At Mosquito Squad, we like to stay up-to-date on all things mosquitoes and a new product from LG Electronics has piqued our interest. The Mosquito Away air conditioner not only keeps residential properties cool, but kill mosquitoes at the same time!
Mosquitoes are not only annoying but dangerous, especially in Africa. In Kenya, 73% of the population is at risk of malaria and causes 20% of all deaths in kids under 5 years old. With the high rate of malaria, LG believes the Mosquito Away is perfect for Kenya. As Joseph Kim of LG East Africa explains;
“We believe that our new Mosquito Away air conditioner can provide true comfort to Kenya consumers. The challenge of designing a product able to provide an effective, non-toxic way of dealing with mosquitoes was one we were only too happy to meet. With ultrasonic wave technology, impressive cooling performance and low-voltage operability, we are confident that the Mosquito Away air conditioner will meet the needs of the Kenyan market.” Source
How does the air conditioner kill mosquitoes? Through sound. The machine has a button that turns on a speaker that plays ultrasonic waves. The waves will not harm humans, but they confuse and cause paralysis and death in mosquitoes.
In tests, Mosquito Away effectively decreases the number of female mosquitoes (the ones that bite) by 76% within 24 hours. The World Health Organization has helped test the air conditioner due to it potential to fight malaria.
Kenya isn’t the only country in Africa that is heavily affected by malaria. While we at Mosquito Squad help fight mosquitoes in the U.S, we are also helping in the fight in Africa through our partnership with Malaria No More.
Malaria No More is a non-profit organization with the goal of ending malaria deaths in Africa. They have teams on the ground installing bed nets, providing malaria tests and treatments and educating the locals. Malaria is both preventable and treatable; yet, it kills millions of people every year.
If you are interested in giving to the fight against malaria, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net. A donation of just a dollar is enough to pay for a test and treatment, saving a child’s life.
Mosquitoes have lived on Earth for millions of years and as they have changed and evolved, so have their predators. While the little pests are resilient, they do have many natural predators. So who are these helpful predators?
Dragonflies – Dragonflies eat mosquitoes at all stages of their development. Mosquitoes need standing water to development and often do not stray too far from where they hatch. Dragonflies are also known to stay near water. Large populations of dragonflies are known to cut down on the number of mosquitoes in an area because they can easily feed on them before the mosquito reaches maturity.
Fish – many different types of fish feed on mosquitoes in their egg, larva and pupa stages. One of the most helpful fish to have around when it comes to mosquito control is the aptly named mosquito fish. These fish are only 4 to 7 centimeters long, but they consume a large amount of mosquito larvae. Mosquito fish have been introduced to many parts of the world to combat active mosquito populations, including South America and Russia where they were a major factor in the eradication of malaria.
Bats – Bats are the only mammals that can fly and are found throughout the world. The majority of bat species feed on insects including mosquitoes. In some areas of the world, people place bat houses on their property as a way to naturally control mosquitoes. While bat houses have been used since the 1900s, some experts wouldn’t recommend them. Although bats do eat mosquitoes, it is less than 1% of their diet. And, maybe it is just me, but I wouldn’t want a bat in my backyard anyway!
Other mosquito predators include purple martins, prey mantises, nematodes and fungi.
When considering mosquito control options, looking to the pest’s natural predators is not your best bet. Professional mosquito control will provide you with better results and the options are plenty.
At Mosquito Squad we have three main forms of mosquito control for your yard. Our most popular service is the barrier spray, that reduces the area’s mosquito population by 85-90%. The spray is applied to foliage around your property and lasts for up to 21 days.
If you would prefer an all-natural product, our barrier spray does come in an all-natural option. It acts as a repellent and isn’t as effective, reducing the population by 80%. Because the all-natural mosquito spray breaks down more quickly, it needs to be reapplied every 14 days.
Lastly, Mosquito Squad offers misting systems that can be installed on your property. The misting system emits small bursts of mosquito control at times of the day when mosquitoes are at their most active.
If you have any questions, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.
Many parts of the country have been hit with extremely cold temperatures this week due to the polar vortex. While it’s difficult to stay outside for just a few minutes in negative temperatures, we have seen several questions regarding how the cold affects mosquito populations and if they can survive.
Sorry everyone, but the polar vortex isn’t killing off all mosquitoes. Mosquitoes have been on this planet for millions of years so it isn’t surprising that they’re pretty adaptable and can withstand extreme temperatures. Don’t get me wrong, some mosquitoes will die due to freezing cold, but not all.
While some larval mosquitoes may make it through the winter, the vast majority of the pests are in one of two life stages if they are going to survive the cold months: eggs or adults.
Mosquito eggs are very resilient and can lay dormant for years before hatching. All they need to mature is standing water and warmer temperatures. If eggs were laid in low ground, for instance, they will go dormant throughout the winter months. When temperatures rise again and the area is flooded with standing water, the eggs will then begin to mature again.
Adult mosquitoes, if they are to going to live through the summer, must prepare for months of hibernation. Not unlike other animals who hibernate, mosquitoes increase their weight through feeding as they will not seek meals in the winter.
When the temperatures drop, mosquitoes will find shelter to protect them. These include hollowed out wood, storm drains and inside homes and sheds. One 20th century researcher, J. Turner Brakeley, noted that if mosquitoes were able to find their way into heated areas, they would not go into a full hibernation like those in colder environments.
Brakeley found mosquitoes would curl up with their legs underneath their bodies when in hibernation, presumably to try to maintain some body heat.
So there we have it. I may be happier to go through the polar vortex temperatures if I knew it meant a summer without mosquito bites, but that simply is not the case. When the weather warms up again this spring, the mosquitoes will be back in full.
If you have an active mosquito population on your property, we at Mosquito Squad are happy to help you fight the bite! Our mosquito control treatments will reduce the numbers of mosquitoes by 85-90%! The mosquito spray that we utilize kills adult mosquitoes on contact and provides continued protection for up to three weeks. At that point, we would recommend another treatment.
If you have any questions, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.
Lyme disease can be dangerous and painful, but it hasn’t been associated with many deaths until recently. Of the course of one year, three people died of Lyme. Does this mean we should be worried about a deadly strand of the tick-borne disease?
In short, no. Evidence from the cases doesn’t show that there is a new strand of the Lyme. If anything, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officials want us to use this discovery to illustrate the importance of tick awareness.
The first case covered in this new report happened over a year ago in November of 2012. After a Massachusetts man died, his organs were donated for transplant. Upon analysis of heart tissue, doctors found signs of Lyme carditis. Lyme carditis affects the heart and happens in 1% of Lyme patients. When serious, it can modify the opening and closing of heart valves, resulting in irregular heartbeats.
This one case would not have raised eyebrows in the health world if it had been the only case, but in less than a year, two other people have died from Lyme carditis in the Northeast. Health officials are urging doctors to become more familiar with both the symptoms of Lyme and Lyme carditis that include shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and fainting.
Dr. Joseph Forrester, an epidemic intelligence officer for the U.S. Public Heath Service investigated the cases. The CDC sent the reports on the cases out to health care providers to make them more aware. “Additionally, we are working with state and local health departments in high-incidence Lyme disease states to review available surveillance and mortality data to look for trends, or risk groups in people who develop Lyme carditis,” Source.
Despite three fatal cases in a year, health officials don’t see a cause for panic, just vigilance. It’s important to check for ticks after spending any extended time outdoors and take notice of any changes in your health if you have been bit by a tick. If possible, it does help if you can keep the tick a plastic bag after removal.
At Mosquito Squad, we take protecting our clients from ticks very seriously. We utilize a combination of a barrier spray and tick tubes to decrease the tick population on our clients’ properties. Using tick treatments on your yard is a good first step in protecting against tick bites, and thus, Lyme disease.
If you have questions on Mosquito Squad’s tick control services, please contact your local office. We’d be happy to help.
In the meantime, we at Mosquito Squad would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!