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Blog | October 2012

Vampires and Mosquitoes: the Commonality of Blood Suckers

It’s Halloween weekend, so how about a vampire post, eh?

Although they’ve been written about for hundreds of years, vampires have had a comeback in popularity with movies and shows like the Twilight Trilogy, the Vampire Diaries and True Blood. For us as Mosquito Squad, we aren’t big fans of vampires. We actually don’t like most blood suckers, primarily mosquitoes and ticks, but vampires are high on our list of enemies too.


Using garlic to ward of vampires is a well-known strategy. Come on, who doesn’t know that light and garlic are two of the best ways to keep vampires at bay? In the famous 1897 Bram Stoker novel, Dracula, Van Helsing protected Lucy by placing garlic around her neck and within her room. And in 1994, Norwegian researchers actually studied whether the theory had any validity. Who knew Norway had so many vampires?

At Mosquito Squad, we’re happy to protect families against vampires with one of our all-natural sprays. You see, one of our all natural mosquito sprays is garlic based. By applying the substance to your yard, you are guaranteed not to have any vampires (real vampires that is, not costumed vampires).

Vampires, mosquitoes and ticks have a lot in common. Not only do they all suck blood and annoy the heck out of people, but they also don’t like garlic. Our all-natural spray keeps mosquitoes and ticks out of yards just as it does with vampires. While our standard barrier spray has some repellent effect, our all natural spray is primarily a mosquito repellent. It kills adult mosquitoes and ticks on contact and then keeps them away for two weeks. They are confused and repelled by the garlic smell of the application.

Just in case you for some reason don’t like the smell of garlic, don’t worry, human noses aren’t sensitive enough to detect the smell (you may smell a mild scent for an hour as it dissipates). Unfortunately, the all-natural barrier spray isn’t as effective as it breaks down more easily, so we suggest people who want to keep mosquitoes, ticks and vampires out of their yard respray every 14 days.

If you are worried about vampires this Halloween or are just experiencing a number of mosquito bites, contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

For all of us at Mosquito Squad, have a happy, safe and vampire-free Halloween.

The Gift of the Outdoors – What to get the person who has everything

2012 has flown by. I can’t believe that we are just around the corner from the holidays. There is so much to do! I’m the person who likes to have the perfect gift for everyone on my list well in advance of the holiday season. I try not to give the “typical” gifts, but something that may be a little more special.

This year, a lot of our Mosquito Squad franchisees are being asked for gift certificates for customers to give their friends and family. It’s such a great idea for all those people who have everything! It’s unique, it’s helpful and it will be much appreciated by all members of the household.


“Designed to rid yards of mosquitoes and unwanted insects, our customized barrier treatments make for the perfect unexpected holiday gift that keeps on giving,” said Scott Zide of Mosquito Squad. “With record numbers of West Nile virus and Lyme disease cases this year, eliminating as many vectors from the yard is more important than ever.”

Mosquito Squad gift certificates can be purchased in any amount, although we recommend purchasing them for a certain number of sprays or a whole season.

One of my girlfriends complained during the year that the mosquitoes in her yard were terrible, she doused herself in mosquito repellent, but often times she still got bites. For one reason or another, she never called for professional mosquito control. She’s a tough person to buy presents for because she never mentions anything that she really needs. This year, I’m considering getting her mosquito control barrier spray.

To get a gift certificate for a friend or family member, contact the local Mosquito Squad office in the area the service will be done.

At Mosquito Squad, we take great pride in helping homeowners take back their yards and spend extended time outdoors without bugs. Our services include:

1. 21-day Barrier Spray, which kills on contact and continues for three weeks.
2. 14-day All-Natural Spray, which kills adult mosquitoes on contact and has a two-week repellent effect.
3. Intensive Tick Treatment to reduce the spread of Lyme disease.
4. Special Event Spray for mosquito-free outdoor parties, weddings, picnics and concerts.
5. Automatic Misting System providing continuous control 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via timed bursts of protective sprays at key times when mosquitoes are at their most active.

Cellphones help to fight malaria?

No. I’m not talking about mosquito repelling phone apps here. Researchers in Kenya are using cell phone data from millions of cell phone users to track the prevalence of mosquitoes in certain areas: “That data was used to track where people traveled. The researchers then superimposed maps of population density and the rate of infection of malaria. The prevalence of the number of people infected with the disease combined with the travel data was then used to establish a per-day probability that a person would be infected if they visited a specific location.” Source.

Researchers were able to see why there were rises in malaria cases where mosquitoes aren’t common. It was because people were traveling to areas where mosquitoes carrying malaria were very common. After being bitten, those people returned home, carrying malaria with them. With this data, travelers are more informed on their personal health safety when it comes to this preventable, but deadly disease.

Although this study was first used to study malaria, researchers are already looking at other ways to use it, including tracking Dengue fever which is prominent in many tropical locations. They actually believe that Dengue will be easier to track because it’s more common in urban areas where there are more cellphone towers, which means more human movement data. Malaria, on the other hand, is more prevalent in rural areas.


At Mosquito Squad, we are interested to see more from this study. It could help people protect themselves properly before traveling to places where their probability of being infected with malaria is high resulting in more people getting sick.

Malaria, as I mentioned is preventable, yet it kills a child in Africa every minute. We’re proud supporters of Malaria No More whose goal is to end all malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. They’re making great strides towards their goal by providing protective bed nets to families. One ten dollar bed net has the ability to protect a mother and two small children while they sleep at night.

To donate to Malaria No More, please visit SwatMalaria.net.

Massachusetts Cities Cancel Outdoor Activities

2012 has been a record year for vector-borne diseases and now parts of Massachusetts have put a ban on all public organized events, including sporting events.


A Massachusetts man died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in early September this year which led to the state’s Department of Public Health to raise the threat level to moderate. The threat was raised yet again, this time to critical, this week when a horse tested positive for EEE. The cities of Hamilton and Wenham called emergency meetings for their boards of health where the bans were then put in place.

“Hamilton is at the highest risk for EEE. We’re just being really clear that it’s a really dangerous activity to be hanging around outside,” said Leslie Whelan, a health agent in Hamilton. “People are going to make their own decisions, but by using this language that we’ve chose (banning all activities), we’re underscoring the importance of avoiding mosquito bites.” Source.

The high threat of EEE will be in place until the season’s first frost lasting more than four hours.

Fall, for me, is a great time of year to go outside and enjoy the cooler weather. Walks, hikes, festivals, soccer and football games, you name it and I’m there when the weather is nice, but some of these activities can’t happen this year. Due to the EEE threat, one Wenham college had to reschedule soccer games to a time when mosquitoes are less active. It’s unfortunate to see that cities have had to place bans on some of the year’s best activities, but it’s their job to make sure that people are as safe as possible.

From temperature and water to foliage and mosquito population, all mosquito control cases are different. At Mosquito Squad, we offer effective mosquito control for municipalities as well as residential properties every day. By minimizing and treating standing water where mosquitoes are known to breed and then applying a mosquito elimination solution to the surrounding foliage, we eliminate up to 90% of mosquitoes in a given area.

If you have questions regarding mosquito control, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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