What you MUST do to help protect your family from the Zika Virus
The Zika Virus is no joke, not something to take lightly, and there are now documented cases in the United States and afraid many more are expected to come. So, what’s the most important thing to know? How to prevent a Mosquito bite. That’s it. If you don’t get bit, you have little to worry about. So, this blog is about what you can do to reduce the chances of getting bit. Period.
Unless you’ve been reclusive lately or hiding from the rest of the world, you’ve heard about the Zika Virus. You can’t turn on the news without seeing/hearing something about this Mosquito-borne virus. There is no shortage of articles written on the symptoms, diagnosis, affects on pregnancy, sexual transmission, and the treatment of the Zika Virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created a webpage specifically designed to inform the public about this disease. Here it is if you want to see it:
The Zika Virus is actually just one of the many diseases that Mosquitos can transfer. West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, and Malaria for humans and the cause of Heart Worms for mans best friend, the dog. As a matter of fact, Mosquitos are one of North America’s most dangerous pests. So, a strategy to reduce the chances of getting bit by a Mosquito is pretty important.
There are over 3,500 species of Mosquitoes, but they all need 3 things to survive and thrive:
Straight forward right? So, anything that can reduce or eliminate these three factors will help dramatically. Let’s dive into these individually and what you can do to affect each factor.
Both adult males and female Mosquitoes feed on plant juices. Females, however, also feed on blood. Any mammal can be a host for this vicious little predator. In order for her to produce eggs, she must have a blood meal. She uses a combination of chemical, visual and heat sensors to find her target and if you have O Positive blood you’re at the top of her list. Removing the food reduces the chances of Mosquitoes hanging around.
Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants will help, but this can be an issue for those of us in the South. Best bet, use a good Mosquito repellent. DEET is the most common ingredient in Mosquito repellents, but there are a list of natural products that work very well without putting chemicals on your skin. A Lemon Eucalyptus oil blend was the only non-DEET repellent that was effective against Zika transfer.
Electronic insect repellents produce ultrasonic sounds, but research by universities and the EPA have proven that they are not effective against Mosquito bites.
The female Mosquito lays her eggs in water. This can range from as large a body as a lake to the rainwater that collected in a small hole in a tree trunk. Some species will lay their eggs on or near aquatic plants, others along the edges of a body of water, even others directly on top of stagnant water. The key to prevent rapid reproduction is to eliminate, and/or treat, these sources of water.
This takes an extremely detailed inspection. Mosquitoes can travel up to a mile for a blood meal, but most of the time they’re going to stay pretty close to their shelter and a food/water supply. Inspect the outside of your home in quadrants (North side, South side, etc.) and seek out any standing water that will accommodate Mosquito eggs. Females have been known to lay eggs in as little as a thimble full of water – so search thoroughly! A good rule of thumb is “better safe than sorry,” so if you have any questions about something you find, it’s better to get rid of it because the Mosquito will find it. For sure.
This is a big one. If locating shelter is difficult for the Mosquito, it will simply find another place to go. So, eliminating these areas around your home will help make your place undesirable for them. One of their favorite places to set up house is in leaves. If you haven’t raked up the leaves from this fall, doing so now will help tremendously. In addition to the shelter that leaves provide, the rainwater that pools up under the leaves offers a great place for the female to lay her eggs.
Make sure your gutters are cleaned as well. This is a fantastic place for Mosquitoes because it’s something we don’t ever think about. We can’t figure out where all these Mosquitoes are coming from and it’s generally right above our heads. It’s a yucky job, but it’s a must do to keep these little boogers away.
Although, applying all the techniques above will have some impact, you’re most likely going to need a helping hand. That’s where we come in.
Introducing the Okeena’s S.W.A.T. program.
S – treat Mosquito Shelters with a unique, organic compound to keep Mosquitoes from setting up house around your house.
W – treat permanent Water structures with a microbial larvicide to disrupt the reproduction cycle.
A – treat Adult Mosquitoes with a ULV application.
T– well, trained Technicians are the key to successful Mosquito control. Knowledge is power and our Technicians know what to look for and how to take care of your Mosquito problem to keep your family safe.
The S.W.A.T. program is a very comprehensive strategy to get rid of Mosquitoes and keep them from coming back. We use a combination of Adulticides and Larvicides to attack the active adults and break the reproduction cycle. Our trained technicians will seek out water and shelter sources that you may not have identified and help set you up with a season-long plan to keep your family safe.
S.W.A.T. your Mosquitoes today! Call 731-285-4982 to get started now.
For more information about the Zika Virus or ways to protect you and your family, please call our office at (731)264-0088.
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