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Blog | March 2012

Helping Minimize Malaria Deaths in Africa – You can help

A few years ago, Mosquito Squad joined Malaria No More in its goal toward near zero malaria deaths in in Africa by 2015 and we are happy to continue our support.

Malaria is rampant in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, killing a child nearly every minute, yet it is both preventable and treatable. Malaria No More helps fight the growth of malaria by helping to provide protective bed nets at $10 apiece.

At Mosquito Squad, we have committed more than $50,000 to the effort and encourage our nearly 100 franchisees to provide information and ways to donate to their customers. “We are so fortunate that parents in our country don’t worry about the possibility of their children contracting malaria,” says Scott Zide, president of Outdoor Living Brands, Mosquito Squad’s parent company. “We can’t think of a better organization that fits with our values and our corporate goals of making our world a better, safer place to live, not only in backyards across America but in the villages of Africa as well.”

Take a look at the video below and donate to Malaria No More at

Protect Fido from Lyme disease

Hello, my name is Jane and yes I am a crazy dog owner. This cute face to the right is one of the lights of my life, Wiley. I rescued Wiley and those big ears four years ago and he’s been my number one running pal, cuddle body and just a great companion since day one. If you are a dog owner, you know this love. The love of a wiggling body and pure joy any time you walk through the door. I could go on forever about my pup, but I will stop and get to the topic at hand: protecting this little guy.

As we’ve written about before, Lyme disease is a growing issue for many parts of the country, but what some people don’t know is that it affects dogs (cats don’t seem to show any symptoms). Unfortunately our four-legged friends can just tell us when they aren’t feeling well and their fur hides any hint of the bulls eye rash that human get. You may notice if your dog is a little “off” however. In the case of Lyme disease, here are canine symptoms:

  • Lameness due to joint pain
  • Sensitive to touch
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Stiff walk
  • And more

Lyme disease is transferred to humans and dogs alike through bites from deer ticks. As our dogs are more likely (in most cases) to run around in the woods, bushes and leaves piles than we are, they are also more likely to get bitten by ticks, making it all the more important to protect them. Topical flea and tick medicines that are applied monthly will help kill ticks if by chance one does bite your furry buddy. And just as you would if you were bitten by a tick, remove it carefully with tweezers and place it in a plastic bag in case it needs to be tested for Lyme.

If you live in an area where there are a lot of deer, it’s very likely that deer ticks are close by as well. In certain cases, tick control is necessary to protect you and family from tick bites and the diseases they carry. Mosquito Squad’s barrier spray and tick control will help kill ticks before they can get to you. Contact your local squad to learn more.

Mild Winter Means More Mosquitoes

There is a week left in winter and many parts of the country are seeing abnormally warm temperatures. Nice, right? Well, good and bad is more like it. While many of us are enjoying the nice weather by spending more time outdoors, so are the mosquitoes. They are coming out, in droves. The mild winter, while it was nice, will end up bringing out more mosquitoes this spring and summer.

Mosquitoes breed in standing water. If there are sustained freezing temperatures in the winter months, a lot of mosquito eggs will die. Unfortunately, this past season didn’t provide many areas with the needed cold and resulted in a larger number of eggs reaching maturity. In short, that means more annoying bugs.

Randy Peck of Mosquito Squad, who provides mosquito control in Charlotte and its surrounding areas, was recently interviewed by the local media regarding this years’ mosquito population:

“With all the rainfall we’ve had, it’s keeping everything moist and it’s not really drying out. So if it stays like that in the spring, I would imagine that mosquitoes are going to be a little worse this year,” says Randy Peck of Mosquito Squad based in Matthews. Peck says the lack of deep freezes and plenty of moisture could make for a problem.” See complete article here.

In some parts of the country municipalities are starting to spray for mosquitoes much earlier than usual. One area of Houston scheduled their first spray 2 months earlier than they did in 2011. Two months!

To cut down on the number of mosquitoes around your home, it is important to get rid of standing water where mosquitoes breed. For us, it’s as simple as the 5Ts:

  • Tip – tip over objects in your yard that may hold water including dog dishes and kids’ toys.
  • Toss – remove excess grass and clipping from yards
  • Turn – turn over larger items like birdbaths and plant saucers so the mosquitoes can’t fully develop
  • Remove Tarps – If tarps aren’t pulled tightly, they can create small pools of water, and 300 mosquitoes can hatch in a space as small as a bottle cap.
  • Treat – treat the vegetation in your yard where mosquitoes and ticks harbor and feed.

Mosquito Squad provides a mosquito control barrier spray that will protect your yard for 21 days so you can enjoy the outdoors more. If you have questions on how we can help you, please contact your local Mosquito Squad.

Stop the Stink Bug Invasion!

A few weeks ago my husband and I went away with some friends to the Virginia wine country. We rented a cute cabin in the middle of nowhere with beautiful views overlooking the mountains and a lake. It was lovely, until the invasion began.

On Saturday morning, we got up and left early to explore the area. We visited a few wineries and made our way back to the cabin in the early afternoon to rest before dinner. It turned out to not be so restful. While I was trying to nap, I noticed some black bugs starting to appear. Stink bugs to be exact. At first, it was just one or two. Then they started to appear out of nowhere. It was a stink bug invasion. I knew that squashing them wasn’t an option, so we searched the garage for something to help us and found a bottle with “Stink Bug Killer” in large green letters. Perfect, or so we thought.

According to the bottle, we were supposed to spray along windows and doors as well as spray the stink bugs directly. If sprayed directly, they should die in 3-5 minutes. The key word there was “should”. They SHOULD have died. These buggers had a will to live. We sprayed every bug in that place (and had to endure the menthol like smell of the spray) but many didn’t die right away, but we thought “hey, it will work, just give it some time.”

Once we felt safe that every bug had some spray on them, the four of us left for dinner. When we came back, there were A LOT of dead stink bugs, but new ones still seemed to be appearing. And they weren’t bothered by us! The four of us were hanging out by the fire, playing card games when one landed on my husband’s leg (he’s not a huge fan of bugs which did result in some entertainment, but also gave me the willies) and then another one landed on my friend’s head. I had had it with the stink bugs. I did one more very thorough spray session before going to bed. By the time we left in the morning I had a whole new view on stink bugs.

Mosquito Squad franchisees protect their clients’ homes against stink bugs invasions in areas where they are a real issue. I have to admit however, until I saw it for my own eyes, I didn’t understand how bad they can really be. Well seeing them in person taught me. I lasted less than 24 hours having them around. If stink bugs were a problem at my house, I would have Mosquito Squad out ASAP as they truly do take over.

Mosquito Squad clients have been so happy with our stink bug service because it really works. Here is a client testimonial regarding our stink bug control in Frederick, MD: “Mosquito Squad’s treatment made a night and day difference. The stink bugs are dramatically down and the mosquitoes aren’t biting. It was worth every penny.”

If stink bugs are a problem in your area, please call your local Mosquito Squad. Don’t let the invasion continue!

Scientists discover the oldest known case of Lyme disease in Iceman

A new study of a 5,300 year old iceman found genetic material leading them to believe that the man had Lyme disease.

The body of what is now known as Otzi was discovered encased in ice in the Alps back in 1991. Since then, scientists have worked to discover as much as they can about him, his environment and the world 5,300 years ago through his body. Looking to learn more about him genetically, a sample was taken from Otzi’s hip bone and was tested. Along with learning about his appearance, researchers learned a lot about his possible health problems including heart disease and lactose intolerance. They also found evidence of borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme in the hip bone sample. More information on the study can be found on the International Business Times website.

“This is the oldest evidence of Lyme disease and proof that this infection was already present 5,000 years ago,” says lead researcher Carsten Pusch.

Until know, the earliest record of Lyme disease dated back to 1883 and was first diagnosed in the US in Lyme, CT in the ‘70s. In the last study by the CDC, there were over 20,000 confirmed cases in the United States in 2010.

Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks when they take a blood meal. When it isn’t readily diagnosed, Lyme disease can be debilitating, causing severe joint pain and headaches. The most common symptoms are a bulls-eye shaped rash and fatigue. If you are ever bitten by a tick, make sure to place it in a ziplock bag in case it needs to be tested.

With this new information, the question remains: should it be Otzi disease?

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* Tick control not available in MI without a license