"Why are Mosquitoes swarming us after you spray?"
It’s the type of question I never like to hear…and worse when it’s coming from a long time customer. “Lee, we’ve been with you for four years and never have we seen the mosquitoes this bad. Did you change something? Please come out for a re-spray. Thx!”
This spring did present – and continues to present – a different challenge as in previous years. A warmer than expected winter…a delayed spring brought about a swarm of mosquitoes. And it’s not in the usual sequence that one might expect. So, after one too many callbacks from customers, I reached out to my pesticide manufacturing rep from Bayer for some help. He in turn put me on the phone with Kurt Vandock, Bayer’s head of Vector Control. In addition to his work at Bayer, Vandock is an Army Reserve Colonel who is responsible for protecting our troops overseas in the Middle East . The man is a walking encyclopedia. He also has access to a virtual wealth of scientific data from around the world and can speak eloquently on any region – its peculiarities, native insects and the challenges they present.
After describing my concerns, and a series of questions, Vandock explained the issue in a nutshell. In the six weeks leading up to now, New England has experienced a slow beginning to spring. Coming out of a warmer than expected winter, we were met with brown earth for much of March and April. For mosquitoes, this meant not hatching from eggs during their normal cycle of life; and hanging out longer, waiting for a flood.
The particular genus in question is the Culex https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culex. Culex is one of three genera in this region (Aedes and Anopheles being the others). Known mostly as a wetlands mosquito, the Culex female will lay its eggs in rafts of 300 or more. Typically, the egg hardens quickly and larvae will hatch from it at the first introduction of water. But this year, the water didn’t happen in normal sequence and this allowed the eggs to harden and wait out a long time period of dryness. While doing so, the females continued to lay even more rafts of eggs…and finally the wet weather hit. Like a flood during a 9 days period of rain, sun, rain and more rain.
So when the eggs hatched, the larvae stage was shortened and mosquitoes emerged en masse. And with no vegetation to speak of on the ground, they “retreated” higher than normal into the trees. Remember that mosquitoes mainly live off of plant nectar. Males only live for a week or so. The females (2-6 weeks) only bite when they need a blood meal for procreation. And that generally happens when we go outside in the early evening for that after dinner coffee on the back deck. [Fun fact – there are 47 different varieties of mosquitoes in Mass and New Hampshire]
As one customer described it to me – “it was like the Battle of the Midway; the way they were dive-bombing us.” Vandock even used that same term – divebombing - to describe the action. Mosquitoes were diving from 25-50 feet above ground down to the target (you).
So we would respray, but there was still little green out there. We would cover a plant, but after it bloomed into full growth, the result was a coverage of less than 20% over the leaf. Another two to three weeks before we sprayed again meant that a mosquito or tick could successfully navigate itself around with little threat of rubbing against the dried pesticide.
So, our solution was simple. Spray higher into the trees (in addition to the normal bushes, brush and eye level vegetation); spray into soffits around a house and concentrate on the north side of everything. Because we are so far north of the Equator, the north side of houses, trees and bushes are more shaded and cooler in New England. That’s where mosquitoes and ticks like to hang out. To date, the strategy seems to be working. Vandock pointed out that as foliage returns (as it is now) the issue of swarms of mosquitoes will lessen significantly. The product will be able to adhere to leaves and grass better (there is more of it) and as best as we can expect, it will return to a more “normal” normal. In using the product we use now, I’ve seen a much better overall control. And as the weeks go on, we’ll have much better results as the populations of mosquitoes die down. Plus, we’re adding a new weapon to our arsenal – the In2Care mosquito trap. For more information on that, give us a call.
So, keep those lawns mowed, and the toys picked up. No standing water. And with our regular service throughout the summer and fall, we should have a much calmer and more enjoyable experience being outdoors. Lord knows we need a break from all the other things going on in the world!
Mosquito Control Continues to Protect Public Health During Coronavirus Outbreak
Mosquito-borne disease control increases in importance to reduce severity of COVID-19
Sacramento, CA – 23 March, 2020 – The current lockdowns in place meant to curtail spread of coronavirus will not preclude the performance of essential mosquito control activities in the United States. Despite emphasis on testing and treating COVID-19 patients, we can’t lose sight of the fact that other debilitating and potentially fatal diseases transmitted by mosquitoes may also potentially infect our citizens.
“Studies have shown that factors contributing to potentially serious or fatal outcomes attendant to COVID-19 infection involve underlying medical issues, such as neurologic conditions that weaken ability to cough or an already-stressed immune system due to concurrent infection by mosquito-borne viruses,” says Joseph Conlon, Technical Advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association. Mosquito-borne viruses such as West Nile virus and dengue have not disappeared as COVID-19 has usurped the media landscape. As potential contributors to severe outcomes, their prevention/control becomes even more critical. “Fortunately, mosquitoes have not been shown to transmit COVID-19” says Conlon, “However, mosquitoes can factor into the severity of the disease. Thus, it is crucial that we maintain robust measures to reduce their numbers.”
It’s important to remember that mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance. Their bites can spread diseases such as Zika and West Nile Virus – and more as yet to reach our shores in the future. “We already have the mosquitoes. We are continually importing the diseases they carry,” says Conlon. “We must be prepared to prevent their spread throughout our public health landscape – and this requires safe, effective, sustained mosquito control and awareness in the community.” It is even more critical now in light of the COVID-19 threat.
While organized mosquito control activities are vital to reducing human-mosquito contact, Conlon expresses the importance of public action. “We promote integrated, effective and sustainable mosquito control as the key to enhancing the public’s quality of life.” The general public can make substantial contributions to their own safety by following “the 3 D’s”:
About the American Mosquito Control Association
Celebrating 85 years of protecting public health in 2020, the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) is an international not-for-profit public service professional association. With over 1,600 members worldwide in over 50 countries, AMCA is international in scope, and includes individuals and public agencies engaged in mosquito control, mosquito research and related activities. Please visit AMCA online at www.mosquito.org and follow AMCA on Twitter @AMCAupdates.
SERVICES OFFERED – 2020
Mosquito & Tick Sprays
We do a full property, mosquito and tick spray every time. We go around the boundaries performing a barrier spray to knock down mosquitoes and ticks in their natural habitat. Then we’ll cover the bushes and shrubbery around the house and other structures and top it off with a light skim of the lawn for complete coverage. And always your choice of synthetic or all-natural product!
We carry a full line of EPA Registered synthetic products as well as All-Natural minimal risk 25(b) Exempt products such as Cedarwood Oil, Rosemary Oil, Garlic, Thyme and other oils.
Every application is custom formulated at the homeowner’s property to insure the most effective treatment possible. And all our applicators are licensed and certified by the states of Massachusetts and New Hampshire and are fully insured.
Advanced Tick Control
We also offer an even more intense tick treatment designed to address severe cases. While our regular applications perform with 98% effectiveness, some properties need that little extra. This is a granular application, applied just around the perimeter of the property four times a season – April, May, August and September. Call for quote.
Tick Tubes are a great supplement to the regular sprays. Applied twice a season (spring and fall) these tubes are placed in areas where field mice would hang out (rock walls, foundations, logs, etc.). The mice take the permethrin treated cotton balls back to their lairs where ticks are exposed to the product and later die. $99 per application.
This biological control contains Bti, a natural mosquito larvicide, which kills mosquito larvae, but is harmless to birds, fish, wildlife, and pets. We place them in any standing water to control mosquito
larvae for up to 30 days. They are part of the overall Mosquito & Tick program listed above.
A regular spray by us is $69 for a property up to an acre in size. Larger properties will be assessed for a customized program and price. 95% of our customer base is under a full acre. But we have several accounts over 4 acres as well. So, we can handle any size – large or small.
We offer a Pre-Paid Full-Season Package – late April/early May thru the beginning of October - for those who want to save by paying upfront.
Synthetic or All-Natural Application: $450 for 7 sprays (1 spray every 3 weeks)
All-Natural Application: $615 for 10 sprays (1 spray every two weeks).
But you must pay by May 18, 2020. If not, the pay-per-spray is your option.
If you choose our Pay-Per-Spray program, we’ll set you up with automatic scheduling, billing and payment. Most customers choose to place a credit card on file with us; but we will also bill if that is your preference.
Weddings, graduation parties, family get-togethers and other outdoor special events require extra attention. Unlike other companies, we’ll treat your property twice before the big day to insure the best possible outcome. Example: An event occurring on a Saturday would have us spray on the Tuesday and Friday before the event. The cost is $129.
At Master Mosquito Control, we do not have contracts. We do, however, have a Satisfaction Guarantee which simply states that if the treatment isn’t as effective as you like – even a week after application – we will return and re-treat your property at no cost.
Your Own Customer Portal
When you sign up with Master Mosquito Control, whether for a season or just one spray, you’ll have your own personal, private portal on our website that you can access to make payments, track your treatments, leave a comment, etc. It is password protected so only you have access.
Master Mosquito Control Announces Programs for 2020
What a season it’s been! Record rain, an unprecedented population of pesky mosquitoes and ticks and the alarming reemergence of EEE in the New England area made 2019 a busy season for your favorite Bug Hitman. We were busier than ever and so thankful to you for your many referrals, positive reviews and wonderful notes of appreciation. Our business grew by another 150 customers this season and we are very thankful for your confidence in our service.
Believe it or not, it is time to look toward next year and start planning to ensure a spot on our spraying calendar. Our Pre-Paid Season Packages are offered to both current and new customers and provide a sizable discount. One acre or less in size. Larger properties will get a customized program.
October Special: Option A: $399 for 7 sprays (May 4 – Sept. 14) Save $84 over retail pricing
Option B: $450 for 8 sprays (May 4 – Oct. 5) Save $102 over retail pricing
Option C: $615 for 11 sprays (May 4 – Sept. 28) Save $144 over retail pricing
These programs MUST be paid for by October 31, 2019. To sign up, please fill out the form below and send in with a check or credit card information or call me with the information. Your 2019 account must be paid in full.
As always, don’t forget to refer family and friends. Each referral that signs up earns you a $25 credit to your account. I have customers who get their entire neighborhood to sign up and they enjoy a season of free spraying! Thank you for your continued support of a small neighborhood business. We could not do it without you and work hard every day so you can enjoy time outside with your family and friends.
Package: A___ ($399) B___($450) C___($615)
Synthetic: ____ All-Natural: ____ Not Sure: ____
Check: ____ CC #: _________________________________ Exp. _____ CCV #: ____
Return with payment to: Master Mosquito Control, 55 Page Lane, Hampstead, NH 03841
Hard to think about this just after the sloppy snow and rain we got last night, but…
Besides being my parents’ anniversary, Feb. 2nd of each year means Punxsutawney, PA holds its annual rite of spring and watches (pulls) that poor groundhog, Phil, out of his hole in Gobblers Knob. This year Phil didn’t see anything! So the powers-that-be of Punxsutawney proclaimed an early spring is on the way. Always nice to get good news of a short winter, right? Hey, in truth Phil is only right 39% of the time. Just be sure to remember that for anything good, there is also a balancing “not-so-good”. Kind of a Ying-Yang type of arrangement.
Here in the northeast, an early spring is welcomed (unless, I guess, if you’re a skier or snowmobiler). But with it means an early introduction to a proliferation of mosquitoes and ticks which have spent the past four-five months in hiding, just waiting for the right conditions to begin their life cycle.
Standing water, even in the smallest of amounts, provide a proper breeding ground for mosquitoes. All they need is a few warm days and out they come. Similarly, ticks have “over-wintered” on hosts (think mice, squirrels and birds) or in shelters (think piles of leaves, woods, your garage, basement, etc.)
Here’s a couple of things you can do to help “stem the tide”.
This is an excerpt from the American Mosquito Control Association’s website on why we need mosquito control:
“We already have the mosquitoes. We are continually importing the diseases they carry. We must be prepared to prevent their becoming part of our public health landscape. That requires safe, effective, sustained mosquito control. However, continued public support is crucial for the success of each of these efforts. We will all pay the price for complacency.
Disease prevention through preparedness remains the mosquito control profession’s primary focus, and is fully consistent with the very finest traditions of public health. Yet, the continued increase in worldwide tourism and trade virtually guarantees further challenges from exotic diseases requiring ready control expertise to prevent their establishment and spread. Should these emerging mosquito-borne diseases of man and animals settle into the American public health landscape, particularly as an unintended consequence of environmental policy initiatives, we will have only ourselves to blame, for we have the means to control these diseases within our grasp. We must remain prepared to accept and meet these challenges—our citizens and our nation’s wildlife deserve no less.”
Growing up, our youth was spent playing outdoors – at the local ballpark, baseball, basketball or tag football, hide-and-seek, capture the flag. We roamed through the woods that surrounded our homes. Spent the hours climbing trees, building “forts” out of broken branches, twigs and leaves, swimming in the local pond or lake. Seemed like the perfect world for a kid. Now it’s a battleground for the parent we’ve grown into. West Nile Virus, EEE, Lyme Disease. Zika
Perhaps it’s over-reaction; perhaps it’s just the time we live in. Unfortunately, disease is making its way into our worlds at an alarming rate. And we can do prudent things to prepare and protect ourselves and our love ones.
For first class service and protection at an extremely competitive price, call Master Mosquito Control at 888-321-4486 or visit our website: www.BugHitman.com. We can implement a season-long treatment of your property so you can enjoy the outdoors again.
Although we have lived with mosquitoes our entire lives, how much do we really know about them? The following are some interesting facts about our pesky pests, according to the American Mosquito Control Association:
FINALLY. It’s spring! And that means time for mosquito control! Why? Because according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Zika virus disease is now a nationally notifiable condition. And along with the West Nile Virus, EEE and Lyme Disease, which we have known about for a while now, people should take greater care when playing, hiking, camping and even walking barefoot outdoors. Please note – this is not meant to scare everyone, but to make you aware of the growing trend.
ZIKA: As of this February, 49 states have reported over 5,000 Zika virus disease cases to ArboNET2 over the past two years. ArboNET is a national arboviral surveillance system managed by the CDC and state health departments.
Of the reported 5,040 cases, some 4,748 were in travelers returning from affected areas. These folks contracted it elsewhere and brought it back. But more concerning were the 220 cases acquired through presumed local mosquito-borne transmission in Florida (214) and Texas (6). Another 72 cases were acquired through other routes, including sexual transmission (44), congenital infection (26), laboratory transmission (1), and person-to-person through unknown route (1).
Nearly 90 percent of all cases of Lyme disease are not caused by adult deer ticks, but rather the nymph tick. These are very tiny, almost invisible to the naked eye. They are no larger than a poppy seed on a bagel. Very difficult to see. So while it’s still a good idea to inspect yourself, your children and pets for ticks regularly, there are still preventative methods you can employ to lower the chances of getting bit.
Ticks typically only travel a few feet from where they are born. The Lone Star tick will go up to 35 feet away, but he’s the marathoner amongst a group of sprinters and couch potato-like tick relatives. A female deer tick – the carrier of Lyme Disease - can lay up to 18,000 eggs! That’s a lot of those little critters running around. And they can hang around for up to two years! Besides hitching a ride on a deer, hence their name Deer Tick, they can also be found on other animals such squirrels and birds. Ticks can also live on any animal including the white footed mouse and other rodents. And this is where we can help combat them.
Besides our barrier spray treatments which can effectively address the ticks found in your lawn, killing ticks on contact, the defense can be extended into the woods or nearby heavy shrubbery. That’s where we can employ Tick Tubes. These are recycled, biodegradable tubes stuffed with cotton balls that have been treated with our special tick killing solution. We will place Tick Tubes around your yard in all the locations where mice and other rodents frequent. The treated cotton balls in our Tick Tubes kill the deer ticks in the den but not hurt the mouse or other rodent.
The mouse can enter the tube and take the cotton back to its den, using it as it would any piece of insulation, leaf or other warm protective cloth. The tick, hitching a ride on the mouse, will ingest the cotton, dying in the process.
Between the barrier sprays and the Tick Tubes, you can reduce the tick population significantly by effectively breaking the life cycle of deer ticks in and around your yard. These treatments have been proven to be effective in reducing ticks that can cause Lyme disease by up to 10 times. These tubes kill deer ticks!
A proper Tick Control Treatment, using Tick Tubes offered by Master Mosquito Control, is applied twice during the season. The first time in the spring/summer months and once more in the fall. The object here is to disrupt the life cycle of the tick, so that regular applications, year-over-year will reduce and destroy the tick population.
Call us today at 888-321-4486 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; or speak with our technician when he applies the Mosquito Treatment to your yard.
Check out this helpful infographic provided by the American Mosquito Control Association on the threat of the Zika virus. Have more questions? Hit us up any time! You can always reach us at 888-321-4486 for advise, tips, tricks, and experience specific to the New England climate.