Zika Virus Pest ControlEach day, you might be wondering if mosquitoes will be in your yard, ready to feed as dusk sets in. It’s become a chief concern for Floridians that spend a good deal of time outside ever since the Zika virus has made it to US shores. Children outside playing, people gardening, and those tending to the lawn and yard are more susceptible than others due to the amount of time spent outside. Mosquitoes are best known for the feeding habits of adult females that feed on blood to help spawn their next generation. Eggs and larva are usually are located in standing water, often in unattended buckets, plant overfill rings, or even old tires. Once mature, adult mosquitoes tend to feed largely from dusk til dawn but are known to feed during the day when there is sufficient shade; a covered shed or warehouse with openings to the outside are suitable habitats for the insect.

At the time of this writing, the Centers for Disease Control reports more than 900 cases of the Zika virus in Florida with new cases of the virus virtually every day. Though largely centered in and around Miami, Tampa Bay is far too close for comfort to the disease epicenter. Florida Governor Scott announced he plans to use emergency powers to fund an extra $25 million dollars to help speed up the development of a Zika vaccine and fast, reliable, and inexpensive methods to test for Zika. What can be done right now? Fortunately there are some common sense steps you can perform to help you from becoming one of those 900 and growing cases. Following sage advice and protecting yourself from this menace really is worth its weight in gold.

A great place to start with controlling Zika and your exposure to mosquitoes is with a repellent. There are a variety on the market with varying effectiveness and even a great selection of all natural, DEET-free, kid-friendly products. The Centers for Disease Control has published a list of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents they recommend which include ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and the chemicals IR3535 and 2-undecanone. To verify that a mosquito repellent is registered with the EPA, look for a registration number in the form of “EPA Reg.” on the back of the product label.

Preventing mosquitoes is most effective when applied as an integrated effort and attacking the problem from multiple fronts. Emergency Pest Patrol can at your direction perform a site survey as part of an overall mosquito treatment plan and point out areas that may be sources for mosquito reproduction and recommend changes or strategies using our services to control their eggs and larva. Reduction of the insects may involve physical changes to the environment to disrupt their ideal methods of reproducing (think, turning over unused flowerpots, buckets, etc) or the use of chemical control products where applicable, along with other recommendations depending on what is found. There might even be tears in your window and porch screens or old holes in your walls from a prior cable/phone installation that insects can find their way inside your home.

Chemical control product methods to control Zika and the mosquitoes that carry it may include: