Protect yourself from the Zika Virus

On February 1, 2016, The World Health Organization declared the Zika Virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Recently, the CDC activated their Emergency Operations Center to monitor and coordinate the emergency response to the Zika Virus.

Here is some information from the CDC:

Zika virus is a disease spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die from Zika. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious fetal brain defects. It can also cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

To help prevent mosquito bites, take the following precautions:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. When choosing an EPA-registered repellent be certain that the EPA has evaluated the product for effectiveness. EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women when used as directed. Be sure to follow product label instructions. Reapply the insect repellent as directed. If you are using sunscreen, apply the sunscreen BEFORE applying insect repellent.

Check out Mosquitoes, the diseases they carry and your back yard. Be sure to treat your yard for mosquitoes regularly. Remember, PREVENTION is key!

Mosquitoes, the diseases they carry and your backyard

Warm weather is just around the corner. As they say, April showers bring May flowers and mosquitoes. Ah yes, Mosquitoes. Those annoying things that fly around you with their whining hum of their buzzing wings. Very few animals evoke the deep-seated feeling of hate that mosquitoes do. The itchy, irritating bites and their uncanny ability to be everywhere, all at once, can ruin a backyard barbecue in minutes.

Mosquitoes are carriers for some of the most deadliest illnesses. Mosquito-borne diseases cause millions of deaths worldwide every year. Although there are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes, only three species are responsible for carrying the deadliest diseases. The Anopheles mosquitoes are the only species known to carry Malaria. They can also carry encephalitis. The Culex mosquitoes carry encephalitis and the West Nile virus. While the Aedes mosquitoes, of which the Asian tiger is a member, carry yellow fever, dengue, encephalitis, and the Zika virus.

The only silver lining to all this, is that cloud of mosquitoes in your garden or backyard are a reliable source of food for quite a few animals. Birds, bats, dragonflies, and frogs love mosquitoes! Eradication and population control of Mosquitoes usually means spraying insecticides and removing standing water or proper treatment of the standing water. You can plant lemon grass, citronella, lemon balm, cat nip, horse-mint, marigolds, and lavender plants throughout your yard. These plants have a strong smell that can deter mosquitoes, helping to keep them away from you.

Do It Yourself Pest Control- the non-toxic way

You’re probably thinking, “Yeah right, what are you trying to sell?” The answer is nothing. Now that spring is coming and the cold weather is starting to wane. Those lovely creepy crawlers that lurk in the corners and give you nightmares will be out and about before you know it. First thing about “Do It Yourself Pest Control” is prevention. PREVENTION! That is key to keeping them away.

There are many ways to prevent the insects from infiltrating your dwelling. First, wipe down your counter tops and other kitchen surfaces to remove odors and food particles. If chemicals are not your thing, you can use a dilution of vinegar and water as your cleaning agent. Second, fix any and all leaky faucets. Insects, such as ants and roaches, are attracted to the leaks because they also need water to survive. If you don’t have jars or containers that seal well, get some. Place your dry goods (Ex: Cereal, Cookies, Sugar, Pasta, Rice) in jars or containers because insects need food as well to survive. Third, rinse out all the sauce jars and juice containers before placing in a recycling or trash receptacle. This is also considered a food source for the insects. Lastly, CLEAN YOUR DRAINS! We will get calls often saying that someone has fruit flies and cannot get rid of them. Clean your drains! They need to be cleaned out from all the food that was just washed off your dishes. It sits and accumulates in the pipes. Our suggestion is baking soda and vinegar. Let it sit for at least 5-10 minutes in the drain. The use boiling water to thoroughly clean out the drain pipe. Now that your drains have been cleaned, let’s address the fruit flies. Get some Apple Cider vinegar. Use a small glass and fill it with 2-3 inches of the apple cider vinegar. Cover it with plastic wrap and poke small holes in it. Fruit flies are attracted to the sweet smell of the apples.

Let’s tackle the outdoor pests. As previously mentioned in Mosquitoes, the diseases they carry and your backyard, there are quite a few plants that can be planted through out your yard and some even in plant containers inside your home to keep these flying buggers at bay. These are a few of the plants we suggest to help you better manage the warfare against mosquitoes, flies, gnats, chiggers, ticks, and fleas: Citronella, Marigolds, Catnip, Horsemint, Lemon Eucalyptus, Geraniums, Lavender, Lemon Grass, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Tea Tree.

You don’t always need toxic chemicals to rid yourself of the creepy crawling bugs.


Mosquito Misitng Systems

Mosquito misting systems are great. Not only do they kill mosquitoes, they kill a host of other pests including roaches, ant, wasps, gnats and those disgusting flies.

They are great systems but like all great things they do come with a price. Most small systems are going to run around 1000.00 dollars and that’s installing it yourself. With the right tools its a fairly simply project. If your not a confident weekend DIY-er you can plan on spending around 4 to 5 hundred dollars more having it installed.

If one of these systems isn’t in your budget you do have options. Generally treating more often during the mosquito season will do a pretty good job of keeping the pests in check. Some other simple recommendations can usually be done to help in prevention.