On the Horizon: Rift Valley Fever

A virus originating in Africa could potentially spread to Europe and the Americas. According to scientists, Rift Valley Fever could very likely follow the paths of Zika and West Nile to become a Westernized illness.

 

Rift Valley Fever

 

In warmer weather, mosquitoes are much more capable of international travel. With warmer temperatures year round in many places, larvae and adult insects can survive for lengthier time periods.

 

The disease itself, spread by mosquitoes and from contact with infected animals, is usually mild, causing flu like symptoms in the majority of people who contract it.

 

However, a small portion of patients develop a fatal form of Rift Valley – causing hemorrhagic fever and thrombosis, similar to Ebola, as well as blindness and other neurological disorders. Presently, there is no vaccine or treatment protocol for humans, creating concern of a possible global pandemic.

 

The World Health Organization has ranked Rift Valley Fever among the “top ten most dangerous pathogens” – meaning it is likely to cause an epidemic in the future and requires urgent attention.

 

Mosquito Control Services understands the risk of viral tropical diseases and the need for constant mosquito surveillance and suppression. To learn more about our product and service portfolio, visit our site.

 

Original article here.

Mosquito Emoji – The Newest Phone Bug?

Have you recently scanned your smartphone emojis? You may notice in the animal section of your iPhone or Android that you have other insects – a bee, a caterpillar, and a spider, for example.

 

Not only are mosquitoes the most dangerous animal on earth – with more confirmed kills than sharks, snakes and bears combined – but they are also the number one incubator of modern communicable diseases. In addition, at peak breeding season, mosquitoes outnumber every other animal on Earth.

 

Yet, they have no emoji.

 

mosquito emoji

 

Public health specialists have started a petition to include a female mosquito (the type that bites humans and spreads illness) in the next set of emojis to be released in 2018.

 

These medical professionals believe that this will help spread awareness about the insect to children and adults as well as assist the scientific community in explaining their work via image. The emoji could also be utilized within strategic text or email communications too, notifying people of fresh supplies like nets and repellent or marking locations of standing water to be drained.

 

Moreover, on social media, there are over 15,000 mosquito-related tweets in a single day, assuring usage of the mosquito emoji on that platform. The mosquito emoji is up against some tough competition – over 60 other finalists, including a tooth and a llama.

 

For more information on the latest mosquito trends and topics, visit our blog.

 

Original article here.

The Second Storm of Post Hurricane Mosquitoes

After tremendous storms like Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, Maria and Nate, areas impacted are contending with power outage, property damage, lack of running water, and other catastrophic circumstances like post hurricane mosquitoes.

 

According to the Center for Disease Control, adult mosquitoes typically do not survive the high winds associated with hurricanes and tropical storms. However, flooding and wet ground in many areas cause mosquito eggs to hatch – a generation of mosquitoes known as “floodwater mosquitoes.”

 

To compound this, as a result of record-breaking rains, standing water makes an ideal location for those mosquitoes to then lay additional eggs. Disease-spreading mosquitoes usually increase between two weeks to two months after a hurricane makes landfall.

 

post hurricane mosquitoes

 

Local residents often spend more time outside completing post-storm clean up and repair, increasing the incidence of mosquito bites.

 

In flooded regions or any locales with increased mosquito populations, following proper mosquito protocol can prevent bites and illness: regularly applying insect repellent; wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants; contracting professionals to spray yards, homes and offices; draining standing water; and sealing any broken screens or windows.

 

Atlantic hurricane season lasts through November 30th. For assistance with your post-hurricane mosquito control plan, contact us today.

 

Original article here.

Mosquito Season Extended

Mosquito season in much of the United States is considered to be over after Labor Day, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

 

However, the USDA recently issued an official statement that mosquito season has been extended through the fall months due to warmer-than-average temperatures, mass amounts of standing water in storm-effected regions, and a prevalence of dangerous, disease carrying mosquitoes.

 

mosquito season extended

 

With over 5,000 Zika virus cases currently on record, mosquito control specialists are utilizing special techniques to monitor and eliminate mosquito threats – from repellent ingredient testing to enhanced bait and trapping methodology to innovative devices that transmit soundwaves to kill larvae in water.

 

How long will mosquito season last?

 

Scientists note that the close of mosquito season is typically marked by temperatures consistently below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, mosquito season varies from region to region, lasting longest in the southern portion of the United States.

 

No matter the season, the effective control of mosquitoes is a technical, ecological and fiscal challenge. Mosquito Control Services provides targeted strategies that work to eliminate your mosquito problems, protect the environment and prevent potential liabilities. Our science-based strategy combines biological control with modern short-lived insecticides that are of little threat to the environment—giving you the best and most comprehensive mosquito control program available all year round.

 

Original article here.

FEMA Funded Post-Storm Mosquito Abatement: Why Some Counties and Cities Get It and Some Don’t

Through FEMA, the federal government has a track record of supplying cost reimbursement for post-disaster mosquito abatement.  Despite the need, many storm affected districts never benefit from these funds.  The importance of post-storm mosquito control is evident.  Torrential rains and flooding can lead to extreme increases in biting and, potentially, disease carrying mosquito populations.  High water levels can cause swarms of mosquitoes to hatch from eggs that have long laid dormant.  In the absence of abatement efforts, these levels can persist for weeks or months following a storm.  Mosquito outbreaks can hamper recovery efforts to remove debris, restore power, and repair damaged homes.

 

 

To read the rest of the white paper, visit our white paper portal.

 

Zika Found in Common Asian Tiger Mosquito

Zika Virus, previously thought only to be spread by the Aedes aegypti species of mosquito, has significant potential to be more prolific.

 

Visit our download portal to access our Zika white paper

 

In late May, scientists at the University of Florida discovered that the Asian tiger mosquito, common in backyards across the United States, can also be infected with Zika and can pass at least parts of the virus along to its eggs.

 

The Asian tiger mosquito, also called the Aedes albopictus, therefore possibly has a role in Zika transmission. Researchers examined eggs harvested from the outbreak region of Brazil, and both male and female specimens were found to harbor Zika.

 

asian tiger mosquito

 

This species is considered more dangerous overall, according to mosquito experts, because it has adapted to much colder climates and a greater variety of hosts, as opposed to the Aedes aegypti that requires a tropical environment to live and breed.

 

The Asian tiger mosquito is most easily identified by its white striped legs. It most commonly feeds in the middle of the day. Additional research is scheduled to be conducted to determine how effective the Asian tiger mosquito’s capability for spreading Zika.

 

To read more about controlling all species of mosquitos, visit our website. To speak with an entomologist or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 800-256-1784.

 

Original article here.

Teaching Children about Mosquitoes: Fun and Educational Resources

Mosquito Control Services routinely participates in classroom activities at schools and learning facilities in, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia. Education is an integral part of the Mosquito Control Services program. Since government and mosquito abatement cannot do it alone, we provide extensive and targeted mosquito education programs for the public. We offer presentations to civic groups, schools and businesses, providing easy to read materials and presentations geared toward specific audiences.

 

teaching children about mosquitoes

 

These presentations include useful tips such as preventing bites, eliminating mosquito breeding around the home and protecting yourself and family from encephalitis. When it comes to disease-carrying mosquitoes, education is vital. When a threat has been detected, our teams go door-to-door with information to help residents better protect themselves.

 

We also work closely with local news media and government agencies to keep information updated and flowing. We’ve learned that keeping people aware and informed is very important in the battle against mosquito-borne diseases.

 

The battle against mosquitoes cannot be won by governments and mosquito control methods alone. It takes a community! That’s why Mosquito Control Services provides targeted and easy-to-understand public education programs.

 

Whether it’s an elementary school, a senior center, a fair or festival, our staff provides presentations that engage and enlighten both young and old alike. We explain what we are doing to combat mosquitoes, but, more important, our education programs provide useful protection tips such as preventing bites, eliminating mosquito breeding grounds, and protection from Encephalitis.

 

Please examine these additional resources for mosquito control lessons:

 

 

Download some of our educational materials here.

Schedule your mosquito expert today! This service is free for current contract holders.

Mosquito Protection for Pets

Whether your house is home to cats, dogs, horses or ferrets, know that mosquito protection for pets is essential for animals as well as humans. Mosquitoes are known transmitters of both heartworm and West Nile, diseases that can prove fatal for our furry friends.

 

mosquito protection for pets

 

For horses, a West Nile vaccine is available. Equine veterinary experts recommend this treatment prior to mosquito season or more regularly in warmer climates, depending on the strength and duration of the dosage.

 

For dogs, cats, ferrets, or other outside pets, heartworm preventative is tremendously important. Signs and symptoms of heartworm infection typically do not present until the animal is very ill.

 

Experts note preparing outdoor areas is also an effective means of mosquito control: dumping standing water, placing mosquito fish in small lakes and ponds on your property, and allowing professionals to spray regularly at your home or in your neighborhood. These techniques ensure pets and their people stay safe and healthy during mosquito season.

 

To find more information on protecting your community and backyard against mosquitoes, visit our website. To speak with an entomologist or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 800-256-1784.

 

Original article here.

Mosquito Risk Intensifies: A Single Bite Can Transmit Multiple Viruses

A recent study published by the Nature Communications journal indicates that mosquito risk has intensified because mosquitoes, like the common Aedes aegypti species, can spread multiple diseases at once, including Zika and Chikungunya.

 

mosquito risk

 

The testing, completed at Colorado State University, exposed several hundred mosquitoes to the two illnesses listed above as well as Dengue. Researchers examined the mosquitoes’ saliva post-exposure because that is the typical methodology in which these diseases are spread and also provides substantial proof that the illness has traveled through the entire system of the mosquito.

All three viruses were found in 92% of these mosquitoes at testing intervals both two and three weeks after exposure. Scientists hypothesized that multiple viruses in a single system would result in biological competition, thereby eliminating one or both of the additional ones. However, the mosquitoes sampled were able to harbor all three successfully.

For the public, this translates to becoming more vigilant about mosquito contact and increasing mosquito control at home, at school, and at work.

To learn more about diseases present in your area, such as West Nile Virus, visit our website. To speak with an entomologist or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 800-256-1784.

Original article here.

Mosquito Folklore Roundup: Fact or Fiction

When it comes to mosquito knowledge, the line between folk wisdom and folklore is often blurry at best.  Much can be gleaned from country sayings and old wives’ tales, but when it comes to mosquitoes, where does the truth end and the tall-tale begin?  Test your wits by deeming the following mosquito “facts” true or false:

 

  • Mosquitoes are most active during a full moon.
  • Mosquitoes can’t detect you if you are completely still.
  • Crane-flies are actually large male mosquitoes.
  • All mosquitoes bite.
  • Bats provide effective control of mosquitoes.
  • Mosquitoes are annoying but not deadly.

 

 

  • Mosquitoes are most active during a full moon. – True – There have been studies demonstrating a correlation between a full moon and increased mosquito activity. Most species of mosquitoes are active in the time immediately following sunset.  It is possible that a full moon may extend this prime time for mosquito activity until later into the night, which is why this bit of folk wisdom is deemed true.

 

  • Mosquitoes can’t detect you if you are completely still. – False – Mosquitoes have compound eyes that are superior at detecting movement. However, they can also see you when you are at rest.  They are skilled at detecting certain bodily smells and heat, and they can detect carbon dioxide, which is released during breathing.  One’s rate of breathing increases with activity, thus releasing more carbon dioxide and attracting more mosquitoes.  This is likely the source of the myth that mosquitoes can only see movement.  The truth is that mosquitoes see you whether you are still or not.  So, we have to rule this popular bit of mosquito knowledge as false.

 

  • Crane flies are actually large male mosquitoes. – Completely False – Of all the mosquito myths out there, we hear this one the most. A crane fly is certainly not a mosquito.  Though to some they may appear to resemble an extra-large mosquito, a crane fly is a completely different organism all together.  This mosquito myth is 100% false.

 

  • All mosquitoes bite. – False – At the most, only half of mosquitoes bite. One Gravid (pregnant) mosquito can lay hundreds of eggs.  To gain the energy and essential proteins required to lay these eggs, the female mosquito of most species requires a blood meal.  Because they don’t need to lay eggs, male mosquitoes do not bite.  Of the close to 200 mosquito species present in North America, only a fraction choose humans as the primary source for their blood meal.  Many prefer birds or even amphibians.

 

  • Bats provide effective control of mosquitoes. – False – While bats do eat a variety of insects, mosquitoes do not make up a large portion of their diet. Bats are much more likely to snack on bigger insects, such as the dragonfly, and dragonfly larvae are capable of consuming copious amounts of immature mosquitoes.  Therefore, it could be argued that an increased bat population might even result in an amplified mosquito population, making this myth false.

 

  • Mosquitoes are a public nuisance, not a health concern. – Absolutely False – Globally, over a million people die every year as a result of contracting mosquito-borne diseases, making the mosquito the deadliest animal on earth. Despite being spared from malaria, the worst of these diseases, the number of Americans who get sick and die from mosquito-transmitted diseases may surprise you.  Hundreds of people in the United States fall ill as a result of contracting West Nile Virus every year.  Though less deadly, the Zika virus has its own set of very serious public health concerns.  To find the number of confirmed Zika virus cases in your state, take a second to view MCS’ Interactive Map, which is constantly being updated with number of Zika cases in each state.