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Blog | June 2013

Tips to Make Your Fourth of July Party Fabulous

At Mosquito Squad, we will take any excuse to spend time outdoors with friends and family and the Fourth of July is just one of them. If you are hosting a cookout next week to celebrate our country’s independence, here are some great tips to make sure you and your guests have a great time.

Make what you can before your guests arrive. No one wants to go to your party and spend no time with you, so think about what you can prepare before everyone arrives. Keep your hot items simple, like hot dogs and hamburgers so you don’t have to be away from your guests for long. Cut up their accompaniments (like tomatoes and onions) in advance and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

One of our favorite go-to dips you can make the night before and is sure to be a hit: the black bean and corn salsa. Mix together 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed), 8-10 oz. of cooked corn, 1 chopped tomato, 1/3 c red onion, 1 chopped scallion, the juice from 1 ½ limes, 1 tbsp olive oil and two tbsp cilantro. Let it marinate for at least an hour. If you want, you can add some avocado to it right before you serve. Yummy!

Keeps the kids entertained. If your guest list includes kids, make sure there is something to keep them entertained. Whether it’s a game or craft, having something to keep the kids busy is always a good idea. If it’s a hot day out, consider having some kind of water fun to cool them down, like this cute sprinkler from Amazon.

Show off some red, white and blue. The Fourth of July is the best day to wear or display our country’s colors. Incorporate red, white and blue into the decorations for your party. From flowers to crafts, the possibilities are endless. If you want some small, easy, yet patriotic, centerpieces, here’s an idea: buy some colored sand (or candies) and place it mason jars or a vase for your table (layer red, white and blue sand) and then stick some small American flags in at the top. It will take you 5 minutes tops! If you want something a little more elaborate, check out this Uncle Same inspired centerpiece by Crafts Unleashed.


Keep your guests off the menu. No one wants to go to a barbecue and be eaten alive by mosquitoes. A lot of mosquitoes can ruin your party. Save your party and call your local Mosquito Squad. Our professional mosquito control will keep the bugs away from you, your food and your guests so you can enjoy your time outdoors.

From all of us at Mosquito Squad, have a Happy Fourth of July!

Education During Mosquito Control Awareness Week

Next week, June 23rd through June 29th, 2013 is Mosquito Control Awareness Week, sponsored by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA). According to the AMCA, the goal of the week is to “educate the general public about the significance of mosquitoes in their daily lives and the important service provided by mosquito control workers.”

Anyone who has been bitten by a mosquito knows they are annoying. The bites swell, can itch for days and, if you are like me, you’ll scratch them over and over again making them last longer. Knowing how bothersome they are is one thing, but understanding the dangers of mosquitoes is another.

Some people may not understand how dangerous mosquitoes can be. Mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on the planet due to the diseases they transmit through their bites. We may not have a problem with malaria here in the United States anymore, but that doesn’t mean we are safe from mosquito-borne disease.

Last week we discussed West Nile virus and what to expect from this sometimes deadly disease, but with Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Dengue Fever, mosquitoes can make a lot of people ill in numerous ways. And let’s not forget our canine friends. Every year, dogs are infected with heartworm through the bite of a mosquito.

At Mosquito Squad, we often talk about our professional mosquito control services, but it is important for people to understand the best ways to protect themselves against mosquitoes when they leave their protected yard. The first step is to understand mosquitoes.

While they are most active at dawn and dusk, they are out and about at all times of the day. They are usually found in areas with more mature vegetation as they feed mainly on plants (female mosquitoes need blood meals to lay their eggs).

If you are going to enjoy the sun around some water, make sure that water isn’t stagnant. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, but the eggs won’t survive in moving water. They don’t usually travel far from their breeding grounds, so if there is a lot of standing water in a certain area, there will be a lot of mosquitoes.

Cover up. If you are going to be in an area where you know there will be mosquitoes, consider wearing a loose long sleeve shirt and pants. Loose clothing is harder for mosquitoes to bite you through.

When it comes to your backyard, your best protection is mosquito treatments for your yard. Mosquito Squad’s mosquito barrier spray kills adult mosquitoes on contact and provides 21 days of protection thereafter. By spraying the areas that mosquitoes are known to feed and live, we are able to get rid of 85-90% of mosquitoes on your property. If you aren’t satisfied with the results, we’ll come back and spray your yard again.

If you have any questions on Mosquito Control Awareness Week or how you can protect yourself and your friends and family from these annoying (an dangerous) pests, contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

Another Bad Year for West Nile Virus? Looks Like It!

2012 was a record year for West Nile Virus with over 5 thousand reported cases! And those are just the people who displayed symptoms! Eighty percent of people infected with West Nile will never show any symptoms and will recover on their own so we can only imagine how many people had this mosquito-borne disease. We are only a few months into this year’s mosquito season and it’s already looking like it could be another big year of West Nile.

A new study out of Texas is reporting higher numbers of southern house mosquitoes, the specie of mosquito that most frequently transmit the disease in the area. Texas had the highest number of West Nile cases in 2012 and as a result implemented increased mosquito spraying and testing this year. When comparing 2012 and 2013 trapping numbers, there is more potential for mosquitoes carrying West Nile this year than last.

Traps out of Dallas County Texas were analyzed three times in the month of May, on the 11th, 18th and 25th respectively. Each time the number of southern house mosquitoes went up. Understanding the numbers and potential threats, will hopefully lead to increased awareness of the dangers that mosquitoes can transmit.

Nearly 290 people died from West Nile Virus last year. Certain municipalities cancelled outdoor events because of the threat. We at Mosquito Squad are happy to see that many areas of the country have responded with larger mosquito control budgets to protect their communities. More widespread spraying is taking place as well as treatment for areas that are known to hold a lot of standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

While governments are taking action on public properties, homeowners still need to take action at their own home, especially if they spend time outdoors. We’ve always called our tips to get rid of mosquitoes the 5Ts and we’ve made it easy to remember. Just take a look at this…

While this video is fun, the underlying message is serious. The 5Ts are important steps in combatting the mosquito population on any given property. Survey your yard and take note of areas where you 1) see standing water or 2) see an abundance of mosquitoes. That will tell you the most important areas to treat.

Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, which will develop into mosquitoes in just a few days. And it doesn’t take a lot of water to do it in. A bottle cap provides enough water to lay up to 300 eggs in! It may be difficult, or even impossible, to get rid of ALL the standing water in your yard, do what you can, especially to the larger containers. For example, that bird bath you have may be beautiful, but it’s the best place for a mosquito to lay its eggs if it isn’t turned over on a regular basis.

Mosquitoes, unfortunately, aren’t easily eliminated from a property without professional mosquito control treatments. That’s where Mosquito Squad comes into play! Our trained applicators will come to your property and treat the foliage that mosquitoes feed on. Our spray is able to get in underneath the foliage that are difficult to get to on your own.

If you have questions on the best way to get rid of mosquitoes, please reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.

Professional Mosquito Repellant Techniques to Effectively Manage the Menace

Of all household pests, mosquitoes are by far the most annoying ones. They feed on the blood of live vertebrates, mostly human beings. Apart from the irritating itch and bumps that they cause on the skin, these mosquitoes can carry a number of extremely dangerous diseases that are, and often have been, fatal to many. The American Mosquito Control Association has estimated that at least a million deaths are caused each year, just by mosquitoes. A range of diseases like malaria, dengue, West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, and yellow fever are transmitted by mosquitoes.

The United States alone has about 170 species of mosquitoes. That is truly a lot of mosquitoes. All of these are perfectly capable of infecting you with a variety of diseases that can be moderately to extremely harmful.

Stagnating water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, and the littlest amount of it is enough. You may not even realize it, but there may be mosquitoes breeding in your backyard right at this moment, putting your entire family at risk. Here is one pesky situation you absolutely cannot take any chances with. It is therefore best to seek the services of an exterminator such as Mosquito Squad, the professional mosquito control services that can be relied on.

Mosquitoes lay eggs on stagnant water. Larvae emerge from the hatching eggs and turn into pupae. Soon enough, each pupa turns into a full-fledged mosquito capable of laying about a billion eggs in under a month. So the equation is clear. If stagnant water was taken out of it, there would be no breeding ground for mosquitoes and you would have much less to worry about. However, you may not always know where mosquitoes have found their breeding ground. Often, it could be too late before you find out.

In such a situation, what you need is professional mosquito control services that effectively eliminate the menace for you. These professionals know how to spot breeding grounds and destroy them.

Professional mosquito control doesn’t stop there, however. Our team uses some really innovative techniques, such as installing automated backyard mosquito control systems that release our special mist a couple of times every day based on a preset schedule. This in particular is a very smart way to keep the bugs out of your property for good.

It is true that not all mosquitoes are carriers of fatal diseases; however, you really can’t take a chance. You have to positively keep each one out to ensure the complete safety of your family. Make sure that you contact Mosquito Squad as soon as you feel the need for it.

Expert Procedures to Control the Mosquito Menace

There will be bad weather; there will be traffic gridlocks; and there will be delays. The one thing that will still be the most annoying of them all, however, is a mosquito. Mosquitoes are the biggest adversaries of quality outdoor time. Their bite causes a terribly unpleasant itch and gets really annoying, but what’s even worse is the fact that these tiny insects are carriers of some of the worst diseases, like dengue, west nile virus and malaria.

These annoying little creatures found their way to all possible corners of the world by hitching rides on ships and aircrafts. They’ve adapted and evolved over time and grown resistant to a variety of insect repellants, making it exceedingly difficult to fight this scourge. Some uniquely targeted and innovative approaches are now required to get rid of these pests. What you need is some of the specialized solutions offered by Mosquito Squad and other dependable companies.

One of the most-dreaded diseases spread by mosquitoes, the West Nile Virus is notorious for having killed 286 Americans in 2012. This incident really rattled people in the Western hemisphere and prompted the search for groundbreaking solutions for mosquito protection. This virus directly affects the central nervous system, and when combined by the Lyme disease that is caused by ticks, becomes a truly daunting situation for those who like to spend time outdoors. In fact, as opposed to the increased risk in the evenings and night, many species of mosquitoes attack during the day. Dengue-carrying mosquitoes belong in this category. This means that you could be in trouble outdoors, even if it is broad daylight.

The need to fight this menace is urgent. There are several methods being used popularly, but most of them don’t work all too well. Mosquito-repellent creams applied directly to the skin work only for a few hours. Plus, they can be oily, inconvenient, and even harmful at times. The ultrasound devices that claim silent, safe, and odorless mosquito repulsion are rather sketchy.

What you should rely on, however, are some truly effective mosquito-control systems, such as those offered by companies like Mosquito Squad. Barrier spraying, misting and awareness education are some of these. Barrier sprays involving applying a mosquito control product to the vegetation where mosquitoes are known to harbor and feed. Misting involves short bursts of spray 3-4 times a day. This is done using a discreet nozzle system that is fairly easy to use at home.

Of all, one of the most helpful ways of keeping mosquitoes off your property is by understanding how they breed and propagate, and subsequently, not giving them the ideal conditions to breed in the first place. When you have the right mosquito-control experts by your side, you can keep these harmful and greatly annoying insects away from your property for good.

Smelly Socks Help Fight Malaria

This story out of London, I must admit, made me giggle. How many of us have unfortunately received an unwanted whiff of smelly feet? I have and it’s gross, but apparently smelly socks are joining the fight against malaria. Yes, socks may help fight the most dangerous mosquito-borne disease.

In a recent lab study, mosquitoes were introduced to smelly dirty socks. The mosquitoes that were infected and were carrying malaria were more attracted to the odor than those without the disease. In fact, they were three times more likely to be attracted to the smelly socks.

So what does it mean? As Dr. James Logan of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine explains, “every time we identify a new part of how the malaria mosquito interacts with us, we’re one step closer to controlling it better.” Source.

Up until this point, scientists didn’t know if carrying malaria made a mosquito more attracted to humans. This research, proved that. The hope is that traps can be created to target malaria mosquitoes using their sense of smell. By using smell as the trigger, scientists believe it would be difficult for the pests to avoid traps. Andrew Reed, a professor of biology and entomology at the University of Pennsylvania, explains that “the only way mosquitoes could (develop resistance) is if they were less attracted to human odors. And if they did that and started feeding on something else, that would be fine.” Source.

The next step in researching and developing a trap is to synthetically reproduce the foot odor, which has to be just right. Mosquitoes have very keen senses of smell so extensive testing will be needed to pinpoint the chemicals that attract them and the create the right balance.

Mosquitoes are the most deadly animal on earth due to the number of disease they transmit through their bites. Malaria, in particular, is estimated to kill 600,000 people a year. Most of those deaths take place in Africa. What a lot of people don’t realize is that malaria is both preventable and treatable. At Mosquito Squad, we do our part in helping fight malaria through our partnership with Malaria No More. Malaria No More is a nonprofit whose goal is to stop malaria deaths in Africa. They raise awareness and funds to help provide protective bed nets, malaria tests and malaria treatments.

For many of us in the United States, we weren’t alive or remember a time when malaria was an issue in our country, but it was. The Centers for Disease Control was first created with the goal of eradicating malaria from the US. Insecticide was sprayed by airplanes as well as around homes and by the beginning of the 1950s, malaria was no longer considered an issue in the United States.

While our pest control company locations help fight mosquitoes and the diseases they carry here, we are always following the latest news on what is happening in the fight to end malaria. If you would like to learn more about malaria and Malaria No More, please visit their website. You can help fight malaria by donating at SwatMalaria.net.

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