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Blog | November 2014

Who Wouldn’t Want a Mosquito Free Year?

The holidays are officially here. The lights on the malls are on and radio stations have started playing Christmas music. Do you know what that means? It’s time for Christmas shopping. If you’re like me, this is something that fills you both with excitement and dread. Excitement because I like giving my loved ones gifts, dread because there is always someone I have a hard time buying for.

If you have that hard to buy for person on your list too, I have a gift idea for your: a mosquito-free 2015.

Yes, it’s an out-of-the-box idea, but it’s also sure to please. With a Mosquito Squad gift certificate for service, you can let your friends or family enjoy the spring and summer outside without bites.

Mosquito Squad provides continuous mosquito protection throughout the year with our traditional season-long package. Every three weeks, trained technicians visit the property and spray the areas of your property where mosquitoes are their most active. That spray eliminates mosquitoes and tick on contact.

How does the spray last three weeks you ask? The spray settles on the vegetation it is sprayed on. Mosquitoes feed on plant sugars (female mosquitoes only suck blood for protein to lay eggs). When they try to feed on the plants, they ingest the treatment, eliminating them. The spray has a component in it that makes it last despite the weather, but after 21 days, it does need to be reapplied.

If you’re interested in giving a Mosquito Squad gift certificate to a friend or family member this holiday season, contact the local office in the recipient’s area. Our team will simply need the address and idea of the size of the property to give you a quote. Or, you can give a dollar amount!

We hope that we made your gift giving a little bit easier with this idea. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving this week!

Stinkbugs Spread to 41 States

For some homeowners, it seems like the brown marmorated stinkbug takes over their home in the fall months. They make their way inside for the winter, sometimes in swarms. It’s hard to imagine that the stinkbug didn’t come into the United States until the 1990s. In just 20 years, they have spread their populations widely, now being noticed in 41 states.

More concerns arise as the stinkbugs move west (they’re most invasive on the east coast). Tracy Leskey, entomologist with the United States Department of Agriculture, explain that “it’s a big concern. Sacramento is in the heart of a lot of big-time agriculture.” (Source.) Stinkbugs have recently been spotted in Sacramento, CA and Portland, OR. Farmers are now worried because the pests often feed on local crops.

Looking at study information, it’s not surprising that stinkbugs have gone from coast to coast so quickly. Leskey explains that the typical bug flies up to 3 miles a day, but some has been noticed flying up to 75 miles in just one day!

Wasps are the stinkbug’s most common parasite in its native Asia, but they haven’t made their way to the United States. Kim Hoelmer, acting director of the USDA’s Overseas Biological Control Laboratories, says “it may be a while before we can set an army of foreign wasps on stinkbugs in the U.S.” (Source.) There just isn’t enough research, yet.

While stinkbugs thrive in the United States, Mosquito Squad has helped many homeowners fight the battle against these pests at home. Our trained team applies a spray to the areas of the home and property that stinkbugs are known to harbor or enter the home, eliminating them.

This is the time of the year when stinkbugs look to make their way inside. If you are noticing stinkbugs on your property, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

Bill Gates Makes Stand for Malaria Eradication

Bill Gates has long been a supporter of malaria eradication and research, but in a recent speech at Association of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene he once again brought it back into the spotlight.

Melinda and Bill Gates made their first call for malaria eradication 7 years ago alongside the World Health Organization. Since then, the Gates Foundation has made large donations to help the cause while spreading the word through speeches, blogs, etc. (don’t you remember when Gates released mosquitoes during a speech in 2009?).

While Gates addressed ebola (which is on everyone’s mind) in his speech at ASTMH, the majority of his time was spent discussing malaria because of his hope for the future. He explains in his blog that “based on the progress I’m seeing in the lab and on the ground, I believe we’re now in a position to eradicate malaria – that is, wipe it out completely in every country – within a generation.” Source.

Because of their optimism, the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation is increasing its donation to the malaria cause by 30%.

What many people don’t realize, is that malaria was an issue in the majority of the world not too long ago. It wasn’t eradicated from the United States until the 1950s, and that is without the knowledge and science that we have now. This video from Bill Gates’ blog is a great representation of where the disease was, where it is now, and where we’re going:

Mosquito Squad is a proud supporter of Malaria No More. We’re dedicated to seeing an end to malaria deaths and we’re seeing great progress. In the four short years we’re partnered with Malaria No More, we’ve seen the number of deaths in Africa decrease by 50%!

Malaria No More helps fight malaria by providing prevention, treatment and education to the areas of Africa most affected by this disease. Please help us in the fight by donating to Malaria No More at SwatMalaria.net.

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