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Category: Malaria

October 30, 2016: Brazil and Colombia to Scale Up Bacterial Fight Against Zika and Dengue

Health authorities in Colombia and Brazil will launch large-scale mosquito-control campaigns using a using naturally occurring bacteria known as Wolbachia to fight the spread of dengue and Zika viruses among people.

“Small-scale trials of the technique, which involves infecting mosquitoes with Wolbachia to prevent them from spreading the viruses, have shown a significant reduction in their ability to transmit Zika and dengue, prompting donors to back scale-up plans.

“’The use of Wolbachia is a potential ground-breaking sustainable solution to reduce the impact of these outbreaks around the globe and particularly on the world’s poorest people,’ said Britain’s international development secretary Priti Patel as the larger project was announced in London.

“The control campaigns, scheduled to begin early next year in Colombia’s Antioquia and Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, will be funded with $18 million from the British and United States governments, the Wellcome Trust global health charity and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Zika has been linked to the birth defect microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head, that has been sweeping through South and Central America and the Caribbean and making its way north to the United States.

“In February, the World Health Organization declared Zika a global health emergency. The connection between Zika and microcephaly came to light last year in Brazil.

“Brazil has now confirmed more than 1,800 cases of babies with microcephaly that it considers are linked to Zika infections in the mothers.

“The Wolbachia bacteria is occurs naturally in many insect species worldwide, and research has shown that it can significantly reduce the capacity of mosquitoes to transmit viruses to humans.

“But it doesn’t occur naturally in Aedes aegypti, the mosquito species largely responsible for transmitting a range of diseases including Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

“Over the past decade, international researchers working with the Australian-led non-profit Eliminate Dengue Program (EDP) have found a way to transfer Wolbachia into Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and get them to pass it on to their offspring.

“When mosquitoes with Wolbachia are released into an area, they breed with local mosquitoes and pass the bacteria on to future generations. Within a few months, the majority of mosquitoes carry Wolbachia and the effect is then self-sustaining.

“Since 2011, field trials using this method have been carried out in five countries and show that when a high proportion of mosquitoes in an area carry Wolbachia, local transmission of viruses is halted.

“Trevor Mundel, head of the Gates Foundation’s global health division, said he hoped the large-scale campaigns had the potential to show Wolbachia as a “revolutionary form of protection against mosquito-borne disease”.

“It’s affordable, sustainable, and appears to provide protection against Zika, dengue, and a host of other viruses,” he said in a statement. “We’re eager to study its impact and how it can help countries.”

Source: FOX

Is the End of Malaria in Sight?

If you know Mosquito Squad, you know our commitment to ending malaria. We understand that while out mosquito control services protect our clients from the annoyance of mosquitoes in the U.S., these tiny pests are much more than annoying in other parts of the world, mainly Africa. There, mosquitoes are life threatening, transmitting malaria to children and families, killing millions each year. Nearly five years ago, The Squad joined the fight by partnering with Malaria No More, a non-profit with the focus of fighting this deadly mosquito-borne disease until it’s gone.

The question is: are we nearly there?

Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More, recently published an article entitled The Beginning of the End of Malaria. In the article he explains the important position of where we are now in the battle and the strides that we’ve made in the last 15 years.

Mosquitoes are still the deadliest animal on the planet, but that isn’t to say we haven’t made an impact. With increased research, education, testing and treatment, malaria deaths have decreased by 60% since 2000. 60%! That’s great news, but it isn’t a time to scale back on any of these important efforts.

Bill Gates has been very vocal about his commitment to fight this fight. He and Ray Chambers of the UN published From Aspiration to Action, a detailed 25-year plan to eradicate malaria. In the introduction they state:

“Today, we have an opportunity to achieve something that was once thought impossible: we can end malaria forever. Malaria eradication will not rely on the 20th-century model of a large-scale global campaign funded and organized by foreign donors and focused on a single intervention. This document calls for us to change the way we think about the fight against malaria – through new strategies, new tools and new financing.” (Source: From Aspiration to Action.)

Both the article and report are poignant and explain the interesting point we are at. The end of malaria is achievable and in sight. It’s time to re-focus efforts and continue to fight. We’re almost there.

If you want to help fight malaria, you can. Donate today at SwatMalaria.net. As little as a $1 is enough to pay for a test and treatment to save a life.

World Health Organization Reports Decline in Malaria Deaths

Mosquito Squad has been a proud supporter of Malaria No More for years. Their goal sounds simple: end malaria deaths, but much goes into it. Hundreds of thousands of people, primarily children, die from malaria each year.

But, there’s good news.


Yesterday, the World Health Organization published its 2014 World Malaria Report and report that there has been a 58% decline in the number of child deaths from malaria in Africa!

We can see the dedication working! More and more women and children have access to bed nets and treatment than ever before. But, the work isn’t done yet. There were still over 400,000 children that died of malaria last year in Africa.

Malaria No More and Mosquito Squad are committed to the fight against malaria not just in Africa, but worldwide. This holiday season, please donate to the cause at SwatMalaria.net.

As educational and medical help continues, here are some of the new innovations Malaria No More is supporting:

  • A malaria test that can detect malaria even if the patient isn’t displaying symptoms,
  • Better medication that can fight the disease more quickly, hopefully with just one pill,
  • More and better technology to help African clinics manage test and treatment stocks and predict outbreaks,
  • And vaccines that prevent humans from contracting malaria when bitten by an infected mosquito.

Ending malaria deaths may seem like a lofty goal, but it is entirely possible to see a world without malaria deals in our lifetime. It is both preventable and treatable. Experts were able to attack malaria and eradicate it from the United States in just a few years back in the 1940s and 50s. The Center for Disease Control was actually first created to address the growing issue of malaria in the US and now, we don’t worry about it here.

If you want to join in the fight and be part of the legacy of ending malaria deaths, please donate now to SwatMalaria.net.

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.

Do Mosquitoes Transmit Ebola?

Unless you’ve stayed away from all news for the last few weeks (and who really can do that), you’ve heard about the current Ebola epidemic in Africa and cases in the U.S. Ebola is a life threatening disease that currently doesn’t have a vaccine to fight it. One question we’ve been asked recently is can mosquitoes, who transmit numerous disease worldwide, infect people with Ebola?

In short, the answer is no.

Mosquitoes aren’t born with malaria, yellow fever, chikungunya, dengue fever or other mosquito-borne disease. Female mosquitoes become carriers of those diseases after feeding on a person or animal already infected (only females suck blood). Because mosquitoes don’t go person to person biting, the disease has to survive a complicated digestion process to be passed on.

The reason female mosquitoes require blood is to create eggs. A female mosquito will take in enough blood to properly nourish her eggs and then go and digest. After laying her eggs, she will then require more blood. For her to infect a human with the disease, the viral strands need to stay in the gut and migrate into the mosquito’s saliva. The mosquito injects saliva into its victims as they bite. In the case of malaria, it evolves in the mosquito before getting into the saliva.

Right now, Ebola cannot make its way into the mosquito saliva. And until it can, mosquitoes cannot transmit Ebola.

Despite not playing an active role in the spread of Ebola, mosquitoes are still the most dangerous animal on the planet, killing over 700,000 people each year. They kill approximately 600,000 by infecting them with malaria. While malaria isn’t a threat in the United States, mosquitoes still transmit west nile, dengue fever and chikungunya domestically.

At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients by greatly reducing their property’s mosquito population with our mosquito control services. Our trained applicators visit our clients’ properties every 2-3 weeks and spray the areas where mosquitoes are most likely to feed and live, like bushes and trees. The spray eliminates mosquitoes on contact as well as settles on the vegetation. When a mosquito then goes to feed on a leaf, it will ingest the product.

If you have questions on how to protect your property from mosquitoes, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

A Robot that Fights Malaria?

Malaria, as we’ve discussed before, is a terrible mosquito-borne disease that kills over 600,000 people every year, yet it is both preventable and treatable. While health officials and non-profits like Malaria No More are helping to fight the battle against malaria, a Dallas tween is doing the same thing with a new invention.


David Cohen is a Texas based 12 year old who is a finalist in this year’s Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for a robot that helps fight malaria.

Mosquitoes (whether they are carrying malaria or not) need water to breed. During their larval stage, they sit on the surface of the water to breathe and to continue the maturation process. Cohen’s robot stops them from further maturing by reaching them in this stage. Using a pump-jet system, the robot essentially drowns the mosquito by moving it away from the surface and trapping it under mesh.

Cohen first became aware of health issues that mosquitoes can cause after his sister had a staph infection after itching a mosquito bite.

Matched with his mentor Delong Langer-Anderson, Cohen began to look at how best to stop mosquito-borne illnesses from spreading. As Langer-Anderson explains: he “looked at the problem…in a different way. He asked ‘what if the mosquito was never born?’ …he’s never lost sight of the idea that if he can stop the mosquito from emerging from the larvae stage, he can prevent them from spreading disease.” Source.


While we’re not sure how Cohen’s robot will be used moving forward, we at Mosquito Squad are always happy to see people thinking up unique ways to decrease the spread of malaria and other mosquito-borne illnesses. Congrats David!

Mosquito Squad joined the fight against malaria several years ago through our partnership with Malaria No More. Malaria No More has made great strides in helping to end malaria deaths through its educational, prevention and treatment programs.

If you’d like us to help fight malaria, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net.

Scared of Sharks? How about Mosquitoes?

We all have fears. I’m deathly afraid of snakes, while I know multiple people who won’t swim in deep water for fear of sharks. After looking at a new infographic from Bill Gates, it seems we should be thinking smaller as the deadliest animal on the planet is smaller than a quarter. It is none other than the mosquito.

Bill Gates’ blog post The Deadliest Animal in the World clearly illustrates how many people certain animals kill each year, and the data is staggering. The shark kills only 10 people a year, the hippopotamus 500, and snakes kill around 50,000 people a year. Humans come in second place, killing 475,000 people a year, but the pesky mosquito came in first by a landslide. Each year, 725,000 people die because of a mosquito bite.

While we in the U.S. are simply annoyed by itchy mosquito bites, they still carry and transmit numerous dangerous diseases. Malaria is by far the worst, killing someone every minute and, as Gates explains, malaria “threatens half of the world’s population and causes billions of dollars in lost productivity annually” Source.

Bill Gates, who is a big supporter of Malaria No More, has donated a lot of time and money in fighting mosquitoes and the dangerous diseases they transmit and not just malaria, but also dengue fever and West Nile Virus. Gates’ blog had “Mosquito Week” to bring attention to how serious they really are.

At Mosquito Squad, we are proud to fight against mosquitoes domestically and internationally. Internationally, we fight mosquito-borne disease through our relationship with Malaria No More.

Domestically, we fight the bite for our clients, allowing them to take back their yards and enjoy their outdoor spaces again. As the mosquito control experts, we offer a few different mosquito services:

  • Our traditional barrier spray is applied every 2-3 weeks to reduce the client’s mosquito population by 85-90%.
  • Mosquito Squad’s all natural mosquito treatment repels 85% of the mosquitoes with its smell (don’t worry, humans can’t smell it).
  • For clients having outdoor events, weddings, graduation parties, etc., we offer special events sprays to keep mosquitoes off the guest list.

If you have questions regarding the best mosquito control service for your home, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

Next Friday is World Malaria Day

Next Friday, April 25th, marks the 7th Annual World Malaria Day. World Malaria Day was founded in 2007 by the World Health Organization as “an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control” Source.

Many Americans don’t remember (or weren’t born during) a time when malaria plagued the United States, but it did! During World War II, the US started the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas (it is now the Centers for Disease Control) that focused on stopping malaria around military training camps in the southern half of the country. The efforts were successful and in 1947 a movement to eradicate malaria from the country started. In just two short years, malaria was no longer a major health concern in the United States.

While we haven’t had to struggle with malaria for over 60 years locally, it still kills an estimated 627,000 people globally every year. Africa is the hardest hit continent, but progress is happening! The malaria incidence rate has decreased by 25% globally since 2000 with increased awareness and commitment.


World Malaria Day’s theme for 2014 and 2015 is simple: “Invest in the future. Defeat malaria.” And with our partner, Malaria No More, Mosquito Squad is doing just that.

For the past three years, Mosquito Squad has committed itself to fighting malaria through our partnership with Malaria No More, a nonprofit with the goal of ending malaria deaths in Africa. Malaria No More provides bed nets, malaria tests, treatment and education in areas of Africa that are hard hit with this preventable and treatable vector-borne disease.

In 2013, we saved over 50,000 lives with our contributions. Every dollar can save a life, literally. Just one dollar can provide both a test and five-day treatment, saving a life.

In January of this year, we laid out Dread’s Challenge, a three year goal of saving 250,000 lives in Africa. If you want to help us fight the bite, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net.

Did the Nazis Study Mosquitoes as Weapons During WWII?

New research from Tubingen University sheds light on some studies done at one concentration camp during World War II. Researcher Dr. Klaus Reinhardt says that there were biological weaponry studies conducted surrounding mosquitoes and malaria, a scary thought.

Reinhardt was studying the work of Nazi Waffen SS when he found information surrounding a “Entomological Institute” at the Dachau concentration camp in Dachau, Germany. The bug research was first ordered to help combat issues with lice and typhoid fever amongst the Nazi troops.

As Germany began to feel more pressure from both sides in 1944, the Entomological Institute turned their research to mosquitoes, and it wasn’t for mosquito control options. The Nazis looked at different species of mosquitoes to see which one would be most resilient in extreme conditions. Once the best specie was determined, they would be infected with malaria and dropped into enemy territory.

Through studies managed by Eduard May, the Anopheles mosquito was considered the best mosquito for the mission.

Dr. Reinhardt says the experiments happened at Dachau concentration camp “in conjunction with another notorious Nazi experiment – inoculating prisoners with malaria.” Source. The doctor behind infecting prisoners with malaria was executed after the Nuremberg trials.

Luckily, the use of mosquitoes as weapons did not come into fruition; however, they are the deadliest animal on earth. Every year, millions of people die from a mosquito-transmitted disease, with the majority being from malaria.

At Mosquito Squad, we are proud to support Malaria No More. Their goal is end malaria deaths in Africa. Malaria is both preventable and treatable with a set of pills that cost less than $1. So every dollar given, is a life saved.

What many Americans may not be aware of is that malaria was a major health concern in the U.S. until it was eradicated in 1951. The Centers for Disease Control was actually initially founded as part of the concentrated effort to rid the US of the deadly disease.

To help support Malaria No More, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net. We want to thank all of our tick and mosquito control clients that help us give to this effort. In 2013 alone, Mosquito Squad was able to save over 55,000 lives with our support of Malaria No More.

An air conditioner that kills mosquitoes?

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.

Nashville Mosquito Squad Franchisee Gives Back in Africa

When I first met Patrick McKennon he was visiting the Mosquito Squad home office to decide if he wanted to invest in the mosquito control company in Nashville, TN. I distinctly remember his excitement when we discussed our partnership with Malaria No More, a non-profit that aims to end malaria deaths in Africa. Since joining the Mosquito Squad family he has been a proud supporter and advocate of Malaria No More.

In 2012, Patrick, with the help of his clients, raised $11,000 for Malaria No More. In 2013, he took it one step further.

Wanting to truly understand Malaria No More and their mission, Patrick traveled to Africa with his 13-year old daughter Grace last month. The two-week trip to Tanzania provided the McKennons with true understanding and perspective.

Patrick and Grace started their trip in Serengeti and Ngorongor for a three day safari. They then spent a week in Moshi where they were able to volunteer at two different orphanages. Patrick explains the kids as happy and have “so much love for so little.”

In Arusha, Patrick and Grace visited A-to-Z nets, the manufacturer of long-lasting insecticide nets. A-to-Z provides nets to Malaria No More and other organizations helping in the fight against malaria. Permethrin, the mosquito control agent, is actually part of the nets’ threads and each net lasts up to 5 years and 500,000 of them are made every day!

Patrick and Grace didn’t want to be the only ones affected by their trip and wanted to make a big impact in Tanzania. They delivered 100 bed nets to a health clinic in Morogoro through Malaria No More and installed another 20 nets to Msamaria Center for Street Kids.

If that wasn’t enough, Patrick took it one step further, sending 7 kids to school starting in January.

While Patrick has gone above and beyond in his support of Malaria No More and the general cause of stopping malaria deaths, he’s not the only one involved in the cause. Mosquito Squad locations across the country are doing their part. Our mosquito control experts have donated to Malaria No More throughout 2013. We want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them.

Malaria is both preventable and curable, yet it remains one of the top three killers of children worldwide. If you want to help us support the cause, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net.

Malaria Doesn’t Discriminate – Help Join the Fight

I admit that I am a big fan of Rebel Wilson. I find her to be a talented young actress who is absolutely hysterical. The other day I saw a clip of an interview she did where she credited malaria for pushing her to become an actress (stick with me, this will make sense). After school she was a youth ambassador in South Africa when she contracted malaria through a mosquito bite. She became incredibly ill and while in the hospital dreamt that she was an actress. When she recovered, she followed that dream.

Many people believe that malaria is an illness that only affects those that are less fortunate. And while the majority of malaria cases do occur in impoverished areas of Africa, it doesn’t discriminate. People from all walks of life have contracted and battled this terrible mosquito-borne disease. Here are some that may surprise you.

In 1503, Christopher Columbus had to cut one of his voyages short after contracting malaria.

Mother Teresa fell ill with the disease in 1993 while visiting New Delhi. She went to the hospital complaining of a fever, nausea and restlessness. She stayed in the intensive care unit before ultimately being released.

British actor Michael Caine may be Batman’s rock in the films, but in doctors told him he wouldn’t live past 40 after he contracted a rare form of malaria while in the armed forces. One doctor took a chance and combined two other malaria medications and Caine recovered.

Malaria is just one of the serious ailments that Ernest Hemingway survived. He also fought anthrax, dysentery, hepatitis, anemia, a crushed cerebra and ruptured liver!

Mahatma Gandhi became gravely ill from malaria while in prison in 1944. The British released him from jail while sick.

George Clooney got malaria while visiting Sudan. He recovered quickly after starting medication.

During a post-high school survival strip to Africa, Cooper Anderson picked up malaria. He now advocates the same nonprofit that we do: Malaria No More.


For the past four years, Mosquito Squad has been a proud supporter of Malaria No More, a nonprofit with the goal of ending malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. One of our franchisees, Patrick McKennon of Nashville, is currently in Africa on a mission with the organization with his daughter. We can’t wait to update you on their trip!

If you want to help fight this terrible disease that is both preventable and treatable, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net.

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.

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.

World Malaria Day and Mosquito Squad Service Day

At Mosquito Squad, we pride ourselves on being more than just a tick and mosquito control company; we are a company that cares about our local and global communities. Next week we are celebrating two special days for Mosquito Squad: World Malaria Day and Mosquito Squad Service Day.

Mosquitoes, as many of you know, are the deadliest animal on the planet, killing millions of people every year! How do they do it? They transmit diseases including malaria, West Nile, Encephalitis and Dengue fever through their bite. The most serious and deadly illness they transmit is malaria. Malaria kills a child in Africa every minute. Every minute! The worst part? It is both a preventable and treatable disease. Many people don’t realize that malaria was a serious issue in the United States in the 1950s until it was eradicated, yet the epidemic continues in other parts of the world.


While Mosquito Squad fights mosquito-borne disease domestically with our mosquito control options for the yard, we help fight malaria internationally through our support of Malaria No More. Malaria No More has made huge strides in fighting this deadly disease in Africa by providing protective bed nets, malaria tests and malaria treatment. While malaria deaths in Africa are down 33% since they started, we have a long way to go to reach their goal of ending malaria deaths in Africa by 2015.

Next Thursday, April 25th, is World Malaria Day. On this day, we ask our clients and supporters to help fight malaria by making a donation to Malaria No More through SwatMalaria.net. Any amount will help to save the lives of children in Africa.

The day after World Malaria Day is Mosquito Squad Service Day where our franchisees are committed to giving back to their local communities. From planting trees or picking up a public park, our franchisees are donating their time. Here in Richmond, our corporate support team is teaming up with Mosquito Squad of North Richmond and Mosquito Squad of South Richmond to plant trees on a city block. I’ll be sharing pictures and details of the day after the event. Who knows, Dread Skeeter may even make an appearance!

Every day, we at Mosquito Squad are lucky enough to protect our clients’ properties from annoying and dangerous ticks and mosquitoes. Our mosquito control services are effective in enhancing the outdoor living experience on a property. We are thrilled to provide our service, but we are happy to give back too.

If you are interested in learning more about Mosquito Squad, our services or our partnership with Malaria No More, please contact your local Squad.

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