Bug Archives: Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes
The females of most mosquito species suck blood from other animals, which has made them the most deadly disease vector known, killing millions of people over thousands of years and continuing to kill millions per year by the spread of diseases.

Most species are nocturnal or crepuscular (dawn or dusk) feeders. During the heat of the day most mosquitoes rest in a cool place and wait for the evenings. They may still bite if disturbed. Mosquito’s are adept at infiltration and have been known to find their way into homes via deactivated air conditioning units.

First Case of EEE Confirmed in Massachusetts

According to The Massachusetts Department of Health, a Norfolk County woman has died recently in the state’s first human case of Easter Equine Encephalitis this year.

The woman was hospitalized in mid-August and died a few days later. The woman was in her 80s. Health officials are investigating as to where she was possibly exposed to the infected mosquitoes.

People are being urged to take precautions against mosquitoes in Massachusetts.

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours – The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing.

Clothing Can Help - Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

Apply Repellent - Apply insect repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.

Applying Insect Repellent to Your Kids

Although once considered just a nuisance, insect bites can lead to serious medical problems. Not only can certain insects spread diseases like West Nile Virus, the bites themselves can become infected with bacteria, like Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

Since bites are itchy, even without any worries about health problems, it is a good idea to try to protect your kids from insect bites by learning how to apply an insect repellent properly.

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EEE and West Nile from Mosquitoes Pose Serious Health Risk In MA

mosquitoAccording to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), there is an early and consistent presence of EEE from mosquitoes in the area. In Easton, Raynham, Taunton, and West Bridgewater the risk level has been raised from “High” to “Critical,” and in Bridgewater and Norton it was raised from “Moderate” to “High.”

According to DPH Commissioner John Auerbach, people should be taking precautions for themselves and their family. EEE is a serious disease and can result in death. There have been no cases of West Nile virus or EEE yet this year, but last year there was 2 cases in Massachusetts, one being fatal.  “It’s extremely important that residents in these communities take immediate steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” said Auerbach. “Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and nighttime when mosquitoes are at their most active, use insect repellant, and cover exposed skin.”

Steps to protect yourself from Mosquito bites and the illnesses that they can cause:

  • Use insect repellent with DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 when outdoors during night or early dawn.
  • Wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, and socks when outdoors during these mosquito hours.
  • Protect your pets by draining standing water around your house, this attracts mosquitoes to lay eggs in the water.
  • Mosquito proof your home by fixing or replacing any broken screens where mosquitoes could enter the house.
  • You can also get your yard or outside your home or business sprayed

    by a pest professional like A1 Exterminators to protect yourself, family and pets from mosquitoes. A1 will customize a mosquito treatment plan that fits your unique pest control needs and our experienced technicians will conduct our business without interfering with your business. Let A1′s mosquito treatment make you feel safe and comfortable so you can enjoy the summer weather and outdoor lifestyle.

 

Call A1 today at 1-800-525-4825 (1-800-499-5866 for Cape Cod) for a mosquito treatment outside your home or business in MA, NH or Southern ME.

 

For more information about any WNV and EEE positive results from 2012 visit the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/wn.

Herbs in Your Garden that Help Repel Bugs

No one likes flies! Actually most will tell you that flies are one of there least favorite bugs. They are annoying nasty flying bugs. Or what about mosquitoes? Have you ever heard anyone say, ‘gee, lets go outside it’s perfect mosquito weather’… NO! How about moths, maybe they don’t bother you, but how about the weevils you get in your dried cupboard food because of them???

No one wants to be spraying bug spray all day everyday and in your home never the less, so why not try these tried and true herbs. That’s right, you heard me correct, herbs! They will grow from just about anywhere and lots of us have them in our private garden for eats, so why not try them as a pest solution??

Herbs That Will Repel Flies And Other Nasty Bugs

1. Basil

Most people know fresh basil is delicious in pesto, tomato based dishes, and salads but did you also know that it is one of the best ways to keep flies out of your house? Just plant basil next to the doors, use as a foundation planting mixed in with your flowers, or plant in containers. The flies will stay far away. Basil is a beautiful fragrant plant that grows easily in most climates. You can grow basil in containers by your picnic table or on your patio and cut a nice size bunch of it to decorate the blanket with when you go to a remote picnic spot. As an added bonus, mosquitoes don’t like it either.

2. Bay Leaf

You can grow bay outside in the summer but you will need to bring it indoors during the winter months. You can buy dried bay leaf at the store if you find you are unable to grow it; the dried variety that you put in stews and soups works as well as the fresh for keeping pests away. You can put one bay leaf in fifty pounds of wheat berries or organic white flour and it will keep the weevils out of it. If you don’t happen to buy flour in those quantities you can add a bay leaf to a smaller sized container with similar results. Don’t forget to add a bay leaf to all your other dried food like, cornmeal, rice, and oatmeal. And I am sure there are many other, give it a try! Scatter a few leaves on the pantry shelves to repel moths, roaches, earwigs, and mice. Flies seem to hate the smell of bay leaves, too!

3. Lavender

Lavender smells wonderful and repels moths, mosquitoes, and fleas:

  • Hang a bundle of it in your closet or lay a few sprigs of it in with the out of season clothes you are storing.
  • Grind it to a powder and sprinkle it on your pet’s bedding.
  • Grow it in containers on your patio to repel mosquitoes.
  • Grow it in your kitchen garden to keep rabbits out of your lettuce and spinach.

4. Mint

Mint planted around the foundation of your house can keep both ants and mice out of your home. Neither of these pests seem to like the smell and all but the most determined will head to a better smelling yard. You can also place shallow bowls of the dried mint leaves in your pantry to discourage mice.

5. Rosemary

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, not only for cooking and grilling but because it has a number of uses medicinally and as a household herb. As it grows it repels mosquitoes. Try planting it around your patio or any area that you use in the evenings to keep the air smelling fresh and the mosquitoes on someone else’s property.

Make Your Own Mosquito Trap

 

We are all looking for different ways to keep the mosquitoes at bay, we use grass fogger, bug spray and candles.

But how about trying this one using items and ingredients you already have at home…

Supplies:

  • 1 2 liter soda bottle
  • a sharp knife
  • black paper
  • tape
  • candy thermometer

Take a 2 liter soda bottle. Cut off the top right below where it starts to narrow for the top, invert and place inside the lower half.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cool water
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast

Directions:

Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil.

Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water.

Once the sugar is dissolved completely, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in 2 cups cool water, stir well.

Check the temperature of the syrup to make sure it is no hotter than 90 degrees F, if hotter, let cool to 90 degrees F, add 1 tsp. active dry yeast, no need to mix. Put syrup in the bottom part of the bottle, using the cut off neck piece, leave in place.

Be sure to seal the two parts of the bottle with the tape. The fermenting yeast will release carbon dioxide. Put black paper around the bottle since mosquitoes like dark places and carbon dioxide. This mosquito trap will then start working.

Tip: Keep the bottle in a dark humid corner outside, close enough to you but far enough away, don’t worry about it for a few days but after 2 weeks you should have seen a significant change. Just remember, you have to replace the sugar water mixture about every 2 week.