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Can Mosquitoes Pollinate Plants? | New Jersey Mosquito Control

Can Mosquitoes Pollinate Plants? New Jersey Mosquito ControlNew Jersey Mosquito Control

A biologist, Dr. Jeff Riffell, from the University of Washington, studies how odors act as chemical signals, and how these signals influence animal behavior. For example, many plants use smell to coax far away insects into traveling long distances for pollination. Riffell’s team of scientists wanted to find out what a plant smells like if it needs to be pollinated by mosquitoes. It turned out to smell like a “dirty gym sock”.

Mosquitoes are not that great at pollinating plants. Mosquitoes normally approach flowers solely to procure some sweet tasting nectar before they find their next victim. However, there is one plant that has evolved to take advantage of the frequent mosquito visits, and that plant is known as the orchid Platanthera obtusata. In fact, this orchid pollination via mosquito is not so uncommon.

In areas where orchids are common, such as the state of Washington, orchids rely on mosquitoes almost exclusively for pollination. In fact, Riffell’s team recorded each insect that visited a particular orchid plant. Out of the 167 bugs that visited the orchids, 166 of them were mosquitoes. It is nice to know that mosquitoes can do good for the planet instead just being that bug that kills more people than any other bug.

Do you think mosquitoes could pollinate, perhaps without intent, any other plants besides orchids?





New DNA Vaccine May be the Answer to the Zika Virus Epidemic

Filed under: Mosquito Control,Mosquito Control New Jersey,New Jersey Mosquito Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 6:29 am December 13, 2016

Scientists have been rushing to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus at warp speed ever since the epidemic began. The continued threat has pushed scientists to try creating a DNA vaccine, which could revolutionize all vaccines. The DNA vaccine is basically like something you would read about in a science fiction novel. This kind of technology is extremely cutting edge and would be a huge step forward in the world of medicine.New Jersey Mosquito Control

A DNA vaccine takes genetic material from the virus and then uses just enough of it to cause our bodies to develop an immune response without actually introducing the virus to the body. This completely fixes the issues scientists have had with traditional vaccines, which do introduce the virus to our immune system, usually a weakened version of the virus or a dead version. This then prompts our immune system to respond and fight it without our bodies actually experiencing any of the negative health problem caused by the virus. As you might have guessed, there are plenty of things that can go wrong with these kinds of vaccines, especially for people with immune deficiencies.

The DNA vaccine injects a synthetic form of the DNA from the virus, eliminating any possible health issues caused by regular vaccines. However, up till now it hasn’t been used because it doesn’t absorb well. This problem has now been fixed. The DNA vaccine now delivers a mild electrical current along with the vaccine, which opens cell membranes so cells can absorb the DNA. This allows our bodies to then spur an antibody response. This method is safer and more effective than traditional vaccines. Who knows? Catching a virus could eventually become a thing of the past.

How do you think DNA vaccines could effect and change vaccines as well as health in general around the world?

How Can Fish Help Combat The Zika Virus?

Filed under: Mosquito Control — admin @ 10:00 am September 27, 2016

Zika VirusIf you’re like many Americans, you may be worried about the spread of Zika virus — especially if you have a pond, lake, or decorative water feature that tends to draw mosquitoes during the spring and summer months. Although most of the Zika cases diagnosed among U.S. residents so far have been travel-related, the easy transmission of this virus from person to person by mosquitoes (or sexual activity) can lay the groundwork for a latent epidemic. Read on to learn more about how ordinary fish can help you battle the Zika virus in your own neighborhood.

How can fish protect against Zika?

For certain young fish, mosquito larvae are one of the most delicious and nutritious food sources available — and by placing a few fish in standing water where mosquitoes are likely to lay eggs, you’ll be able to eliminate these pests at the larval stage and avoid the risk of mosquito-borne diseases like the Zika virus, Eastern Equine encephalitis, dengue virus, and even yellow fever. The fewer mosquitos who are able to make it to adulthood, the lower your risk of mosquito-borne diseases — and the less you need to spend on DEET spray and citronella candles in order to have a pleasant evening outside.

Although larger fish like sunfish are generally happiest in ponds or lakes (at least at the adult stage), smaller fish can be kept in birdbaths, water fountains, and other bodies of water that can often serve as a depository for mosquito eggs. As the warm summer weather turns to autumn, you’ll be able to transplant these fish to public water sources like rivers or creeks or even keep them in your own indoor aquarium so that you can use them to control the mosquito population on your property during the spring thaw and early summer.

Where can you get mosquito-eating fish?

MosquitofishMany states, including New Jersey, have engaged preventive efforts to avoid the spread of mosquito-borne diseases by handing out five free varieties of fish — the fathead minnow, freshwater killifish, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill sunfish, and mosquitofish. These fish are available at a number of county fairs in New Jersey, or you may be able to contact the Office of Mosquito Control Coordination directly to request some fish for your property.

If no fish are available for free in your area, you may want to consider purchasing some from an agricultural supply store or even a pet store. These fish are very low-maintenance, inexpensive, and can significantly minimize your risk of contracting the Zika virus or another potentially harmful illness.

Need help with mosquitoes? Contact Horizon Pest Control for professional NJ mosquito control. Call 888.612.2847 now!

City Officials Spraying to Protect Against Mosquitoes

Filed under: Mosquito Control — admin @ 10:00 am September 13, 2016

MosquitoCombating Mosquitoes in NYC

Each mosquito season, the New York City Health Department enacts a mosquito-control plan. This year’s round of spraying is a little more extensive than usual In response to the emerging threat of the Zika virus.

Anti-Mosquito Insecticides

Throughout the summer months, city officials have been targeting a number of residential New York neighborhoods with “adulticide.” This is a liquid spray, usually applied from a truck, that kills adult mosquitoes. While largely safe, residents are cautioned to observe the following guidelines:

  • People with respiratory conditions should remain inside during spraying and for 30 minutes afterwards.
  • Pets and outdoor furniture should be brought inside during spraying.
  • Air conditioners should either be run with the vent set to the closed position or the recirculation function selected.
  • Any skin or clothing that has been exposed to adulticides should be thoroughly washed with soap and water.

The city also aerially drops “larvicide” granules that contain beneficial bacteria and a natural insecticide into local bodies of water. This substance is essentially the same as the “mosquito dunks” you can get at the hardware store. It targets the larvae of certain pest insects, including mosquitoes, and is completely safe for humans, pets, and even most beneficial insects.

If you’re curious about when spraying is scheduled for your neighborhood — or whether it’s already occurred — you can check out an official schedule hosted by the Health Department’s website.

Mosquito-Caused Health Concerns

Despite these precautions, the only cases of Zika in New York have so far been among people who have recently traveled to Zika-affected areas — and were thus most likely infected there. There is no current evidence of New York mosquitoes carrying the disease, but with hundreds of cases reported in the area that may change. Additionally, while Zika may not yet be a concern for the average New Yorker, it’s still important to guard against the other diseases they transmit. West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis are both potentially deadly mosquito-borne illnesses already endemic to the area.

Even when not transmitting disease, mosquitoes can still be bad for your health. While most people are mildly allergic to mosquito bites, some are especially sensitive. For them, bites can cause symptoms ranging from hives to fever to even anaphylaxis. Mosquito bites are also known to trigger flares in people with certain autoimmune conditions.

Protecting Your Home

For those wanting to be extra vigilant, our yard guard treatments can protect against mosquitoes and other outdoor pests. Whether you need a single application for a special event or are looking for protection all season long, consider contacting us at Horizon Pest Control today!

The Top 7 Dangers of Mosquitoes

Filed under: Mosquito Control — admin @ 3:00 pm July 12, 2016

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Mosquitoes aren’t just an annoying pest, they spread many deadly and dreaded diseases as well. For that reason alone they are frequently listed as one of, if not the single most dangerous animal on Earth. People are often surprised to learn this but despite the fact that mosquitoes are not large intimidating predators, they remain among the world’s deadliest creatures for their unequaled ability to spread disease and their resistance to extremes in temperature. Here are 7 scientifically proven reasons why mosquitoes are a very serious problem.

Mosquitoes spread many deadly and dangerous diseases

Mosquitoes carry a host of communicable illnesses caused by viruses, bacteria, fungus, and parasites. Mosquito-borne illnesses include malaria, West Nile virus, elephantiasis, yellow fever, and dengue fever- but they can carry practically any communicable disease small enough to be passed through their needle-like proboscis.

Mosquitoes are very mobile

These tiny pests can travel without regard for national borders, barriers, and geographic locations. They have some ability to migrate if they find too few food sources, and they have the ability to breed almost as rapidly as they can move.

Mosquitoes broaden the range of a virus or parasite

Many parasites and infectious viruses use their host as a vehicle to find their next victims, but no animal offers better transportation to diseases than the mosquito. With their combined abilities of flight, durability, and low visibility- mosquitoes are like a high-speed railway transit system for disease.

Mosquito Bites

Mosquitoes play favorites

Selecting their prey mostly by scent, some people are more attractive targets to mosquitoes than others. This may be good news for those whom mosquitoes like less- but for those who live in areas where infectious disease are rampant- being favored by mosquitoes puts a person at an extreme lifetime risk of contracting all the diseases mosquitoes can carry.

Mosquitoes cause permanent disability globally

Many of the diseases mosquitoes carry have long lasting or permanently debilitating effects if not properly treated. Some of the debilitating illnesses they can carry include:

  • Malaria
  • Chikungunya
  • Dog Heartworm
  • Dengue
  • Yellow Fever
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • LaCrosse Encephalitis
  • West Nile Virus
  • Zika Virus

Mosquitoes threaten children most

Sadly, children are frequently the preferred targets for mosquitoes. Presumably, it is children’s lower levels of toxicity and lesser body odors that make them more attractive to mosquitoes. This makes children more at risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases.

Mosquitoes are almost impossible to get rid of

Capable of living nearly anywhere humans can, mosquitoes only need a small amount of water to breed in. In cold weather, they can live dormant for long periods of time. Mosquitoes are able to spawn very quickly and are very resilient to extremes temperatures.

If you need reliable NJ mosquito control, let us know and we’ll let you know your best course of action.

How To Prevent Mosquito Bites

Filed under: Mosquito Control — admin @ 2:05 am July 21, 2015

Mosquito bites—at some point in your life you will suffer from them whether you want to or not. These itchy spots can appear seemingly out of nowhere and the itching feeling is enough to drive anyone crazy. However, there are ways that you can prevent a majority of mosquito bites during the year and stop from having to deal with the inconvenience.

What Bit Me? How to Identify a Mosquito Bite

During the months that mosquitoes are most prelevant are the same times that other bug bites are also a worry. Many times you can worry yourself thinking that one bug bite is another; that is why identification is so important. Here are some tell-tale signs that your bug bite is from a mosquito.

  • You have a small raised white bump with light red around it
  • The spot is warm to the touch
  • That spot as well as surrounding sink is constantly itchy.
  • The skin a few centimeters around the area may have other types of irritation
  • You have a dark spot like a bruise that itches
  • Hives appear on a concentrated area of your body

Young children with an immune disorder may have these signs along with fever, a small headache, and swollen lymph nodes.

Tips For Preventing Mosquito Bites

Now that you know what a mosquito bite can actually look like, knowing how to prevent them is key to avoid possible viral disease such as Malaria or the West Nile Virus. Although most mosquito bites are harmless, some do carry these viruses and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Insect Repellant

There are many brands of repellant on the market and wearing one can help seriously decrease the chance of you being bitten. Most repellents are made with a chemical known as DEET are known to be the longest lasting.

Chemical Free Repellant

Don’t want to douse yourself or your children in chemicals every day during the summer you can try natural repellents such as oil of lemon or eucalyptus. Some popular brands actually do use these safer alternatives as their main ingredients.

Time It Right

Part of avoiding mosquitoes is making sure you aren’t out during their favorite times. Avoid outings that take place at dusk and dawn as these are the times most mosquitoes are out.

Get Rid of your Kiddie Pool

This type of slightly warm, stand still water makes a great Mosquito breeding ground. Whether you have it for your children or pets, there are better ways to stay cool during the summer months.

Get Rid Of Your Perfume

Most bugs are attracted to sweet and flowery smelling scents, especially mosquitoes . If you must wear perfume while outdoors, opt for a slightly deeper scent.

Mosquitoes can be a pain and their bites are not only an inconvenience, but have the potential to make you extremely sick. Prevention is key to keeping yourself and your family safe this season.

Protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquitoes! For fast and effective mosquito control, trust Horizon Pest Control. Call us today to schedule your free appointment.

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How to Prevent Mosquitoes from Biting

Filed under: Mosquito Control — admin @ 2:04 am June 19, 2015

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Although the biggest percentage of deaths from mosquitoes are among children and the elderly in underdeveloped countries, it is still possible to contract diseases from mosquitoes in the United States because of the growing number of world travelers. And if you have dogs or horses, mosquitoes are responsible for the spread of heartworms and other diseases.

Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Certain People?


It is the female mosquito that bites, and she doesn’t use the blood she gets from you for food. (She and the male mosquito feast off of nectar like many other flying insects). She uses your blood to nourish her eggs, and she is picky. Researchers have determined that one in ten people are more attractive to the mosquito’s quest for blood. Researchers haven’t yet determined exactly why the mosquito seems to prefer someone else to bite over another. They do know that genetics plays a huge part, and they have identified certain elements of body chemistry on the surface of the skin that attracts mosquitoes.


Any kind of carbon dioxide is attractive to mosquitoes. Larger people may be more attractive because they produce more carbon dioxide. So do pregnant women. When you work up a sweat working or playing outdoors, the panting from your heavy breathing also exerts carbon dioxide. They are also attracted to the lactic acid that sweat contains. Additionally, the more you move around, the more attractive you are because the mosquitoes can sense movement.

Keeping Mosquitoes under Control

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To control mosquitoes, it is important to eliminate standing water. This is their breeding grounds. Many good commercial products are on the market to help fight the battle of mosquitoes. These include misting systems, air curtains, and portable traps and systems. Citronella candles are often used on patios to repel mosquitoes.


Chemical-based repellents for use on the skin include DEET, picaridin, methofluthen, and IR3535, better known as Avon’s Skin So Soft. For those who like to avoid the use of chemicals, researchers have found several oils that repel mosquitoes for a short period. These include cedar, lemongrass, peppermint, and oil of eucalyptus.

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