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

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

 

“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

Don’t Be An April Fool: Clean Your Yard to Limit Greenville Mosquito Population Growth for the Summer

The sound of mowers humming, children hooting & hollering, and bees buzzing filled our first summer-like weekend. If you weren’t among the many folks who spent this weekend completing spring landscape clean-up – you might want to put it on the schedule very soon. With a week of above freezing temperatures behind us, mosquitoes will begin multiplying anytime now. The more standing water, leaves, and debris in your yard, the more easily the mosquito population will multiply.

Greenville Mosquito Control

What Does Water Have to Do With It?

With three of the four stages of the mosquito life cycle happening in the water, it is a very important factor in the growth of new mosquitoes. A female mosquito requires a blood meal to produce a batch of 50-200 eggs. She will lay them on or near the surface of standing water. Most species will hatch in two or three days. Mosquito larvae feed on bits of organic matter in the water, hanging out at the surface to get air. Within about a week they will transform into pupae for a few days when they grow easily and quickly, emerging out of the water as flying, biting, annoying adults.

Spring Mosquito Yard Clean-up

With mosquito populations multiplying exponentially – early yard clean-up can set you up for a full season of pest-free outdoor living. At Mosquito Squad we always advocate the 5 T’s of mosquito control with our valuable clients and readers. But we are especially thrilled when influential institutions spread a similar message. Clemson University Entomology offers brilliant knowledge about the mosquito life-cycle including a specific checklist for eliminating standing water.

In case tipping, turning, and tossing doesn’t cover the gamut of mosquito population growth potential – there are a few additional things you should inspect. Check flat roofs for puddling water after rain, clean out gutters, drain stagnant pools or swampy areas and examine trees for holes and decayed areas that could hold water.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

For additional Greenville mosquito control, contact Mosquito Squad of Greenville to eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes from your yard all season. Our service is easy and worry-free, call us at  (864) 277-4299 or via email at greenville@mosquitosquad.com.

Does An Early Spring Mean An Early Greenville Mosquito Invasion?

Spring has come early to Greenville. With not much of a winter preceding it, we’ve enjoyed a February that feels and looks much like April. Warm weather, blooming buds and plenty of sunshine cures our winter blues and gives us that summer fun feeling. But have you experienced the downside of spring weather yet? Allergies, bugs waking up from a winter slumber, or maybe just maybe even spotted your first mosquito of the season? Don’t wait until the thick of real summer is upon us, call now to schedule yourself season-long mosquito treatment for your home.

Early Spring Mosquito Preparations Begin

If you’re worried about the possibility of a bad mosquito season this year, we have a few precautions you can take now to make sure your yard is not a breeding ground for the pests. Start by following the 5 Ts of mosquito control. Taking a few minutes to walk through your yard and eliminate mosquito breeding grounds is vital in the early spring. As water can accrue quickly from spring rain, you can be fostering a large mosquito egg population without even realizing it. This could set the stage for a lengthy battle against these quickly multiplying pests.

Your next step to ensure a comfortable pest-free outdoor lifestyle in early spring and all summer long is to call Mosquito Squad of Greenville. Our traditional barrier spray eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes on your property. We’ll come back every 2-3 weeks to keep your property free of mosquitoes for the season. If you call us now, we can keep mosquito populations to a minimum before they have a chance to reproduce. This makes that 85-90% reduction a great deal more effective when starting with smaller numbers in the first spray.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

Call us today for a free quote for your property. And keep enjoying this early spring while it lasts! 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.

“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” Greenville Prepares for Zika Virus Potential

zika-testing-in-GreenvilleDid you know local testing for Zika Virus has begun? Over 100 South Carolinians have been tested for the Zika Virus. While only one resident has been found to have Zika and it was a travel-related case, Greenville is prepared for the potential for a local Zika Virus outbreak. From mosquito monitoring, mosquito abatement, emergency response and health care – in true Southern fashion, bring it on Zika, we’re ready!

Greenville Mosquito-Borne Virus Monitoring

Monitoring local mosquito populations for mosquito-borne disease such as West Nile Virus, LaCrosse Encephalitis, Easter Equine Encephalitis has been a long time activity of South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). In partnership with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the DHEC samples local mosquito populations so they can stay abreast of any potential outbreaks. By monitoring these diseases in mosquitoes, humans, birds and horses, it is believed they will know relatively quickly if a worrisome outbreak occurs. They then report the arbovirus activity to health-care providers, local mosquito control and the public. If a particular area is experiencing increased activity, healthcare providers can diagnose better; mosquito control efforts can be ramped up, and the general public can take extra precautions at home.

Local Mosquito Control Efforts

Mosquito Squad of Greenville's barrier sprayMany local municipalities provide some mosquito control, although limited by budgets. These efforts are mostly based on complaints from the local population. Greenville County, for instance, provides mosquito control for Greenville, Simpsonville and Traveler’s Rest. They also are cleaning up trash where mosquitoes could breed. Your local mosquito control hotline can be found at SCDHEC.gov. Greer cut their mosquito control efforts during the recession, but can get service from the city of Greenville if you call to request it. If your city or county doesn’t offer mosquito control, be sure to call us at Mosquito Squad of Greenville – we’ve got your back!

Zika Preparedness in Greenville Healthcare

According to Greenville Online, Greenville Health System has a biological readiness plan that includes Zika Virus outbreak readiness. The plan includes laboratory support, disease evaluation and hospital readiness. They are following all CDC guidelines in regards to considering Zika as a possibility in patients with symptoms who have traveled to affected areas. The staff has also prepared with additional training in obstetrics and pediatrics for diagnosing and managing the negative health effects that could result from a pregnant woman becoming infected with Zika.

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

While the city and county of Greenville are prepared for the Zika Virus, it would be best to avoid the virus altogether. Avoiding mosquitoes and mosquito bites is your best method of Zika prevention. At Mosquito Squad of Greenville we can keep your yard mosquito free all season long with our traditional mosquito barrier spray. Eliminating 85-90% of mosquitoes in your yard on contact, our barrier spray continues to work for up to 21 days. Call today 864-277-4299