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Category: EEE

Eastern Equine Encephalitis on the Rise

Horses from Kentucky to Maine are being infected and dying from Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Veterinarians across the country encourage all horses not only be vaccinated, but receive booster shots.


Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, is a mosquito-borne virus that was first found in the 1830s in Massachusetts when 75 horses died from the disease. EEE does not only affect horses. Humans can become sick from the disease as well. After a human is infected by a mosquito bite, he or she will begin to display symptoms within 10 days normally. Symptoms include fever, muscle pain, headaches and seizures to name a few. There is no vaccine or cure for humans and the fatality rate is 35%.

Those areas of the country, namely in New England, that have confirmed human cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, have started spraying for mosquitoes.

While the human fatality rate due to EEE is 35%, the equine fatality rate starts at 70% and can go as high as 90%. Horses begin to display symptoms between 7 to 21 days after infection. One nickname for EEE is the sleeping sickness due to the way horses behave when they have it. The first symptoms of the disease are usually a high fever and bursts of excitement or nerves. As it gets more serious and brain lesions begin, horses will look drowsy, their ears will droop and they will walk around aimlessly. Paralysis ultimately sets in and it can die within a few days of paralysis.

The most recent case to hit the news was of a horse in Maine that died from EEE despite having the vaccine. The sad story highlights the importance of six month booster shots for EEE. The initial inoculation consists of two vaccines 4 to 6 weeks apart. After the adult horse has been vaccinated, it will need booster shots before any mosquito season. In areas where EEE is a problem, it is suggested to administer the booster every six months.

The EEE virus can only be transmitted to humans and horses through the bite of an infected mosquito. Humans, for example, cannot get it from a horse that is battling EEE.

As municipalities take action and administer more public mosquito spray, we at Mosquito Squad encourage homeowners, and horse owners to consider professional mosquito control.

The majority of our residential clients use the mosquito control barrier spray to protect their property. Our trained technicians come out to the home every three weeks to spray the areas where mosquitoes are known to feed and harbor. The spray itself will kill adult mosquitoes on contact and then provide that protection for up to three weeks.

For properties with horse stables, we suggest an installed mosquito misting system instead of the barrier spray. Instead of having a technician come and spray every three weeks, a system is installed on your property. Two to three times a day, when the mosquitoes are known to be their most active, a short burst of mosquito spray will emit from the system, protecting the area. If they are particularly bad, there is a button you can press for another short spray. Mosquito systems are a great way to keep the mosquitoes away on larger properties. Mosquito Squad will not only install the system, but come back to fill your product when needed and winterize your system at the end of the season.

If you have any questions on how to protect yourself and your horses from mosquitoes and the dangerous disease they can transmit, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Massachusetts Evaluates Mosquito Larvicide Bill

2013 has been a wet year for many parts of the country and you know that that means: mosquitoes, swarms of them. In anticipation for another large year for mosquito-borne illnesses, Massachusetts legislation is looking at a new mosquito bill that can help fight the bite.


From 2001 to 2009, municipal workers were allowed to administer non-toxic pesticides in storm drains. Storm drains are the perfect place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs because they not only hold water, but it’s also difficult to drain completely. Before 2009, municipal workers were allowed to drop pesticide pellets into the drains to cut down on the amount of mosquitoes hatching and they want that capability back after a year of widespread and fatal cases of West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in the area.

In 2012 several Massachusetts towns closed community parks at dusk due to high rate of mosquito-borne disease. There has been a lot of spring rainfall that has led lawmakers to consider the bill again.

As State Representative Jason Lew explains, “it has never been clear to us why [the Department of Agriculture Resources] didn’t renew it” when the legislation expired in 2009. After the law relapsed only licensed pest control workers could apply the pesticide. Allowing municipal employees to administer the larvicide would ensure the catch basins were treated in a timely manner.

Larvicide is a pest control treatment that targets the culex species larvae. The non-toxic pesticide stops the larva from maturing into mosquitoes that can transmit disease.

At Mosquito Squad, we will administer species specific growth regulators in areas that hold standing water that you can’t get rid of. For example, a client may have a pond or drain that holds water that they can’t get rid of. If it goes untreated, even a Mosquito Squad treatment won’t stop the mosquitoes from maturing and biting. To ensure that our professional mosquito control is the most effective it can be, those areas are treated with a growth regulator that stops maturation.

As we’ve seen the numbers of reported mosquito-borne illnesses continue to rise, we are happy to see that local governments are taking mosquito control more seriously. While we help protect our clients and their families at home, it’s important they have protection in community areas like parks and local fields.

If you have questions on mosquito control and what you can do to fight the bite, please reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.

Springtime is the Right Time to Vaccinate Horses

It’s the first day of spring which means budding flowers and, unfortunately, mosquitoes are right around the corner. As 2012 brought an influx of mosquito-borne disease, for humans and animals alike, now is the perfect time to protect your pets from the dangerous diseases that they often carry.


Horses are particularly vulnerable to West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). EEE, or Triple E, was first found in Massachusetts in the 1830s when 75 horses died. After an infected mosquito transmits the disease, the horse usually starts showing signs of a fever within one to three weeks and lasts for a couple days. The sick horses will then show more serious signs of drowsiness, drooping ears and wandering as the disease spreads to the brain. Between 70 and 90% of horses with Triple E will eventually die from it.

Horses are not only susceptible to Eastern Equine Encephalitis but also West Nile Virus, however most horses will recover from West Nile. Symptoms of West Nile include fever, convulsions and more.

There are currently no treatments for horses that have been in infected with mosquito-borne illnesses, however there are vaccinations to prevent them from becoming sick. Springtime is the perfect time to ask your veterinarian to vaccinate your horse. “Horse owners have made significant investments in their horses, financially, and emotionally,” says Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, Dipl. “Helping protect their health and well-being with an appropriate vaccination schedule is best decision when the alternative is to cope with losing a horse or treating a horse for a preventable disease.” Source.

At Mosquito Squad, we urge home and pet owners to protect themselves and their beloved animals from the dangers that mosquitoes and ticks can bring. Our mosquito control misting system is our most popular mosquito service for horse farms or stables. The automatic misting system is an installed mosquito system that sprays two to four times a day(for about 30 seconds) when mosquitoes are known to be the most active. The spray kills any adult mosquitoes and ticks on contact and continues to repel the pests in all treated areas.


The misting system is installed using environmentally friendly nylon tubing that connects to the stainless steel nozzles which are place sporadically around the perimeter of the property. They can be run and installed underground or along fences. The tubing connects to the drum and pump of the mosquito misting system that is most often placed near the home or stable. Mosquito Squad will come out and refill the drum any time more product is needed and to winterize it as the weather turns cool. If you have a particularly bad mosquito problem, the mosquito misting system can come with a remote that you can use for additional (or fewer) sprays.

If you have a large property, especially one that houses animals, and a mosquito problem you would like to address, contact your local Mosquito Squad office. They will walk you through your mosquito control options and what will work best for you and your property.

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.

Does Municipal Mosquito Spraying Protect You?

2012 is shaping up to be the worst year ever for mosquito-borne diseases. More deaths in the U.S. this year have been attributed to West Nile than ever before and this week brings the first confirmed death by EEE in Massachusetts. With all of the confirmed cases of vector-borne diseases, more municipalities are taking action and spraying for mosquitoes, but does it work?


With 2 deaths and 30 confirmed cases of West Nile, Rankin County in Mississippi is ramping up their mosquito control efforts by having sprayers run double shifts in hopes to cut down on the number of mosquitoes. Additionally, larvacide is being added to standing water to stop mosquitoes from maturing. Many municipalities like Rankin are doing this all across the country.

In Massachusetts, a man recently died of EEE, a mosquito-borne disease even though his town is sprayed by the county. “The spraying reduces the number of mosquitoes, but it doesn’t kill all the mosquitoes and it doesn’t penetrate into heavily wooded areas where the spray trucks can’t get,” says Board of Health Director Paul McNulty.

So what does this mean for homeowners? Even though your county sprays the area generally it may not get all the areas where mosquitoes breed and harbor. More protection, whether it’s a mosquito spray that you spray on yourself or a barrier spray for your yard, may be needed. That’s where Mosquito Squad comes in.

Mosquito Squad applicators spray our effective mosquito control in all the areas that truck sprayers can’t, mainly in your backyard where you spend the majority of your time outdoors. We pay special attention to heavily wooded areas where mosquitoes hide. The spray kills the skeeters on contact and then provides a residual effect for up to 21 days, killing between 85 and 90% of the mosquitoes in your yard.

If you are interested in mosquito control for your yard, contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

Protect your Horses from EEE

Horse owners are being advised to vaccinate all of their horses against Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) as the disease has appeared in several areas of the east coast. News this week has reported that mosquitoes, chicken and birds have been testing positive for EEE with one horse in New York dying from the disease.


Encephalitis in general is a vector-borne (mosquito transmitted) disease that causes the brain to swell. Symptoms are common with other brain injuries including headache, confusion and drowsiness. Eastern Equine Encephalitis was first discovered in the US in Massachusetts after seventy-five horses died unexpectedly. Scientists were first able to isolate it in a horse brain in 1933 and were able to eventually create vaccinations for horses.

While human cases of EEE are rare, it can infect mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Mosquitoes contract the disease from birds and then infect other animals through future bites. Currently there is no cure for EEE.

Horses are very susceptible to EEE as they spend a lot of time outdoors in the presence of potentially dangerous mosquitoes. When bitten by an infected mosquito, a horse won’t show any signs of the disease until 3 weeks later, allowing the virus to do most of its damage. The first sign of EEE is a high fever that lasts for only a few days. After that, horses may appear drowsy, with bursts of excitement and restlessness. They will wander aimlessly and could become paralyzed. Unfortunately 70 to 90% of infected horses will die only a few days after they first displayed symptoms of the disease.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a preventable disease when the horses are properly vaccinated. Please visit the American Association of Equine Practitioners for vaccination recommendations. At Mosquito Squad, we have helped many barn and horse owners take the extra step of horse protection with our misting system which provides the area with continuous mosquito and tick control around a property. If you’re interested in learning how a misting system can help protect your horses against mosquito bites, feel free to give your local Mosquito Squad a call.

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