Zika virus

The 3D’s to Mosquito Protection

As we wrap up National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, we thought we would provide you with a few facts and tips about how to control mosquitoes at your home and how to protect yourself from these blood sucking bugs when you venture outside. According to a study from the Center for Disease Control, disease cases from infected mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas have tripled in the past 13 years, which makes protecting yourself and loved ones even more critical.

To protect yourself from mosquitoes, always remember the 3D’s (thanks American Mosquito Control Association!)

  1. Drain – Mosquitoes love water and they need it to breed. Make sure you drain the still water around your home. This task may sound simple, but are there areas you may not be thinking about? Some common places people forget to drain water or eliminate the area containing water include: canoes/boats in a driveway, water collecting on a pool cover, children’s toys, a pet’s water bowl, and leaking faucets. There may be some instances where you can’t eliminate the water source for mosquitoes to breed. If this is the case, we strongly recommend signing up for a mosquito abatement program and help control the presence of mosquitoes.
  2. Dress – Mosquitoes are attracted to dark color clothing more than light color clothing. They can also bite through tight fitting clothes. If you’re going out for a hike in the woods, wear loose fitting, light colored clothing. If it’s possible you can protect yourself even more by wearing long sleeves and pants to minimize the amount of skin exposed.
  3. Defend – Mosquito repellant is so important if you’re going to be outside for an extended amount of time. Four repellants that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency include: DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR 3535. Make sure you read the repellant bottle carefully for instructions for application and to understand the ingredients used in each repellant (no allergic reactions wanted!)

We hope you have found these tips helpful. Our team is here to answer any questions you may have or help you determine if a mosquito abatement program is right for you. Give us a call at (703) 929-3782.

How to Prepare for the Arrival of Mosquitos

The warm spring weather may be slow to arrive this year, but prime mosquito season is on the cusp of beginning. While you may think of mosquitos only being present in the summertime, it actually only takes an outside temperate of 50⁰F for mosquitoes to start lurking around your home and backyard.

Aside from that annoying itch you get from a mosquito bite, that bite can become a real concern if that mosquito is carrying a virus. In Virginia, a common health threat from mosquitoes is the Zika virus. Typical Zika symptoms are a fever, rash, red eyes, joint pain, headaches or muscle pain. While it is typically not a life-threatening virus, it raises big concerns for women who are pregnant since Zika has been linked to birth defects.

However, the point of this post isn’t to scare you, but to help you get prepared, so you can enjoy your summer with a peace of mind. Here are our top 5 tips to conquer mosquito season!

  1. Sign up for a mosquito abatement program – People typically wait until mosquitos are present to sign up for a mosquito abatement program, which is a big mistake. By that point in time, mosquitos have already established their breeding population, and it’s much harder to eradicate the problem. Sign up for our mosquito abatement program today to get ahead of the issue.
  2. Reduce the items in your yard that collect water – Stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitos. Reduce the items left out in your yard like a wheelbarrow, buckets, or empty flower pots that collect water when it rains. Otherwise, mosquitos will be treating your backyard like their next big party spot.
  3. Make your own repellant – It’s not ideal (or practical) to have a citronella candle burning inside your home to keep mosquitos away 24/7. A home remedy we would suggest is apple cider vinegar with a little bit of parsley. Leave a small cup of this mixture on a couple of windowsills or tables to help naturally repel mosquitoes away.
  4. Spray deet – If you’re going to be outside for a long period of time, we strongly recommend spraying on a mosquito repellant that contains deet. Deet can help keep the mosquitoes away while allowing you to enjoy your next outdoor adventure.
  5. Repair cracks and leaks – Lastly, check your foundation and walls for cracks and your pipes for leaks. Mosquitos can easily get inside through a small crack or crevice and water from a leak will attract them as well.

If you have additional questions about mosquitos, don’t hesitate to contact one of our pest experts or as we like to call them, “the bug doctors” to find answers.

The Pesky Mosquito

Mosquitos are pesky, annoying, and pose a serious health risk to the general public. They are carriers of a wide range of diseases, all of which have the potential to cause significant health issues.

Beginning with one of the more recent threats, the Zika virus, infected Mosquitos pose a great risk to women who are pregnant. The Zika virus has been known to cause microcephaly (which can lead to intellectual disabilities), and other brain malformations in some babies.

The West Nile virus, for which there is not a vaccine, brings on mild side effects such as fever and muscle soreness. In some cases, more serious illness such as encephalitis and meningitis may occur. Encephalitis causes inflammation of the brain, while meningitis inflames the lining of the brain and spinal cord.

After being bitten, many people are unaware they have been infected with St. Louis encephalitis (SLEVE), as the most common symptoms (fever, headache, and nausea) don’t usually overwhelm them. Yet, SLEVE can cause neuroinvasive disease such as inflammation of the brain.

Humans are not the only ones who are susceptible to infected mosquitos. Horses need to be protected from eastern equine encephalitis (a/k/a sleeping sickness), which causes inflammation of the brain and the spinal cord. Signs of infection, which can appear anywhere between three to ten days after a horse has been bitten, include staggering aimlessly, inability to swallow, and at times, death.

Triple ‘S’ Services recommends scheduling a visit to address cleaning up areas on a property that may attract mosquitos. Call us today at 800-457-3785.