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

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.

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.

West Nile Virus is a Real Threat in Greenville

mosquitoes-transmit-west-nile-virus-SpartanburgTransmitted by mosquitoes, West Nile Virus (WNV) is a dangerous disease. Common in birds, humans and other mammals, WNV is a serious illness that can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). We have several cases of human WNV every year in South Carolina and Greenville specifically has had a few confirmed cases each year for the last several years.

What is West Nile Virus?

West Nile Virus doesn’t always present with symptoms. Only about 25% of people who are infected with WNV actually show symptoms at all. Those who do show WNV symptoms may experience fever, headache, body aches, rash or swollen lymph glands. Less than 1% of those infected WNV will experience severe encephalitis with symptoms that can include: high fever, convulsions, stiff neck, tremors, headache, coma, disorientation, muscle weakness or paralysis and in very few cases even death. If you think you may have WNV you should seek medical attention immediately.

West Nile Virus Prevention

Photo Credit: CDC
Photo Credit: CDC

With no specific treatment, cure or vaccine for WNV in humans it is best to take preventative measures to avoid mosquitoes and mosquito bites. Start by protecting yourself and your family in the place where you spend most of your outdoor living time, your own back yard. With Mosquito Squad of Greenville’s traditional barrier spray we can eliminate 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your yard. Our mosquito controls spray eliminates mosquitoes on contact and continues working for up to 3 weeks. Sign up for the season and we’ll respray every 3 weeks so you don’t have to worry about WNV or any other mosquito-borne illness all season long.

West Nile Virus Reporting in Greenville

While doctors will handle reporting human cases of WNV and veterinarians will report animal cases of WNV it is up to all of us to report on dead birds. West Nile Virus actually cycles between mosquitoes and birds. Mosquitoes bite birds with high levels of WNV and become infected, passing the virus on to humans and other birds and animals.

report-dead-blue-jays-in-greenvilleTo keep mosquito control agencies aware of WNV in their area it is important that you report dead birds from March through November to help the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) track the spread of WNV through our area. The five most important birds to report are American Crows, Fish Crows, Blue Jays, House Finches and Dead House Sparrows. Never touch a dead bird with your bare hands and check out the SCDHEC website for specific instructions.

Billy & Michelle Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville.
Billy & Michelle 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.