“A group of Czech scientists have made a promising discovery in the search for a treatment for Zika. The scientists appear to have discovered the ‘Achilles heel’ of the virus. It could pave the way for developing a drug.
“In a busy lab at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (IOCB) in Prague’s Dejvice district, home to many of the city’s best technical universities and research institutions, a rack of condensers whirs away on a shelf. Around them, scientists in white coats peer into microscopes as they create chemical compounds to fight a virus for which there is no vaccine and no specific treatment.
“’There is a family of viruses called the flaviviridae family, and Zika is one of those viruses,’ Dr. Radim Nencka, junior group leader in medicinal chemistry at the IOCB told DW. ‘We’ve been recently focused mostly on this family of viruses; in particular we’ve been working on tick-borne encephalitis and also on the West Nile Virus, which is already connected or very similar to the Zika virus,’ Dr Nencka explained.
“’So we started to work on these two viruses, and we were focused on treatment of these viruses. And once the Zika outbreak occurred, we decided to look at Zika as well,’ he said. ‘So it was a logical step forward for us.’
“Dr. Nencka and his team believe they may have found Zika’s Achilles Heel, a weakness they can exploit to stop it replicating. ‘Every virus needs some specific building blocks for its life cycle, for its replication, which are called nucleocytes (and) nucleotides,’ Dr Nencka explained.
“’We modify these building blocks so they can stop the replication, they can stop the process. And we must be very specific, because also our cells are using nucleocytes and nucleotides for the processes that are necessary for our own cells. So these compounds must specifically inhibit only the enzymes, the tools of the virus,’ he added.
“Dr. Nencka sends his compounds for testing to a scientist called Daniel Ruzek, who heads groups at both the Biological Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences based in Ceske Budejovice and the Brno-based Institute of Veterinary Medicine. He then puts the compounds to the test on infected organisms. Though Daniel Ruzek, too, stressed this is in its early days.
“’Actually we are just at the beginning. We know which compounds are active against the virus. We have some promising results, and we know where the Achilles’ heel is of the virus that we can target by the compounds. But that’s still not the final drug,’ Daniel Ruzek told DW.
“’Some people have asked me how the compound will be applied: if this will be a pill or in the form of an injection. I can’t answer anything like that because we are still at the beginning,’ he added. ‘We still need to modify the active compounds into so-called pro-drug forms. These pro-drugs should have improved pharmacological properties, should be better targeted to the organs in the body (and) should be slowly eliminated from the organism.’ So there’s still a long way.
Source: Deutsche Welle
They’re baaaack! Yes, I mean mosquitoes. Temperatures are rising again, so these pesky bugs are too. Several of our Mosquito Squad locations are already providing mosquito control for our clients.
While our traditional barrier protection program is our most common service, we do provide an all natural/organic option for interested clients.
Our organic mosquito spray is made of up essential oils and does work differently than our traditional barrier spray. While it eliminates adults mosquitoes on contact, the organic spray acts a repellent instead of eliminating mosquitoes through their eating habits. Our traditional spray is ingested by the mosquito when it feeds on plant material that has been treated, eliminating the pest. The organic mosquito spray repels them with its smell.
When first applied to the property, there is a slight botanical fragrance to the all-natural spray. To a human’s sense of smell, the odor dissipates within a few hours of application, however, mosquitoes are much more sensitive to smell. The fragrance keeps them away.
Because the organic mosquito control breaks down in the natural elements more quickly, we at Mosquito Squad recommend reapplying the treatment every 14 days for continuous protection. For comparison’s sake, the traditional barrier spray is reapplied every 21 days usually.
While no mosquito control company can promise to eliminate all mosquitoes from your property, Mosquito Squad’s organic spray does cut down on your mosquito population significantly. We tell our clients to expect a 70-75% decrease in the number of mosquitoes on your property after the spray has been applied (the traditional spray eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes).
Professional organic mosquito control is a great way to treat your yard. Like always, we at Mosquito Squad suggest ridding your yard of any standing water to help cut down on mosquitoes on your property as well.
If you have any questions on the mosquito control options in your area, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.
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.
This past week has brought with it some warm weather on the east coast. I love spring and summer, the heat, the sunshine, being outdoors, it’s just an enjoyable time of year, except for one thing: mosquitoes.
When temperatures start to rise in the spring, mosquitoes begin to emerge and threaten to ruin our outdoor fun. For many parts of the United States, they’ve been active for several weeks now. Some of our Mosquito Squad locations are already out and about protecting yards from mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes need two things to reproduce: blood and standing water. Male mosquitoes do not bite, but instead only feed on plant proteins. Females, on the other hand, need the protein from blood to lay their eggs. They smell carbon dioxide and know they can find blood at the source. After a blood meal, the mosquito then needs standing water to lay its eggs, and it doesn’t need much. Up to 300 mosquito eggs can be laid in as much as a bottle cap full of water!
While the itch from bug bites is enough motivation to rid your yard of mosquitoes, they also carry and transmit dangerous diseases. Last year there was an increase in the numbers of confirmed West Nile cases in the US. The Centers of Disease Control reports a total of over 5,300 cases over 48 states. Symptoms can include fever, headaches, fatigue and joint pain. As a result, many states and municipalities are increasing their mosquito control efforts this year to help fight the spread of West Nile.
Despite enhanced efforts to fight the spread of West Nile and other vector-borne disease, Mississippi is reporting the first human case this year, a full two months before the first human case in 2012. Even with municipalities doing more to cut down the mosquito populations in public areas, homeowners should be protecting their properties from mosquitoes as well.
At Mosquito Squad, we offer our clients three residential mosquito control options:
1. Our 21-day mosquito barrier spray program brings a trained applicator to your home once every three weeks. The spray is applied to the vegetation on your property where mosquitoes are known to feed and harbor.
2. The barrier spray is also available in an all-natural version. As opposed to the standard barrier spray, the all-natural option should be applied to the property every two weeks.
3. If you would like something more permanent, an installed mosquito control misting system may be a good option. The misting system emits small bursts of mosquito spray at times of the day when mosquitoes are most active.
As spring and summer begins, it’s important to make sure you can get the most out of your outdoor spaces. If you have a mosquito problem, reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office. Dread Skeeter and his squad are sure to help!
When a new season starts for Mosquito Squad, I tend to think about the year and season that just past. What happened? What were people talking about? 2012 was the season of West Nile. In July, August and September, you couldn’t go a day without seeing an article with new West Nile numbers in the news. Corporately, we saw more people emailing us about how to protect themselves at the end of summer than ever before.
West Nile Virus is a dangerous disease transmitted through infected mosquitoes. The symptoms, like many other vector borne diseases, mirror those of the flu. Fever, joint pain, headache and fatigue are common amongst patients. While most people with West Nile never display symptoms, other can become extremely ill or even die. The best way to protect yourself against the disease is to protect yourself from mosquitoes.
As we enter 2013, we at Mosquito Squad hope that more homeowners recognize the importance of mosquito control before we start to hear about a West Nile epidemic again. Mosquito control isn’t only about having a mosquito free yard, but more importantly about protecting you, your family and your pets from the diseases they carry. Our teams protect against the annoying pests through our barrier spray. The spray is applied to vegetation where the mosquitoes are known to feed and harbor. It kills mosquitoes on contact and continues to protect the property for up to 21 days.
Following a year that brought out a lot of mosquitoes and cases of vector borne disease, we recommend ensuring you or your municipality are protecting the outdoor areas you frequent. Our season long package makes sure that your yard is protected every 3 weeks without you having to worry abut it.
If you want to learn more about our mosquito control options, including an all natural option, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.
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.
I’m a bug magnet. I can be in a group of 12 people and none of them will be bitten by mosquitoes and I will have 20 bites. As my mom would say, I’m just too sweet. :) The other day I decided to venture away from my Mosquito Squad protected yard to take my dog to a friend’s house for a doggie play date. It was a big mistake. I was there for less than a half hour and walked away with 23 (!) bites. Those annoying buggers LOVE me. I know, I should have put on bug spray before I left, but I really didn’t want to spell of spray the whole day. If only I had taken the Mosquito Squad mosquito control mister with me.
Yup, portable mosquito control so that you don’t have to carry bug spray on you at all times. Brilliant. When does a portable misting system make sense? They are great for:
- Family reunions,
- Special events,
- And any other outdoor event.
The Mosquito Squad mister is not only portable, but also dependable, offering effective control that will get rid of mosquitoes for up to 6 hours. It’s available in two different sizes and your local Mosquito Squad could recommend which size will be right for you and how you are using it.
The mister isn’t difficult to use. Once it is set in place, the user presses a button on the machine and walks away. The mister will spray the mosquito elimination solution (available in normal and natural) for up to 3 minutes upon which 2,000 square feet of outdoor space will be protected for up to 6 hours.
The mosquito elimination mister is a great option for those homeowners that don’t use their outdoor living spaces very much. If you are interested in learning more about the Mosquito Squad mister, please contact your local office.