RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Following this week's World Health Organization announcement calling the severity of the Zika virus a global public health emergency, Mosquito Squad, the leader in the mosquito control category strongly urges homeowners to implement DIY mosquito control measures in their own yards to reduce mosquito populations and exposure to any vector-borne illnesses.
With nearly 200 locations in the United States, The Squad opened its mosquito elimination season this week in the Southern and Western sections of the country, including those that are already experiencing mosquito outbreaks. Offices across the country, including Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and even New York, have received significant increases in calls about mosquito control due to Zika.
"The outbreak of Zika virus has once again put the spotlight on mosquito control. It's imperative that homeowners and commercial property owners take an aggressive approach to mosquito elimination and help their community reduce mosquito breeding grounds," said Rob White, Mosquito Squad's vice president. "While the type of mosquitoes that carry Zika are present in the U.S., at this time no Zika infected mosquitoes have been detected in our country. The same kind of mosquito also carries other diseases typically contracted abroad including Chikungunya and Dengue so proactive mosquito control is something that everyone can, and should, make a part of their lives."
White added that while The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention advises homeowners to reduce standing water in their yards, few do and often there are hidden areas that breed mosquitoes. By walking the yard to remove items that catch water, addressing landscape issues that cause water to pool and implementing other yard maintenance protocols, like proper grass height, how to dispose of lawn debris and more, homeowners can reduce mosquito populations in their own yards.
Based on more than 10 years' experience treating hundreds of thousands of yards, Mosquito Squad developed DIY steps to help homeowners eliminate mosquitoes. Mosquito Squad also enlisted TV host and licensed contractor Jason Cameron to provide additional advice for homeowners. Visit https://www.mosquitosquad.com/bugs-disease/mosquitoes/ to view the video or read below:
TIP over anything that holds or collects water. A bottle cap filled with water holds enough water for mosquitoes to breed. Since mosquitoes breed in standing water, the elimination of standing water decreases a mosquito's breeding ground. Mosquito Squad technicians report that yards with bird baths, play sets with tire swings, tree houses, portable fireplaces and pits and catch basins are the biggest offenders.
TOSS any yard trash including clippings, leaves and twigs. Even the smallest items can provide a haven for mosquitoes and increase the population.
TURN over items that could hold water and trash. Look for children's portable sandboxes, slides or plastic toys; underneath and around downspouts; in plant saucers, empty pots, light fixtures and dog water bowls. Eliminate these items or keep them turned over until used.
REMOVE TARPS that can catch water. Many homeowners have tarps or covers on items residing in their outdoor spaces. If not stretched taut, they are holding water. Check tarps over firewood piles, portable fire places, recycling cans, boats, sports equipment and grills. Mosquito Squad suggests using bungee cords to secure tarps in the yard.
TAKE CARE of your home. Proper maintenance can be a deciding factor in property values and mosquito bites. Regularly clean out gutters and make sure the downspout is attached properly. Mosquito Squad recommends re-grading areas where water stands more than a few hours, and to regularly check irrigation systems to ensure that they aren't leaking and causing a breeding haven. Keep lawn height low and areas weed-free.
TEAM UP. Despite taking all precautions in your own home, talking with neighbors is a key component to mosquito and tick control. Townhomes and homes with little space between lots mean that mosquitoes can breed at a neighbor's home, and affect your property.
TREAT. Utilize a professional mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug spray on the body.
About Mosquito Squad
With nearly 200 franchise locations nationwide, Mosquito Squad specializes in eliminating mosquitoes and ticks from outdoor living spaces, allowing Americans to enjoy their yards, outdoor living spaces, special events and green spaces. Mosquito Squad has been a proud supporter of Malaria No More since 2011. For more information, visit www.MosquitoSquad.com, www.MosquitoSquadFranchise.com and www.OutdoorLivingBrands.com.
SOURCE Mosquito Squad