What Happens to Mosquitoes During the Winter?

It’s the time of year when holiday parties, festive feasts and exchanging gifts are enjoyed by family and friends. Cold weather is associated with Christmas trees, snowmen and even the occasional snow ball fight or for residents of Phoenix, decorating a Cactus instead a of a pine tree. One thought that doesn’t usually cross our minds during this time of year is the presence of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are one of the most annoying pests that we endure throughout the warm parts of the year. Their bites are irritating and their buzz even more so. The presence of mosquitoes makes being outdoors less appealing. Most species of mosquitoes disappear during this time of year because they cannot survive the cold weather, however there are some mosquitoes that are strong enough to last through the winter, and they lay in wait to annoy us again when the temperatures begin to rise.

How do Mosquitoes Survive the Winter

The mosquitoes that survive the cold weather do so by hibernating, just like some animals do during the winter. Mosquitoes that hibernate throughout the winter will come out in the spring time to begin sucking our blood and the blood of our pets once again. It is an annoying occurrence that is difficult to remedy and not an important item on our list of issues to handle at the moment. Mosquitoes that do not survive the winter temperatures leave eggs behind that will hatch with the first breeze of warm spring air.

How do Mosquitoes Hibernate

Some mosquitoes will hatch in the fall and hibernate as larvae; they find shelter in the bottoms of muddy pools to protect themselves from freezing. Mosquitoes that find a way to last through the freezing winter temperatures seem to be even more aggressive than those who seasonably show up in the spring time. Mosquitoes not only pack an annoying bite that can itch for a long period of time, but mosquitoes also can carry dangerous diseases that are harmful to you and your family.

Mosquito Prevention & Control

The best way to prevent mosquitoes form hibernating on your property is to have regular maintenance visits from your pest control professional. When you have your home and property treated on a regular basis, you eliminate the chances of any type of infestation from occurring, including the presence of mosquitoes. Regular maintenance visits from Bug Guadrian Pest Prevention will ensure that not only mosquitoes stay away from your home, but also other annoying and harmful insects.

Read More

Understanding the Zika Virus

zika virus in arizona

What is Zika Virus?

Zika is a disease caused by the Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. In May 2015, the first confirmed Zika virus infection was reported in Brazil.

Zika in America

Experts agree that the Zika virus will come to the U.S., but no one can accurately predict when or where. As of April 20, 2016, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said that 388 travel-associated cases of Zika were reported in the U.S. Of this number, 9 were in pregnant women and 6 were sexually transmitted. There have been no locally acquired cases reported. Looking ahead, researchers say that the vector-borne Aedes mosquito will increase in abundance across much of the southern and eastern United States as the weather warms. Summertime conditions are favorable for mosquito populations along the East Coast as far north as New York City.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes) as well as muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (from exposure to symptoms) is likely to be a few days to a week. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week after being bitten. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital and very rarely die of Zika. Those most affected by the Zika virus are the elderly and pregnant women. If a pregnant woman is infected, it may result in microcephaly, a birth defect causing underdevelopment of the head and brain in newborn children. However, the link between Zika and infant microcephaly is poorly understood at this time. Treatment There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. However, symptoms can be treated with rest, fluids and medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce fever and pain.

Read More

A Retailers Guide to Fight Bed Bugs

At Bug Guardian Pest Prevention, we always want to stay one step ahead of bed bugs, and any way that we can help consumers or retailers is a bonus.

To that end, the University of Minnesota has created a retailers guide that gives solid and useful information about fighting bed bugs, and it’s a “must read” for those in the hotel business, hospitals, office buildings, movie theaters and virtually any other place where large numbers of people gather or congregate in a residential or commercial setting.

Here is a basic overview of the article:

Let’s Beat the Bed Bug

• A general history of bed bug infestations and where these pests can be found in both residential and retail establishments.

• An explanation of how bed bugs actually get into a retail store setting.

• Places in retail stores where they are most often found, highlighting both lower risk areas and higher risk areas.

• Prevention and control methods which address clutter, product returns, and what employees and managers need to know if there are bed bug complaints. This section also addresses basic bed bug control and having a pest control company summoned if bed bugs are found.

Read More

What is the best thing to do for a mosquito bite?

A mosquito bite typically results in a red bump on the skin that itches. As tempting as it may be, scratching a mosquito bite is a bad idea on two counts. First, it only agitates the venom and increases your itching. Second, over-scratching might cause breaks in the skin that can leave room for an infection.

The itch is due to histamine release in our body in response to the mosquito’s saliva which is injected while they’re drinking our blood. Histamine is one of the main drivers in allergic and inflammatory reactions and causes swelling, redness and itching. So, scratching only stirs up the saliva and increases the histamine response.

All bites should be washed with soap and cold water. The best remedies are antihistamines and anti-inflammatories – such as Benadryl, NSAIDS, and steroids. Over-the-counter 1 percent hydrocortisone cream may be indicated for intense itching and larger reactions. If there are signs and symptoms of infection you may need to see your doctor for antibiotics.

Here are some helpful Mosquito Control Tips for Your Home provided by a mosquito control district.
Personal protection
During peak biting times (dawn, dusk, and early evening)
1. Try to stay inside.
2. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you go out.
3. Loose clothing.
4. Light colored clothing.
5. Apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. An effective repellent will contain 35% DEET.
6. DEET in high concentrations (greater than 35%) provides no additional protection. Repellents may irritate the eyes and mouth, so avoid applying repellent to the hands of children.
7. When using repellents always read and follow directions for use as printed on the product.
What you can do to help
1. Throw out old tires
2. Throw out tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, or any water holding containers.
3. Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts) in yard.
4. Keep drains, ditches, and culverts clean of weeds and trash, so water will drain properly.
5. Cover trash containers to keep out rainwater, and drill holes in bottom of trash containers so any water can drain out.
6. Repair leaky pipes and outdoor faucets.
7. Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week or store in a position that water will drain.
8. Make sure your backyard pool is maintained properly.
9. Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water with sand or concrete.
10. Change water in bird baths and plant pots or drip trays at least once a week.
11. Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house, so adult mosquitoes will not hide there.
12. Keep gutters clean and free of debris and leaves.

You can also contact Bug Guardian Pest Control for a mosquito treatment to reduce the population in your yard.

Read More

Keep Rodents Out of Your Arizona Home During Holidays

rodents in home during holidays

Unfortunately for us, rats and mice often live in close proximity to humans and they tend to love to find their way into our homes where they can make their nests and raise their young especially during as the weather starts to get colder in Arizona. Once this infestation occurs, it can be difficult to get rid of them. Below are some of the best ways to keep rodents out of your house.

The first and best way to keep rodents out of your home is simply to deny them entry. To do this, you will need to seal all cracks, holes or openings in your house’s foundation or walls that are larger then a quarter of an inch. Basically put, if you can fit a pencil into the hole or crack, then it’s possible for a rodent to enter through it. The best way to seal these cracks is with a heavy and strong material, such as galvanized sheet metal, concrete or heavy gauge hardware cloth. You can also use weather stripping on the door and window gaps so that you have a seal when they close.

You also want to make certain that you do not attract them into your home by poor sanitation. The lack of proper sanitation around your home is the best way to invite rodents into your home so making certain that you clean your kitchen properly by washing all surfaces so that they are clear of all food particles is important. Also make certain that you store your trash in sealed containers. Good sanitation won’t guarantee they will stay out of the house but it will make certain they are not sent an invitation.

Keeping the outside of your house in proper order is also important. Keep the outside of your house clean and sanitary by making certain your trash containers are sealed, that there is no trash around your house, and that pet food is not kept out at all times. You will also want to make certain that you remove any debris or other places where rodents can hide. Lastly, make certain that you keep control of your weeds and destroy and nests or burrows that you find on your property.

If you think you have a problem with mice, rats or other rodents, contact Bug Guardian to come out to your house and take care of your rodent problem and suggest ways to keep rodents out in the future.

Read More