Owners search mosquito aid because the coronavirus retains extra households dwelling this summer time
While the mosquito season starts in May and ends in the fall, people start bringing out the citronella candles and bug spray during the summer months to protect themselves from the pesky and sometimes dangerous insects.
This year, the coronavirus pandemic is warning many families at home and spending more time outdoors as health officials issue their annual warnings about mosquito-borne diseases.
Some find that candles and bug spray are not enough to keep the mosquitoes and other animals away. Pest control services say they see increased demand for their services.
“People see things they’ve never seen before and they all want service now, so we’re full of customers,” said Natasha Wright, entomologist at Braman Termite & Pest Elimination in Agawam.
The company recommends treating the outside areas around a home with pesticides about every 90 days to keep the bugs at bay.
“We cover all areas where adult mosquitoes will rest. Usually they bite in the morning and evening light and rest on the underside of the vegetation. So we would apply the product there as well as the outside of the walls where they might be waiting to attach to a host, ”she said.
Stephen Rich, professor of microbiology and director of the laboratory of medical zoology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, said mosquitoes breed in water, so the number of mosquitos at any time of the year depends on the weather.
“Mosquitoes need stagnant water in order to reproduce and develop. When it rains less, there is less stagnant water, which can have an impact on mosquito populations, ”he said.
Mosquito Shield, a franchise that specializes in mosquito control, uses a proprietary blend of pesticides to aggressively control the insects.
“We use a blend of vegetable oils and extracts that work in three ways: it masks the CO2 (carbon dioxide) odor that attracts mosquitoes, repels mosquitoes through a scent barrier, and kills mosquitoes on contact,” said Donald Moorhouse, owner of the Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut Mosquito Shield locations.
The company works with both residential and commercial properties such as golf courses and restaurants with outdoor seating. The product is sprayed every two weeks from May to around October.
“We are monitoring weather conditions because New England sometimes has very warm days in late October and this is a time when people want to be outside,” he said. “Mosquitoes are very adaptable creatures, and whatever you evolve to fight them off, they’ll eventually find a way around it. That is why our service is so diligent. “
Aside from the annoyance of an itchy bite or an uncomfortable outdoor experience, mosquitoes can also transmit serious diseases.
On Thursday, the Department of Health announced that West Nile virus was detected in two mosquito samples collected July 7 in Belmont, eastern Massachusetts. Last week, the department announced that eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) mosquito samples were detected in Orange and Wendell, Franklin Counties, and has increased the EEE risk in that area to moderate.
So far this year, no cases of West Nile virus or electrical and electronic equipment have been detected in humans or animals.
Rich said EEE was a big problem in the state in 2019.
“There was a record number of human cases in New England last year, most since the 1950s,” he said. “This year and next are also expected to be high.”
Wright said while spraying insect repellant and wearing long sleeves and pants outdoors is an effective way to prevent mosquito bites, it isn’t realistic for very hot summer days. Your simplest tips are to watch out for stagnant water and get your property treated professionally whenever possible.
“I would recommend that people get rid of any buckets or plant pots that might contain water and do some external treatment,” she said.