Could the Answer to Mosquito-Borne Illnesses Be As Simple as Mosquito-Bait?

Greenville mosquito control efforts are usually in an effort to make living outdoors less annoying. Mosquitoes can drive a person crazy with the itchy red welts they leave behind. While mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis can be an issue in Greenville, it is not the most common driver of mosquito control. But, in many parts of the world, mosquito control is essential to survival. With diseases like Malaria, Yellow Fever, Chikungunya, and others taking the lives of hundreds of thousands of people per year, mosquito control efforts are an urgent matter of public safety.

While widespread efforts using mosquito nets and mosquito spray have been helpful, researchers continue to look for more efficient ways to reduce mosquitoes and lower mosquito-borne disease risks.

Specially Targeted Mosquito Bait

Science magazine reports of a chemist, Agenor Mafra-Neto, of ISCA Technologies, who is working on a way to attract mosquitoes and lure them to their deaths. He planned to use plant nectars to create a pesticide laced concoction, specifically attracting mosquitoes. He used a special technique called “gas chromatography” to separate and identify odor compounds to narrow the target to only mosquitoes and not beneficial insects. Once they were able to perfect this, they added mosquito treatment to eliminate the mosquitoes attracted.

Does Mosquito Bait Work?

The initial results in a controlled environment resulted in the death of all of the mosquitoes in a two day period. After the success, they took the concoction into a Tanzania village to test it in the natural environment. They used the formula in four villages, spraying it under the eaves and in gaps in the mud walls of the homes. In two weeks, the number of mosquitoes in the treated homes were reduced by two-thirds, while the mosquitoes in the untreated control villages spiked due to it being a rainy period. They noticed no effect on bees or other beneficial insects.

There is a great deal of promise in this method because it can be used indoors and out. It also attracts the mosquitoes directly, luring them in, instead of waiting for them to happen upon the mosquito treatment. The team is awaiting approval for their sweet-smelling anti-mosquito formula from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which could come in as little as a year. In the meantime, they are extending their work to target to ticks, to curb the dangerous diseases they spread.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

While we await new and efficient mosquito control tactics to become widely available, we urge you to follow the Ts of mosquito control in your Greenville yard. Don’t forget to include Mosquito Squad of Greenville’s beloved mosquito barrier treatment in your multi-dimensional mosquito control efforts. Our treatment eliminates up to 90% of mosquitoes in your yard, so you can enjoy a worry-free outdoor lifestyle. Call today! (864) 277-4299

Labor Day is a Week Away: Eliminate Greenville Mosquitoes Before Your End of Summer Bash

Labor Day marks the official end of summer across the nation. While here in Greenville, the weather will continue to be gorgeous and warm for months to come, most of us take the time to pay homage to the summer season with a Labor Day weekend barbecue. While you prepare the menu, mow the lawn, and round up your friends, we urge you to think about the mosquitoes.

Greenville Special Event Mosquito Treatment

If your friends are anything like ours, you never know if the party will fizzle at a respectable hour or if it will go well into the night. If all goes well, you’ll be enjoying a bonfire under the stars while enjoying the warm summer air. Don’t let the mosquitoes be the determining factor. If your guests are chased indoors, chances are the party is going to fade early. And, can you even imagine handing everyone a can of bug spray to coat themselves? No one likes stinky, icky sticky spray.

With Mosquito Squad’s special event mosquito treatment you can enjoy a mosquito-free, bug-free backyard barbecue without ever having to even think about it. Call our team at (864) 277-4299 to get on the schedule today. Our specially trained mosquito technicians will treat your entire yard to eliminate mosquitoes from your party space, so your entire day and night will be mosquito free. But don’t wait! Mo

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

But don’t wait! Labor Day is only a week away and our schedule is filling up fast! Call now (864) 277-4299 for your Greenville Labor Day mosquito control needs.

 

Are Genetically Modified Mosquitoes the Answer to Mosquito-Borne Disease in Greenville?

Since the 2016 Zika Virus outbreak, scientists have been working steadily on innovative ways to combat mosquito-borne disease. Despite the long-time struggle to curb Malaria, the Zika outbreak brought these efforts to new heights. Much exciting new science has come from this surge in research. From a billboard that attracts and traps mosquitoes to increased public awareness of how to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, the world is together in doing whatever it takes to stop these tiny disease spreading monsters.

One of the most promising mosquito-control methods that have been made public during this time is the use of genetically modified mosquitoes. Oxitec, a British biotechnology firm has created a male mosquito that when released into the wild causes the next generation of mosquitoes to die off before becoming old enough to bite humans. Because mosquitoes mate for life, this single male mosquito interrupts the growth of the mosquito population by around 1,000 mosquitoes.

Are Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Safe?

Male mosquitoes do not bite humans, so that eliminates one hesitation. But despite this information, the public has remained leery of anything modified. With the Caribbean being a target area for the use of these mosquitoes, some of the first public concerns have given way for an investigation into the potential ramifications. The evaluation was requested by the island of Saba’s Executive Council and was conducted by the Netherland’s National Institute of Public Health and the Environment’s.

Yes.

Within the resulting report, the conclusion is crystal clear. Releasing genetically modified mosquitoes would not pose any risk to human health and the environment.

This news is fantastic, as it can clear the way for more widespread use of this highly effective mosquito control method. With Oxitec mosquitoes have been released in parts of Grand Cayman, India, Panama, and Brazil. Genetically modified mosquitoes have resulted in up to 90% fewer mosquitoes which could dramatically lower the transmission of deadly mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Zika Virus, and Malaria.

While some municipalities have voted no on allowing the release of genetically modified mosquitoes, this new report should help clear their concerns so the chances for the more deadly and damaging issue at hand, mosquito-borne diseases, can be decreased.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

At Mosquito Squad of Greenville, we are happy to offer our best mosquito control program, mosquito barrier treatment. It eliminates up to 90% of mosquitoes on your property to lower you and your family’s risks for mosquito-borne diseases at home. Call today to schedule your treatment. 864-277-4299

Deadly Eastern Equine Encephalitis Claims the Life of South Carolina Horse

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) – it’s a mouthful, isn’t it? It’s also pretty dangerous if you are a horse. On July 21st, Dr. Boyd Parr, state veterinarian and director of Clemson University Livestock – Poultry Health identified the first case of EEE this year in Dillon, SC. With this discovery, vets all over the state are urging horse owners to have their animals vaccinated. Ninety percent of unvaccinated horses exposed to EEE will die, as did the one in Dillon. South Carolina has led the nation in cases of this disease in the past. In 2013, 49 horses became infected and of those, 48 died. It is statistics like this that prove getting your horses vaccinated isn’t optional.

What About EEE in Humans?

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is transmitted by the black-tailed mosquito, which is considered a freshwater swamp mosquito. They get the virus from birds that live in marshy, swampy areas and most often they pass it on to horses. In horses you will see symptoms of stumbling, circling, head pressing, weakness or paralysis, and twitching within 2 to 5 days. And again… most likely death.

Humans react differently. EEE is quite rare in humans actually and even when contracted there may be no symptoms. However, 33% of humans that become sick, will die. So while rare, it is more dangerous to humans than some of the other mosquito-borne illnesses we often speak of. Encephalitis, as the name of the virus suggests, can ensue, causing inflammation of the brain and possibly permanent brain damage. There is no treatment for the disease in humans, only treatment of the symptoms, in efforts to lower risks of long-term disabilities. The best thing a human can do is avoid mosquito bites.

Protecting Your Animals and Yourself from EEE

So yes, there is a vaccine for your horses that protect them from EEE, but not for humans. Therefore if you are going to spend time with your vaccinated animals you must protect yourself. If you have stables in an area around your home consider turning the lights off in the evening hours, be aware of barrels and other areas that can hold stagnant water. Horsechannel.com advises avoiding putting the animals out to pasture during dawn and dusk when mosquito activity is high, and use insect repellent.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

Mosquito Squad of Greenville has an automatic misting system that is perfect for these types of areas that require more continuous mosquito control. This system releases a 30-second spray several times daily and comes with a remote control so that you can adjust these sprays to fit your needs. The automatic mosquito misting system eliminates up to 90% of mosquitoes on contact and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call us today and let’s work together to find the method of mosquito control that best suits your needs. 864-277-4299

West Nile Virus Arrives in South Carolina

Summer has settled in. It’s been hot and wet. Not all of us love it when it gets this way, but boy the mosquitoes do. It’s this part of summer that we start to hear about West Nile virus cases popping up. It hasn’t happened in Greenville yet, but it is close. On July 10th Us News reported the first human case of West Nile in SC this year on Hilton Head Island. Just seven days after that The State Newspaper reported a bird carrying the virus found in downtown Columbia. Closer and closer it is coming. It is so important to be prepared BEFORE it reaches us.

West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes to birds to people. The Columbia area in which this infected bird was found is a heavily populated area filled with businesses, homes, and popular hangouts. The presence of the virus is a serious public health concern. West Nile doesn’t affect a lot of people, but nonetheless, it has a slight possibility of making someone very sick. Approximately only a fourth of those infected will show symptoms at all. However, 1% of that fourth can suffer from encephalitis, which is dangerous and can be deadly. One preventable death is one too many.

What Can I Do to Prevent West Nile Virus? 

Tracking of the virus helps to keep us protected. Knowing where it is present helps community government and control agencies in planning for area wide treatment when necessary. You can do your part by reporting dead birds in your area to DHEC. Other ways to keep your community safe is by making sure the surroundings are not a breeding ground. Keep areas free of standing water and follow the 5Ts of mosquito control. Follow these at home and maybe even make it a neighborhood project. It certainly benefits everyone to cut down on the mosquito population. When you are spending time outdoors, don’t forget to use your repellent and possibly even cover your arms and legs during the dawn and dusk hours. Avoid bites however you can.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

We at Mosquito Squad of Greenville would like to join in your fight. Call us today and let us tell you more about our barrier spray. It eliminates 85% of mosquitoes on contact and lasts for up to 3 weeks! 864-277-4299

Rainy Summer… Perfect Mosquito Climate

Did it rain AGAIN at your house last night? We have entered that pattern in which every afternoon around 3 or 4 we start to wonder if a summer storm will hit. And it usually does. Maybe not at your house each time, but somewhere close by. We certainly don’t want to complain about rain. We’ve lived through droughts in the upstate, but we also have to admit that all this rain doesn’t come without a hint of annoyance. Besides the fact that a summer storm can cancel your afternoon plans without warning, it and also do wonders for the growth of the mosquito population.

Mosquitoes Love Water

Mosquitoes lay their eggs on water surfaces, so all of this rain can create the perfect habitat if you allow it. Think of all the little spots in your yard where water can collect. There’s that empty flower pot you’ve been meaning to move, the little swimming pool that the kids forgot to turn over like you asked them to, and don’t forget there is a wheelbarrow and 3 paint buckets behind the shed. Now imagine if there are hundreds of mosquitoes ready to hatch in each one of those places. YIKES!

Update Mosquito Control

Upstate mosquito control is truly the responsibility of each one of us. It’s no secret that mosquitoes carry disease, and the fewer there are, the better off we all are. After these heavy downpours and storms, take the time to clean up the standing water around your home.

Think about all the places where you are sure water is collecting, and then think again about the places you might not have considered. Are your gutters draining properly? How about the ditch? Mosquito Squad of Greenville wants to remind you how important it is to clean up after rain. Follow our 5Ts of mosquito control if you aren’t sure what you should be doing in your own yard.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

While you are doing everything you can to keep those new mosquitoes from hatching call us and let us eliminate 85-90% of the ones that already exist. Our barrier sprays are 100% guaranteed and last for up to 3 weeks. Don’t let mosquitoes keep you from enjoying your yard, even after the rain stops. Call us today! 864-277-4299

 

A Warmer Winter Has Created a Climate for More Ticks in Greenville

One of the best things about living in the Upstate is you don’t really have to travel to take a vacation. The great outdoors is all around us. Maybe you’ve planned a day trip with your family hiking around the Swamp Rabbit trail and then headed to Travelers Rest for pizza and ice cream. Or is a long walk along the river in the shade of all the beautiful trees of Falls Park more your thing? Is one day not enough? It’s only a 10-minute drive from town to Paris Mountain State Park where you can camp for the weekend and feel like you’ve left civilization behind.

What Dangers do Ticks Bring to Greenville?

Outdoor living does not come without the need for precautions, however, and part of that means being aware of ticks. WIS reports health officials are warning of a larger tick population this year. There is no way around the fact that more ticks will mean more tick bites. More tick bites can lead to more tick-borne illness and in this part of the country that is most likely to be Rocky Mountain Spotted fever (RMSF). Tennessee has already experienced its first death due to this illness. The Macon County Times reports that a 20-year-old young woman recently died from Rocky Mountain Spotted fever after a five-week battle with it. They too make note of more ticks due to a mild winter.

What to Watch For

The good news is that no one is telling you to stay indoors. Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, RMSF, is treatable with antibiotics and Dr. Ann-Kathryn Burch, pediatric infectious disease physician with Palmetto Children’s Hospital tells us the sooner the better. Your first symptoms may be fever and a terrible headache and yes, most people will have a rash as well, but that can come later. Other symptoms may include nausea, abdominal pain, muscle pain, those similar to the flu. The combination of symptoms can be different for each individual. Watching for symptoms and reporting immediately is a major factor, even if you aren’t sure you’ve been bitten. Katie Underhill, the young woman from Tennessee, was first diagnosed with the flu. If you are sick and have spent time outdoors, ask your healthcare provider to test you for RMSF.

Preventative Measures

Mama always said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and that is definitely the case when it comes to Rocky Mountain Spotted fever or any other tick or mosquito-borne illness. You can’t get sick if you don’t get bit. Here are a few helpful hints:

  • Wear light colored clothing when outdoors that makes ticks easier to see.
  • Wear repellent, preferably containing DEET for best protection.
  • Check yourself immediately when you go indoors. Ticks like warm moist places such as the neck and behind the ear, scalp, pits, and groin area.
  • Throw clothes that were worn in a hot dryer for 10 minutes.
Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

You can prepare your yard as well by following the 6Cs of Tick prevention. Again… no ticks, no tick bites. Mosquito Squad of Greenville would like to be a part of keeping your family healthy by avoiding bites from ticks and mosquitoes. Our barrier spray can rid your yard of 85-90% of those little pests and our tick tubes can keep more ticks from becoming adults and returning next year. Call us today to learn more about our services. We can’t wait to hear from you! 864-277-4299

“It Won’t Kill You.” Or Will It?

If you grew up in the Upstate, the nuisance of little flying bugs that can begin about mid-April, depending on the temperature and humidity, is something you know well. If you were a child here 20-years ago when there were only three tv channels and definitely no tablets or computers to play on, you most likely spent a large part of the summer outdoors. Are you visualizing these days? Now imagine you and your friends try to go in the house, where your Mama just picked up the living room and vacuumed, and complain about getting bitten by mosquitoes. What would she say? Mine would say “they won’t eat much,” yours might say “one or two mosquito bites won’t kill ya.” Unfortunately, she didn’t really have all the facts.

Mosquitoes: the World’s Deadliest Animal

Every year the world’s top 24 deadliest animals are ranked, and this year is not the first time that mosquitoes have made the very top of the list. It is, however, the first year that the number of mosquito deaths has topped out at 1 million. In late 2016, a graphic on Bill Gate’s blog gatesnotes had the number at 830,000, so obviously, the problem is a growing one. The majority of these deaths from mosquito-borne illness are from Malaria in Africa and 3rd world countries. The Gates Foundation spends millions of dollars each year with the goal of eradicating this disease.

And while Malaria isn’t an issue for us on US soil, West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Chikungunya are dangerous diseases that do affect us here.

As you are planning your summer vacations, I’m sure you have discussed other animals on this deadliest list. Sharks always come to mind first. WCIV News reported the first shark bite on Folly Beach at the end of April this year. The news stated that “the woman was taken to the local hospital with minimal injuries and minimal blood loss.” The truth is that only five people in the world die each year from shark bites, but it’s all over the news when it happens. How often do you see a story on the news about the mosquito swarm at last night’s BBQ?

Another animal we warn our families about and the dangers they can cause: deer. “Watch out for deer on that curvy country road. It could come straight through your windshield!” And that too is a truth, but the number of deaths due to deer each year is only 130. There is just no way to get past the severity of 1 million deaths due to mosquito bites. It’s unfathomable.

Mosquito Prevention in and Around Greenville

There is much to be done globally about mosquito-borne illness and the suffering it brings around the world, such as our work with Malaria No More. And it is up to us to keep our little piece of the world as mosquito-free as possible as well. Mosquito Squad of Greenville would like to help you with your part of the world, whatever size it may be.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

Our barrier treatment can eliminate 85-90% of all mosquitoes on your property whether it’s a small downtown backyard or a large farm in the surrounding areas. Call us today so that we can create the plan that best suits your needs. 864-277-4299

Are Mosquitoes Chasing You Inside?

You’ve fired up the grill, kids are running around laughing, maybe you’ve got the music cranked up a little… but it’s not drowning out the buzzing. Was this you last night? While you’re so excited that it’s spring in Greenville the mosquitoes are just as excited it seems. Nothing can ruin your outdoor experience more than being eaten alive by bugs. And here in the heart of the southeast we know it and live it.

We Have the Solution

School is winding down and it’s getting close to the long Memorial Day weekend. What are your plans? We live in an outdoor area. There is just too much to do around us to stay inside, especially this time of year before the heat really kicks in. You might be planning a picnic at Falls Park or a bike ride up the Swamp Rabbit trail with the family, followed by a cookout in your own backyard. You simply don’t want to invite the mosquitoes. So what do you do?

At Mosquito Squad of Greenville, we’ve got some answers. Our mosquito barrier treatment is our most popular service. It’s time released system eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes in your yard on contact and we reapply every 2-3 weeks to keep you covered all summer. Planning a bigger event? We can handle that too. Our special event treatments give that extra barrier you need lasting deep into the night. Or maybe your living space needs a little extra all the time. Possibly out by the stables? Our automatic mosquito misting system gives continuous coverage in the areas where mosquitoes are most active. That’s the beauty of our amazing upstate area. We have our small quaint downtown backyards to our expansive farm homesteads all available in a 30-mile radius. And Mosquito Squad of Greenville adapts to the needs of all of them.

Your spring and summer days may start at any number of Upstate activities. The TD Saturday morning market and then Live Music at Art Crossing are great ways to spend a Saturday downtown. And of course, Downtown Alive or Main Street Fridays are hard to pass up. There are really too many activities going on to list, whether they are weekly or for special occasions like Memorial Day, Artisphere, or July 4th. But the likelihood is that lots of these events are going to take you back to your backyard to finish out the festivities. We want to help make that the most fun and comfortable space you can be in.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

Check out what people are saying about our services. We offer 100% guarantee of our mosquito and tick control services. Call Mosquito Squad of Greenville today and let us take over the worry of keeping your yard bug free and you can simply worry about planning for the fun! 864-277-4299

Is Zika Still a Threat in 2017?

From the 2016 Zika virus outbreak, fifty-one babies have been born with birth defects in the United States. While that number doesn’t seem terribly high relatively speaking, it is alarming considering the Zika virus has only been locally transmitted in Florida and Texas.

NPR recently reported the full extent of the affects of Zika in the Unites States in 2016 and the numbers are not at all comforting. Out of about 1,300 pregnant women infected with Zika virus, 77 pregnancies were lost, 43 babies were born with microcephaly or brain abnormalities and another 8 babies suffered either eye abnormalities or neural tube defects.

Overall the infected women faced a 5% risk of severe birth defects in their babies. But if infected during the first trimester, the risk increased to 15%.

2017 Zika Numbers & Predictions

In the United States right now the CDC reports that they are seeing 30-40 new cases of Zika virus in pregnant women per week! Simple math puts us at 1,560- 2,080 cases by the end of the year. (Not to mention an expected increase in that rate during vacation season this summer.) If the 5% rule applies we could be looking at over 100 babies with severe birth defects this year due to the Zika virus.

Despite the news not reporting much about Zika virus so far this year, it is still a dangerous threat, especially to pregnant women. It is vital that pregnant women continue to be vigilant in mosquito protection, especially when it comes to traveling. We recommend you keep a close eye on the CDC’s Zika Travel Guide for the latest affected locations. Currently, Texas, Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and parts of Central America, South America, the Pacific Islands, Africa, and Asia are included in these warnings.

Don’t forget: You can bring Zika virus back to the United States undetected and pass it to the local mosquito population. We recommend vigilance for all travelers to help avoid transfer of the virus locally.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

At Mosquito Squad of Greenville, we don’t anticipate the local transmission of Zika virus to be a problem this season. However, mosquitoes pass on other dangerous diseases such as West Nile Virus and heartworm to our dogs, making it important to avoid mosquito bites at home. We recommend a full season of mosquito control treatments for your yard to reduce mosquitoes by up to 90%. Call today for a free quote to lower the annoyance factor in your yard! 864-277-4299