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National_Geographic_logo

As we near the end of 2013, National Geographic has released its list of top shared stories this year.

#10 on the list was a mosquito-related topic: New Mosquito Repellent Made, “Better Than Anything Else”

The article discusses a new repellent being developed by USDA Agricultural Research Service chemist Ulrich Bernier. The formula uses human compounds homopiperazine and 1-methylhomopiperazine to block mosquitoes’ sense of smell and is reportedly much more effective than DEET.

As you may already know, mosquitoes locate their targets by sniffing out various chemicals and bacteria on human skin. Repellents work by deterring bugs with an unpleasant odor. However, the new formula reportedly blocks the smell instead of giving off a bad smell to the bugs. Further testing is needed before the new repellent will be on the market.

We here at Mosquito Squad are excited about innovations in mosquito control and efforts to curb mosquito-borne disease. We’ll be sharing more mosquito-related news here on our blog, as we aim to give you the buzz on these biting bugs.

Mosquito Squad of Greater Washington, DC, is a niche outdoor pest control company on a mission to help Washingtonians take back their backyard from the bugs! We offer mosquito and tick control services for both residential and commercial clients inside the Beltway in the greater DC region. To find out more information about our barrier spray services and how you can “fight the bite” in your own backyard, please visit our DC Mosquito Squad website.

This week, June 23-29, 2013 is National Mosquito Control Awareness Week as designated by the American Mosquito Control Association. Here in the Washington DC metro, the mosquitoes are back in full force, and admittedly one of the biggest nuisances during the summer months. Besides being pesky, these insects also carry viruses such as West Nile Virus. During Mosquito Control Awareness Week, we here at Mosquito Squad are happy to raise awareness on mosquito-borne disease and preventative measures you can take.

Mosquito Squad recommends the 5 T’s for mosquito control in your outdoor living space:
  1. Tip - Reduce standing water to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, including those underneath and around downspouts, in plant saucers and dog bowls.
  2. Toss - Excess grass, leaves, piles, fire wood.
  3. Turn - Turn over larger items like children’s sandboxes, wagons or plastic toys.
  4. Remove Tarp - If tarps stretched over firewood piles, boats or sports equipment aren’t taut, they’re holding water.
  5. Treat - Utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard, such as Mosquito Squad. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug spray.

Mosquito Squad of Greater Washington, DC, is a niche outdoor pest control company on a mission to help Washingtonians take back their backyard from the bugs! We offer mosquito and tick control services for both residential and commercial clients inside the Beltway in the greater DC region. To find out more information about our barrier spray services and how you can “fight the bite” in your own backyard, please visit our DC Mosquito Squad website.

With the extended winter weather we experienced in March, the stink bugs stayed in for a little longer. But with the beautiful weather during this second week of April here in the Greater DC area, the stink bugs have finally emerged. I got home today and our bathroom door was locked and my wife was insisting I do something to fix the infestation. I’m sure I’m not the only husband out there being given this task today, so, I thought I’d offer a few tips on what you can do when a stink bug invasion has already occurred.

20130408-194027.jpg

A picture of our skylight covered with stink bugs.

How to get rid of stink bugs:

  1. Don’t use pesticides in the house to control stink bugs, it’s just not effective. It will cause other problems if you do, because the dead stink bugs will attract mice, carpet beetles and other pests to your home.
  2. Use a vacuum, preferably one that can be emptied as soon as you vacuum them up. If you have a vacuum that uses a bag don’t let the bag sit with the stink bugs in it, it could start to stink. Preferably use a shop vac or a bagless vacuum and remember to empty it after each use, I prefer to empty it into the toilet rather than outside so they can’t reproduce.
  3. Seal up your home, but wait until summer, you don’t want seal your house up while they are still in it because then you end up with dead stink bugs in your home. In June or July calk around windows and doors, around outlets and fixtures outside, make sure your soffits are closed up and any vents have screens.
  4. Treat the exterior of your home to kill exiting stink bugs in the spring and keep them from reproducing in your yard. Then treat in the fall to prevent entry of stink bugs into your home. In the fall If you can keep stink bugs from congregating on the walls of your home they won’t release a “herd” pheromone that causes the walls to be covered by a blanket of stink bugs as you have probably seen before.

Unfortunately stink bugs are here to stay and there is no quick fix. If you have them in the house right now the vacuum is your friend, but if you use some of these tips hopefully your problem will be drastically reduced come this time next year.

Damien Sanchez
Owner DC Mosquito Squad

no-tic

The Commonwealth of Virginia has officially declared April 7-13, 2013 to be Virginia Tick Borne Disease Awareness Week.

Tick related vector borne diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis have been a source of human and animal suffering and illness in Virginia for many years. The Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes that tick related concerns and vector-borne diseases diminish enjoyment of the outdoors, public parks and playgrounds, tourism, hinders outdoor labor and reduces livestock productivity. It is important to encourage effective and environmentally safe tick control activities, and it is essential to facilitate communication and education among Virginia’s tick control professionals to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of tick control through integrated pest management in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Health, in cooperation with other state agencies and government organizations labor continually in public awareness campaigns to prevent the spread of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases through public awareness and education.

Here at Mosquito Squad of Greater Washington DC, we have long been aware of the prevalence of ticks and tick-borne disease here in the DC region. Virginia has been struck especially hard by the increasing number of infected individuals and the fast spread of Lyme disease. We are thankful to have partnered with the National Capital Lyme Disease Association to help raise awareness of Lyme and tick-borne disease issues here in our region. We’re also happy to be a tick control specialists in our region, and offer services that eliminate ticks on your own property. We believe awareness of the dangers of ticks & prevention is key in battling an increase in tick-borne diseases here in the DC metro area.

The proclamation for Virginia’s Tick Borne Disease Awareness Week was signed on February 19, 2013 by Secretary Janet Vestal Kelly and Governor Bob McDonnell. See the proclamation here for more information:

Tick Borne Disease Awareness Week

A special thanks to our wonderful employee Dale, who was persistent in contacting Governor McDonnell’s office about declaring an official tick borne disease awareness week in Virginia. We’re thrilled to see the second week of April declared as an official state-wide initiative to inform the public about tick borne disease.

InfusionSoft_Conference_2013

Today kicked off the first day of InfusionCon (InfusionSoft Conference) in Scottsdale, Arizona! For the next few days our owner, Damien Sanchez, plus Jennifer & Olivia from our team will be at InfusionCon 2013 to attend the small business sales and marketing event of the year and learn from other entrepreneurs and experts. Damien has utilized InfusionSoft to help with customer service and marketing efforts and he is thrilled to get to attend InfusionCon and meet other entrepreneurs.

Damien_at_InfusionSoft_Con

He’s excited to be there to learn and attend sessions, plus Damien will be a speaker and get to share how InfusionSoft has helped grow his business. Mosquito Squad of Greater Washington DC is proud to be the 5,312th InfusionSoft customer and a part of their 10K Customer Celebration last year.

InfusionSoft_Conference_2013_Speakers

So while Damien is rubbing elbows with Daymond John from Shark Tank, David Allen, Mari Smith, Amy Porterfield, and others, be sure to keep up with the conference on Twitter by following the hashtag #icon13 or check out the InfusionSoft blog which will have live blog updates of the conference. Our team at Mosquito Squad of DC looks forward to learning from the other speakers and attendees at the conference and bringing back that knowledge as we enter mosquito & tick season, our busiest time of year.


Mighty Dread Skeeter – by Dale Cobb (on staff at DC Mosquito Squad)
A parody based on “Casey At The Bat” by Ernest Thayer

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the neighborhood that day;
Mrs Brown was bitten badly while her children were out to play,
Mr. Smith was bitten 20 times, and others were the same,
The mosquitoes attacked this small town with painful deadly aim.

Men abandoned their yard work in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope, which springs eternal, in the human breast;
They thought, if only Dread Skeeter would come and knock ‘em flat
They’d put up even money, now, He’d make them go kersplat

The Bug Authority had tried, as did the Orkin Man,
And the former was ineffective and the latter shrieked and ran
So upon those stricken towns people grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance that Skeeter would arrive at.

Their mosquito invested town, but to the wonderment of all,
A motorcycle’s unmuffled roar tore through the urban sprawl;
And when the dust had lifted, and they saw what had occurred,
There was the Mighty Dread Skeeter having rounding Oak and 3rd.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Dread Skeeter, Mighty Skeeter, smiled and doffed his hat.

There was ease in Skeeter’s manner as he dismounted in this place
There was pride in Skeeter’s bearing and a smile on Skeeter’s face.
He donned his gloves and face-shield, He loaded his tank with care
For when he addressed the mosquitoes, there’d be not one left there.

Five thousand eyes were on him as he pulled the pack’s ripcord,
Five thousand mouths dropped open when its mighty engine roared.
Then while the writhing mosquitoes gathered in their dark formation,
Defiance gleamed in Skeeter’s eye, He targeted their location.

And now the piercing proboscis’ came hurtling through the air,
And Dread Skeeter stood a-watching it in professional grandeur there.
Then from his waist, he quickly drew his double nozzled hose
He fired once, the mosquitoes fell squirming in death throes

From the east, black with mosquitoes, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Get him! Get Skeeter!” the mosquitoes seemed to storm;
And it’s likely they’d a-killed him had Dread Skeeter been the norm.

But with a smile of charity great Skeeter’s visage shone;
He stilled the worried townsfolk; turned to taunt the mosquitoes on;
He drew his patent leather whip, soaked in Pyrethroid dew;
Lightning crackled as Skeeter flayed. One thousand fell, No…Two!

The maddened mosquito hordes, dive bombed Skeeter in reply
The people thought, this is the end, Dread Skeeter would surely die.
They saw his face grow focused; they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Skeeter would not fail, he was mosquito bane.

He clenched his teeth and drew one breath then set his STIHL to eight,
He opened up on the teaming horde and sent them to their fate.
The people could not see Dread Skeeter in the cloud of pestilence
But the very air was shattered by the force of the events…

Though he bested those before him and the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children play;
There is no joy in Skeeter’s heart – for Mighty Skeeter let one get away.

DC Department of Health officials have reported the first case of West Nile Virus in the District of Columbia.

Nationwide, there has been an alarmingly high increase in West Nile infections. CNN reported that there have been over 1,100 cases nationwide, including 42 deaths. As of yesterday, Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012, there are now 9 cases in Maryland, 2 in Virginia, and 1 in DC. The Washington DC metropolitan area is known as one of the “buggiest cities” in the US, and due to our climate and terrain, the mosquito population is high. Because West Nile Virus is spread by the bite of an infected female mosquito, Washingtonians need to be extra cautious during peak infection months of August & September.

In order to eliminate mosquitoes and reduce the risk of West Nile Virus infection, Mosquito Squad recommends the five following tips:

  1. Tip – Reduce standing water to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, including those underneath and around downspouts, in plant saucers and dog bowls.
  2. Toss – Excess grass, leaves, piles, fire wood.
  3. Turn – Turn over larger items like children’s sandboxes, wagons or plastic toys.
  4. Remove Tarp - If tarps stretched over firewood piles, boats or sports equipment aren’t taut, they’re holding water.
  5. Treat - Utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard, such as Mosquito Squad. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug spray.
If you’re worried you’ve been infected: 

People typically develop symptoms between 3-14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito. According to the CDC, only about one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. Severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent. If you develop symptoms of severe WNV illness, seek medical attention immediately.

To find out more about West Nile Virus, visit our Mosquito-borne Disease page here and the CDC’s fact sheet on West Nile Virus.

Mosquito Squad of Greater Washington, DC, offers mosquito and tick control services for both residential and commercial clients inside the Beltway in the great DC region.  To find out more information about our barrier spray services and how you can “fight the bite” in your own backyard, please visit our website here.

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