Mosquito Squad of Greenville explores whether recent findings indicate DEET’s effectiveness has come to pass

I can remember, as many of you probably have a similar memory, of being slathered down by my Mother with foul smelling mosquito repellent as a child on every camping trip and at each family BBQ. In keeping to the product’s promise I never got bit by a mosquito while wearing this chemical suit of armor. I do however remember the feeling of my skin not being able to breathe, the rancid odor, being so sticky I felt as though I would crack with each movement and above all the headache I experienced at the end of the day as a result of my exposure to the DEET within the product. Like they always say “hindsight is 20/20 vision” and being a more evolved society research now tells us that excessive

Besides the side effects of DEET, research is indicating mosquitoes are less resistant to it now.
Besides the side effects of Deet, research is indicating mosquitoes are less resistant to it now.

exposure to products containing DEET ((N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide) can cause headaches and especially in children, who knew? Headaches are just the tip of the iceberg in the many adverse side effects that can be attributed to exposure to DEET. Still with these dangers in mind, consumers have continued to use DEET derived mosquito repellents for over 40 years for one reason, and one reason only; it keeps mosquitoes from biting right? Up until recently this may have been the case, but new research indicates the mosquito is quickly becoming immune to the power of DEET.

DEET based insect repellents work by blocking the molecule to the chemical receptors for carbon dioxide and lactic acid in mosquito antennae. Carbon dioxide and lactic acid are both natural components our bodies release and are what make us attractive to the mosquito. Even mosquitoes lucky enough to find us with our DEET-treated skin will not bite because they don’t like the smell or taste of the chemical which up until recently would keep us off the mosquito’s dinner menu.

According to the  BBC, Scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine conducted tests on the Asian tiger mosquito which is a known vector of both West Nile virus as well as Dengue and Yellow fever. The tests showed that the mosquito responded appropriately in repelling when exposed to skin that was treated with DEET on the first try. As part of the study those same mosquitoes were introduced to DEET treated skin a second time around and some of the mosquitoes actually came into feed despite the presence of DEET. Dr. James Logan, who led the research, said “The more we understand about how repellents work and how mosquitoes detect them, the better we can work out ways to get around the problem when they do become resistant to repellents.” Previous

Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad keeps mosquitoes away from your yard.
Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad keeps mosquitoes away from your yard.

research had demonstrated how some mosquitoes were genetically immune to the substance, but the new research has shown that even those that would usually be deterred developed a resistance. These new findings mean new alternatives to the use of long trusted DEET repellents are in order. The chemical has become the most widely used insect repellent since the U.S. Army patented it in 1946 as a broad-spectrum biting insect repellent. It is true that DEET is becoming less and less effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay which is cause for concern to many after years of trusting the product to repel mosquitoes. I like to compare the diminishing effectiveness of DEET to that of our excessive dependence on antibiotic therapy and the way in which it too is becoming less effective at killing certain strains of bacteria. It looks as though the time for trusting in the effectiveness of DEET has come to pass.

At Mosquito Squad of Greenville, we do not rely on topical mosquito control or repellent, but instead protect against mosquitoes by our safe and effective barrier spray that targets the vegetation and areas where mosquitoes lurk. Our barrier spray kills mosquitoes on contact and continues to protect for up to 21 days. We do recommend exercising safe mosquito practices when venturing into untreated areas. It is also a good idea to wear proper clothing and apply repellent to reduce your risk of falling prey to mosquitoes and reduce your risk of exposure to mosquito-borne illness and disease in untreated areas.

You can learn more about our superior level of mosquito control and prevention by contacting Mosquito Squad of Greenville, SC. Call us today for a free quote • (864) 277 – 4299 • email: greenville@mosquitosquad.com

 

Keith-Drew,-Owner

 

Keith Drew, Owner
Mosquito Squad of Greenville

 

 

 

 

The giant mosquito is predicted to come out in giant numbers this summer in the sunshine state proving that fact is sometimes stranger than fiction

There is some interesting news coming out of Florida in regards to a species of giant mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are not new to Florida but are predicted to increase in numbers this year within the sunshine state.  The proper name for this giant mosquito is Psorophora ciliata but is commonly referred to as the Gallinipper by Floridians. Last year’s tropical storms led these monster mosquitoes to lay eggs in record numbers. Those eggs are now lying in wait until this season presents the right conditions for the eggs to hatch. Researchers are predicting a record number of Gallinippers in Florida this year and this is cause for concern. Although the Gallinipper doesn’t occur in large numbers in Central or South Florida, they are set to explode this season in low lying areas particularly in areas south of Orlando, Fla.

Gallinippers are known for their enormous size that is backed by an equally painful bite. Topping out at the size of a quarter these ferocious skeeters are nearly 20 times the size of an ordinary mosquito. Those who have come face to face with the Gallinipper contend that their bite is worse than their bark because this mosquito is known to be aggressive at dinnertime.  Unfortunately anytime is dinnertime for the Gallinipper because unlike other mosquitoes that feed from dusk until dawn, this one feeds throughout the day as well. The size of this giant enables it to bite through heavy clothing with ease.  Even the larvae of the Gallinipper are more aggressive than that of other mosquitoes. Their larvae will feed from tadpoles and other small aquatic creatures while developing as well as feeding off the

Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad keeps mosquitoes away from your yard.
Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad keeps mosquitoes away from your yard.

larvae of other mosquitoes. The Gallinipper has even been shown to display cannibalistic behavior from feeding off the larvae of its own kind!

This mosquito is hard to ignore because of its sheer size and dominant features. Gallinippers have yellow scales on their thorax and shaggy hair on their back legs that resembles a zebra pattern.  The Gallinipper is a floodwater mosquito. This means the mosquito lays its eggs in the moist soil of low lying areas where they can lie dormant for long periods of time until floodwaters or rain enable them to hatch. Those that are most likely to see record numbers of the Gallinipper after a large rain are Floridians who live in more rural, grassy areas that are prone to flooding are more likely to come in contact with  these mosquitoes than city dwellers which is good news for beach towns and tourism.

The term Gallinipper derived from legends associated with this super-size skeeter which were sparked through Southern folktales, minstrel shows and blues songs, according to a report from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. It seems that over the past century this mosquito has become feared and thus has become the stuff of legends.

The life cycle of this mosquito is about one week. The Gallinipper has not been reported as of yet capable of spreading any mosquito-borne illness or disease onto humans. While their stay is short lived they do eat the larvae of other mosquitoes that transmit illness and disease to humans, such as West Nile virus. This proves that in the midst of a storm there still lies a rainbow

The good news here on the home front Mosquito Squad of Greenville will keep your little slice of heaven mosquito free all season. Our safe and effective mosquito control and prevention program will protect you and your family all season long. You may be so well protected that a “staycation” may be in order for this summer’s calendar!  Call us today for a free quote • (864) 277 – 4299

Keith-Drew,-Owner

Keith Drew, Owner
Mosquito Squad of Greenville
email: greenville@mosquitosquad.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mosquito Squad of Greenville, SC explores the reasons for the mosquito’s attraction to people

Mosquitoes have roamed the earth in search of a blood meal for over 170 million years. You would think that with this type of longevity and resilience most of the myths regarding mosquitoes feeding preferences would have been de-bunked by now. It is true that many of the facts regarding the mosquito’s attraction to people are stranger than fiction.

Since some folks seem to be a magnet for mosquitoes it is important to find out why mosquitoes target certain people over others. The truth is mosquitoes are drawn to some people over others simply because of sight and smell. Mosquitoes are very visual and their

Dark clothing is an attractant for mosquitoes
Dark clothing is an attractant for mosquitoes

first mode of search is through vision. Mosquitoes are drawn to darker colors such as black, navy blue and reds. Dark colors are more likely to attract the attention of a mosquito because they stand out and are easier to differentiate during movement than lighter colors which can blend into the surroundings. After the mosquito sees you as a promising visual target then her keen sense of smell takes charge. Mosquitoes are mainly attracted to the amount of carbon dioxide we exhale. Our bodies naturally produce carbon dioxide with every breath we take. As we breathe we take in oxygen and in turn exhale carbon dioxide and this draws the mosquito to us like a moth to a flame. People with higher metabolic rates are likely to produce more carbon dioxide. Pregnant women and larger people also exhale a greater amount of carbon dioxide as well. Studies have also indicated that alcohol consumption can increase respiration and thus increase the amount of carbon dioxide you exhale.  Having a beer or a mixed drink on the deck this summer may just make you the mosquito’s unsuspecting main course.

The aromas produced from our respiration are just one of the smells which attract the mosquito. Other compounds that our bodies produce also contribute to a mosquito choosing to bite one person over another. These attractants include lactic acid which our

The Asian Tiger mosquito
Mosquitoes are attracted to many chemicals our bodies produce naturally.

bodies naturally excrete during exercise, acetone which is another chemical released during respiration, and estradiol which is a byproduct of estrogen. Cholesterol on our skin’s surface will also make you more appetizing to the mosquito. This does not mean mosquitoes are more likely to bite a person diagnosed with higher cholesterol levels. When our bodies process cholesterol efficiently certain residuals will remain on our skin and the mosquito finds this residual irresistible. Each of these compounds combined with your body temperature can make you more attractive to a mosquito. Mosquitoes are cold blooded creatures which makes their preference for warm bodies and warm blood a contradiction in terms.

It is important to find out the triggers to mosquito attraction because they can leave more than an itchy bite behind. Mosquitoes are known vectors of many illnesses and diseases that can make you very sick. West Nile Virus, St. Louis encephalitis, and La Crosse Encephalitis are among just a few of the illnesses being bitten by a mosquito can incur. Mosquitoes are also responsible for infecting our pets with heartworms, which can be fatal. The best way to ensure your safety and the safety of your family and pets is to exercise common sense when it comes to mosquitoes. Conducting frequent checks

Tip over standing water to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds
Tip over standing water to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds

within your yard for standing water and items that could potentially act as a reservoir for rain or pooled water is essential to keeping mosquitoes from breeding on your property. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in as little amount of water as a soda bottle top. Having your property treated by a licensed mosquito control representative is also important. These safeguards will help to keep mosquitoes out of your yard this season and off of you and your family.

Our safe and effective barrier spray program eliminates mosquitoes and prevents more from entering your protected property for the entire season. Our mosquito control program is convenient and highly effective at keeping mosquitoes out no matter how attractive your chemistry is to the mosquito. We schedule applications of our barrier spray at timed intervals throughout the season to keep you and yours happy and healthy all season long!

Contact Mosquito Squad of Greenville today to learn more about our safe and effective mosquito control program. Call us today for a free quote • (864) 277 – 4299

Keith-Drew,-Owner

 

Keith Drew, Owner
email: greenville@mosquitosquad.com

 

What does a mild winter mean for Greenville, SC mosquito and tick populations?

Here in the South we love mild winters. Being able to go out in short sleeves in dead winter, opening your windows to let in fresh air when other parts of the country are under freeze advisories and even the arrival of an Indian summer add to the benefits of living in the Greenville area. I often have homeowner’s ask me if having a mild winter will make the mosquito and tick populations greater. The answer to this question is as complex as it is simple. A mild winter in itself will not impact the insect population, however the mild winter combined with the absence of freezing temperatures for an extended period of time will. Winter temperatures have to be extremely cold for a long time to affect mosquitoes and ticks. So our mild winter does not mean that there will be more of mosquitoes and ticks out there. This only means the early arrival of spring-like temperatures will cause mosquitoes and ticks to become active earlier.

Take for example the Asian tiger mosquito whose presence is becoming more and more prevalent in the Carolina’s. The Asian tiger mosquito overwinters as an egg.  The eggs lie

The Asian Tiger mosquito
The Asian Tiger mosquito eggs quickly hatch as the weather warms.

dormant until the weather warms up enough to cause them to hatch. Much like a chicken egg, but Mother Nature is in charge of keeping the nest warm. A mild winter can cause the Asian’s eggs to hatch sooner than usual.  If the eggs hatch earlier this can perpetuate early breeding and in turn can lead to larger mosquito populations by mid-late summer.

Another factor that increases mosquito populations is rainfall. During a spring with above average rainfall mosquito populations will boom out of control. Anytime the mosquito population increases the risk of becoming sick from a mosquito-borne illness such as West Nile virus, and Encephalitis increases.  In a perfect scenario a drier spring would mean a smaller mosquito population, right?  The caveat is the fact that a drier spring will cause homeowners to water their lawns and gardens more frequently. This increase in watering on the human end can increase standing water around your home and yard. Mosquitoes will then begin breeding

Small caps can become the home of hundreds of mosquito eggs quickly.
Small caps can become the home of hundreds of mosquito eggs quickly.

in the bases of your flower pots, birdbaths, and other areas within your landscape where remnants of recent watering remain. It is indeed a vicious cycle; this is why it is important to inspect the area around your home frequently to ensure there are no forgotten areas where water could pool and serve as a mosquito breeding ground. To put this into perspective; the top off of a single 12 ounce soda bottle can serve as a nursery for hundreds of mosquito eggs.

Tick populations are influenced by the availability of a blood host to feed on.  Believe it or not, an abundant acorn population can bump up the tick population. More acorns mean that more rodents will come to feed on the acorns that cover the ground. Ticks will thrive in these conditions because of the abundance of mice to feed from. In areas where Lyme

Acorns attract rodents who are the host for many ticks
Acorns attract rodents who are the host for many ticks

disease is common this influx of mice playing host to deer ticks will also increase the risk of coming into contact with a tick carrying the disease.

You may ask what can I do to prevent being overthrown by mosquitoes and ticks in my own yard? The answer is simple. When it comes to mosquitoes, keeping your property free of standing water that could serve as a breeding ground is essential. Also, as with all insects, keeping your property free of debris and mowed will serve as a deterrent. Having your property treated by a licensed professional is crucial to eradicating an insect problem before it becomes out of control.

Mosquito Squad of Greenville makes it easy to control both mosquitoes and ticks. Our safe and effective barrier spray program kills mosquitoes and adult ticks and prevents against more mosquitoes entering into your treated area. We also offer a tick tube program that will reduce the chance of you coming into contact with a potential disease carrying tick by up to 90%. Call us today for a free quote • (864) 277 – 4299

Keith-Drew,-Owner

 

Keith Drew, Owner
email: greenville@mosquitosquad.com

Prepare for the Mosquito Invasion

The mosquitoes are inevitably coming; in fact, they are planning their attack right now just waiting for the weather to warm.  And, they love the rain we are getting because water is the perfect place to lay their eggs.  They aren’t picky, even the smallest amount of standing

Mosquito Squad of Greenville eliminates mosquitoes that bite
Eliminating standing water will help protect your family from mosquitoes and their bites.

water is good enough for them.  Luckily, Mosquito Squad of Greenville has 5 great tips on how to eliminate mosquitoes in your yard:

 

  1. Tip – tip over those flower pots saucers, dog dishes, buckets or anything else on your deck or yard that can collect water from the rain or even your sprinkler system.
  2. Toss – toss any excess grass clippings, downed tree limbs, or piles of leaves that can harbor mosquito eggs.
  3. Turn – Kid’s toys, tire swings, small baby pools or anything else where water does not needs to be turned over.
  4. Tilt tarps – do you have a wood pile in back covered with a tarp or a grill cover that is not taut?  These are perfect places for the pests to lay their eggs.
  5. Treat – Treat your property with the #1 mosquito protection in Greenville.  Mosquito Squad of Greenville has proven treatment guaranteed to keep mosquitoes out of your yard.
Effective mosquito control begins by tipping items over that collect water.
Effective mosquito control begins by tipping items over that collect water.

Mosquitoes need a very small amount of standing water to lay their eggs and they will find just about any type of container that holds water.  They are more than just a nuisance; they can ruin a nice evening outdoors and even worse, they carry diseases to humans and pets.  Use the proven mosquito control treatment from Mosquito Squad of Greenville to eliminate up to 90% of mosquitoes and ticks in your yard.

Contact Mosquito Squad of Greenville to learn about our safe and effective barrier treatments that will keep your family and pets safe this summer.  Fight the bite with Mosquito Squad!

Keith Drew, Mosquito Squad of Greenville

 

Call us today for a free quote (864) 277 – 4299
email: greenville@mosquitosquad.com