Can Insects Transmit Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is not spread by mosquito bites. Learn more from Active Pest Control in Atlanta GA.Here at Active Pest Control, we are closely monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation and continue to focus on our commitment to protecting our communities. In the midst of this pandemic, there are endless questions surrounding the nature of the virus, including how it is spread. Data and information is changing daily, but to date, there is no evidence or proof to suggest that mosquitoes and ticks transmit COVID-19. These vector pests are infamous for transmitting diseases worldwide, but coronaviruses are not one of them.

With information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), we’ll explore the differences between vector-borne diseases and COVID-19 to help dispel myths about transmission in these uncertain times.

What are Vector-Borne Diseases?

Ticks and mosquitoes are vector pests, AKA organisms that transmit diseases to humans. These two insects in particular are infamous for their roles in the transmission of many critical diseases around the globe. Mosquitoes are tied to some of the world’s most dangerous diseases including malaria, Zika virus, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, and more. Ticks are responsible for the transmission of Lyme disease, which is the most common vector-borne disease in our nation.

Can Mosquitoes and Ticks Carry Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is not a disease spread by vector pests. It is important to keep the following facts in mind:

  • The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that, to date, is spread through person-to-person contact. 
  • COVID-19 spreads through droplets from saliva or nasal discharge, often generated when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It can also be transmitted via contact with a contaminated surface.
  • SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and now COVID-19 are zoonotic coronaviruses – viruses that have jumped the species barrier from their normal animal hosts to humans.

What to Remember

With the weather warming up, it’s understandable that people are concerned about disease transmission from insects, mosquitoes especially. However, there is currently no scientific reason to believe these vector pests can transmit coronaviruses. As always, it’s important to take caution in the presence of pests and to always enlist the help of a professional exterminator to take care of the situation for you. The Active Pest Control team is here for you during these uncertain times.

With the safety of our communities in mind, we encourage our customers to seek more information and follow guidelines released by the WHO, CDC, as well as your state and local public health agencies.

Prominent Pests in 2020

Prominent pests in 2020 in the Atlanta area - Active Pest Control When it comes to protecting your family and home against pests, hindsight doesn’t have to be 20/20 this year. Active Pest Control is helping homeowners prepare for the upcoming pest season by offering insights into anticipated pest activity. 

The experts at Active Pest Control have used their field experiences and examined trends and company data to determine these six pest predictions. Along with the predictions, we are offering quick tips for homeowners to help keep their homes pest-free in 2020.


Mice

Warmer than usual winters over the past several years may be to blame for increased mouse populations. With warmer weather predicted for the winter of 2020, mice will continue to reproduce at an alarming rate, which is bad news for homeowners. Mice are year-round pests that invade homes looking for food and shelter to nest. 

Homeowner Tips:  Mice can squeeze through openings the size of a dime. Gaps under garage doors, door frames, windows, or pipes and cables that penetrate your house are large enough for mice to gain entry. Rodent-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Exterior gaps of ¼-inch or larger can be repaired with copper mesh, hardware cloth or metal flashing. 


Stinging Pests

Alternating climates cause rippling effects in the pest world, and with mild weather, experts are seeing more yellow jacket and hornet nests. Female yellow jackets and hornets can successfully overwinter in freezing temperatures and will invade structures and manmade or natural voids. When the weather warms up in spring, stinging insects will emerge from their hiding places, ready to start populations earlier in the year.

Homeowner Tips: Since stinging insects can overwinter, they may be out and about at the first sign of warmer weather. Stay alert and look for stinging pests, utilizing a professional pest control service as soon as you spot activity. 


Ticks

With outdoor activities, like hiking and camping on the rise, and years of warming winters, humans and their pets may come into contact with ticks more frequently in 2020. The deer tick or black-legged tick, the Lone Star tick, and the American dog tick are ticks of special concern. Nearly 50,000 cases of human tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease,  Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever were reported in 2018. Pets are also at risk for some of these diseases. 

Homeowner Tips:  When spending time outdoors, wear an EPA-approved insect repellent. It’s also a good idea to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks, in areas where ticks may be active. Perform tick checks on yourself and any family members, including pets, after spending time outdoors.


Mosquitoes

If you noticed more mosquitoes this past year, it wasn’t your imagination. If we have another relatively warm, wet winter and spring, mosquito populations could increase by late spring and early summer.  Areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest are predicted to have above-average rainfall, while most of the U.S. is predicted to be warmer than average this winter. 

Homeowner Tips: With an increase in mosquitoes comes the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as the  Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) reported in 2019. To protect yourself and your family, eliminate standing water from your property and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending time outdoors. 


Termites

Termites cause over $6 billion in damage every year in the United States.  According to experts, the two main weather factors that affect termite populations are temperature and rainfall. With wetter and warmer weather predicted for spring, the termite swarming season will be ramping up soon. 

Homeowner Tips:  To deter termites, eliminate earth to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulation near your home or structures’ foundation. Since termites can cause such extensive damage, raising homeowner awareness around the need for proactive protection for their homes is critical to prevent costly repairs.


At Active Pest Control, our experts agree that the first step any homeowner can take to prevent pest issues is to have a proactive approach to pest control.  With these 2020 pest predictions in mind, utilize the new year to evaluate your current pest control plan and ensure that you have the coverage you need to protect yourself and your family from pests in 2020.

 

How to Protect Your “Fur Babies”

Keeping pests such as mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks away from your pets may seem nearly impossible. Pests are certainly determined to find a blood meal when they need it. For example, mosquitoes can fly up to 20 miles looking for a blood meal, and they don’t care if it’s you or your pet.

So, what can you do to help protect your four-legged friends from these pests?

Fleas – Outside of the obvious solutions like flea collars or medications, simple things like vacuuming your carpet and furniture regularly, washing bedding, clothing, and plush pet toys can keep fleas from quickly multiplying and infesting your home after they are brought indoors. Also, give your pets regular baths, especially during tick season. For pets with thick coats, perform regular visual inspections to make sure they are free from fleas.

TicksTicks like to hang out on tree branches, bushes, and long grass waiting for its meal to pass nearby. After you and your pets have been outdoors, it is a good idea to check hidden areas near the ears and under long hair or fur. Keeping your yard trimmed can make it less tick friendly.

Mosquitoes – Well, we’ve saved the worst for last. Mosquitoes are difficult to control and capable of spreading multiple diseases. When possible, avoid the outdoors during dawn and dusk hours when mosquitoes are most active. Drain standing water to prevent further breeding—that includes hidden areas like clogged rain gutters and flower pots. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in as little as a few tablespoons of water, and larvae hatch in as little as a week.

One final tip: Although these pests can’t be completely eradicated, your friends at Active Pest Control can limit their presence. If we can be of service, fill out our online contact form or call us at 678-808-2038.

 

West Nile Virus in Knox County

West Nile virus is something that needs to be addressed, and addressed, and addressed! You see, mosquitoes are not, unfortunately, going to disappear overnight. And unless you want to move to Greenland or the Arctic’s, then mosquitoes are a fact of life anywhere and anytime that the weather is warm. What’s sad is that there are many people who still, no matter how many times they hear it, don’t take mosquito control and prevention seriously.

Mosquitoes and the illnesses that they carry are so serious, in fact, that health departments and agencies are monitoring areas here in Tennessee, as well as all over our nation for the presence of illnesses, such as West Nile virus. The lab results at the end of September 2015, confirmed the presence of West Nile virus (WNV) in three areas of Knox County, Tennessee. Following a protocol set forth by the United States Center for Disease Control, the Knox County health Department sprayed the affected areas to reduce the mosquito population and the risk of the WNV spreading to humans.

The Center Disease Control (CDC), publishes and puts forth these following general protective measures for limiting mosquito exposure:

  • Avoid areas with outbreaks. The CDC has a Travelers’ Health website that provides updates on regional disease transmission patterns and outbreaks.
  • Be aware if peak exposure times and places. Peak mosquito time of the day is the cooler twilight periods of the day (dawn and dusk). Try to be extra prepared for these times. Avoiding the outdoors or taking appropriate preventative actions, like wearing insect repellent, can help to reduce the risk of being bite. Avoid all tall grass, woodlands or other highly vegetative and wet areas.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Cover as much skin as possible. Wear light colored, long sleeved shirts, boots, long pants, and hats. Tuck your shirts and socks into your pants to keep mosquitoes and other biting insects off your body. For extra added protection clothing and camping gear can be treated with Permethrin. Treating with Permethrin repels and kills ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, and other biting insects.

For more information about mosquito prevention advice from the CDC visit their website here.

Keeping the mosquito population at a minimum in your yard can be achieved by following a few preventative steps and utilizing our residential pest control plan, The Active Pest Control Complete plan. This plan will not only gives you all the year-round solutions for common household pests, but it also includes the monitoring and control of rodents, installation of the Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System™ with Always Active Pest Control Technology termite bait, and the application of seasonal mosquito reduction services (April – October). These few easy steps can also help keep mosquitoes away:

  • Allow nothing to collect water- no tires, buckets, toys or flower pots because mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant water.
  • Keep gutters and all water shedding systems working properly to move water quickly away from your home and property.
  • At least once a week empty all standing water from landscaping and bird baths.
  • Fill in low areas on your property to keep mud puddles at a minimum.

Mosquitoes and WNV are a concern that everyone needs to take seriously. It’s time that you called the professionals here at Active Pest Control and seriously get a handle on the mosquito situation in your yard and on your property.

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!

 

Mosquito Prevention Requires Diligence

You might dismiss mosquitoes as harmless summer pests but we would disagree. And we aren’t alone. The American Mosquito Control Association understands the risks associated with mosquitoes and have actually designated this week as National Mosquito Control Awareness Week. Read on to learn more about the problems associated with mosquitoes and why prevention of this pest takes diligence.

“Over the last few years, the U.S. has had increased cases of mosquito-borne illnesses such as the West Nile Virus and other exotic diseases such as dengue fever and Chikungunya threaten our shores,” said AMCA Technical Advisor Joe Conlon.

More than an annoyance at your weekend barbecue, mosquitoes, or rather the illnesses they spread, are dangerous. For 2014, the CDC reported 13 cases of West Nile virus in Georgia. While that is relatively low compared to Georgia, Texas and several other states, the statistics show that mosquito-borne illnesses are present in our region and demand our attention. Itchy mosquito bites are par for the course this time of year but we must recognize that the threat for more serious health risks exists.

So how do you reduce the threat and prevent mosquitoes from taking over your backyard or carrying away your firstborn? Serious mosquito prevention takes time and diligence.

Eliminate standing water

Because mosquitoes breed in standing or stagnant water, you must eliminate it from your property. And when we say eliminate standing water, we mean even the rain water that collected in an empty flower pot or the cover that didn’t make it back on the trash can. Clogged gutters, birdbaths, tarps, holes in the ground and even old tires lying around are common mosquito breeding sites that must be addressed and often. That’s right we did say time and diligence is a must. During mosquito season, you should always be on the lookout for standing water on your property and identifying and correcting potential breeding sites.

Take away hiding spots

Adult mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk when the temperatures aren’t quite as hot. During the day, mosquitoes tend to hide out in tall grasses and dense vegetation. Put out the no vacancy sign by mowing your lawn often and removing overgrowth.

Invest in screens

Oftentimes we seek the sanctuary of our home to escape mosquito bites. Unfortunately if the house is not prepared for the mosquito assault, some of these pesky critters will find a way in and start buzzing by your ears and taking bites out of your flesh. To avoid these unwanted houseguests, take a complete inventory of your doors, windows and screened in areas. Are any window screens ripped or torn? Do the screen doors have holes? If yes, repair or replace screens to keep that barrier between you and them.

Eliminating standing water is probably the most important thing to remember when preventing or controlling mosquito problems. Keep it in the back of your mind during all outdoor activities…” – Conlon

Even if mosquitoes are already active on your property, it’s not too late to implement the prevention tips above. And if you’re interested in professional mosquito control, give Active Pest Control a call. With multiple branches throughout Georgia, we have the ability to help homeowners quickly and effectively.

Our mosquito control service starts with a thorough inspection of the property to identify potential breeding grounds and areas where adult mosquitoes rest. Based on our findings, we’ll develop a mosquito treatment plan that stops new mosquitoes from emerging and that reduces the adult population. Contact us today to learn more or to get started!

Mosquitoes In Atlanta

Do you live in Atlanta? How bad do you think the mosquitoes are? They’re pretty bad, aren’t they? But are they worse than any other area of the country? How would you know? You can’t exactly count them. They’re everywhere. Well, thanks to a competitor, we finally have the answer. And the way they figured it out is quite clever.

According to this article when the company that shall remain nameless set out to determine the 20 worst mosquito-infested cities in the United States, they didn’t do it based on a head count of every mosquito. They chose instead to base their list on the number of calls received nationwide for mosquito control. It makes sense. The more people who come to the point where they are willing to spend their hard-earned money to get rid of a pest, the more of that pest there must be. So, what city hit the top of their list? That’s right. Atlanta.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “I knew it!” because where you are in Atlanta, the mosquitoes are out of control. But I guarantee there is a group of you who live in Atlanta and think the mosquitoes are no worse than anywhere else. There is a good reason for this. Atlanta may have the worst mosquito problem in the country, but residents are doing something about it. They have the most mosquito control calls out of all the other cities in the country. If you were thinking, “I live in Atlanta and the mosquitoes aren’t so bad.” It may be that you live in a community where your neighbors are fighting mosquitoes.

Here’s how mosquito control works:

A typical mosquito will not travel more than 300 yards in its lifetime. That means that if it were possible to create a 300-yard barrier of mosquito resistant yards, all around the city it would be possible to keep most mosquitoes out. But a complete buffer is hard to accomplish because every business and every home would have to have mosquito control. The good news is, the barrier doesn’t have to be complete. Every property owner who chooses to invest in mosquito control adds to an intricate maze that mosquitoes have to navigate in order to get to the center of the city. With every home or business that adds mosquito control, Atlanta becomes less infested with mosquitoes.

The truth is we all have busy lives and we simply don’t have time for the annoyance of mosquitoes. Here at Active Pest Control, we are a locally owned and operated pest control company that provides mosquito control in Atlanta and has for decades. We know this city and we know how to protect its residents against annoying and potentially dangerous mosquitoes. Contact us today to learn more.

When In Rome Live Without Mosquitoes

The phrase, “When in Rome …” has an illustrious history. It has been spoken by many throughout the ages and has adopted quite a few meanings. But, if you look at all of many ways this phrase can be taken, and you boil them all down, you come away with one basic meaning: No matter where you find yourself, try to fit in. In Ancient Rome, “fitting in” meant engaging in all manner of excess. But in Rome Georgia, let’s see if we can make it mean something else.

Mosquitoes have been around for a very very long time, and swatting mosquitoes is nothing new. What is somewhat new is the threat mosquitoes pose. Though they have been able to carry and transmit viruses and diseases for centuries, it is only in this modern age that they have been able to affect large geographical areas. This is because there are more people in the world.

When the world was young and the gaps between towns were great, mosquitoes did not generally carry a virus from one town to the next. These insects do not typically travel farther than 100 yards in their entire life. But with the population of the earth exceeding 7 billion, there are fewer gaps between towns, and mosquitoes can pass viruses from house to house, town to town, and state to state, in a sort of relay race. One picks it up and drops it off. Then another picks it up and drops it off.

More and more towns across the United States are learning that mosquitoes are not an inevitable fact of life, but that mosquito abatement can reduce this insect’s ability to spread illness. What if residents in Rome, Georgia worked together to stamp out mosquitoes? Could we show the rest of the country what a mosquito-free town looks like? Could we be known for this?

Mosquito abatement can work in a single yard. It can work in a single neighborhood. It can significantly reduce mosquitoes in a community. An entire town can be protected if enough homes and businesses get involved. Let it be said, “When in Rome, live without mosquitoes.” It is possible. All it takes is enough residents believing that they can make a difference.

Mosquito Season Has Arrived In Macon

Who doesn’t love warm weather? Okay, so we know not everyone’s a fan but it’s such a great time of year. There is one downside though, it means mosquito season has arrived. These pesky bugs are relentless in Macon once the warm weather hits and unfortunately multiply quickly. What’s worse, you really can’t prevent mosquitoes from venturing onto your property.

Mosquitoes are considered one of the most dangerous animals in the world because of the diseases they spread. Here in Georgia, we don’t really have to worry about Malaria like in other countries but West Nile virus is a concern when you find yourself covered in mosquito bites. Click here to learn more about the West Nile virus.

Though you cannot stop mosquitoes flying in, you can reduce the mosquito population and the threat to your health. Standing water is ground zero for mosquito breeding. Even just the tiniest bit of water will allow females to lay their eggs. You can go on the offense this summer by eliminating potential breeding sites. This means removing or fixing any area that allows water to accumulate or become stagnant. Drainage ditches, clogged gutters, wading pools, bird baths, and even old tires hanging around are all potential sites that need to be attended to.

To keep mosquitoes out of your home, you should make sure all windows and doors are kept closed. Don’t forget to check your screens, they should be free of rips and tears.

You should also protect yourself from mosquito bites. Wear long sleeved shirts and pants if you’re spending time outside. We know that this just seems wrong when it’s t-shirt, shorts and flip-flop season but it will help you avoid itchy bites. You might also use a bug spray that contains DEET on your clothes to repel these bugs.

One last tip… Call Active Pest Control to protect your family from mosquitoes this mosquito season. Our mosquito control program is your greatest defense against mosquitoes and includes a thorough inspection and treatment for adult mosquitoes as well as breeding sites. Contact us today to learn more about mosquitoes and how we can help you make the most of your summer.

Mosquito Bites: How To Avoid Them

It’s that all about that buzz, about that buzz. This sound is all too common an occurrence. You know what I mean. You and your family head outside for some fun in the sun when you suddenly remember why people screen in their porches. Mosquitoes. Even if they didn’t, bite, I think that they would still drive us nuts with the noise and the hovering around. Annoying and dangerous, these stealth and persistent pest are #1 on the list of things that you want to avoid when you are outside.

Although it is all but impossible to completely rid yourself of these wearisome insects, there are a few things that you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from being their victims as much. Here are some of the more popular ways that you can do just that.

Remove all standing water in and around your property. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. They are not picky about whether it’s a naturally occurring vessel of water or not. The amount of time from egg to actual mosquito varies per variety of mosquito as well as with the temperature, but some have as short as a 4 day period and others as long as 2-3 weeks. This is why it is very important to keep the amount of standing water to an absolute minimum. They will lay eggs in such familiar places as:

  • Buckets of any shape or style
  • Children’s toys
  • Lawn furniture
  • Mud puddles
  • Bird baths
  • Landscaping ponds
  • Kiddie pools
  • Drainage ditches

Keep grass, trees and shrubbery trimmed nice and short. By keeping up with the standing water you have less eggs being laid on your property and you will certainly have less mosquitoes around to be hiding in the long grass and over grown vegetation and trees. These shady and cool areas are where they like to hide during the hot and sunny part of the day. Being the least active during the hottest part of the day, this is where they lie in wait for you or their next meal to come to them. As soon as the sun starts to go down in the sky, out the come. Morning, and twilight are the times when they are most active. If they have less bunkers to hide out in, then you will have less mosquitoes around in their active times.

Wear protective clothing and or insect repellant. Covering up as much of your skin as possible lessens the area that they can bite. Use insect repellant every time you go outside. The most effective repellant will have DEET as the active ingredient. Follow all product directions carefully. DEET is a chemical and there are certain steps to take to using it correctly and safely. We recommend speaking with your doctor if you have questions about choosing or applying repellant.

Mosquitoes and mosquito borne diseases cause more human suffering than any other organism. They are a universal problem. Here are some of the diseases that they can carry:

And, believe it or not there are more. Protecting yourself and your family from these disease carrying pests is very important. The best way to know that you are doing all you can do is to have a mosquito abatement program in place during mosquito season. Here at Active Pest Control we take this task seriously. Just because mosquitoes are a common pest, doesn’t mean that they aren’t dangerous. If you have had enough with dealing with the buzz of mosquitoes than its time bring out the best tool for the job, contact us here at Active Pest Control.