Will lab-raised mosquitoes be able to control the population, and if they can, how long would it take?
Professional pest management services expand based on the need and desire of the public. In recent years, the need for mosquito management has grown because of new emerging diseases transmitted by these insects.
With increased travel and movement of cargo, especially live plants, the frequency at which mosquitoes — and the disease organisms associated with them — shift to a higher probability.
Interestingly enough, many pest management professionals (PMPs) do not prepare for this event. They may lack knowledge on what to do. Perhaps it does not fit into their comfort zone. Or perhaps they just do not think it will occur in their market. They wait for the public to scream for service, with no planned program in place. But the public will not ask for assistance until struck with fear that a loved one can get sick from a mosquito bite.
Once a single person is stricken and the local media gets wind of it, word spreads like wildfire. Zika, chikungunya and dengue fever all have emerged on a global basis. All three diseases are contracted via mosquitoes that breed nearby, often on the premises of existing customers. Health officials are too often short-staffed to adequately provide the valuable services of inspecting, treating and training the public on how to best cooperate.
With all that in mind, here is a list of eight suggestions for you to share with the public.
- When going outdoors, wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes. Black attracts mosquitoes, and it is easier for the mosquito to bite through tight-fitting garments.
- When walking around outside, do not wear open sandals. The smell of human sweat attracts mosquitoes.
- Repair screening. Ensure that exterior screens on windows, doors and patios are not torn or loose.
- Rig planter saucers. When using saucers to catch excess water from potted plants, place beach sand in the saucer almost to the top. It will catch water, but will not let the water become deep enough for mosquito larvae to develop.
- Treat bromeliads with mineral oil. Place a few drops of mineral oil in each leaf base. The oil will cover whatever water accumulates in the plant. The mosquito larvae cannot survive in the oil. Add new oil about once a month.
- Keep an adequate concentrate of chlorine in your swimming pool. If you are leaving for vacation, you can add mosquito dunks to the water.
- Pay attention to sources of standing water near your home. Change the water every week or so. In some cases, just flip the containers over so no water can accumulate. More than once, I have found upside-down garbage can lids teeming with mosquito larvae.
- Consider the unusual water containers. Examples include the interior of a dead snail shell, holes in trees, and hoofprints left by horses in mud. More common, but often overlooked examples include stagnating water in sump pump pits, drip pans from air conditioners and refrigerators, plugged rain gutters, neglected pet dishes, and toys and dishes left outdoors.
Become a resource
In my community of Boca Raton, Fla., neighbors are asking me what to do to protect themselves — and any family and friends who come to visit — from Zika and other mosquito-borne disease. I have five friends whose adult children simply refused to come from their homes up north to visit over the winter holidays. That’s just within my social circle; the broader negative economic impact for South Florida was significant this year.
Although emotion trumps science, you can provide valuable information to your customers, and be ready with an integrated pest management (IPM) program for mosquitoes when the need arises. Seek guidance from your local manufacturer and distributor representatives on how to best implement this. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Pest Management Association also have resources available.
Congratulations to Chris Harper of Ada for winning this month’s Facebook drawing for a free mosquito misting. Each month we give away a free service to one of our Facebook likes. No purchase is necessary and you don’t have to be an active client.
The world’s deadliest animal is back in the limelight. In 1999-2000 we first learned of West Nile Virus. In 2013-2014 it was Chikungunya, in 2015-2016 it is Zika virus. No animal, including humans, kills more people in a year. 2.7 million people die annually from malaria alone, according to the World Health Organization.
Researchers are learning more about Zika every day. For researchers like Dr. Ernesto Marques at the University of Pittsburgh School Of Public Health, working on Zika for the last year has meant playing catch up. “It was thought it was a benign virus that wouldn’t cause any significant harm to humans, and it turns out it causes all kinds of problems that we never imagined,” he said. The problems in newborns include microcephaly, an abnormally small brain at birth, and damage to nerve tissue in the eye. But there is emerging evidence of neurological problems in adults, too — including inflammation of the brain, and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a form of paralysis. And a week ago, a case of a 15-yearold girl with inflammation of the spinal cord. These new reports of rare complications are surprising researchers. After a study of Zika infected patients in Brazil, the author concluded: “There is strong evidence that this epidemic has different neurological manifestations than those referred to in (existing) literature.” CDC Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat says researchers are just starting to learn why the virus may be so dangerous. “In animal studies of the Zika virus, it seems that the virus is attracted to nerve tissue or brain tissue and so we worry that in humans that this virus may destroy nerve tissue or attack brain cells,” she said. To keep this in perspective, most people who get Zika recover completely after a relatively mild illness. Dr. Schuchat told CBS News the focus remains on preventing pregnant women from getting infected.
Information provided by the Michigan Mosquito Control Association.
Should we kill them all? Click here to read the story from Business Insider
A twin study suggests that the blood-sucking insects are more attracted to people with certain genes.
People who claim that mosquitoes just love them may be onto something. According to a new study of a few dozen pairs of twins, genetics may play a role in whose blood a mosquito chooses to dine on.
“Twins that were identical were very similar in their level of attractiveness to mosquitoes, and twins that were [not identical] were very different in their level of attractiveness,” study coauthor James Logan, a medical entomologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told NPR’s Shots. “So it suggests that the trait for being attractive or unattractive to mosquitoes is genetically controlled.” Logan and his colleagues published their results in April in PLOS ONE.
The fact that mosquitoes—specifically, female mosquitoes, which feed on blood to nourish their eggs—are more attracted to some people than others has been long established. And genetics are not the only factor involved. For some reason, mosquitoes find pregnant women particularly attractive, and people infected with the malaria parasite appear to attract the most insects during the period of the parasite’s life cycle that it is most transmissible. There are also some people that just seem to “smell differently to mosquitoes,” Logan told NPR. The new study suggests a genetic basis for this different scent.
Logan and his colleagues compared mosquitoes’ attraction to 18 pairs of identical twins and 19 pairs of fraternal twins by having the siblings stick their hands in either side of a Y-shaped tube. Aedes aegypti were then released from the long arm of the Y. While the mosquitoes showed no preferences among genetically identical twins, they often preferred one fraternal twin over the other. Logan now plans to investigate which genes may be behind the difference.
“Once we identify the genes involved, we may be able to screen populations to better predict the likely level of risk of being bitten, which is directly correlated to transmission of diseases like malaria and dengue,”
10 Years Later
You can still expect the same level of customer care, with even more services provided. Tuff Turf has grown leaps and bounds since this picture, but has not lost any of its credibility as a company that puts customer service first.