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Our Cell Phones Will Be Able To Tell Us Where Mosquitos Are

Filed under: Mosquito Control,Mosquito Control New Jersey,New Jersey Mosquito Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 7:05 am November 6, 2017

Our Cell Phones Will Be Able To Tell Us Where Mosquitos Are

An assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford, Manu Prakash, is in charge of the Prakash Lab. Prakash and his lab assistants have developed a cell phone program called Abuzz. This program will be able to tell cell phone owners where mosquitoes are distributed globally. In an age when mosquitoes such as the aedes aegypti are causing diseases, Prakash’s new cell phone program can save many from falling ill, or even worse, dying from mosquito-borne illnesses. At the moment Prakash is trying to find citizen scientists who are willing to contribute to the final stages of the cell phone programs development.  Not much is required of these citizen scientists. All they need is a cell phone that can record the sound of a buzzing mosquito. Anyone around the world can contribute to this new program.

According to Prakash, his new cell phone app, Abuzz, would become the largest network of mosquito surveillance yet to exist. Anyone in the world with a cell phone would be able to access this network of important information. Prakash has recently written an article that tells about this feasible approach toward mosquito tracking. The article was published in the scientific publication known as ELife. Prakash claims that at the moment there is very little a person can do to track mosquitoes, but his new vector surveillance idea will contribute positively to the public health issues caused by disease carrying mosquitoes. However, in order for Abuzz to become successful, a high amount of citizen scientists will have to contribute mosquito related information to Prakash’s lab. Assuming that enough volunteers send Prakash information concerning the location of mosquitoes, Abuzz could tell all cell phone owners where the most dangerous mosquitoes are located. If people were aware of this information, then they could take the proper measures to prevent contracting mosquito-borne illnesses. Prakash is convinced that Abuzz could become the most successful mosquito control program to have ever existed.

Would you be willing to send mosquito related information to Prakash’s lab at Stanford?

Researchers Move Closer To Developing A Method Of Malaria Prevention

Filed under: Mosquito Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:00 pm October 5, 2017

Researchers Move Closer To Developing A Method Of Malaria Prevention

Growing up we all learned that we as humans possess tremendous amounts of bacteria within our guts. This gut bacteria is essential to our digestion as well as the state of our overall health. Of course humans are not the only animals that have microbes residing within their guts. All animals have gut-microbes, even insects. It is surprising to learn that gut-microbes existing within mosquitoes can be instrumental for disease prevention. In fact, this discovery came as a shock to researchers as well, as scientists from Johns Hopkins University recently revealed that gut-microbes from mosquitoes were accidently found to be of use for preventing malaria.

Malaria is a major killer of humans in many regions of the world. Two hundred million people in the world today have tested positive for malaria. Four hundred thousand people die of malaria each year. Sadly, most of these malaria fatalities are African children living in unsanitary conditions. It is hard to believe that medical science has not produced any effective malaria treatments. Malaria cannot be treated, but only prevented. The most modern malaria prevention techniques include insecticides and bednets. Neither one of these methods works well for preventing the spread of malaria within the world’s most poverty stricken environments.

Malaria spreads when mosquitoes bite a person infected with malaria. The malaria parasite then develops within the mosquito host. This infected mosquito will then go on to spread the malaria parasite by biting humans. However, mosquitoes possess a few gut-microbes that fight this malaria parasite. One such malaria fighting gut-microbe in mosquitoes is referred to as AS1. AS1 can be genetically altered in order to produce more malaria fighting compounds. Researchers have recently fed a group of infected lab-mosquitoes these genetically altered AS1 microbes. Then the infected mosquitoes mated with malaria-free mosquitoes. Amazingly, the next generation of mosquitoes possessed enough AS1-related microbes to successfully fight off the malaria parasite. This was significant since mosquito offspring always inherit malaria from an infected parent. The researchers from Johns Hopkins are currently exploring ways of spreading this genetically altered AS1 microbe to a large population of mosquitoes within the environment.

Do you think that researchers will develop a malaria vaccine within the next ten years?

Researchers Will Decrease Mosquito Populations Through Inbreeding

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Mosquito Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:50 pm September 27, 2017

Researchers Will Decrease Mosquito Populations Through Inbreeding | Mosquito Control

These days numerous researchers are focusing on methods that will reduce mosquito populations. Given the toll that Zika took on certain regions of the world last year, as well as the predicted increase in mosquito populations in the years to come, many scientists believe that humanity will be best served by exploring methods of mosquito control. Even private companies are beginning to explore the business of mosquito control. One business, Oxitec, is based in the United Kingdom, and this company breeds millions of insects every day for research. According to Oxitec biologist Karla Tepedino, at least sixty million mosquitoes are produced once a week within a factory located in Sao Paulo, Brazil. These mosquitoes are genetically modified in order to influence mosquito populations in the wild. Apparently, the company is planning on releasing mosquitoes that will die by breeding with distant relatives.

Once these genetically modified mosquitoes are released into the natural environment, they will mate with other Aedes aegypti mosquito species. However, the mosquito offspring will be spawned with a deadly genetic flaw, resulting in a quick death. According to Oxitec president Hadyn Parry, the factory in Brazil is the first factory of its kind. Nowhere else can you find an enormous mosquito production factory. The factory can provide Sao Paulo with a major economic boost.

The researchers, and the president himself, seem certain that this mosquito control method will work as planned, and will prevent massive amount of deaths from mosquito-borne diseases. This confidence comes as a result of six years of testing. This method has been replicated numerous times since 2011. The company carried out five field tests on the Cayman Islands and in Panama in order to record the decrease in mosquito population numbers. After the tests it was discovered that a staggering ninety percent of mosquitoes had died from the inbreeding experiment. At the moment, the factory is waiting for the approval Government Public Health authorities before they release the mutant mosquitoes.

Do you think that this company will receive government approval to release the genetically modified mosquitoes? Why would government authorities be concerned about this odd public health measure on the part of Oxitec?

Mosquito Prevention Tips!

Filed under: Mosquito Control,Mosquito Control New Jersey,New Jersey Mosquito Control — New Jersey Pest Control @ 6:35 am July 28, 2017

Mosquito Prevention Tips!

  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the home including clogged gutters, birdbaths, flower pots, tires and kiddie pools or untreated pools. Mosquitoes need onMosquito Preventionly half an inch of water to breed.
  • Screen all windows and doors. Repair even the smallest tear or hole to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
  • Always apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon-eucalyptus or IR3535 when outdoors and use as directed on the product label. Apply repellant over top of sunscreen, and reapply every four to six hours.
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors.
  • If you are concerned about mosquito activity on your property, contact us for a free quote or your local mosquito abatement district.

Mosquito Prevention Tips!

Filed under: Mosquito Control,Mosquito Control New Jersey,New Jersey Mosquito Control — New Jersey Pest Control @ 5:29 am July 14, 2017

To prevent the health risks that can potentially accompany an already-pesky mosquito bite, be sure to follow these mosquito prevention tips: Mosquito

  • When spending time outdoors, apply an insect repellant containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus, and reapply as directed on the label. People who are spending long amounts of time outdoors should also consider wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes to limit exposure to mosquitoes. The main type of mosquito that carries Zika is a daytime biter, so taking preventive measures at all times of the day is crucial.
  • Anyone traveling outside of the United States should be aware of travel advisories currently in effect. Pack plenty of insect repellant and protective clothing. If a person falls ill upon returning home, seek prompt medical attention.
  • Mosquitoes need only about a half an inch of water to breed, so homeowners should eliminate areas of standing water such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects where water collects.
  • Even children’s toys like buckets and sandboxes can collect water and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes right in the backyard, so be sure to keep these objects water-free.
  • Screen all windows and doors, and patch up even the smallest tear or hole on screens.
  • If there are concerns about mosquito activity on the property, contact Horizon Pest control company or the local mosquito abatement district.

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

exterminator nj

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.

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