Zika Risk Reduced By Mosquito Spraying

In a new study published looked at 50 U.S. cities where the weather could support Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito that spreads Zika and other dangerous diseases) in warmer months.

Cities at Risk

Yellow cities are low-risk, orange are moderate, and red are high. The size of the dot over the city represents how many travelers from current Zika-affected countries come to the city on average each month. And the gray zone represents the area where Aedes aegypti has been observed in earlier years.

How Risk Was Calculated

To determine which cities would be most at risk and when, the researchers examined a number of factors:

  • The estimated abundance of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes per square meter of standing water, based on their life cycle and the historical meteorological conditions in each city (from 2005 to 2015)
  • The number of travelers arriving in those cities from Latin American countries currently affected by Zika (although the researchers do note that some people on those flights may have just connected through a Zika-affected country)
  • Previous cases of locally transmitted dengue and chikungunya, two other diseases transmitted by Aedes aegypti
  • Percentage of households in each city living under the poverty line, which makes people less likely to have air conditioning (Aedes aegypti doesn’t survive well in air-conditioned buildings), safe water, and good sanitation.
  • Irregular garbage collection in some areas may also provide opportunities for the bug to breed.)
  • Observations from 1960 to 2014 of the mosquito’s maximum geographic range

Expected To Spread

Based on their estimates, this is how the year plays out in terms of highest risk for abundant Aedes aegypti populations:

Mosquito Spraying Helps Prevention

It’s also worth noting that the models don’t account for mosquito-control methods—so there’s still plenty of room to bring this risk down by spraying for adult mosquitoes, using larvicides, and eliminating mosquito-breeding sites, particularly standing water.

Cockroach Protection and Prevention

Cockroaches have been long despised by homeowners due to their creepy appearance. Cockroach control and management are important for health and safety reasons, because cockroaches are known to cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. They also spread nearly 33 kinds of bacteria including E. coli and Salmonella.

Cockroaches and Allergies

Several large-scale studies have reinforced the dangerous connection between cockroaches and asthma in children. One in five children in the United States have severe sensitivities to cockroach allergens, which can cause or increase the severity of asthma symptoms. These allergens are most commonly introduced into homes through cockroach saliva, droppings and the decomposing bodies of these pests.

When Cockroaches Appear

Homeowners must be vigilant in preventing such infestations, especially during the summer months. Cockroaches are most active when temperatures reach 70 degrees or above and these pests thrive in warm, dark and moist places.

Tips For Prevention

NPMA offers homeowners these tips to protect their families and properties from cockroach infestations:

  • Keep food sealed and stored properly, particularly in kitchens.
  • Clean kitchens daily, where crumbs and trash are more likely to build up.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
  • Seal cracks and holes in homes, including entry points for utilities and pipes.
  • Keep basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Contact a qualified pest professional at Reardon Associates to treat any infestations.

Take Action If You See One

If you see a cockroach in your home please get ahead of the situation and call us immediately at 302-792-9300

Beware These Biting Insects

Watch out for these biting insects and learn how we can help control them. We can help!

Call us at 302-792-9300 or contact us online if you have an infestation or want a free inspection.

Fleas

Fleas threaten both pets and humans when they emerge in the spring and summer months. While they only live for 100 days, they can produce 400 to 500 babies in that time. These new fleas can spread awful illnesses to you, your family and your pets. Fortunately, vacuuming often can be an easy and effective defense against these bloodsucking pests.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are the most well-known pest of summer, but can also be the most dangerous in terms of illnesses. With 170 different mosquito species in the United States alone, the risk of being bitten is high. It is important to know how to prevent mosquito bites, and protect yourself and others from illnesses such as West Nile Virus and encephalitis. When outdoors, use an insect repellant and wear clothing that covers the arms and legs. To prevent mosquito breeding around your home, clear all standing water from your property.

Ticks

In summer, ticks are often seen as public enemy number one. Carrying Lyme disease and other illnesses, various species of ticks plague nearly all wooded areas of the United States. Knowing how to protect yourself, your family and your pets is necessary to enjoy the summer months. When you are in wooded areas or areas with brush, be sure to wear long sleeves and pants to keep ticks off of your skin. Be sure to inspect your pets, as well. The ears and noses of pets are often the ideal spot for ticks to attach, and later enter your home.

Kissing Bugs

Despite their name, kissing bugs are not the most loving of the insect world. They often enter homes through unsealed openings and bite their victims at night. Kissing bugs are dangerous, as they have been known to transmit parasitic illnesses like Chagas disease. Preventing kissing bugs is often quick and easy. Sealing up any cracks, holes or other openings in the outside of your home will keep these bloodsuckers at bay.

Chicken Mites

If you have a bird nest near your home, you may be at risk for chicken mites. While not widely known, they live on a variety of birds, including sparrows and pigeons. They migrate from the nests of these birds into your home. Their bites can cause a painful skin rash for human victims. To prevent chicken mites in your home, avoid handling bird nests on your property, even if they are empty. Also remember to check your pets if they are allowed in areas where birds have built nests.

If you believe you may have an insect infestation in your home or simply need help preventing a pest problem, call the professionals at Reardon today 302-792-9300 or contact us online.

Hot Humid Summer Impacts Fall and Winter Pest Population

The National Pest Management Association recently released its Bug Barometer, a forecast indicating what Americans can expect from pest populations this fall and winter. NPMA’s Bug Barometer takes into account the weather patterns of the summer season in every region of the country.

Spring and summer are typically the most active seasons for the majority of pests, such as ticks, mosquitoes and ants, and this year was no exception. Unfortunately, the start of fall doesn’t necessarily mean an end to pest activity, with many of these pests remaining active until temperatures consistently stay below the 50-degree mark and they begin to seek overwintering sites.

After winter storms and frigid cold battered the Northeast earlier this year, consistent warmth made May one of the warmest on record for many cities. That was followed by periods of record-setting rainfall and exceptional humidity, which combined with the heat to provide ideal conditions for pests. Mosquitoes, especially, are expected to take advantage of an increase in areas of standing water and remain active until temperatures consistently dip below 50 degrees. The summer conditions have also helped tick populations to remain at average levels, where they will remain well into the fall season. The heat and humidity have also benefitted overwintering pests, such as brown stink bugs and multicolored Asian lady beetles that will begin to gather on exterior walls as they search for winter shelter in the coming months.

Stinging Pests More Active as Winter Approaches

As summer slowly begins to wind down, please use caution when dealing with stinging insects. Be aware that these stinging pests are entering into their most active time of year as they forage for food that will sustain them during the winter. Those spending time outdoors need to remember that stinging insects, such as bees, wasps and hornets, remain a threat even as the days get shorter.

While some stinging insects are beneficial in that they pollinate plants and eat other harmful insects, they also send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year. For the majority of Americans, stings cause localized swelling and pain. However, 3 percent of the population experiences severe allergic reactions such as rashes, hives and shortness of breath.

If you suspect an infestation or notice a hive or nest on your property, DO NOT attempt to move it on your own. Contact our pest professionals at 302-792-9300 to safely remove the threat.

Delaware Mosquito Spray Zone Notification

Delaware Mosquito Spray Zone Notification System

Statewide Aerial & Truck-Mounted Fogging

The same state system that lets Delawareans know about weather-related school closings is being expanded to include notification of where and when mosquito spraying will take place.

It replaces the old email system that sent out statewide spray notifications and the older Listserv for spray notices from the Mosquito Control Section.

The old and new systems don’t interface, so Delawareans who want to receive notice of spraying need to sign up for the new Spray Zone Notification System announcements at de.gov/mosquitospray.

People can get notification by specific area or statewide spraying. People will get notice of aerial insecticide applications for larval or adult mosquito control and planned truck-mounted fogging for adult mosquito control.

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

Though paper wasps are beneficial insects, they tend to nest in close proximity to people, putting us at risk for stings. In some cases, it may be necessary to control paper wasps to minimize such risk.

What Are Paper Wasps?

Paper wasps construct the familiar, open-celled paper nests we often see suspended from eaves or porch ceilings. Most species in North America belong to the genus Polistes. Paper wasps do serve an important ecological purpose as predators of other insects.

They collect caterpillars, beetle larvae, and other insect prey to feed their young.

Each year, the paper wasp queen must build a new nest, which she does by masticating wood fibers into a pliable pulp. Once she raises her first generation of workers, these offspring will assume the role of construction workers, expanding the nest to meet the needs of the growing colony. By summer, the paper wasp nest can be quite large, reaching a width of 6-8 inches. In fall, freezing temperatures will kill all but the queen, who seeks shelter and hibernates for the winter. The nest degrades over winter and is rarely reused the next year.

As with any insect, it’s important to identify the insect before determining how and when control is necessary. Be sure you know the differences between wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets before taking action.

Do Paper Wasps Sting?

Paper wasps can and will sting in defense of their nest, or when threatened. Unlike honeybees, which have barbed stings and can only sting once, paper wasps can sting multiple times.

A paper wasp can call other colony members using alarm pheromones, chemical messages that tell other wasps to help defend the nest from a threat. Try to stay calm and avoid swatting at paper wasps. Follow my tips for avoiding bee stings.

How to Control Paper Wasps

Before you do anything to get rid of paper wasps around your home, ask yourself if you can tolerate their presence and leave them alone. Paper wasps help keep hungry caterpillars and other plant pests in check, benefiting your landscape and garden. If a paper wasp nest is located on your property but away from high use areas, consider leaving them alone. While they do sting, they only do so in response to a threat. Humans and paper wasps can often coexist peacefully. Obviously, when someone in your household has a wasp venom allergy, you may need to remove wasp nests to minimize the risk of an allergic reaction to a sting.

If a nest is located near an entrance to your home, or by a porch or deck where you spend a lot of time, you may need to take action to control paper wasps. Check eaves, shutters, and other high traffic areas in your yard early in the spring, when paper wasp queens are first building their nests. If you find a nest before the first generation of workers have reached adulthood, you can simply knock the nest down with a broom to discourage the queen from nesting in that location.

Larger nests, or those found later in the season, should be handled cautiously. Never attempt to remove an active wasp nest during the day, when paper wasps are actively flying in and out of the nest. Wait until evening, when the wasps have settled in for the night, to treat or remove any paper wasp nest. During periods of cool weather, you may be able to treat wasp nests, as wasps become lethargic when temperatures dip down to 50°F or lower.

Though I rarely recommend the use of chemical pesticides, the safest method of eradicating paper wasps in a problem area is, indeed, with a commercial wasp spray. Look for a product labeled for use on wasps and hornets, and remember, the label is the law. You must read the label and follow all directions for using any pesticide product. Wasp sprays usually come with a propellant that allows you to spray the pesticide from a safe distance. Coat the nest in the pesticide, making sure to cover all the cells of the paper wasp nest. Never stand below the wasp nest while applying the pesticide. Wasps may drop from the nest, and you also risk getting the chemical in your eyes or on your skin.

Be sure to check the nest the next day for any signs of wasp activity. Before you remove a nest, you must be sure that no workers survived the pesticide application. Wasp sprays kill on contact. Wasps that were absent from the nest at the time you sprayed may return to the nest site. If you don’t observe live wasps near the nest, use a broom or other long-handled tool to knock it down. Dispose of the nest properly. I recommend placing the nest in a sealed baggie and placing it in your household trash.

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes Invading Delaware

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Delaware’s Most Wanted Mosquito

The Asian Tiger mosquito is the Delaware area’s newest and toughest nuisance mosquito. Tiger mosquitoes have a distinct white and black color pattern, a white stripe running down the center of its head and back, and white bands on the legs.

Schedule a mosquito management appointment: 302-792-9300

These mosquitoes lay their eggs in water-filled natural and artificial containers like cavities in trees and old tires; they do not lay their eggs in ditches or marshes. The Asian tiger mosquito does not fly far from its breeding habitat, if you are getting bitten, their breeding habitat is close by, so check your property.

Prevention and Control

It is not necessary to limit outdoor activities unless there is evidence of mosquito-borne disease in your area. However, you can and should try to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes:

  • Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Be sure door and window screens fit tightly and are in good repair.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, and when mosquitoes are most active. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials to keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure, and to protect infants when outdoors.
  • When it is necessary to be outdoors, apply insect repellent as indicated on the product’s label. The more DEET a product contains, the longer the repellent can protect against bites. However, concentrations higher than 50 percent do not increase the length of protection. For most situations, 10 percent to 25 percent DEET is adequate. Apply to clothes when possible, and sparingly to exposed skin if the label permits. Consult a physician before using repellents on young children.
  • Spraying your backyard with an insecticidal fog or mist is effective only for a short time. Mosquitoes will return when the spray dissipates.
  • Installing bird or bat houses has been suggested as a method of mosquito control. However, there is little scientific evidence that these insect-eating animals significantly reduce mosquito populations around homes.

Enjoying the Outdoors

Call the experts at Reardon Pest Control at 302-792-9300 to apply Green Mosquito Management with Natural Botanical Compounds to your property.

Read a full article on this nuisance at the Division of Fish and Wildlife

Environmentally Safe Mosquito Management

Green Mosquito Management with Natural Botanical Compounds

Enjoy outdoor living this summer by having Reardon Associates apply Green Mosquito Management with Natural Botanical Compounds to your property.

  • Safe for families, pets, and ponds
  • Environmentally safe with natural botanical compounds
  • No compromise between SAFETY & CONTROL

Call 302.792.9300 for more information. Ask about a summer management program or a one-time special event treatment.