voracious daytime hunters. They are particularly attracted to tropical climates and are resourceful at breeding in even the tiniest amount of water sitting around in pots, puddles, gutters, and anywhere else water collects. Therefore, the best way to protect yourself from catching the Zika virus is to avoid getting bitten. Get rid of any standing water around your house, and always wear sunscreen during the day whether you’re inside or outside. These pests don’t discriminate.

Are you preparing for the oncoming mosquito season? What are you doing to protect yourself?

Insecticide Resistant Mosquito!?

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Insecticide Resistant Mosquito!?

A hybrid mosquito found in Mali has developed a resistance to the insecticide used in anti-malaria bed nets. Insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) are a form of personal protection that has been shown to reduce malaria illness, severe disease, and death due to malaria in endemic regions. According to the CDC, ‘In community-wide trials in several African settings, ITNs have been shown to reduce the death of children under 5 from all causes by about 20%.’

Gregory Lanzaro, a medical entomologist at University of California Davis, says he and his team are calling the hybrid mosquito a “super” mosquito as it can withstand exposure to the insecticides used to treat bed nets. The super mosquito is a result of the interbreeding of two species of malaria mosquito.

Lanzaro believes that their study discloses evidence that the introduction of insecticides into the environment of malaria-carrying mosquitoes altered their evolutionary relationship and broke down the “reproductive isolation that separates them.”

“What we provide in this new paper is an example of one unusual mechanism that has promoted the rapid evolution of insecticide resistance in one of the major malaria mosquito species,” Lanzaro asserts. In their study, Prof. Lanzaro illustrates how the hybrid emerged. A type of gene-swapping or “adaptive introgression” transpired at around the same time usage of insecticide-treated bed nets increased.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite. Symptoms of the disease range from fever and chills to flu-like illness. Left untreated victims may develop severe complications and die. According to the CDC, in 2010 an estimated 219 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 660,000 people died, most (91%) in the African Region.

The Plasmodium parasite enters the human bloodstream through the bite of an infected mosquito. Once inside the body, the parasite multiplies in the liver, infects red blood cells and disrupts blood supply to vital organs.

Lanzaro was not surprised to find resistance in malaria infected mosquitoes. “Recently,” he adds, “it has reached a level at some localities in Africa where it is resulting in the failure of the nets to provide meaningful control, and it is my opinion that this will increase.