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

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

“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

Greenville Mosquito Squad: Spraying for Mosquitoes by Mosquito Squad vs. South Carolina Municipal Spraying

Greenville-mosquito-squad-avoids-spraying-blooms-and-beesAt Mosquito Squad of Greenville, we are very conscious of the bee population and the importance of preserving the life of pollinators and beneficial insects. We make every effort to ensure we are targeting mosquitoes and not bees. If you have special needs such as a bee hive on your property or you are a beekeeper, please let us know ahead of time.

Mosquito Squad’s Custom Mosquito Control Treatment

Some precautions we take in general with every barrier spray treatment:

  1. Avoid spraying barrier spray on open blooms.
  2. Avoid spraying bee hives or near beehives.
  3. Work with clients to protect bees on their property. For beekeepers, this might mean timing our spray on your property during a time when the bees are safe within their hives. Tell us your needs and we’ll work with you.

We also offer a natural mosquito barrier spray if you prefer using natural treatment.

Municipal Mosquito Control Treatment

It is a common practice in South Carolina for local municipalities to spray for mosquitoes. You may often see the trucks driving by in the evenings spraying treatment that will eliminate mosquitoes and mosquito larvae. With dangerous diseases such as West Nile Virus, EEE and Zika Virus threatening our state, this is a valuable service in regards to public health. While there is a great deal of benefit, there can also be some downsides, such as what occurred in Dorchester County this past week.

In a story about Zika Preparedness from June, DHEC vice chair Butch Kirven said municipalities must use caution to prevent the harming of bees and other pollinators by spot treating instead of blanket spraying large areas. The decision to use an airplane instead of the usual ground control efforts appears to be the cause of the demise of the bees at Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply in Summerville.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville
Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

Municipalities in South Carolina typically spray from trucks along ditches and wooded areas. The aerial spray is not an uncommon practice for areas that cannot be reached by trucks and is often used in Florida.

WARNING: Sometimes a few bees will inadvertently perish from our product. We take great care near areas with blooming flowers, trees, shrubs or vegetables. If we see a large number of bees flying about we take added precaution as well.

Zika Might Be on the Horizon in Greenville, But Deadly EEE is Here

As the news each day brings more discoveries, predictions, and debates about the potential for Zika Virus becoming a locally spread here in Greenville, there are dangerous mosquito-borne diseases already here. In fact, one of the most deadly mosquito diseases has reared its head earlier than ever in South Carolina.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Greenville

The first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) of the season has been diagnosed in a horse in Horry County, SC. According to Clemson University’s Adam Eichelberger, “This is the earliest in the spring that we’ve seen this disease in many years.” Adam is a veterinarian overseeing animal health programs at Clemson. He sites that 9 out of 10 unvaccinated horses exposed to EEE (Triple E) will die from EEE.

TripleE-in-horses-in-Greenville-SC

EEE in Horses

According to Greenville Online, EEE in horses can present with symptoms that can include circling, stumbling, head pressing, depression, weakness of legs, partial paralysis, muscle twitching, inability to stand, or death. If you think your horse may have EEE symptoms be sure to contact your veterinarian right away. There is a vaccination for EEE in horses, follow your veterinarian’s advice in protecting your horse from this deadly mosquito-borne disease in Greenville.

EEE in Humans

Symptoms of EEE in humans can include fever, chills, depression, joint aches and muscle aches. If EEE progresses to more serious encephalitic illness symptoms can include fever, headache, restlessness, irritability, drowsiness, anorexia, diarrhea, vomiting, convulsions or coma. While EEE is much more deadly in horses than humans, it is still one of the more deadly mosquito-borne illnesses. The mortality rate for EEE in humans is 33% and many times survivors are left with permanent brain damage. See your doctor immediately if you think you’ve been exposed and are showing symptoms of Triple E.

Preventing EEE in Humans & Horses

mosquito-misting-GreenvilleWhile there is an EEE vaccine for horses, humans are not so fortunate. Avoiding mosquitoes and mosquito bites is still the best prevention of Triple E. Mosquito Squad of Greenville offers a variety of mosquito control methods perfect for your home or horse farm. While our traditional mosquito barrier spray is our most popular service, eliminating 85-90% of mosquitoes on your property for up to 3 weeks, we also offer automatic mosquito misting systems. Greenville automatic mosquito misting systems are perfect for providing continuous mosquito control in your horse barn or stables. Call today; we’ll help find the perfect mosquito control for your unique needs. (864) 277-4299

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville.
Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville, with Tillman.

Read other stories in our blog for more about the dangers of Triple E in humans and horses.

Greenville Mosquito Squad West Nile Virus

West Nile VirusWith the first West Nile Virus death of the season in neighboring North Carolina, now is the time to for mosquito control in Greenville. Late summer and early fall is when we see the cases of West Nile Virus diagnosed for the season. You may feel like because school is in session and the nights are beginning to cool off that you’re out of danger, but not quite yet. West Nile Virus is a dangerous disease transmitted by mosquitoes and should not be taken lightly.

West Nile Virus is Most Prevalent in August & September

The end of summer generally has a larger mosquito population than the beginning of summer. With more mosquitoes comes more disease. In Greenville this is especially true. We’ve been fortunate enough to have a dry summer but now the rains have been arriving more regularly and the temperatures are still warm, allowing the mosquitoes to thrive and reproduce.

Cooler Temperatures = More Outdoor Activitiesmosquitoe squad of greenville

Add to all of that, the slightly cooler temperatures. When 85 feels nice and cool, you know it’s been a hot summer. So with temperatures giving us a bit of a break, all of us are spending more time outside. More time outside means, you’ve got it, more exposure to potentially infected mosquitoes.

If you’d like to enjoy these lovely early fall days without worrying about catching West Nile Virus from the mosquitoes in your yard, call Mosquito Squad of Greenville. We can eliminate up to 90% of the mosquitoes in your Greenville yard with our traditional barrier spray and it will last for up to 3 weeks!

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville.
Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville, with Tillman.

Contact Mosquito Squad of Greenville to learn more about eliminating 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your yard that could potentially be spreading West Nile Virus. You can reach us by phone at (864) 277-4299 or via email at greenville@mosquitosquad.com.

Don’t forget to stay aware of the symptoms of West Nile Virus and call your doctor immediately if you think you may have West Nile.

Summer is Over: But Greenville Mosquitoes Didn’t Get the Memo

mosquitoe squad of greenvilleJust because the official end of summer is here, doesn’t mean mosquito season is over. Quite the contrary in fact. Mosquitoes will be out in Greenville for quite a while still with the warm weather we are still fortunate enough to have. As we emerge from our air conditioned homes to spend more time outdoors, living a pest-free outdoor lifestyle is more important now than in the heat of the summer. Whether you’re hosting a large event in your Spartanburg backyard, a birthday party at your Anderson home or a pool party at Lake Keowee this fall, make sure you and your guests are protected from annoying and dangerous mosquitoes.

Event Spray Greenville

Hosting a large event at your home, such as a wedding, fundraiser or family reunion is a perfect way to make use of your outdoor living space this fall. There are so many responsibilities when it comes to organizing such an event that it can be easy to over-look something like pest-control. No matter how great of a host or hostess you are, no matter how good the food is, no matter how fun the people are, nothing is going to keep the party from ending at dusk if the mosquitoes come out hungry. Make sure your party can extend well into the lovely South Carolina evening with mosquito control from Mosquito Squad of Greenville.

Pest Free Outdoor Living Spartanburg

Enjoy your yard this summer with mosquito protection.
Keep your Pool party Mosquito Free.

With temperatures cooling a little bit at night and not climbing quite so high during the day, early autumn is a perfect time to host a pool party. Your guests can enjoy the pool and patio all day without being sweltered by the mid-summer heat. When it comes to fall pool parties, special event mosquito spray is a great way to make sure your guests don’t exit the pool with a swarm of mosquitoes waiting for them.

Mosquito Control Greer

We are lucky to live in the south where beautiful weather can be found year round. As long as it’s not the scorching heat of summer, outdoors is the best place to host a child’s birthday party. With yard games and piñatas, keeping the kids, the noise and the mess outside is a lot less stressful for you and more fun for them. Keep your child and their friends protected from mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus with our mosquito event spray. It will eliminate up to 90% of the mosquitoes in your yard for your entire party.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville.
Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville, with Tillman.

Contact Mosquito Squad of Greenville to learn more about eliminating 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your yard with mosquito event spray or a season long mosquito control program. You can reach us by phone at (864) 277-4299 or via email at greenville@mosquitosquad.com.

Triple-E, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, EEE: What Greenville Residents Need to Know about this Dangerous Mosquito Transmitted Disease

horse_and_dog_Eastern Equine Encephalitis in GreenvilleEastern Equine Encephalitis, commonly referred to as EEE (Triple-E) is a mosquito-borne disease that is commonly transmitted to horses. But it can also be transmitted to people through mosquitoes. With horses in South Carolina being infected with EEE this summer, we know the virus is in the area. While rare, EEE in humans is very dangerous with as many as 1/3 of human cases ending in death and those who survive can experience long term disabilities as a result. While some infected with EEE never experience a single symptom or every know they have it, others will suffer greatly.

What is EEE?

EEE is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. The virus is passed on to the mosquito from bird hosts that are known to live in freshwater hardwood swamps, making EEE more prevalent in marshy, swampy areas. Horses are the most common animal that is infected with EEE, and when that happens it is very deadly. 75-80% of horses who contract EEE will die from it, making the vaccination imperative for your horses long term health.

Symptoms of EEE

mosquito_control_Greenville_Eliminate_Standing_waterAlthough rare, EEE can be transmitted to humans as well as horses. With a mortality rate of 33%, it is one of the more dangerous mosquito-borne diseases out there. Symptoms of EEE can start with systemic illness that presents with chills, fever, depression, joint aches and muscle aches. If the EEE progresses to encephalitic illness symptoms can include headache, fever, restlessness, irritability, drowsiness, anorexia, diarrhea, vomiting, cyanosis, convulsions and coma. Many times survivors are left with disabling mental and physical side effects that can include permanent brain damage. There are no specific treatments for EEE, but if you do suspect you have it you should see a doctor immediately. Doctors can help control the symptoms and help lower your risk for long term disabilities and death.

Preventing EEE in Humans

While there is a vaccine for horses, there is no vaccine or specific treatment for EEE in humans. Because of this, it is imperative that you avoid mosquitoes and mosquito bites. The best way to do that is to eliminate mosquitoes in your backyard with help from Mosquito Squad of Greenville. Our traditional barrier spray eliminates mosquitoes on contact and continues to work for 21 days, eliminating up to 90% of the mosquitoes in your Greenville yard.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville.
Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville, with Tillman.

Contact Mosquito Squad of Greenville to learn more about eliminating 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your yard that could potentially be spreading EEE. You can reach us by phone at (864) 277-4299 or via email at greenville@mosquitosquad.com.