Article By tnordlie
The UF/IFAS mosquito team has captured headlines yet again, this time with advice on combatting local populations of container-inhabiting mosquitoes.
Roxanne Connelly, a professor with UF/IFAS’ Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory and president of the American Mosquito Control Association, recently took to the keyboard and wrote a column published by the Gainesville Sun on Saturday, June 22.
The column, timed to coincide with National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, explains how residents can reduce the number of mosquitoes in their neighborhoods, by emptying and eliminating sources of standing water.
Florida is home to about a dozen species of container-inhabiting mosquitoes, which use small bodies of standing water as nesting sites. They include notorious disease-spreading species such as Culex nigripalpus (seen above), a significant human health threat.
You can read the full column here.
When people think of causes of allergies, they often focus on pollen, dust and pet dander. But did you know common household pests like cockroaches and mice can cause allergies, as well as aggravate asthma? Consider these facts:
- 63% of American homes contain allergens from cockroaches. That number increases to as many as 78% to 98% of homes in urban areas.
- Mice also spread potent asthma triggers, found in 82% of homes.
- Nearly 25 million Americans suffer from asthma.
- 60% of asthma cases are “allergic-asthma.”
- Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children.
These staggering statistics demonstrate how hidden allergens from common household pests can put us at risk for serious (and potentially life-threatening) diseases.
Help your family breathe easier. Watch our new public service announcement offering information on safeguarding the health and safety of families from household pests. The campaign is a joint effort by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and the National Pest Management Association.
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Hulett Environmental Services offers advice for homeowners on mosquito prevention around the property
Summer has only just begun, but several regions across the United States are reporting the mosquito season is already in full swing. Hulett Environmental pest management company servicing South Florida, encourages people to take preventative measures to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds around their property, and ultimately keep the mosquitoes from biting.
Not only can mosquitoes leave a painful, itchy bite, but they are also known to spread dangerous diseases like West Nile virus to humans. With last year being the deadliest year on record for West Nile virus in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it’s crucial for people to take precautions against another possible outbreak this summer.
Hulett Environmental Services offers the following mosquito prevention tips:
- Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects where water collects. Mosquitoes need only about ½ inch of water to breed.
- Screen all windows and doors. Repair even the smallest tear or hole.
- Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- If you must spend time outdoors during peak mosquito times, wear long pants, sleeves and socks. Also, use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or IR3535.
- Avoid wearing dark colors and floral prints, loose-fitting garments, open-toe shoes and sweet-smelling perfumes or colognes.
For more information on mosquitoes, please visit http://site1.das-group.com/bugs_database/other_bugs/mosquitoes.asp
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Hulett Environmental encourages public awareness about insects of foreign origin
Invasive species, or insects of foreign origin, can cause major issues for American homeowners during the summer months. Hulett Environmental, a pest management company servicing South Florida, urges vigilance against invasive species including red imported fire ants (RIFAs), Asian tiger mosquitoes, brown marmorated stink bugs and Formosan termites as the weather continues to warm.
Most people are aware of the risks posed by common summer pests like ticks, mosquitoes and bees. However, invasive species can also cause property damage and, in some cases, injury to humans.
Experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, encourage homeowners to also be on the lookout for the following invasive species this summer:
Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) – RIFAs were brought to the United States in 1930 from South America and are mainly found in the southern region of the country. When disturbed, they are known to swarm and sting humans, often causing painful welts on the skin.
Asian Tiger Mosquito – Originating from Southeast Asia, the Asian tiger mosquito is now found throughout the eastern, Midwestern and southern states. This mosquito species can cause an irritable bite and spread several diseases, including Dengue fever, West Nile virus and Japanese Encephalitis.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug – Likely introduced from Eastern Asia, stink bugs are most prevalent in the northeast. While stink bugs don’t pose any health threats, they can produce an unpleasant odor when crushed.
Formosan Termite – Originally from China, Formosan termites are the most aggressive subterranean termite species. They are capable of consuming wood at rapid speeds, posing a serious structural threat to a property if left untreated.
Due to the health and property risks posed by invasive species, homeowners should frequently inspect the home for signs of an infestation and contact a licensed pest professional to treat any potential pest problems.
For more information on invasive pests, please visit www.bugs.com
Hulett recommends the following tips to keep ants from marching into your property this Summer:
- Wipe up crumbs and spills immediately
- Keep food in sealed containers and dispose of garbage regularly
- Keep pet food and water dishes clean and remove any spilled food
- Seal any cracks and holes on the outside of the home with silicone caulk
- Repair holes or gaps in window and door screens
- Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows
- Keep tree branches and other shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house
- If you see signs of an ant infestation in the home, contact a licensed pest professional promptly.