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Chikungunya: What is it and What is the Risk is in Northeast Florida?

Mosquito-borne illnesses are always a topic of conversation in Florida this time of year, as we are in the height of the mosquito season. Chikungunya is a disease that can’t be left out of that conversation. In 2014, there was an outbreak of Chikungunya in the Americas (North, South, and Central) and the first case was confirmed in Florida. Since then 3,800 cases have been discovered in Florida although they were all travel-related. Still, these cases show the possible future risk of contracting Chikungunya in Florida.

A New Strain of Mosquito-Borne Chikungunya

Barry Alto, associate professor of entomology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, is studying an Asian strain of chikungunya that is present in the Americas, epidemic in Brazil, and a possible threat to Florida. They are studying the two mosquitoes that carry the disease, the yellow fever mosquito or Aedes aegypti and the Asian tiger mosquito or Aedes albopictus, in both Brazil and Florida. The goal is to learn more about the mosquitoes’ ability to pass on Chikungunya as well as the effects geographical location might have. This will be important information to have in the event of an outbreak here in Florida.

Symptoms of Chikungunya

Chikungunya is similar to other mosquito-borne illnesses in that for most people it is mild. The symptoms can include fever, rash, headache, and joint pain. In a small percentage of cases, however, severe chronic muscular and joint pain can arise. Sometimes the symptoms last for months or even years and are very similar to those of rheumatoid arthritis. There is no treatment or vaccine for Chikungunya, treatment of symptoms is the only intervention available.

It is the abundance of Asian Tiger mosquitoes in Florida that makes the understanding of the diseases they can carry so important. Add the CDC’s recent report of growing instances of mosquito-borne illness and the introduction of new types of disease over the last sixteen years and you realize how important keeping informed and protected really is.

At Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra we hope to make all aspects of that easier for you. First by simply sharing as much information about the risks in our area as we can. Second by making protection from mosquitoes simple and true when you are at home. No one wants to spend their time at home thinking about the risk of disease. Our barrier spray treatment will eliminate 90% of mosquitoes in your living spaces as well as the need for concern. Won’t you let us do that for you? Call us today and let’s talk about exactly how we can best help you. 904-559-3414

Keeping Mosquitoes Away… Does Anything Over-The-Counter or DIY Really Work?

Crazy ideas, sketchy results. Some people are always ready to try to latest new ideas in mosquito control no matter how “out there” they may sound. Have you heard of burning cow dung, coffee, or coconut shells? Why in the world would you care if there were mosquitoes in your backyard at this point?! It’s going to smell way too bad to sit out there anyway. Or maybe you can eat and drink the mosquitoes away. A banana and a gin and tonic a day keeps the mosquitoes away? Not likely. People have also been known to spray themselves with some odd things like mouthwash or rub themselves with a dryer sheet. Who comes up with these things? They aren’t tested and yet some people will try anything.

Tried, Tested, and True Mosquito Control

Dr. Immo Hansen, professor at the Institute of Applied Biosciences at New Mexico State University and Stacey Rodriguez, lab manager, asked 5,000 people what types of repellents they use against mosquitoes and researched what repellents actually work. What they found was there are a handful of products that work and most of them contain DEET. Some people are afraid of adverse effects from DEET, but testing shows no proof of it. Picaridin is another repellent that science shows to be effective. If you are more interested in a natural approach, oil of lemon eucalyptus can work as well as DEET products according to Hansen’s research.

They also found that people are using things that actually attract mosquitoes. A mosquito skin patch product they tested proved to cause more mosquito bites than using no repellent at all! Talk about wasted money on a crazy idea! Wouldn’t you hate to find out that one of these ideas don’t work in the middle of the woods on a camping trip you’ve been planning all year? When you are out in areas that you can’t control, use the tested products. Don’t waste your time on the latest greatest new idea that is very likely not that great. Let the research work for you and don’t take a chance at ruining what would otherwise be a treasured family memory.

Eliminate the Source of Mosquito Bites

Even the best of insect repellents are a pain. They don’t smell great. They don’t last but a few hours. They can be sticky and feel bad on your skin. Insect repellents are necessary for many situations, but are they really at home? They don’t have to be. It is so much nicer to rid the yard of mosquitoes instead of having to protect against them. Be sure to start by following our Mosquito Control Tips in your yard all year round. It’s a long mosquito season here in Florida and it’s important to remain diligent in the fight against them.

At Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we want to eliminate your need for repellent at home by eliminating the mosquitoes and our mosquito barrier spray does just that, by up to 90%! Call us today and let us tell you more about our 100% guaranteed services. This way you can leave the repellents and all their sticky smells in the backpack instead of the backyard. 904-559-3414

The Keystone Virus Makes Its First appearance in a Human

New mosquito-borne diseases are popping up all the time! It wasn’t that long ago that we told you about the CDC’s report of 3 times as many cases of mosquito and tick-borne illnesses in the US, due in part to new viruses popping up from year to year. Now here we are with an example of just that: the Keystone Virus.

Channel 4 News Jacksonville tells us that after a year and a half of study, University of Florida researchers are confirming the first human case of the Keystone Virus on record. A teenage boy showed up at an Urgent Care facility in North Central Florida with a fever and rash in August of 2016. At that time it was Zika that was on everyone’s mind so they tested him immediately. He tested negative. The boy suffered no other symptoms and no real diagnosis was made… until now.

What is the Keystone Virus?

Although this is the first proven case in a human, Keystone is not new. It was found to be carried by the Aedes atlanticus mosquito in Keystone Florida in 1964. Since then the Keystone virus has been found in different animal species from Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and Connecticut according to the CDC.

However, it wasn’t until now that there was a test for the virus in humans. J. Glenn Morris, director of Emerging Pathogens Institute at UF, told NPR station WUSF it was a year and a half of standard screening and random lab work that brought them to a final conclusion.

The only visible symptoms, in this case, were fever and rash, however, Professor John Lednicky, also a member of UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute and author of this study, says that Keystone belongs to the same family of pathogens that can cause encephalitis in several species, including humans. Morris believes that it is likely there are more cases of Keystone in humans in Florida, but it has simply never been recognized since no one ever actually knew to look for it. Morris also emphasizes how little we really know about vector-borne illnesses and how they are spread and how important continued research is.

Protect Yourself Against Mosquito Bites

We continue to find out about new viruses that mosquitoes transmit. After these discoveries, it often takes a great deal of time to fully understand the symptoms, treatments, and long-term effects. That is why prevention is so important. Keeping yourself protected against mosquito bites is about so much more than just stopping the annoyance. It’s about health and public safety.

At Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we urge you to do your part. Keeping the mosquito population down helps to prevent the spread of these diseases. It’s important to do all you can to keep your yard as well as your community clear of the places that mosquitoes breed.

Following the 7Ts of mosquito control is the responsible thing to do at home and throughout your community. Professional treatment is also a necessary control method in Florida. With our environment and temperatures, it is too easy for mosquitoes to breed if we aren’t diligent. Call us today and let us help you create the right plan for protecting your family and helping your community. 904-559-3414

Florida Ticks and the Dangerous Diseases They Carry

Did you think ticks were an “up north” problem? If you’re from the Northeast, like many of us, you’re quite likely very familiar. But, you have not escaped them. The University of Florida reports there are 5 different types of ticks found in Florida, the brown dog tick, the American dog tick, the Lone Star tick, the Gulf Coast tick, and the black-legged tick. Each of these can spread disease.

Neeta Connally, associate professor and director of the TickBorne Disease Prevention Laboratory at Western Connecticut State University, tells the Today Show that ticks are spreading to areas they weren’t reported in before. That means that every day there is a possibility that the kinds of ticks and the illnesses that they carry are growing all around you as well as in the places that you like to visit. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is carried by 3 of the ticks listed above and some people don’t even know what it is.

Danielle McNair was one of those people until her young son got sick and she didn’t know why.

A Mom’s Tick Research Saves the Day

While visiting his grandparents in LaGrange Georgia, Mason McNair – Danielle’s son, got a tick bite. His grandparents knew how to remove it properly and they did just that and moved along with their visit. A few days later the bite spot, his belly button, became red and swollen. His doctor gave him a 10 day round of antibiotics. Again, the family moved on. But at the end of the antibiotic round the boy become sicker. He was covered with a rash. The doctors dismissed it as a reaction to the drug. Danielle was not satisfied. She did her own research, consulted her sister- a veterinarian, and based on her son’s symptoms she became convinced that he had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF.) The realization this form of tick-borne illness could possibly lead to amputation of arms, legs, fingers or toes, hearing loss, paralysis, or mental defect led her to take immediate action. She went back to her doctor with her findings and he found, through a specific screening for tick-borne disease, that she was spot on. He gave the boy Doxycycline, the specific antibiotic needed to treat RMSF. It was then that the child began to get better.

Tick-Borne Disease Prevention Responsibility Falls on Us

White Composite DeckingDanielle McNair’s story contains several lessons. The first lesson is to be aware of your surroundings. Know what’s out there and what can happen. Protect yourself when you go out in the woods, on hikes, into any outdoor venue, by using FDA approved bug repellent, dressing properly, and doing full tick checks when you come home. Also be sure to document if you do find a tick. If sickness occurs it’s best to make your healthcare provider aware up front. Then they know what they might be looking for.

Lesson two is to be an advocate for yourself and your family. Don’t be afraid to push for answers if you don’t trust the ones you are receiving. No one wants to imagine what might have happened if McNair hadn’t questioned her doctor’s findings and researched on her own.

Lesson three is to protect yourself constantly and that includes at home. Ticks don’t need deep dark woods to exist. They can be right in your own backyard. At Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we urge you to take control of protection when on the road, but we’d like to help you release that control at home. Our tick control services can eliminate 85-90% of ticks living in your yard. We offer more than just control and protection, we offer peace of mind. Call us today and let’s talk about the plan that suits your needs best. No tick bites, no tick-borne disease. 904-559-3414

Will It Ever Stop Raining? How to Actively Prevent Mosquitoes While the Rain Continues for Better Outdoor Living When the Rain Stops

It rains and it rains and it rains… seasons like this are just a fact in Northeast Florida. Some years are simply more wet than others. As much as rain serves a wonderful purpose (flowers, trees, crops, rainbows) let’s face it, rain can be annoying. Bad hair, carrying groceries in during a storm, the dogs won’t go outside… and the mosquitoes, oh the mosquitoes. They love wet weather. They thrive in wet weather. They multiply in wet weather. They multiply quickly in hot, wet weather.

Rainy Weather Mosquito Prevention

So if you can’t stop the rain, how do you stop the mosquitoes? Of course, with water also being something we can’t really get rid of in this part of the country there will always be mosquitoes in the marshes and in natural habitats, but we can do something at home.

We’ve shared with you before the Ts of mosquito control for your outdoor living spaces. It barely takes a capful of water for mosquitoes to breed so not allowing for standing water is so very important.

Tipping flower pots, pulling tarps tight, tossing yard scraps is a must for keeping the mosquito population down, but it’s important to know that you can’t just do it once a season and you can’t even wait for the rain to stop. Let me say that again… you can’t wait for the rain to stop. This is a chore that you must take on daily if possible.

Turn pots over so they can’t fill up when you can, the containers that you can’t turn over need to be emptied over and over as it keeps raining. If you are cutting grass in the short breaks between showers you still need to get rid of the clippings. When they pile up they too create standing water and excess moisture that can be a home to mosquito larvae.

An Ounce of Prevention…

We know this is work and probably wet, steamy work that may not be so pleasant. And yet eventually the rain really will end and you are going to want to spend time outside. If you’ve let the standing water stay in your yard then the mosquitoes are going to begin to hatch and chase you right back in. Don’t let that happen to you!

Keep on top of it and call Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra. We too want to stay on top of keeping the mosquito population in your yard down. Our barrier treatment works on contact and continues to work. Mosquito Control is an ongoing job for you and for us. Call us today and let’s stick together to make your outdoor spaces something you can enjoy when the sun comes out. 904-559-3414

Midges: We Know They are Super Annoying, But are They Dangerous?

As soon as spring hits each your, you know that they are coming. The sand flies, midges, no-see-ums… it doesn’t matter what you call them… they are coming. These tiny little mosquito-like nuisances can seem to swarm around you, especially in areas close to the marsh or the beach. They are also known as blind mosquitoes because they buzz around you just the same as any other mosquito they just don’t bite as much. So while they may not leave you itching days later, they still are likely to drive you back indoors.

When Midges Do Bite

Let us point out that when we say midges don’t bite as much, it means that sometimes they do and that’s important to know.

Sand flies can transmit disease although it is rare.

The disease is called Bartonella bacilliformis or Carrion’s disease. The CDC says that it only exists in the higher elevations of South America however, as we know, vector-borne diseases can travel. We had a client who recently shared with us that her child became ill from a no-see-um bite.

The symptoms of Bartonella come in two phases. First comes fever, headache, muscle aches, abdominal aches, and anemia, this phase is called Oroya fever.

Next, come lesions that appear under the skin as nodular growths. They are red and purple bubbles through the skin that are prone to ulceration and bleeding. For people with a compromised immune system, there is the possibility of two other complications: Bacillary angiomatosis, which causes lesions on skin, tissue, bone, and other organs and Subacute endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart valve. Bartonella is treated with antibiotics and can be fatal if it goes untreated. The bacterium can also be persistent and resurface over time.

Sand Fly Protection

Infection from a midge maybe very rare, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are incredibly annoying and nobody wants them to ruin their outdoor time this season. That’s where Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra comes in. Our barrier treatment is the simplest way for you to keep midges out of your yard. It eliminates 95% of them on contact. There is no reason to deal with sand flies this summer, let’s talk about what we can do for you. The consultation is free and we look forward to helping you have a pest-free summer. Call us today. 904-559-3414

Tick and Mosquito Summer Camp Safety

Summer is here, school is out, and the kids are ready to play! Where will yours be spending the summer? Do you have one or maybe even several weeks of summer camp lined up? You know when your kids are home and playing outdoors that they are safe from ticks and mosquitoes because you have Mosquito Squad, but what about when they are away? Are you sure they are being protected?

We all want our children to enjoy their summers because adulthood comes soon enough, but no matter how many great days of hiking, swimming, canoeing, and archery are planned it can be quickly ruined by the biting, stinging, and itching of mosquito bites. Not to mention the fear that comes from knowing that mosquitoes and ticks carry disease. West Nile is our biggest concern here in Florida when it comes to vector-borne illnesses. However, the CDC has recently published a report telling us that diseases caused by ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes have tripled in the past 13 years and the areas they are present in are growing. News4Jax reminds us that this means there is a higher risk of infection and that as parents, protecting our children against these bugs has to be a priority.

How to Avoid Mosquito and
Tick Bites at Summer Camp

Here is a quick list of things you can do to make sure that you’ve dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s when it comes preparing your kids for a bite-free summer camp experience.

  • Know your camp’s policies – When you register your children they are sure to give you information about the application of bug spray and sunscreen, but if they don’t be sure to ask. Also, make sure you are aware of their treatment policies if your child does get bitten.
  • Teach your children how to safely spray themselves – When applying an EPA registered insect repellent, make sure your children know they should start at the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Ticks crawl up and it’s a favorite spot for mosquitoes to start as well.
  • Dress appropriately – If your children will be in deep woods or in tall grass, long pants are best. Boots with the pants tucked in may also be a good idea. Knowledge of exactly what activities your child will be engaged in is important to make sure that you have them dress properly.
  • Take proper equipment – Permethrin treated tents are a great idea for avoiding ticks when camping in the woods.
  • Body checks and tick removal – No matter how careful you are, there is always the possibility that your child will bring a tick home so body and hair checks are important. And if you were to find one, remember to pull the tick out with tweezers getting as close to the skin as possible as to remove all of the head. Use alcohol to clean at the removal point.

We are so happy that you choose us at Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra to keep your family protected from mosquitoes and ticks at home. We want to make your yard fun and livable all year long. But we know that we can’t go with you everywhere you go, just like you can’t go with your children. If we all remember to think ahead and take the right precautions it can be a safe and fun summer wherever we are. Please call us with any questions or concerns you may have about your mosquito and tick protection. 904-559-3414

We Do Have Ticks!

Ticks and Lyme disease are terrible in the northeast. We hear about this a lot, almost to the point that it seems as if we might not have it to deal with here in Northeast Florida. Unfortunately, that is not the case…. there are ticks in Florida.

According to Dear Gardener Gal in the Citrus County Chronicle, most of them are in the central and northern part of the state. In her column, she tells a newcomer to Florida from the northeast that she hasn’t escaped Lyme either as we are 20th in the 50 states for the disease.

Lyme Disease is on the Rise in Florida

A second article, in the Tampa Patch, confirms that tick-borne disease is on the rise in Florida and across the country. Between the years of 2004 and 2016, there were 1,848 tick-borne disease cases in Florida. The CDC recently issued a report stating that cases of illness from ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas have tripled from 2004 and 2016. The CDC Lyme disease table shows 34 cases in Florida in 2006 and 132 confirmed cases in 2016 with a possible 84 more.

The numbers don’t lie. Lyme disease is a growing problem. Lyme is the most prevalent of tick diseases, but others are growing too. Anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, and rickettsioses are all in the rise. Ticks are also on the move. According to the study, due to environmental and temperature changes, ticks find themselves able to survive in areas that they were not able before. The growth of the number and type of ticks as well as the diseases they carry are likely to continue to rise here in Florida.

We are not sharing this to create fear, simply to reinforce the idea that protection is no longer an option. Putting on bug spray when going outdoors in untreated areas has got to become as second nature as sunscreen at the beach. Tick checks need to become a part of your routine as well. Remember they like to hide in the warm damp spots like armpits and of course they are known to hide in hair. Protect your pets as well with the flea and tick treatment your vet recommends.

At Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we would like to help you take protection a step further at home and the best part is we want to do the work. Our tick control system is a guaranteed way to eliminate ticks that carry disease from your yard. It’s safe, it works on contact, and it gives you the peace of mind to use your yard with purpose… family and fun! Call us today! 904-559-3414

Yellow Fever. Is an Outbreak Possible in South Florida?

It’s been over one hundred years since the last yellow fever outbreak in the United States, the last one being in New Orleans in 1905. That was right after the US Military had created the Yellow Fever Commission and proven that the fever was spread by mosquitoes. This lead to fumigation and other protective practices that stopped future outbreaks in the US.

However, now that the presence of yellow fever has increased in Brazil, the possibilities of it making its way into the states is something South Florida residents need to consider. Not different from the Zika outbreak of 2016, the concern is travelers from Brazil and other parts of South and Central America could bring yellow fever to the US with them. Yellow fever is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same mosquito that carries Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. In South Florida and all the way up the coast to Jacksonville, we have the mosquitoes and the climate to foster a yellow fever outbreak.

What is Yellow Fever?

While Zika was feared mostly due to the birth defects it could create in children born to women with the virus, yellow fever can be quite deadly. It’s true that most people that contract yellow fever might barely feel the symptoms and if they do – fever, chills, headache – they aren’t likely to recognize it as more than a cold or mild flu. However, there is a percentage, about 15, that will get truly sick. The same fever and chills will be extreme, leading to internal bleeding, jaundice, and eventually liver and organ failure. Approximately half of those people will die and quickly… within a week or two.

What are the Chances?

The same kind of outbreak that came with Zika is not expected, but yellow fever can and most likely will make it here. The hope is that the prevention level that was stepped up in 2016 due to Zika will help to keep any instances of yellow fever to a minimum. The rainy season in Florida runs May to October. To prevent an outbreak, Broward County begins it’s spraying cycle right before the wet season. The type of mosquitoes that can carry yellow fever like urban areas and can breed in very small amounts of water, as small as a cap full. So the early spray is meant to target the larvae mosquitoes instead of waiting until they become adults.

The CDC has recommended that travelers to Brazil get vaccinated before they go.*

There is no required vaccination here and actually a shortage. The World Health Organization has reported that Miami could be very susceptible to the spread of yellow fever, as so many travelers enter the country there. One infected person could get bitten by a mosquito and then the spread begins. That is why at Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra we remind you that continued diligence is so important when it comes to keeping the mosquito population as low as we possibly can. The 7Ts of mosquito control help all of us keep down growth in our own yards.

Our barrier spray treatments are also a great way to keep mosquitoes out of your own yard and therefore the chance of catching any mosquito-borne illness stays very low. Let us be the largest part of your mosquito protection so that you have time to worry about more important things this summer, like BBQs and pool parties. Call us today. 904-559-3414

Mosquito, Tick, and Flea Borne Illness Cases Triple Between 2004 and 2016 - CDC Releases New Report

For the first time the CDC is reporting on flea, tick, and mosquito activity in a collective report and the numbers are alarming. In the last 13 years, these numbers have tripled. After logging a whopping 640,000 cases during this time, the CDC reports that in the year 2004 there were 27,388 but by 2016 there 96,075 in one year.

What are the Causes of the Increase in Disease?

What causes this hike in numbers? Most likely it’s the increase in the number of actual vectors that carry disease and the fact that the areas they exist in are growing. The CDC also reported 9 new bacteria that cause sickness through the bite of a mosquito or tick introduced or discovered in the United States during this 13 year period. You may remember from the outbreak of the Zika virus that international travel can factor greatly into the spread of disease as well.

Due to these factors, it’s no wonder that Independent UK is reporting a travel advisory for those traveling to the US.

Lyme disease instances are at least double, and mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika have been locally transmitted in several US states. Dengue Fever is up in the UK as well. The CDC warns that we are not completely prepared for the rising numbers and the possibilities that they hold, such as the reintroduction of yellow fever or malaria in the US.

Protection Starts With Awareness

There is no doubt that mosquitoes are already a battle for us in Florida so what do we do with this new information? The CDC emphasizes the need on the local level for monitoring of flea, tick, and mosquitoes, as well as monitoring cases of the diseases.

Dr. Lyle Peterson, director of the CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, tells News 4 of Jacksonville "It’s very important that the public is very aware that these are more than summertime nuisances — you can get very severe diseases from ticks and mosquitoes.” Dr. Peterson knows first hand how terrible one of these illnesses can be as he was struck down himself with West Nile Virus. He tells News 4 Jax that after more than a week of fighting the illness at home in bed, it took him another three months to feel himself again.

Dr. Myron Cohen, professor, and director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Disease at UNC-Chapel Hill also weighed in on the report. He called it “very important” about how vulnerable we can be to new quickly moving pathogens that are vector-borne. “Zika shows us the potential for an emerging pathogen that’s vector-borne to enter a population — like as it did in Puerto Rico and some of the other territories and a little bit in Florida — and kind of sweep through the population,” Cohen said. "So it shows how vulnerable we are if the vectors are there in sufficient concentration, and we have not seen the disease before in the population, it can be a fairly profound epidemic.”

As Floridians, we have experienced the sudden impact a newly introduced illness transmitted by mosquitoes can have on a community. At Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we want to help you prepare and feel more comfortable in your knowledge of what is and what can happen regarding these illnesses. We also want to help you feel protected, and we believe our mosquito barrier treatments and mosquito misting systems are the best way to do that. Reports like this new one from the CDC let us know that keeping your home mosquito and tick free is no longer something we can take for granted. Let us help you create the best plan for your home. Let us help create peace of mind. Call us today. 904-559-3414

Life After the Zika Virus

We spent quite a bit of time discussing Zika virus, for a while, it was everywhere. We talked, we watched news reports, we feared… and then just like that, it seemed to go away. However, for some people, Zika will be a part of their lives forever. For those people that transferred Zika to their child in the womb, fighting the effects is a daily challenge.

What happened to the babies of Zika?

Darah Giron Funes

Darah was the first baby born in the continental United States with the birth defects tied to the Zika virus. Darah has microcephaly. Her head is small. She is two-years-old and she is just learning to roll over and smile, milestones babies usually reach about three months. Yet it is these small triumphs that keep her parents hopeful. Darah’s parents are from Honduras and it is there that they contracted Zika. First her father, Christian, fell quite ill. Next, her mother, Claudia, became sick as well but not nearly so much. She had a rash that she thought maybe due to a new detergent. When diagnosed she refused antibiotics because she was afraid of the effects it could have on her unborn baby and she really didn’t feel that bad. But now we know that one of the ways Zika, a mosquito-borne illness, can be transferred is from a mother to her unborn child and this is where the effects of the illness are the most tragic.

Microcephaly, a birth defect that causes underdevelopment of the head and brain is one of these. Other birth defects include impaired vision, contracted fingers, infantile spasms, and overall underdevelopment. Darah was born in the United States while her mother was here visiting family. They returned home to Honduras but eventually, her family moved here so she could receive better care. Darah is in constant therapy with professionals and her mother. They spend hours a day focused on stimulating her senses in hopes of strengthening her development.

Sophia Valentina

Sophia is one of 2,500 babies born in Brazil with brain damage due to the Zika virus. Sophia is fighting the same birth defects as Darah, but she is fighting in a poor and less understanding part of the world. Sophia’s mother spends hours on buses with her, traveling to the city for treatment and therapy. Children that don’t seem to respond to therapy can be dropped, while other infected children live on waiting lists just to get in. Money and resources are scarce and locals can be unkind about the child’s appearance. Officials are less hopeful of these children’s chances for development. Yet Sophia’s parents don’t give up. It is a constant fight.

The World Health Organization has lifted the state of emergency it called for due to Zika, but Zika and its effects remain across the globe. It is a lesson in how quickly an epidemic can occur and how far-reaching the effects can be. Because the children born to mothers with Zika are all so very young we still don’t truly know what is yet to happen. Researchers fear that children that don’t show developmental issues now still may in the future. There are literally years of the unknown ahead for those born to parents that carried Zika.

Zika hit very close to home in Florida. The fears were felt statewide. It is because of this that Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra urges you to stay ahead of mosquitoes and the diseases that they can carry. Start your professional mosquito treatment today. Our barrier spray is extremely effective in allowing you to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle without the fear of what mosquitoes carry. Call us today to schedule your season of treatment. 904-559-3414

2018 Jacksonville Bug Prediction: Weather Has Everything to Do With It

“Moisture from La Nina Creates Significant Spring Pest Pressure.” This is the heading for National Pest Management Associate’s Spring/Summer 2018 Bug Barometer. The bug barometer takes weather and the basic habits of pests and uses this information to predict bug activity over the seasons. This year they are predicting significant bug activity due to the heavy moisture and mild winter created by La Nina. The NPMA has separated the country into seven geographic areas and made predictions of bug activity for each one. How does Florida weigh in?

A Spring Mosquito Explosion?

The nine states that fall into the Southeast region are looking at a year of above-average activity from several bugs, but especially mosquitoes. We experienced an unusually cold winter. A wet winter. It is the moisture that this cold, wet winter leaves in its wake that creates a quick awakening in the mosquito community. Mosquitoes lay eggs and breed in water. Areas that don’t normally freeze, but did this year, may have left nice little homes and breeding grounds for a few extra thousand mosquitoes this year. It won’t take many warm days for the population to explode.

So now the prediction is out there. How do you use it? You prepare.

Don’t wait until you are getting eaten up with bugs to try to rid yourself of them. Mosquitoes multiply faster than you can imagine and it’s easier to keep them at bay from the beginning. It’s really that simple. So clean up your yard. Look for the standing water. Discuss it in your HOA meetings. Work together.

Follow our 7Ts of Mosquito Control. Plan your treatment now. There is no time to wait when it comes to scheduling that first mosquito barrier spray. Call Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra today and get on the books for as long as mosquito season lasts this year. We’ve been warned that the mosquitoes will be bad. It’s up to you how you use the information. It’s up to us to make sure you know why we are the best mosquito control company around. Let’s talk. 904-559-3414

The Time to Protect Your Horses from Disease is Here in Northeast Florida

If you think it’s too early for mosquitoes to be out, why don’t you ask your horses? They might tell you that mosquitoes are already driving them crazy, but since Mr. Ed is probably not living in your stables let’s look to the News to tell us what’s going on. On March 16th, EquiManagement online magazine reported 5 cases of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in Florida counties already this year.

What is EEE?

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a viral disease spread from birds to horses via mosquito. It carries an 80 percent fatality rate in horses. It’s rare in humans, but among those that catch it, the fatality rate is 30 percent. It is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses to humans because it works quickly and there is no treatment. Learn more about symptoms of EEE and when to vaccinate your horses.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has reported cases of EEE in Levy, Marion, Polk, and Flagler counties. Three of the five horses had to be euthanized and one died. Only one horse recovered from its battle with EEE. Four of the horses had been vaccinated but none within the last 6 months.

According to the Florida Department of Public Health, we can see from 60-200 cases of EEE in Florida every year. With reports already in mid-March, it is possible we are looking towards higher numbers this year. It’s time to begin protecting your animals and your family, today!

At Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we want to help you do that. First by reminding you of our Ts of mosquito protection for your yard. Taking ownership of the hazards that can create mosquito habitats on your property is one of the best ways to protect your own home as well as slowing the growth rate of mosquitoes as a whole in your community.

However, what you do on your own is probably not enough. That’s where we come in. You may be interested in our mosquito barrier treatment that eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes on contact and continues to last for 2-3 weeks. Or maybe it’s our automatic mosquito misting system, which is great for larger areas such as horse farms and stables, that will work best for you. If you aren’t sure which you need our professional team will work with you to figure it out. All you have to do is call. Your horses and all your pets are an investment worth protecting. 904-559-3414

How to Choose Between Mosquito Barrier Treatment Service and an Automatic Mosquito Misting System

Considering the fact that Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra are home to 38 known species of native and invasive mosquitoes, whether or not you need mosquito protection is not the question. The question is only what kind of mosquito protection do you need? Mosquitoes can carry life-threatening disease and multiply faster than you can imagine, so it’s an important decision for your family.

You’ll want to ask yourself a few things before you decide. How big is your outdoor living area? How much time do you spend outside? Do you have pets outside? How much money do you have to invest upfront? Are you near salt marshes or another mosquito habitat? At Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we would like to help you explore the options.

Option 1: Mosquito Barrier Treatment

Our mosquito barrier spray eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes on contact and continues to work for 3 weeks. Trained professionals will automatically come out every 2-3 weeks to re-apply our mosquito treatment all year long. If this is your choice it’s important to call and get signed up right away. The warmer it gets the fuller the books get. This is a popular option depending on your family’s needs.

Option 2: Automatic Mosquito Misting Systems

The system is installed throughout your yard similar to a sprinkler system. The misting system will automatically treat your property two to four times a day. There is also a remote control option so that more spray can be applied at any time it is needed. Having a BBQ or party and think you need to go the extra mile to eliminate mosquitoes? It’s right in the palm of your hand. This option is year-round, immediate, continuous, and we will maintain the system for you. The mosquito misting system is a higher investment, and it gives you the control, automation, and protection your family deserves! Automatic misting systems can eliminate more than 90% of the mosquitoes in your yard year round!

Maybe you still aren’t sure. It’s a hard decision. That’s what we are here for. At Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra we are available to talk the options over with you and answer any questions you might have. We look forward to your call! 904-559-3414

Jacksonville Special Event Mosquito Treatment is a Perfect Solution for Winter in Florida

You might be aware of our amazing seasonal mosquito control services, our mosquito misting systems, and our special event treatments for weddings and parties, but have you considered using our mosquito event treatment at your home when hosting out-of-town guests this winter?

While a great deal of the rest of the country is cold and insect-free, here in Jacksonville, Florida we are pestered by mosquitoes and no-see-ums almost year round. Depending on the weather patterns, you may have annoying mosquitoes when family comes in for Christmas. If your regular services are paused, you can give us a call anytime for a special event spray. While you may not normally spend much time in your yard during the short days of winter, when guests come down from up north, they want to be outside all of the time! Make sure they enjoy an insect-free tropical getaway for the duration of their stay with our special event mosquito treatment.

Call today to get on the schedule for the holidays or the January/February winter escape. 904-559-3414

Our special event treatment will eliminate up to 90% of mosquitoes, for a week of fun memory making your house guests will cherish forever.

Break Free From Your Lanai with a Mosquito Misting System by Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville

It’s the time of year when everyone gets back outside in Jacksonville. You’ll find kids on bikes, families walking their dogs, and everyone enjoying their backyards more. The heat has lifted and getting outdoors during the day doesn’t have to mean being in the swimming pool. With the reemergence of the outdoor living season, you may be more aware than ever that the mosquitoes are still out for the season. In fact, since the hurricane, they seem to be worse than ever. Are the mosquitoes keeping you confined to your lanai? Get out in the yard today with help from a Jacksonville mosquito misting system by Mosquito Squad.

Automatic Mosquito Misting Systems

Enjoying your yard should not have to depend on the current severity of Jacksonville’s continuous mosquito problem. While you have a lanai for just that reason, getting more active in the yard, rather than being stuck on the patio by the pool is what this time of year is all about. With an automatic mosquito misting system you can enjoy continuous mosquito control in your yard all year long.

Mosquito misting systems are programmed to treat your yard up to four times per day automatically. But the controls are in your hands as you can manually and remotely trigger a spray when you know you’re going to want to go outside, host friends, or send the kids out to play.

A Mosquito Misting System Instead of a Lanai

Do lanais feel too confining? Do you want to make the transition from your pool to your yard a seamless and easy one? Consider an automatic mosquito misting system instead of a screen enclosure for your pool. We can design a system to maximize coverage near the areas where you spend the most time outdoors. Best of all, if you don’t already have a screen enclosure, you quite likely will find our misting system provides a cost savings when compared with a screen enclosure and the added benefit of years of mosquito control for your entire yard.

If you’re ready to enjoy your yard freely anytime of the year. Call today to learn more about Jacksonville mosquito misting systems. (904) 559-3414 At Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we want to help you take back your yard!

Where do Jacksonville Mosquitoes Go in Winter?

It’s Not Too Late for Mosquito Control in Jacksonville. Fall Efforts Lower Spring Mosquito Numbers.

Have you ever wondered, “Where do Jacksonville mosquitoes go in winter?” While the “off-season” for mosquitoes in Jacksonville is very short, they do typically take a hiatus for about 126 days a year (depending on the weather that year.) So where do mosquitoes go during those four months, and how do they reappear so rapidly in the spring?

Mosquitoes Don’t Die in Winter

Not all mosquitoes die over winter. Some mosquitoes simply go dormant, hiding in places where they can wait out the cooler months to reemerge as soon as the weather is habitable.

In addition to those “over-wintering” mosquitoes, eggs can survive throughout the winter. Some mosquitoes lay their eggs in areas where the ground is moist. In the spring, when the weather warms, and enough water becomes available to those eggs, they can hatch. With over 300 eggs laid per female mosquito, you can imagine how quickly a mosquito population grows when hot and humid weather arrives in the spring.

How to Prevent Early Spring Mosquitoes

Following the Ts of mosquito control is one of the best things you can do to make sure you’re not providing a hospitable environment for over-wintering mosquitoes or their eggs. Keeping your yard neatly trimmed and debris removed gives them few places to hide. Keeping areas where standing water can collect drained or tipped over, can keep those eggs from ever hatching.

Additionally – we can eliminate those mosquitoes now! Following the mosquito math of Jacksonville mosquito control allows you to see just how quickly one mosquito can become millions. If we can eliminate mosquitoes in your yard now, we’ll lower the number that could hide over winter or lay eggs before winter. Our mosquito barrier treatment eliminates up to 90% of mosquitoes in your yard and lasts for up to three weeks, so a treatment in fall is essential to getting a good start for very little mosquito annoyance next season.

Season-Long Mosquito Barrier Treatment

The effectiveness of our mosquito treatment is really a game of math. Eliminating 90% of 100 mosquitoes gives you much better results than if we have to eliminate 90% of a million mosquitoes. So each time we treat, if you sign up for the season, you can enjoy improved results each and every time.

For mosquito control and mosquito prevention, Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra’s season-long barrier treatment program is a fantastic choice. We’ll spray every 3 weeks, and you’ll enjoy continuous mosquito control all season long while getting a jump-start on the next season too! Call today to get a treatment before winter and enjoy fewer mosquitoes now! 904-559-3414

Forget the Alligators and Floating Fire Ants: Mosquitoes Are the Real Post-Hurricane Surprise

Cleaning up from Hurricane Irma in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra is overwhelming. With power-outages, fallen trees, flooded homes, and the complete upheaval of everyday life, we know what you’re going through. Our hearts go out to you and your families as we face this trying time together.

As we clean up and rebuild our community, we feel a responsibility to warn you about the impending arrival of an epic amount of mosquitoes. While flood waters begin to recede, small puddles and debris hold that water for even longer, creating a perfect situation for mosquito multiplicity.

Why Do Mosquitoes Get Bad After Hurricanes?

Do you remember our mosquito math? One female mosquito with a blood meal lays up to 300 eggs at once. Needing standing water to develop into adults, the perfect hot and wet conditions mean these mosquito eggs will become adults in about a week or less. By week four, in the right conditions, that single mosquito can become over a billion mosquitoes. Florida’s September summer heat creates those perfect conditions.

Eliminate Standing Water, Quickly.

The best way you can protect your family and community is to get rid of all of the standing water you can, as fast as you can. In normal conditions, we offer the Ts of mosquito control to help you find hidden sources of standing water around your yard. In flood conditions, you can only do so much. That is where the additional post-hurricane mosquito threat lies. If you have water in your yard that you cannot eliminate, mosquito treatment is your best protection.

West Nile Virus in Jacksonville

We’ve talked about how mosquitoes are the most deadly animal on Earth. That threat is here now. Two weeks before Irma hit, the first human case of West Nile Virus of the year was reported in Duval County. West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. While 70-80% of people who get West Nile Virus never experience a symptom, about 20% will get the flu-like febrile illness, and less than 1% will have a neurological illness which can include encephalitis or meningitis. About 10% of patients with neurological disease from West Nile Virus will die.

Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra is here to help you. Our trucks are up and running and treating properties all around town. Call today for our mosquito treatment. It can eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes on your property. The sooner you act, the better, each adult female we eliminate prevents millions of more mosquitoes in the next several weeks. Call today: 904-559-3414

Why Hasn’t Zika Been All Over the Florida News This Summer?

There was a point last summer where the media may have had you afraid to go outside due to all the talk of the Zika virus and the dangerous outbreaks occurring. With the talk of people traveling to the Olympics and coming back with it and the effect it could have on newborn babies, how could we not be a little frightened? Oh, and one more thing… it was new. New is always scary. And now suddenly it seems like it’s practically gone. Out of the news entirely. Well, there’s a good reason for that.

Drastic Drop in Florida Zika Cases

In 2016, Florida Health officials reported 1,500 cases of Zika virus in Florida. So far in 2017, the count is up to a mere 140. It appears that this is due to something called “herd immunity”. Dr. Henry Walke, an incident manager for Zika response with the CDC, states that once people have been infected, they will not be infected again. He also says the decline in Zika is true for Puerto Rico, South America, and the Caribbean. Dr. Uriel Kitron, chair of the department of environmental health sciences at Emory University explains herd immunity like this, “If a large enough proportion of the herd – be it cows, mice, or people – are resistant to a disease, it’s very difficult for the disease to spread.” He says that Zika infections are extremely low in Brazil as well. Keep in mind that while Zika can have devastating effects, they have mostly been to babies of mothers who became sick while pregnant. The average human being who contracted Zika, most likely had symptoms similar to a cold if they had any at all. There is likely a large number of people that caught the illness and are now immune with no knowledge of it at all.

Does This Mean the Zika Virus Is Gone?

Matthew Aliota, from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine, says no. He does believe that future outbreaks will be smaller, but he says that is hard to be sure of. There are many factors that contribute to what is ahead for the Zika virus. Aliota also believes that there will be a vaccine for Zika eventually.

This is certainly promising news, however, Aliota says that he believes if there is a local outbreak of Zika in the US, he expects it to be in Florida and other Gulf regions. So, Zika virus in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra cannot be entirely forgotten. We must continue our due diligence in protecting ourselves from mosquitoes and mosquito bites.

Continue to follow the Ts of mosquito control and add Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra to your multifaceted mosquito control measures. Our barrier treatment eliminates up to 90% of all mosquitoes on contact and continues to work for up to three weeks. Call us today and let’s get started on making your backyard a safe and fun place for your family and not for mosquitoes. 904-559-3414

Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Jacksonville… What is it and Who Does it Affect?

Eastern Equine Encephalitis – EEE – is a viral disease that most often infects horses and is very dangerous. Mosquitoes contract the disease from birds that live in freshwater swamps and then pass it on to unvaccinated horses. While it is rare, EEE can infect humans as well. Most cases of EEE occur from May to August, but here in Florida, it can be seen year round. According to the Florida Department of Public Health we usually see 1 or 2 human cases and upwards of 60 equine cases of Triple E each year, however when conditions are favorable the equine cases can be more than 200.

EEE In Horses

More than 80% of horses that contract EEE will die. It spreads quickly through their bodies and infects the nervous system. Symptoms include fever, depression, lack of appetite, circling, head pressing, blindness, stiffness and paralysis, seizures, and eventually death. All horses are at risk if not vaccinated, but young adults seem to be more vulnerable. The University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine suggest vaccinating twice a year as the most important step in protecting your horses but also suggests the following: remove standing water in pastures and near stables, apply fly masks and sheets when horses are at pasture, spray horses with repellent, do not pasture during the hours of dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, and keep fans on in your barns and stables.

EEE In Humans

While it is very rare for humans to contract EEE, the death rate for those that do is more than 30%. That makes it one of the most serious mosquito-borne illnesses in the United States. Symptoms including fever, muscle pain, and headache will likely develop within 3-10 days. If encephalitis becomes present the symptoms will probably include seizures and vomiting and can lead to coma. While some humans may never show signs at all, it can be very dangerous and often those that survive the encephalitis suffer life-long effects. There is no vaccine for humans and no treatment, only treatment of symptoms in efforts to prevent the most serious afflictions. The best thing a human can do is avoid being bitten by a mosquito.

Barrier Sprays and Automatic Misting Systems

At Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we urge you to follow the Ts of mosquito proofing your yard. And when you get the final T “Treat,” let us help you. Our barrier treatment will eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes in your yard on contact and continue to work for up to 3 weeks. Have barns and stables that need some extra attention? Our automatic misting systems releases a 30-second spray several times daily for added mosquito control. Call us today and let’s begin the process of keeping you and your animals protected from the unwanted illnesses that mosquitoes can bring. 904-559-3414

The Benefits of a Jacksonville Mosquito Misting System for Your Home or Business

Did you know that the mosquito season in the Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra area is on average 239 days a year? With constant mosquitoes, it only makes good sense to deploy continuous mosquito control for more active outdoor enjoyment. While we don’t recommend automatic mosquito misting systems for everyone, here is a glimpse at the top four properties that can benefit.

Horse Stables

Insects are naturally attracted to animals. Most are less able than humans to defend themselves, making a blood meal easier to obtain for the mosquito. Did you know that mosquitoes transmit the deadly Eastern Equine Encephalitis to horses? With a mosquito misting system you’ll lower your horses’ risks and keep them more comfortable. You’ll also make life more comfortable for anyone who is caring for or riding the horses.

Mosquitoes Love Marshy Wet Areas

If your property is marshy or adjacent to wetlands, an automatic mosquito misting system has your name written all over it. While local municipalities treat public wetlands with larvicide, they are not full-proof. We were recently reminded that some salt-marsh loving mosquitoes, like the Golden Salt Marsh Mosquito, will fly up to 25 miles to get a blood meal, meaning even if you are in proximity to the marshes, these mosquitoes can fly into your yard to seek a bite. With an automatic mosquito misting system, you’ll get mosquito barrier treatment protection several times a day to combat these invaders.

Heavily Wooded Properties

Are you near the woods? Does your property feature a large number of trees creating a shady retreat from the hot Florida sun? If so, an automatic mosquito misting system might be perfect. With afternoon downpours, it can be difficult for your property to dry out completely, making it an excellent source of standing water for mosquitoes to multiply and grow. An automatic misting system will keep those mosquitoes in check, daily.

Mosquito Control for Recreational Facilities

If you manage or own an outdoor recreational or event facility, you know that your clients need to be able to enjoy the activity without the annoyance and danger of biting mosquitoes. Whether you host summer camps, athletic events, concerts, or weddings, if the mosquitoes swarm, word-of-mouth will spread, and you will soon be losing revenue. Our mosquito misting system is a lovely solution for keeping mosquito populations low with a spray schedule to fit your needs. Best of all, the system can be manually triggered at any time for added protection immediately before an event.

At Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we offer the best mosquito control solutions to meet our clients’ needs. Your automatic mosquito misting system will be designed to fit your unique property for the best mosquito control results. The automatic controller allows for a custom spray schedule to fit around your schedule as well as a manual control for immediate needs. Call us today for more information about the best mosquito control method for your property. 904-559-3414

Want to know more about automatic mosquito misting systems? Read our product page.

What types of mosquitoes can be found in Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra?

We have previously discussed the two most notorious types of mosquitoes in the Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra area, but did you know there is a total of 47 different types of mosquitoes that make the Jacksonville area their home? Not all mosquitoes carry disease, and not all mosquitoes cause a problem for humans and our pets, but the following list of fourteen mosquitoes covers the most common mosquitoes you may come across while enjoying the outdoors locally.

Aedes Aegypti is also known as the Yellow Fever Mosquito. A small black mosquito with silvery markings on its back, it is active during the day and breeds in containers with standing water that can include buckets, tires, children’s toys, even your Bromeliad plants. It can transmit Yellow fever, Zika Virus, Dengue fever, and Chikungunya. This mosquito was responsible for the Jacksonville Yellow fever quarantine of 1888.

Aedes albopictus is also known as the Asian Tiger Mosquito. It is also a small black mosquito but with a distinctive white line on its head and feeds during the daytime. It is a container breeder often found in urban areas. Aedes Albopictus can transmit Chikungunya, Dengue fever, Zika virus, and Dirofilariasis.

Aedes infirmatus and Aedes tormentor are commonly known as the Woodland Mosquito. Medium dark brown mosquitoes, they breed in wooded areas and open fields where rain pools temporarily form. Treating water sources is the best method of containing them. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus but are not a known transmitter of disease to humans or animals.

Aedes solicitans is commonly called the Golden Salt Marsh Mosquito. Medium to large, these brown mosquitoes have yellow accents on their legs, thorax, and abdomen. More active at dusk and dawn, these mosquitoes can be found in the Jacksonville salt marshes and are known to fly up to 25 miles from the breeding source for a blood meal. Luckily this mosquito is not known to transmit disease.

Aedes taeniorhynchus is likely known to you as the Black Salt Marsh Mosquito. A small to medium dark brown to black mosquito with stripes on its legs and abdomen. More active at dusk and dawn, this mosquito can transmit heartworms to dogs and carry West Nile Virus, but it is not known if it can transmit West Nile Virus to humans.

Anopheles crucians complex includes a group of three mosquitoes that look very similar. Medium sized with dark colors, and a spotted wing pattern, these mosquitoes have long legs. They like ponds, swamps and some even like brackish water. These mosquitoes feed at night and can carry malaria but are not known to commonly transmit malaria.

Anopheles quadrimaculatus is known as the Malaria Mosquito because it is the primary mosquito for transmitting Malaria in Eastern North America. A medium dark brown mosquito, it has four spots on the wings. They prefer ponds and swamps and feed after dark, preferring large mammals and humans.

Culiseta melanura is a mosquito mostly known for the disease it commonly transmits, Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus. Triple E is a virus that can be deadly to humans but commonly affects horses and some bird species. It is a medium sized, medium brown, non-distinct mosquito that breeds in ground pools in wooded areas. It can overwinter as an adult and is often the first mosquito flying in the spring.

Culex nigripalpus is common throughout Florida; they carry many diseases including West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, and Eastern Equine encephalitis. Commonly found in ditches, these mosquitoes are dark brown to bronze and small with no distinct features. They prefer birds but will bite mammals.

Culex pipiens quinqefasciatus is the Southern House Mosquito. This mosquito is commonly found in septic or dirty water like ditches and catch basins. It is the primary vector of St. Louis encephalitis and also transmits West Nile virus. This mosquito is very common but is a non-distinct, medium-sized mosquito with dark brown to bronze coloring and pale bands across its abdomen.

Psorophora ciliata is the Feather-Legged Gallinipper Mosquito. Its heavy scales give the appearance of feathers. It is a large mosquito with noticeable yellow and black banded legs. Flooded fields make great breeding grounds, and their eggs can hatch years later when a water source is added. These mosquitoes are infamous for their aggressive biting. While they have tested positive for a variety of encephalitis, and West Nile virus, they are not considered to be a vector.

Psorophora columbiae is a medium to large, black mosquito that is known as the Black Gallinipper Mosquito. The persistent vicious biters have been known to kill cattle from swarming in large numbers. They breed in open fields flooded after rain showers. This mosquito transmits Venezuelan Equine encephalitis

Toxorhynchities species are known as Cannibal Mosquitoes and they don’t require a blood meal. They feed on other mosquito larvae when they are in the larval stage and are considered beneficial. These very large brightly colored mosquitoes vary from white and metallic blue markings on the thorax to purple and black legs. They lay their eggs in tree holes, tires, and buckets found in shady areas.

While these are just a small segment of the 47 species of mosquito found in the Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra area, they cover the majority of what you’ll experience. Regardless of the type of mosquito on your property, we can help. Call today to learn how we can reduce the mosquitoes on your property by up to 90%. 904-559-3414

For more detailed information about the mosquitoes in our area, check out these great sources:
City of Jacksonville
University of Florida
Texas A&M

What Are the Best Plants For Repelling Mosquitoes in Jacksonville? First Eliminate the Plants Attracting Mosquitoes

Have you heard the famous Warren Buffet quote? “The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.” If you find yourself with a Jacksonville mosquito problem, we recommend you ask yourself what is attracting the mosquitoes, as a first step, before you add mosquito repelling plants.

While we regularly remind you about how standing water can create a perfect mosquito habitat, we rarely discuss other items that can attract and house mosquitoes. As it turns out, there are natural water containers across many Jacksonville properties that you might be overlooking. Namely, plants. Bromeliads are the main culprit and are very popular for landscaping.

Bromeliads are a Mosquito Habitat

Bromeliads are commonly stocked in nurseries for home landscaping. Homeowners love them for their beautiful blooms and tropical feel. And they do well in Jacksonville’s climate. But did you know they hold water in their leaf axils, giving mosquitoes a fantastic protected place to lay eggs which can then develop into adult mosquitoes within a week?

How to Keep Mosquitoes from Breeding in My Bromeliads?

If you don’t currently have Bromeliads, we may suggest you choose a different landscaping plant. But if you have to have them, or already have them and love them, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Flush bromeliads out with a strong spray of hose water at least once a week, it will wash out mosquito eggs, larvae, and pupae before they become adults.
  2. Place a few drops of cooking oil on the surface of the water being held in the Bromeliads to suffocate any larvae or pupae growing under the surface.
  3. Treat the water in the bromeliads with mosquito larvicide, use as directed.

You’ll also benefit tremendously from Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra’s mosquito control barrier treatment to eliminate pesky mosquitoes that breed within the bromeliads before they get a chance to annoy you. Our time-released mosquito spray will stick to the leaves of your bromeliads and eliminate mosquitoes that land on them for up to three weeks! Our mosquito control services are 100% guaranteed and will reduce up to 90% of mosquitoes on your property. Call today to get started. 904-559-3414

Source: Miami-Dade Mosquitoes & Bromeliads

Florida's Mosquito-Eating Fish: Do They Really Work?

Jacksonville Mosquito Climate is on Overdrive

Jacksonville’s extra rainy summer has the mosquito population booming. It’s already hot and humid most of the time, so add a few extra inches of water and the mosquitoes can’t multiply fast enough. Now throw in the threat of Zika or West Nile virus, and it’s time to look for every alternative there is to getting rid of these little biting machines. How about a mosquito-eating fish?

It sounds like something you might see in a cartoon but it’s a real thing, and it works!

The Mosquitofish

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Orange County Health Department is deploying the mosquitofish to abandoned “green” pools in Central Florida. After initially testing just 50 fish in one pool, the health department found that not only did the fish eradicate the mosquito larvae, but they also multiplied, making this “self-sustaining process” a better option than others used in the past.

Mosquitofish have been around in the United States since the early 1900s. People used them in abandoned pools, ditches, and ponds. About 25 years ago the New Jersey State Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries started breeding these fish. They are becoming used more and more across the country for mosquito control. In 2016, the Plano Texas Environmental Health Department released 13,000 mosquitofish in their efforts to control the mosquito population and fight Zika.

They look a bit like minnows but watch one of these little guys in action (below) as he makes a meal out of a bowl full of mosquito larvae.

 
The diseases that mosquitoes carry make mosquito control a widespread public health effort. It is important to treat as many areas of standing water as we can in our cities. However, most of us don’t keep a stagnant old pool in our yards, so at home, these out of the box methods just aren’t practical.

Our backyard mosquito control services have proven effective time and time again. Our barrier treatment at Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra will eliminate 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your yard and continues to work for up to 3 weeks. Call us today to create a season-long schedule so that you and your family can enjoy your home and outdoors without the swatting and itching that comes along with mosquitoes. 904-559-3414

Drought Busting Rain Breeds Mosquitoes in Jacksonville, Florida

Recent daily rainfall has taken much of Florida out of a severe drought and even eliminated the drought entirely in Jacksonville. With over a foot of rain falling in several weeks, we have surpassed the entire year’s rain accumulation, which as of June 16 stood at over 21 inches. While the replenishment of dried up bodies of water and the lowered threat of wildfires is worth celebrating, there is a new threat born out of the rain.

Mosquitoes.

Rain + Heat = Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes multiply and thrive in standing water. With daily rainfall it can be difficult for puddling water and containers to dry out, leaving the mosquitoes a perfect place to lay eggs. Mosquito eggs take approximately a week to develop into adult mosquitoes, which gives us an important deadline for cleaning up our standing water sources. After all, with just one female mosquito laying eggs in your yard, you could be looking at over a billion mosquitoes in just four weeks if the environment is just right.


mosquito larvae growing in standing water

Mosquito Source Elimination

The best way to combat mosquito population growth is to continuously follow the Ts of mosquito control for your yard. These tips will help you remember all of the places where standing water usually occurs so you can eliminate them. We recommend taking a walk through your yard after every afternoon rain to make sure nothing slips past you. With just a week from egg to adult, vigilance is vital.

Some of the most often missed sources of mosquito growth include potted plant saucers, corrugated downspouts, children’s toys, clogged gutters, and blocked ditches or sewer drains.

Eliminate Up to 90% of Mosquitoes in Your Yard

And for those mosquitoes that do find a way to develop in your yard or nearby, Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra can eliminate up to 90% of them with our seasonal mosquito barrier treatment. The fewer you start with, the fewer you’ll have, so let’s team up for as few annoying, disease-carrying pests as possible. Call today for a free quote and to schedule your first mosquito treatment. 904-559-3414

Create an Outdoor Sanctuary for Your Pets with Jacksonville Backyard Mosquito, Tick, and Flea Prevention

We love our pets like they are our children, and we want them to be healthy and happy like our children as well. During the warmest months of the year, keeping them healthy includes keeping them free from Jacksonville fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.

Itchy Fleas

flea prevention One flea can bite your dog or cat up to 350 times in one day. Allergies to the flea saliva will have your pet itching and scratching and chewing out of sheer discomfort. And fleas multiply QUICKLY! Before you know it, it’s not just your pet that could be covered in fleas they could be all over your home.

Disease-Carrying Ticks

canine tick and flea preventionTicks are a completely different problem. They too can latch onto your dog or cat and be carried around for days, but you may never see them. They simply don’t cause the itching and scratching that fleas do and when covered up with fur they aren’t as noticeable to the naked eye. However, they can be much more dangerous than fleas due to the diseases that they carry. Just like humans, pets are susceptible to Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, and even tick paralysis.

Deadly Mosquitoes

backyard heartworm preventionAnd finally mosquitoes: mosquitoes carry one of the worst diseases to affect our four legged friends… heartworms. Heartworms primarily affect dogs, but for every 100 dogs that get heartworm, 10 cats get heartworm. Heartworms can be fatal if not treated. Worse yet, for cats, there is no treatment, and for dogs, recovery is a long slow process. No one wants to see their pet go through this.

Lower Your Pets Risks at Home and Away

We all agree that prevention is vital for the comfort and well-being of our beloved 4-legged family members. First of all, it is important to follow your vet’s recommendations when it comes to preventative treatments that protect against heartworm, ticks, and fleas.

Reducing mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas in your yard is a great additional preventative measure and also works as an alternative solution if extenuating circumstances prohibit the use of the widely recommended topical treatments.

At Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra our mosquito, tick, and flea treatments provide a comfortable, playful outdoor setting pets need. Our barrier treatment eliminates mosquitoes and ticks on contact and continues to keep them out of your yard for up to 3 weeks. Fleas can be eliminated too. With our added growth regulator we stop the flea life-cycle preventing them from growing into adults. Just another way to rid your yard of fleas and prevent flea infestation in your home.

At Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we care about what you care about, and that includes your pets. Let us be a part of your plan to lower their risk for discomfort and disease. Call us today. 904-559-3414

Are Teensy Mosquitoes More Dangerous than Sharks Off the Coast of Ponte Vedra Beach?

Early this spring, WTLV shared a drone video of a surfer’s close encounter with a shark right off of Ponte Vedra Beach. It was about 5 pm when Julian Goodall decided to take some video of his buddies surfing in the Cabana Beach Club area and there they were – at least 2 sharks within feet. Actually this time of year we see similar footage up and down each coast. But how scared should we be?

What is the Deadliest Animal on Earth?

Well, of course, no one wants to get bitten by a shark, but did you know that out of the top 24 deadliest animals in the world, sharks actually rank 23rd, killing only 5 humans per year globally. Probably a lot less than you expected. I’d be willing to bet that Cnet’s entire list might shock you a little. Horses kill 20 people a year. And ants… 30! Tsetse Flies, Assassin Bugs, and Freshwater Snails are tied for 7th coming in at 10,000 deaths per year. Snails? I would have never thought about deadly snails! But even 10,000 deaths a year is so much less than the #1 deadliest organism. Less by about 990,000!

Deadly Animals Come in Small Packages

Have you guessed it? If you were in your own backyard this weekend I’m sure you probably saw one. The mosquito kills 1 million people each year according to the World Health Organization. Most of these deaths are caused by Malaria, however, West Nile Virus, Dengue, Yellow Fever, and Zika are all potentially dangerous diseases carried by mosquitoes. On his blog, Bill Gates says that more than 2,500 species of mosquitoes exist and can be found in every region of the world other than Antarctica. And no one has to tell us that they can be found here.

Jacksonville Mosquito Control Provides Peace-of-Mind

You wouldn’t go near Elephants or Hippos (who tie for #13 with a measly 500 human deaths) for fear of being crushed, but when was the last time you heard of a Hippo stampede at the neighborhood July 4th BBQ? If you did, you’d certainly do something to stop them. The mosquitoes are coming to your BBQ, and they are much more deadly than elephants, hippos, and sharks combined, don’t let them in!

This year as you are watching the news for shark reports before you plan a day on the beach, maybe you should consider those pesky little killers that could be right in your backyard as well. At Mosquito Squad of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we’d like to eliminate the worry along with 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your outdoors spaces. Our trained professional technicians with our 100% guaranteed barrier treatment will make your yard the safe and comfortable place you deserve for a great summer of fun, right there at home. Call us today to schedule the first installment of the plan that works best for you. We can’t wait to hear from you. 904-559-3414

Please Stop the Itch! The Mosquito Bite Itch.

Mosquito bites… aren’t they one of the most annoying things about summer? You spent a great evening in the backyard with your friends, only to pay for it with the itching and scratching. And what’s worse? Your spouse seems to be just fine! Why is this only happening to you? Your reaction to mosquito bites is actually an allergy. Dr. Rajani Katta, a board certified dermatologist from Texas, explains to Country Living Magazine, “The reaction is caused by salivary proteins introduced when adult female mosquitoes penetrate the skin,” she says. So just like bee stings, shellfish, peanuts some people react, and some people don’t.

How to Stop an Itchy Mosquito Bite

So what if you are one of the unlucky ones? How can you heal these itchy, red, possibly swollen mosquito bites quickly? Dr. Katta says that hydrocortisone cream is the best possible remedy. It helps the healing while stopping the itch at the same time. There are also steroid creams available for extreme cases. However, they can cause thinning of the skin that leads to cuts and bruising. If you use these, it’s best to use them sparingly. And then there is what not to do when it comes to mosquito bites. Home remedies are not a good idea. The old wives tales, like lemon juice and witch hazel, can actually irritate the skin more. Most importantly…DON’T SCRATCH! Scratching can lead to open sores which can cause an infection. Katta suggests pressure or tapping of the bites as a way of distracting the nerves and the brain from the feeling of the itch. Give it a try!

While dealing with the annoyance and itch of mosquito bites correctly is important, at Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra we want to help you focus on avoiding them altogether. Mosquitoes are not simply a summer pest, they also carry disease, and the best thing you can do for the sake of your family’s well being is keeping your yard clear of them. Take it upon yourself to follow the Ts of mosquito-proofing your yard.

And when it comes to that final T… treatment…call us. Our 100% guaranteed mosquito barrier treatment eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes on contact and continues to work for up to 3 weeks. Our treatment programs are the hassle free way to avoid mosquito bites. Call us and schedule your first barrier spray today! 904-559-3414

Enjoy Mosquito-Free Graduations in Jacksonville

The season is upon us. Starting with college and high school graduations, on to Memorial Day and then the fan-favorite Fourth of July will be here before you know it; it’s outdoor party season in Jacksonville!

If you’re starting the season with a graduation party, you must be feeling mixed emotions at every level. Your days of checking homework and packing lunches are coming to a close as you celebrate your baby, grown baby, preparing to leave the nest. All of your parenting work has paid off, and your child has graduated. As you wonder if you worked this hard planning your wedding, you prepare guest lists, hire caterers, plan the decorations and send out the invitations for this celebratory event.

Mosquito-Free Graduation Parties

Jacksonville mosquito control for eventsDid you know your spring graduation party can be completely ruined by mosquitoes no matter how well you plan? As the celebration of a successful party tends to go late into the night, you don’t want your guests slapping and itching from mosquito bites. You’d rather they continue to enjoy the night and talk all the next day about how much fun it was.

Mosquito control for your Jacksonville party might be easier than you think. No handing out cans of stinky spray or filling and spilling citronella oil that doesn’t even work. With Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra’s special event mosquito treatment you’ll enjoy an odor-free, residue-free barrier that will have eliminated mosquitoes from your party space. The special formulation allows it to continue to work for the duration of your party for mosquito-free graduation fun! Haul out the yard games, build the bonfire, enjoy the night with help from Mosquito Squad.

Call today to schedule your special event mosquito treatment. We’re happy to serve Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra and the surrounding areas for mosquito free weddings, graduations, and holiday parties for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and beyond. Call now! (904) 559-3414

Am I Allergic to Mosquito Bites? Or is this an Infection?

Have you ever watched a bump on your arm begin to swell and itch and wonder this very thing? There are major differences, the most important one being the way they are treated, so it’s important to be able to recognize them.

Infections:

Mosquito Bite Infection Infections enter the body through small bites or through irritated skin, so yes mosquito bites can result in an infection, however, they cannot cause one. Infections are caused by bacteria, usually staph or strep. There are 3 major types: Impetigo, Cellulitis, and Lymphangitis. Impetigo is more prevalent in children and causes sores around the nose and mouth. Cellulitis causes warm, red or streaked skin, swelling, and tenderness in the infected area. Symptoms could include fever, chills, and swollen glands. Lymphangitis will form red streaks as the bacteria enter the lymphatic system and rapidly multiply. Infections happen over time, not instantly and are accompanied by a fever once they set in. If you feel you have an infection see a doctor right away and he can give you the antibiotics required to treat it.

Reactions and Allergies:

Typical Mosquito Bite ReactionMosquitoes DO cause reactions. Some simple and some severe. The common reaction to a mosquito bite is possibly a little swelling with an itchy red bump. Babies and small children tend to have a bigger reaction due to sensitive tissue in their arms and legs, so the swelling can be larger and the color brighter. Even bruising can occur as a result, but this still is a reaction to the bite and not an infection. What causes these reactions? It is the saliva of the mosquito. When the mosquito bites, it injects its saliva to act as a blood thinner, for the sake of an easy blood meal. It is unclear why some people are allergic to this saliva, but it is known to cause different reactions.

Skeeter Syndrome:

Mosquito Bite Allergic ReactionSkeeter syndrome is an extreme allergic reaction to mosquito saliva. Some people may react to a mosquito bite just as people with bee sting allergies do. The swelling can be extreme to the point of blistering, hot, and hard to the touch. Systemic reactions are possible as well, but these are rare. Nausea, hives, swelling of the lips and mouth can occur. It can also come with fever and even anaphylactic shock or asthma. This can be life threatening. Treatment for reactions can be anything from compressions with hot cloths and elevation, cortisone and other topical creams, or oral antihistamines. Those people with known extreme reactions should carry an epinephrine auto-injector or EpiPen. An Epipen will stop immediate loss of airflow, but these types of reactions should send you straight to a hospital.

How Can We Tell The Difference?

A blog post from Advanced Pediatrics gives us a good example using mosquito bites on the eyelid. When you wake up and your eyelid is swollen shut it can be a very scary moment. However, this can be a minor reaction to a mosquito bite. Fluid can collect easily in the eyelid especially when one is lying down. If you find one eyelid to be light pink, itchy, and terribly swollen but soft to the touch it is most likely a reaction that will subside after some time spent sitting up. An infection would affect both eyes, causing pain, and the color would be much darker. Swelling from an infection is not going to go away after a period of sitting up.

Now that you have a little insight on what causes reactions and infections, it’s time to educate on prevention. Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra is the professional mosquito service best equipped to keep your home and yard protected from mosquitoes and ticks. Call us today to discuss what the best solutions are for your family. 904-559-3414

Yellow Fever - Yet Another Mosquito-Borne Illness to Watch in Brazil

It is going to be in the mid to upper 80s this week in Ponte Vedra Beach. That means the mosquitoes are out and they are hungry. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is one of Florida’s more aggressive mosquitoes, and it is known for seeking food sources during the daylight hours. This mosquito is also known as the yellow fever mosquito and right now in Brazil, it is living up to its name. According to an article from NPR, there have been 604 confirmed cases of Yellow Fever in Brazil and 200 confirmed deaths.

Does Yellow Fever in Brazil Really Affect the United States?

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health explains to us in this article how illnesses carried by this specific mosquito vector have followed certain patterns over the past years. Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika (each carried by this yellow fever mosquito) all seemed to begin slowly but then suddenly exploded into huge outbreaks over the Western Hemisphere. And then with travel, these outbreaks were able to slip into the United States. So as these cases of Yellow Fever are beginning to pop up, scientists are wondering and possibly assuming it is likely to go the same way. A large outbreak in South America will most definitely lead to cases entering the United States.

What Does Yellow Fever Look Like?

yellow fever symptoms With the possibility of an outbreak on the rise and the yellow fever mosquito a presence here in our part of the world, it’s important that we learn what Yellow Fever looks like and how to deal with it. Initially, Yellow Fever symptoms look like the flu as so many other mosquito and tick-borne illnesses do, if there are symptoms at all that is. Most people that do become symptomatic will recover 100% with possibly some lingering fatigue and weakness.

However about 15% of cases will become much more severe after the basic chills, headache, body aches, and nausea subside. The second more serious round of symptoms can include high fever, jaundice, and bleeding. Shock and failure of organs is also possible in this more serious state and 20-50% of this group of people could possibly die. There is no specific treatment for Yellow Fever. Rest, fluids, and treatment of symptoms with close observation are the best options for relief.

There is something out there for Yellow Fever that the other illnesses don’t have though: that’s a Yellow Fever vaccine. A 99% effective vaccine does exist for Yellow Fever so it is important to keep an eye on its growth and spreading. At the moment Dr. Fauci says there if not enough for the entire population of Brazil, much less other parts of the world so it is important to observe and be proactive in the production of this vaccine.

Preventing Yellow Fever

When we talk about the diseases mosquitoes can carry, Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, Yellow Fever, we always say the same thing – prevention, prevention, prevention. The best way not to spread Yellow Fever is not to contract Yellow Fever. When traveling continue to check the CDC’s travel recommendations. Dress appropriately for areas thick with mosquitoes and use bug spray containing DEET when outdoors.

Prevention on the homefront can include keeping humans from spreading Yellow Fever to other mosquitoes if it makes it this far. Follow the Ts of mosquito control and don’t allow your yard to become a breeding ground. We at Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra would like to assist by eliminating up to 90% of the mosquitoes on your property with our highly effective mosquito barrier spray. Call us today at 904-559-3414 and don’t forget about our automatic misting systems and our event spray capabilities. We have everything you need to stay protected from mosquitoes.

Also, follow our blog for the latest information.

What are the Most Aggressive Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes in Jacksonville Florida?

The Asian tiger (Aedes albopictus) and the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes Aegypti) are the most aggressive mosquitoes in Florida. Both mosquitoes originated in other countries, making their way to the United States through human migration and the global economy. The single most dangerous trait they both possess is being active and seeking nourishment during daytime hours, which certainly allows them a better opportunity to feast on humans.

Additionally, both mosquito breeds are highly efficient container breeders. Often laying eggs for successful growth in small amounts of standing water found in drainage ditches, spare tires, flower pots and other backyard items. This penchant for finding water sources wherever they can make them thrive in urban areas where there are more people, adding to their success as disease spreading vectors. The Asian tiger and yellow fever mosquitoes are especially sensitive to our vigilance in following the T’s of mosquito control, so make sure you keep containers clean and dry.

Yellow Fever Mosquito

The Aedes Aegypti or yellow fever mosquito has made the news in the last year for its active role in the spread of Zika virus. Arriving on the shores of the United States from Africa hundreds of years ago, it is believed to have been brought to the U.S. on ships during exploration and colonization. It garnered its nickname due to its notorious status as the primary vector of yellow fever. Yellow fever is prevalent in South America and Africa but can arise in mild climates during the summer. The yellow fever mosquito also transmits dengue, chikungunya and other dangerous diseases.

Until the invasion of the Asian tiger mosquito in 1985, the yellow fever mosquito was common in Florida. With the arrival of the Asian tiger, yellow fever mosquito populations have been on a steady decline; this is thought to be due to the Asian tiger’s faster development during the larvae phase of life, out-competing the yellow fever larvae for food.

Asian Tiger Mosquito

The first discovery of the Aedes Albopictus or Asian tiger mosquito in Florida was right here in Jacksonville in 1986. First discovered in Texas a year earlier, Asian tigers are thought to have come from the Far East in shipments of tires. The species has spread rapidly since its arrival, including all 67 counties in Florida and right on up the east coast of the United States.

The Asian tiger garnered its common nickname due to the easily recognizable black and silver scales on as well as the white stripe down the center of its dorsal. The Asian tiger is known to carry and spread Easter equine encephalitis and dengue fever, but because they feed on animals as well as humans they are less likely to spread diseases such as Chikungunya and Zika virus. The Asian tiger is known to be an aggressive, opportunistic biter; you’ll not shoo them away easily.

The same year round warmth that drew most of us to live here in the Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beach area is the same weather that allows these dangerous mosquitoes to thrive. Just like hurricanes and alligators, all of the things that non-Floridians may find alarming can avoided with proper precautions so that life in Florida truly is paradise. Call Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra today. 904-559-3414 We’ll provide season-long mosquito control for your home so you can enjoy your days and nights without the annoying buzzing and biting of aggressive, dangerous mosquitoes.

Important mosquito sources:
CDC
Asian Tiger Mosquito: University of Florida Entomology
Yellow Fever Mosquito: University of Florida Entomology

Two Tropical Mosquito Breeds Discovered in Mainland Florida for the First Time

Florida Tropical Mosquitoes Discovered As if being one of a few states to suffer the local spreading of the Zika Virus by mosquitoes wasn’t enough, we now have two new mosquito breeds in the state. For the first time in mainland Florida, Culex panocossa and Aedeomyia squamipennis were discovered in Homestead, Florida by University of Florida researchers. These two mosquitoes are native to Central and South America and are thought to have migrated to Florida on plants.

Researchers were surprised by this discovery, due to the distance between Florida and their native locations. Entomologist, Nathan Burkett-Cadena told the Miami Herald, “This would speak to some broader environmental changes that have caused Florida to be more accessible and hospitable to tropical mosquitoes,” In other words, the warming planet has made this possible.’

Reason for Caution

Culex panocossa and Aedeomyia squamipennis both are capable of carrying dangerous mosquito-borne viruses. Laying their eggs on water lettuce, and invasive weed, these mosquitoes are likely to multiply and spread easily.

Aedeomyia squamipennis feeds mostly on birds. While that is good for us in so far that we will find them to be less annoying, they can pick up West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis which could be passed on to humans and other mammals by a single bite. This mosquito is also known to spread bird malarias, including a strain that “wiped out many of the songbirds in Hawaii.”

Water Lettuce is home to Florida mosquitoes Culex panocossa could likely pose a more urgent threat to humans than its counterpart. It has been confirmed as a vector of Venezuelan equine encephalitis, a condition that is especially threatening to children and the elderly. It also carries the Everglades virus. In the past, mosquitoes in the Everglades tend to stay there, so the Everglades virus has not become widespread. But with new vectors who could thrive outsides of the Everglades, transmission could become more common in humans.

Everglades Virus

Mild forms of the virus can cause symptoms that seem flu-like along with achy joints. Severe cases of Everglades virus could lead to brain swelling (encephalitis) that can cause comas. Everglades virus has not so far proven fatal.

With the total number of invasive mosquitoes discovered in Florida now numbering nine, it is more important than ever to exercise caution and vigilance in mosquito safety and mosquito control. While keeping your yard free of standing water and debris by following the T’s of mosquito control is a great first step, call Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra to eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes from your property. Sign up for the season, and we’ll automatically come back every three weeks to keep you pest-free all season. 904-559-3414

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The Risk for Zika Virus in Ponte Vedra & the Jacksonville Area Is Still Significant

Did you think the threat of Zika Virus in Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra is gone? Given the lack of media attention, especially compared to this time last year, I wouldn’t be surprised if most people think the Zika scare is over. Unfortunately, mosquitoes are still alive and well here, as is the Zika Virus.

Zika Virus Jacksonville Florida

New Locally-Transmitted Zika Case

According to the Sun Sentinel a person in Miami-Dade was discovered to have a locally-acquired case of Zika Virus just last week. There have also been four new cases of travel-related Zika Virus in South Florida.

The Florida Department of Health notes that the recent locally-acquired case of Zika Virus was likely contracted in 2016, but because they had no symptoms, officials do not know exactly when the virus was contracted. This is a steep reminder, especially to travelers, that you can have Zika and spread Zika without ever knowing you have it. It’s an especially dangerous scenario for pregnant women in the area.

The total number of Zika cases in Florida in 2017 is now at 29 cases. Thirteen of those cases were in pregnant women. While there is no “active transmission” taking place, officials warn that isolated cases of locally-acquired Zika are not uncommon.

Early 2017 Mosquito Season

This early in the mosquito season, the current number of 29 Zika cases is expected to rise. According to CBS 47 the warm winter has had mosquitoes out early this year. They also issue a reminder that March is spring break season, which is when we would expect to see the Zika Virus being brought back to Florida from tropical locations that are more affected. Check out the CDC’s Zika travel notice page for the latest on affected countries.

Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra is your best choice for Zika prevention. While you won’t always know whether a neighbor has brought Zika to the area after vacation, you will always know that your risks are lowered tremendously thanks to the best mosquito control service available. Our season-long mosquito treatment will eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes on your property. Call today for a free quote. 904-559-3414

Midges, Blind Mosquitoes, or Punkies: Regardless of Your Nickname for Them, We can Help!

Whatever you might call them, midges or blind mosquitoes, we can all agree that when midges are out in full force they annoy and disturb everyone. They arrive in early spring and cover the side your Ponte Vedra Beach or Jacksonville house, like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock horror film.

While we spend a lot of our time focusing on the danger brought to our clients by mosquito-borne and tick-borne diseases, the annoyance factor can be worse than the danger factor. Midges might not infect you with West Nile Virus, Zika or Lyme disease, but they can certainly test your mental health when trying to enjoy the great outdoors.

Especially if you live near the marshes, you might already be seeing flocks of these tiny flying insects; much earlier than previous years. A lack of winter and plenty of moisture has given midges an early start to the season. Giving you an early start to hiding inside, a tactic best left for avoiding heat at high noon on the hottest July days.

Don’t let this gorgeous spring weather pass you by while you hide from the annoyance of midges, punkies, blind mosquitoes, or (other nicknames you might give these pests that I cannot repeat in public.) Call Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra today for the best Midge Control in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beach. 904-559-3414

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