West Nile Still A Threat

The mosquito season in Georgia is officially at its highest point, which is made even more evident by the report of the first human case of West Nile virus for 2017. Health officials in DeKalb County are diligently working to prevent additional infections from occurring, which could prove to be a daunting task, considering this is a particularly bad year in terms of the mosquito threat. So, we’re helping to get the word out about what people can do to reduce the risk of contracting this and other mosquito-borne viruses.

We had a lot of rain in June. This is good and bad news when it comes to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in any location that can contain water. In fact, a single bottle cap full of water can add several hundred mosquitoes to the population in one season. The heavy rain we got in June caused many containers to overflow and push mosquito eggs out onto the ground, where they were able to be dried in the sun and eliminated. But that rain has set up the conditions for a lot more mosquitoes to develop in September, October and even November–weather permitting.

What you need to know most about this increased population of mosquitoes is that there is something you can do to protect yourself from them. Most people think mosquitoes are an inevitable pest, but they actually aren’t. When you prevent mosquitoes in your yard, you have a wider impact than you think. This is because mosquitoes don’t travel very far in their 2-month lifespan. The typical mosquito isn’t likely to go more than 300 yards from where it was born. That means the mosquitoes that are biting you in your yard probably came from your yard. When you actively work to dry things out and prevent still water from accumulating, you can reduce your chances of being bitten.

Okay. So, what about the mosquitoes that will come into my yard from my neighbor’s yard? This is where it helps to have a professional pest specialist treat your yard. You can make it hard or impossible for mosquitoes to multiply on your property, but that won’t stop your neighbor’s mosquitoes from biting you. This is done by having your yard treated by a professional. Mosquitoes hide from the sun during the day. When they do, they will use shaded locations in your yard. If these are treated with a knockdown agent, those mosquitoes will not only be unable to bite you any longer, they will not be alive to lay eggs in your yard or anyone’s yard.

West Nile virus is a threat in Georgia. But, if we all take part in mosquito abatement, we can significantly reduce the risk that this and other dangerous mosquito-borne diseases present. To learn more, or to schedule service for your Georgia property, give us a call.

Best Places For Mosquitoes To Hide

When you’re in your backyard and you suddenly have a dozen mosquitoes swarming around you, it only makes sense to wonder, “Where did all of these mosquitoes come from?” Well, there are many places in your yard that mosquitoes can hide and wait for you to appear. We’re going to take a quick look at these places and talk about how professional pest control technicians use these hiding places against them.

While there may be mosquitoes roaming around when you first go out into your yard, most of the mosquitoes that mob you are mosquitoes that are hiding, especially in the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky. Mosquitoes need moisture to live. The hotter and dryer it is, the more likely they will be to hide. These hiding places include:

  • Under the leaves of ornamental plants and in bushes, shrubs, and small trees. These offer shade from the hot sun.
  • Inside toys that are scattered around the yard. Toys hold water after it rains, and this is appealing to mosquitoes.
  • Under decks, porches, and other structures. These areas can have shade and moisture. Locations that get a lot of shade prevent rainwater from being dried up quickly by the sun.
  • Kiddie pools. If you have little children, there is a good chance you have a little pool. When these pools are left with water in them, mosquitoes will use them to stay moist or to lay eggs.
  • Any object that holds water. If you have outdoor potted plants, mosquitoes can hide in the dish underneath them, or in wet soil under the plants themselves. If you have tarps covering objects in your yard, mosquitoes can hide under those tarps and lay eggs in water that accumulates on top of them. If you have obstructed gutters, these are the perfect place for mosquitoes to hide and breed. Anything that holds water or offers shade is a potential hiding place for mosquitoes.

Pest control specialists use these hiding places against mosquitoes by spraying them with a residual insecticide. When mosquitoes go to hide, they will be unable to avoid this insecticide. It has been scientifically proven that dead mosquitoes do not fly around your yard laying eggs anymore.

If you need help controlling mosquitoes on your property, we can help. The mosquito control professionals here at Active Pest Control use the most advanced protocols for ongoing mosquito reduction throughout the mosquito season. Get your service in place today, and start enjoying your backyard again.

Zika Update For Macon Residents

In 2016, news of the Zika virus was everywhere–and for good reason. It is a virus that is directly linked to microcephaly. It struck Georgia hard and began to find a footing in Texas. As news of the local spread of the virus went out, folks in our Georgia service area were rightfully concerned. But, we have good news. We are not seeing a repeat of what happened in 2016. We can count the number of local cases on two hands, and all of those cases have been reported in Southern Georgia. So, what does that mean for us here in Macon?

At the end of 2016, the Director-General of the World Health Organization said, “…affected countries need to manage Zika not on an emergency footing, but in the same sustained way we respond to other established epidemic-prone pathogens.” That is where we are today. Zika is still a threat, but there is no need to stay on an emergency footing, especially here in Georgia.

There are three primary ways to stop the spread of mosquito-borne viruses: monitoring, warning, and control. Health agencies in the U.S. have monitoring stations set up in strategic locations to monitor for the appearance of dangerous viruses in sentinel chickens. When a virus is detected, a warning goes out, and mosquito reduction is used to stop the spread. In extreme cases, residents are asked to stay in their homes. But, mosquito reduction is not only for outbreaks. It is used throughout the mosquito season, every year, to reduce illness.

The reason mosquito reduction works is actually quite simple: dead mosquitoes don’t make babies. A single female mosquito can lay over 100 eggs every third night, and will typically live 2 months. That is a lot of mosquitoes.

Mosquito reduction destroys female mosquitoes in the places they hide from the midday sun and works to reduce mosquito breeding locations. Together, this has a big impact on mosquito populations, not just on the property that is being treated, but in the surrounding area as well. The more homeowners and business owners who take part, the lower the mosquito populations will be, and the greater chance that “buffer zones” will be created to arrest the spread of viruses.

So, while Zika virus is not hitting us hard this year, mosquito reduction is still important. It is a “sustained way” to keep epidemic-prone pathogens from spreading through Georgia. Reach out to Active Pest Control to get Mosquito Control for your Macon home or business today.

What’s With All The Mosquitoes?

We’ve had a lot of wet weather recently. Have you noticed? Whether you’ve noticed the weather or not, mosquitoes sure noticed it. Let’s take a look at how foul weather makes more foul mosquitoes, and explore a couple of things we can do about them.

What happens when it rains? If your answer was, “It gets wet,” congratulations, you’re exactly right. Rain makes stuff wet. And, if the sun doesn’t dry that rainwater up, mosquitoes take advantage of it. Here are a few examples:

  • If you have an area of your yard that gets a lot of shade, there is a greater chance that you’ll have puddles that won’t dry up shortly after it rains. Mosquitoes will use those puddles to lay their eggs and produce more mosquitoes in your yard.
  • If you have objects in your yard that collect rainwater such as toys, a tarp, stacked construction materials, or the top of a parked vehicle, you have the conditions for mosquitoes to breed.
  • If you have a gutter that is obstructed by sticks and leaves, this will act as a dam. The water held up by that tiny dam will be more than enough for mosquitoes to breed in.
  • If you have hard ground, concrete, or some other firm surface that holds puddles for longer than a day, that could be long enough for mosquito eggs to hatch.

More rain makes all of the above a breeding ground for mosquitoes. It also makes the wooded, shaded areas, more of a breeding ground as well. If you live near a swamp, you probably don’t notice when there are more mosquitoes than usually but folks who live in relatively dry areas sure do. Mosquitoes take quick advantage of still, stagnant water.
Is there anything we can do? Yup! We don’t have to put up with all those mosquitoes. Here are four important things you need to know about mosquitoes:

  • The average mosquito doesn’t travel more than 300 yards in its entire life. If you’re getting mosquito bites in your backyard, those mosquitoes probably didn’t travel very far to bite you.
  • When you have breeding sites controlled or treated, you reduce the number of mosquitoes that will breed in your yard.
  • When you have the vegetation in your yard treated for mosquitoes, you will be destroying mosquitoes that would have bred in your neighbor’s yard.
  • When you reduce mosquitoes on your property, you are also reducing the number of mosquitoes that would have come back into your yard after breeding in your neighbor’s yard.

Don’t let the foul weather make your yard or your neighborhood a mosquito paradise. Get ongoing mosquito reduction service from a professional, and stop the cycle.

Tips to Reduce Mosquito Harborage Areas

Take back your yard! Don’t you want to go outside and enjoy the sun again or the late night bonfires without the threat of mosquitoes? Of course you do. Atlanta is the best place for outdoor fun and gatherings, but unwanted guests can spoil the fun too quickly. Stop giving mosquitoes a place to stay and make babies. To get rid of mosquitoes at the source, reduce their mosquito harborage areas.

Where Do Mosquitoes Like to Lay Their Eggs?

There is one thing you should think about all the time to prevent mosquitoes: WATER! Not just any water, but standing water. If you are like most people, you can think about the places around your home where standing water is a problem – puddles, old kiddie pools, and the neighbor’s old pool. But there are many more places that you may not even know about where mosquitoes like to lay their eggs:

  • Clogged Gutters
  • Birdbaths
  • Koi ponds and other decorative ponds
  • Rain barrels
  • Creek behind or through your yard
  • Mud

Quick Facts About Mosquito Eggs

The babies that come from the eggs aren’t exactly newborns you would throw a party for. They are resilient and will cause a lot of trouble. Here are a few interesting – or frightening – facts about mosquito eggs.

  • Eggs can survive in dry soil through winter and spring months until the rain arrives.
  • Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in areas as small as a soda bottle cap.
  • When mosquitoes hatch, they spend the first week and a half of their lives in water.
  • Mosquitoes can lay more than 300 eggs at a time, and at least 3 times during their lifetimes.
  • A female mosquito can lay egg clusters in areas as shallow as 1 inch of water.

How to Prevent Mosquitoes

The truth is that preventing mosquitoes on your property is a challenging job. Mosquitoes need standing water, but they don’t need a lot of it. Sure, you could dump out the standing water in flower pots, rinse out the old pool, and clean the birdbath, but there are places you can’t see. That is where professional services come in.

Active Pest Control will do a free inspection before making a recommendation to treat mosquito harborage areas at your home. We offer three levels of pest control service to keep your home free from pests and the places they hide and breed. Call now to schedule your inspection.

Mosquito Swarms In March

Do you remember that nice warm patch of weather we had in March? During that time, we had sightings of mosquitoes and swarms in our area. Fortunately, we had another cold snap and those swarms disappeared. But they are an indication of what is to come.

The mild winter we just had did little to reduce mosquitoes here in Georgia, and we are looking at a bumper crop this spring. So, it is even more important to take precautions when it comes to preventing mosquito bites this year. With the threat of Zika and West Nile on the mind of our Georgia Department of Health, it should also be on our minds as well. While it is uncertain where, when, or if, an outbreak will happen, it never hurts to take precautions.

Personal Protection

There are some things you can do personally to protect yourself from mosquito bites. These require a little thought and some effort to put into practice.

  • Mosquito repellent is the number one way to prevent bites. The most effective repellents are the ones that have 100% DEET. If you don’t prefer to put chemicals on your skin, consider putting it on your clothing, or use a repellent with oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants if you’re able. This will give those mosquitoes less real estate to attack. But, be aware that mosquitoes can bite through some materials.
  • If you are very concerned about mosquito bites or need to go into a marshy area where there is an abundance of mosquitoes, consider wearing clothing that has netting.
  • Avoid going out in the morning or evening when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Avoid being outside while consuming alcohol. Studies have shown a correlation between alcohol consumption and attractiveness to mosquitoes.
  • Be aware that an increase in body heat, sweat, and CO2 production will make you more attractive to mosquitoes.

Property Protection

  • Get rid of the zapper. Studies have shown that bug zappers are great at drawing bugs in, but do very little to kill female (biting) mosquitoes.
  • Make sure all your screens are in good working order.
  • If you’ll be out on the deck or near the pool, consider using a fan to create a breeze. This can deter mosquitoes.
  • Reduce vegetation in your yard that collects water on their leaves, and address any areas of standing water in your yard.
  • Get mosquito service from a professional. The Aedes mosquitoes, which are the primary vectors for mosquito-borne diseases, do not generally travel more than 500 meters in their entire life. That means the mosquitoes that bite you on your property came from your property, or somewhere near your property. Mosquito service kills adult mosquitoes hiding on your property and eggs that are hidden in your yard. It also addresses areas that are ideal for mosquito breeding.

If you are in our Georgia service area, and you need assistance protecting your property from mosquitoes, Active Pest Control can help. When mosquitoes and mosquito eggs are all gone, it’s Active Pest Control.

2017 Zika Outlook

Last year, Zika was covered by news agencies across the country, and rightfully so. Zika is a virus that is directly connected to microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. But, as mosquitoes are the prime vector for this virus, the winter has caused a lull in cases, as well as news coverage. And, many people are asking, “What does 2017 look like?” Are we going to have a repeat of last year? Will it be worse? Will it be better? We have some good news and some bad news.

The Good News

Here in the U.S., we have been mostly spared from the devastating impact of this virus. While Zika continues to be a scourge for Latin America and countries to the south of us, the United States has seen only small outbreaks. Most reported cases have been connected to travelers returning from countries with high infection rates. And, local cases that have been found here in the states, like those documented in Brownsville, Texas, which is near the border of Mexico, have been closely monitored by the CDC and local state health organizations. On top of this, Congress has approved $1.1 billion dollars to combat this dangerous threat and to work toward developing a vaccine. All good news, indeed.

The Bad News

You may have noticed that we had a fairly mild winter. While it was certainly nice to have fewer cold days, that warm winter weather did nothing to reduce mosquito populations and will, almost certainly, lead to a faster developing and more tormenting mosquito season. If itchy bites were the only threat, there would be nothing to worry about. But increased mosquito populations are a fertile soil for the quick spread of an outbreak.

People come into the United States from Latin America, and points south, all the time. If an infected traveler is bitten by an Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito, an outbreak could spread like wildfire in a mosquito-rich environment.
Mosquito abatement services are one of the first-line defenses the U.S. government relies on to protect its citizens from mosquito-borne viruses. When mosquitoes are reduced, it is harder for viruses to find a vector. If we are to keep our states and our communities safe, it is vital that we increase our mosquito reduction efforts to meet the threat of this coming mosquito season. This cannot be accomplished by government agencies alone. It is up to private property owners to take part in mosquito abatement to ensure the coverage necessary. Reach out to us today to learn more, or to schedule mosquito services.

Get Smart About Bug Spray

Sunscreen, a cool pair of shades, and yummy food are backyard essentials for summer — but don’t forget about the bug spray. With so much information out there on Zika virus, Lyme disease, and other issues with backyard bugs, as well as the concerns about repellants, it can be hard to know what to use and how. To avoid common mistakes that minimize your repellant’s benefits, use the tips below.

Top 3 tips to get the most out of your bug spray while keeping you and your family safe:

1. Spray On All Uncovered Skin
Just be sure to avoid your nose, eyes and mouth, as well as any open cuts, scrapes or burns. Bugs love sweaty skin and are drawn to body heat so be sure to coat your pulse points, too. (Around your waistband, inside your elbows, behind your knees, and the bottom of your feet are often overlooked.)

2.  Apply AFTER Sunscreen
The CDC recommends getting the most out of your skin protection by applying bug spray AFTER sunscreen. The fragrances in some sunscreens may attract mosquitoes and other pests if applied on top of bug spray. And no, those combo products aren’t as effective.

3. Reconsider DEET
Paying attention to how your body reacts to any type of product is the best way to stay safe. However, DEET is proven effective against mosquitoes and ticks, as well as fleas, chiggers, biting flies and more. While the CDC says you’re safe using a product containing up to 50% DEET, those with 15-20% will still keep bugs away — just don’t forget to reapply every few hours.

Looking for more ways to keep backyard bugs away? View our services for more info or call (678) 808-2038.

Tennessee Mosquito Dangers

Mosquitoes are one of the most dangerous pests to which we are exposed. The danger isn’t in the fact that these pesky stinging insects can ruin an outdoor party. It isn’t because they can drive you crazy during the night as they buzz around your head while you try to sleep. Although both of those instances are very irritating, the real danger with mosquitoes is their ability to transmit diseases.

There are many diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. While some of these diseases are governed by geographic location, the more common risks include malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, yellow fever, chikungunya, and encephalitis.

Two of the more recent viruses that have become prevalent in some locations are La Crosse encephalitis (LACV) and chikungunya. The symptoms of La Crosse encephalitis are very similar to that of meningitis. The LACV virus seems to be quite hard on younger children under 15 years of age. The difficulty of early diagnosis makes treatment more difficult to administer on a timely basis.

Chikungunya is a virus that people are usually exposed to while out of the country enjoying a tropical vacation. While it is rarely ever fatal, patients will experience severe pain similar to an extreme case of arthritis. Even with proper diagnosis and treatment, the effects of the virus may linger for 6 months or more.

The male mosquito is not capable of biting and feeds on nectar. The female mosquito, however, needs blood in addition to nectar. She must feed on the blood of humans and animals in order to secure the protein and iron needed to develop her eggs. It is through this process of stinging and sucking blood that they enable dangerous diseases and viruses to be transmitted.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely eradicate one’s property of mosquito infestation. They will travel many miles if necessary in search of the much-needed blood meal. However, there are a few precautions you can take to reduce the population of mosquitoes on your property and thus, reduce the risk of a mosquito borne disease.

  • Mosquitoes need a supply of shallow water for eggs and larvae to develop. Remove any items from your deck and yard that will hold even the smallest amount of water, keeping the mosquitoes from reproducing.
  • Clean dead leaves and other debris out of your gutters and downspouts. These clog up the drain, hold water, and create a great source of water and food for those growing mosquito larvae.
  • Keep weeds pulled and the grass cut short. The tall vegetation is a great place for mosquitoes to gather.

Don’t hesitate to contact Active Pest Control any time you feel there is an unusually high population of mosquitoes on your property. Our mosquito abatement programs will greatly reduce and limit the number of mosquitoes that you will have to deal with.


West Nile Virus Confirmed In Avondale

It has been a well-known fact for quite some time that mosquitoes are carriers of the sometimes deadly West Nile virus. Most people that contact this virus from the bite of an infected mosquito never show symptoms, while others may exhibit fairly mild symptoms like headache, sore muscles and joints, and a rash. But for others who show more severe signs, including neurological symptoms, 10% will die. At Active Pest Control, we aren’t telling you these facts to scare you, but rather to inform you so that you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family.

An important update, as reported by CBS news about the West Nile virus, is that it has been detected in mosquitoes living around Lake Avondale, Georgia; and unfortunately in August of this year a person tested positive for the virus. This person is the first documented human case of the virus in Georgia. This fact should make everyone stop, think, and realize that this isn’t just an abstract news story, that you really are at risk of being infected with the West Nile virus.

When it comes to the West Nile virus and mosquitoes there is both good news and bad news. The bad news is that there is currently no medication or vaccine on the market to prevent the virus from being contracted. The good news is that there are medications available to help relieve the symptoms- especially if caught early enough. Also, there are several things you can do to help lower the risk of mosquitoes biting you; and, in turn, you contracting the virus.

Mosquito prevention tips from the experts at Active Pest Control include:

  • When spending time outdoors make sure to use an insect repellent. Insect repellents that contain DEET are most effective at deterring mosquitoes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing. Limit your skin exposure by wearing long sleeves and long pants.
  • Reduce areas of standing water around your home; mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Make sure that gutters are unclogged, store wheel barrow, buckets, and other containers that can collect water upside down, fix low lying areas on your property, and empty and re-fill water bowls for your pets on a daily basis.
  • Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, during the heat of the day they tend to hide in overgrown grasses and other areas. Limit activity during their active periods to reduce your risk of being bitten.
  • Limit the amount of flowering plants that you have on your property, keep them from becoming overgrown. Mosquitoes also feed on the sweet nectar of flowering plants.
  • To protect you and your family from becoming a mosquitoes’ midnight snack, make sure that in-tact screens are placed in windows and doors; and that any spaces found around windows and doors are caulked shut.

Along with taking the above precautions, implementing a mosquito control program, like the one offered at Active Pest Control, can help to greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes calling your property their home. At Active Pest Control, our comprehensive mosquito management programs includes an inspection of your property and effective mosquito treatments that reduce mosquito breeding and resting areas on your property!

For more information about mosquitoes, the West Nile virus, and how Active Pest Control can help contact us today!