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Posted by Julie Green
Last week in California, public officials warned that the drought that has 93% of the state in “severe drought” status could cause higher cases of West Nile in the state this year. That may sound odd since mosquitoes depend on water to breed and thrive, but it’s actually birds that could contribute to the increase of the virus this year. That comes on the heels of preliminary numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January that showed California was still the leader (and by quite a bit) of West Nile cases with 538.
In parts of Southern California, mosquitoes haven’t gone into hibernation. The state has been stuck in a persistent drought, which has tricked mosquitoes into thinking it’s still summer and there’s been no rain fall to flush them out of storm drains, so you’ve got a lot of mosquitoes. Since they’re breeding at high rates, the trap counts are showing mosquito counts at where they would typically be in June or July.
An estimated 70 to 80 percent of people who contract the West Nile virus show no symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About one in five people who are infected will develop a rash, plus other symptoms like headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting or rash. Less than 1 percent of people infected with the virus will develop a serious neurologic illness, like encephalitis or meningitis, according to the CDC.
If you’re in California, there are some easy precautions you can start taking to make sure you lessen the risk of mosquitoes breeding in your yard.
- Mosquitos breed in standing water so regularly empty ponds, bird baths, fountains, plant pots, buckets, barrels, tarps, kid toys, pet water dishes or anywhere else that water may gather.
- Clean out gutters and examine them for damage that would cause water to collect.
- Drill holes in tire swings, trash cans or recycle bins so water drains out.
- Keep swimming pools clean, properly circulated and filtered. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.
- Cut grass and shrubs short, as adult mosquitoes gather to rest in shady, cool areas. Keep your yard weed-free and avoid overgrown vegetation.
And if you’re interested in the Mosquito Joe opportunity, we’d love to hear from you. You could be the neighborhood hero keeping Californians enjoying that perfect weather and staying safe and itch free.
Posted by Julie Green
It may seem like this cold weather would be a slow time for us here at the corporate office, but that is hardly the case! We’ve stayed busy during the off-season training new Mosquito Joe business owners and are excited to announce several new locations opening this spring. The Mosquito Joe family is growing and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
Coming Soon to Make Outside Fun Again:
*in alpha order by state
- Mosquito Joe of the Gulf Coast
- Mosquito Joe of Jonesboro
- Mosquito Joe of Clearwater-St. Pete
- Mosquito Joe of South Miami
- Mosquito Joe of South Dade
- Mosquito Joe of the First Coast
- Mosquito Joe of North Atlanta
- Mosquito Joe of Coastal Georgia
St. Simons, GA
- Mosquito Joe of Metairie
- Mosquito Joe of the North Shore
- Mosquito Joe of Kalamazoo
- Mosquito Joe of N. Oakland Co.
- Mosquito Joe of West St. Louis Co.
St. Louis, MO
- Mosquito Joe of SW Charlotte-Gastonia
- Mosquito Joe of South Charlotte
- Mosquito Joe of Southeast Charlotte
- Mosquito Joe of Toledo
- Mosquito Joe of E. Cincinnati
- Mosquito Joe of Suburban Pittsburgh
- Mosquito Joe of Charleston
- Mosquito Joe of Lexington-Lake Murray
- Mosquito Joe of Southwest Nashville
- Mosquito Joe of Greater Houston
- Mosquito Joe of Northwest DFW
Highland Village, TX
- Moquito Joe of Pearland
- Mosquito Joe of West Austin
- Mosquito Joe of Mansfield
- Mosquito Joe of N. Prince William Co.
- Mosquito Joe of the Capital Region
Fairfax Station, VA
- Mosquito Joe of Northern Virginia
If Mosquito Joe hasn’t made it to your neck of the woods yet, why not bring it there? We have opportunities available across the country. If you’re interested in being your neighborhood MoJo (and hero) visit our website for more information.
Posted by Julie Green
Yesterday morning in Virginia Beach we woke up to frigid temperatures and a lot of snow and ice. I then looked at the forecast and saw we’re still getting some record low temps over the next week. The same goes for many parts of the United States as we dig our way out of snow! So what does all this snow and cold weather mean for the 2015 mosquito forecast?
Mosquitoes are very resilient. Their eggs (and some adults when sufficiently protected) can survive through freezing temperatures. All this cold weather will only postpone the influx of mosquitoes and could actually increase the number come spring. Mosquitoes are generally active when the temperature stays above 55 degrees, so you probably won’t notice a lot of activity from mosquitoes until the overnight freezes (or snow storms!) become less common. This may occur later in the season than it normally does but when it does happen, it could make for an especially tough mosquito season. That’s because the one thing mosquitoes need to breed is standing water. So far, this year has had a lot of precipitation with rain and snowfall. The rain, along with melting snow and ice will result in a lot of standing water, which could mean a lot of mosquitoes. Not only is standing water necessary for mosquito production, but it’s also their lifeline once they are mature. Mosquitoes don’t venture far from the area where they matured, so if you take care of the standing water on your property, you are instantly decreasing your mosquito population.
Depending on where you live, you may not be thinking about warm weather, mosquitoes or how to treat them if you’re shoveling snow out of your driveway, but don’t let your guard down. Remove all standing water once that snow starts to melt! And a lot of Mosquito Joe locations have specials going on for the beginning of the season, so give them a call to make sure your yard doesn’t have an influx of mosquitoes come spring. Our barrier treatment is the ultimate step in avoiding the bites this season. Stay warm!
Posted by Julie Green
For the second annual Mosquito Joe convention, we decided to channel our inner surfer with the theme Making Waves in 2015. We couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to kick off the year since we’ve experienced such tremendous growth and will serve so many new areas and customers in 2015. When we met last year we had opened 15 territories. This past year we had 39 territories open in 22 states and we are poised to have over 100 territories open this season. What an amazing number of families we’ll be able to give a mosquito-free yard and make sure outside is fun again!
We had such a great weekend sharing ideas, learning new tricks, and of course having some fun. CEO Kevin Wilson kicked off the weekend with a State of MoJo Address to get everyone ready for all the amazing things to come in 2015. Keynote speaker Gerry Layo of Sales Coach International had us laughing while teaching us how harding work and “owning it!” can lead to more sales. We were also treated to a presentation by Greg Majewski of Mosquito Joe of Southeast Michigan on Marketing with a Purpose. One of our favorite parts of the convention was our dinner and awards ceremony, where we relaxed over some good food and great company and recognized franchisees who stood out in 2014. We are happy to congratulate our winners:
We say this all the time, but it is worth repeating – our franchisees are the reason this is such an amazing company. Thank you again to all of our franchisees who attended the convention and made it so special. Thanks to all the vendors that made the trip to put a face with the companies the franchisees work with every day, and a special thanks to all of our sponsors. Mosquito Joe has some exciting things in store for 2015, so be sure to stay tuned for more blog posts!
Posted by Julie Green
In the news this week you may have noticed articles with eye catching headlines about genetically modified mosquitoes being released into the Florida Keys. In a nutshell, Florida is waiting for the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to approve an experiment in which a mosquito would be used as a drug to cure (stay with us, we’ll explain) some of the diseases mosquitoes can carry, specifically Aedes aegypti, a tiger-striped invader whose biting females spread these viruses.
Over the past year we’ve been keeping you updated on Chikungunya as it crossed into the United States in the summer of 2014. The disease is not fatal, but can be extremely painful if contracted. Also more common in the southern United States is Dengue fever. Dengue can cause high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain. With Chikungunya having the same symptoms and neither one having a cure, researchers are constantly looking for ways to stop these illnesses from spreading.
This is where the British company Oxitec comes in with a strategy to use the mosquito as a drug and possible solution. Oxitec has been altering the DNA of the tiger mosquito, releasing bioengineered male mosquitoes into the population. The modified males then mate with wild females, whose offspring die before reaching adulthood, thus reducing the population. Oxitec has already conducted experiments in other countries that have reported favorable results. Company spokeswoman Chris Creese said the Florida test will be similar in size to Oxitec’s 2012 experiment in the Cayman Islands, where 3.3 million modified mosquitoes were released over six months, suppressing 96 percent of the targeted bugs. Oxitec says a later test in Brazil was also successful, and both countries now want larger-scale projects. Oxitec has built a breeding lab in Marathon and hopes to release its mosquitoes this spring in Key Haven, but FDA spokeswoman Theresa Eisenman said no field tests will be allowed until the agency has “thoroughly reviewed all the necessary information.”
The necessary information Eisenman is referring to includes questions the public has been asking like what if altered females (the gender that bites for blood) are mistakenly released into the wild and as such, what if I get bitten by a modified mosquito? Does this genetically altered DNA affect me? Oxitec says the proteins are non-toxic and non-allergenic, yet public concern remains high throughout Florida. The FDA will be reviewing all data from past experiments before allowing this to happen in the United States.
It is important to remember that at the end of the day, we’re all trying to solve the same problem and that is eliminating mosquitoes and keeping our communities safe and healthy. This experiment is one way people are looking to research, and ultimately science, for a unique solution. We trust that the FDA will do their due diligence to cross off any health or safety concerns and make the best decision for the end goal.
Regardless of the ultimate outcome, you should always be mindful when outdoors around prime mosquito feeding times (dusk and dawn) to stay protected from mosquito borne illness, especially in Florida. It’s best to have an active form of protection against mosquitoes in your yard, like the barrier spray treatments we offer, but at a minimum make sure to wear long sleeves and pants when outside during peak mosquito times and eliminate standing water in your yard. Want more tips? Contact your local Mosquito Joe!