Dangers Mosquitoes Pose to North Carolina Residents and Families

Mosquitoes are a pain, in the literal sense and the figurative sense as well. When they invade a cookout in the backyard, they can make that cookout miserable. When they show up at an outdoor family reunion, they can make it a much less festive occasion. But painful, itchy wounds on the skin aren't the only threat mosquitoes pose. They can also be vectors for several human diseases.

technician treating for mosquitoes
mosquito bite

We've heard a lot of about Zika virus in the last few years, and for good reason. Studies have shown that Zika can cause microcephaly in unborn children at all stages of pregnancy. That is pretty scary to think about. Fortunately, cases of Zika-related microcephaly in the United States are low.
 
Zika can also cause issues for adults. Outbreaks of Guillain-Barre syndrome have been linked to this virus. This is a rare disorder that is often preceded by a respiratory infection and can cause a weakness in the body and result in paralysis of the limbs. While Zika is certainly a virus to be cautious of, it isn't the worst mosquito-borne virus we deal with in the United States.
 
Most U.S. citizens have heard of malaria. This is a mosquito-borne virus that is linked to the deaths of more than a million people worldwide every year. But, in the United States, we've only had isolated outbreaks of malaria. So, while this is a well-known disease, it is also not the virus we deal with most. So, which one is?
 
In order for a mosquito-borne virus to have a serious impact, it must be locally transmitted. In the case of Zika and Malaria, local cases of transmission have been small and relatively isolated. This is because there is no local reservoir here in the states.
 
What is a virus reservoir? This is a group of local mammals that store the virus in their bodies and carry it through the winter. Most mosquitoes in North Carolina don't make it through the winter as adults. Therefore, viruses don't make it through the winter inside mosquito populations, the viruses die with adult mosquitoes. In spring, when new mosquitoes hatch, they have to contract new viruses in order to spread disease.
 
While Zika, malaria, and many other mosquito-borne viruses do not have a local reservoir, there are a few that do. The most widespread is the West Nile virus. It has a distribution that has touched every state in the U.S.
 
Not only is it widely distributed, but it is also an illness that can be deadly. Early symptoms are similar to the flu (headaches, fever, body aches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting) but, as the illness progresses, it has the potential to cause internal organs to shut down.
 
Many viruses spread by mosquitoes can lead to death. Fortunately, death is a rare outcome due to the robust health care infrastructure here. But viruses such as yellow fever, chikungunya dengue, and the viruses listed above, can be very uncomfortable.
 
Often, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) is associated with these viruses. There are also distinct encephalitis diseases such as Eastern equine encephalitis, LaCrosse encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, and more.
When mosquitoes come into our North Carolina yards, they have the potential to do more than plague us with itchy bites. If you're noticing unusual spikes in flu-like illness, mosquitoes could be the culprit. That is why every resident should consider a residential pest control program that includes mosquito control.
 
At A-1 Pest Control, we bundle seasonal mosquito reduction service in our Home Shield Plus and Home Shield Complete pest control programs. This gives our customers the protection they need without breaking their wallets. Home Shield Plus and Home Shield Complete include 8 scheduled treatments and year-round coverage for over 15 pests, including ticks, fleas, stinging insects, and mosquitoes. This is vital protection that every family should have.
 
If you live in Lenoir, Mooresville, Hickory, Blowing Rock or the surrounding areas, let A-1 Pest Control guard your family from pest-borne diseases and protect your property from destructive pests. Our team is one of the best in the industry, having earned the QualityPro Seal of excellence from the National Pest Management Association. This is a distinction that less than 3% of pest control companies can boast. That means you'll get quality service and effective pest control, every time.

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    [openingParagraph] => <p>Pest control: it seems like a relatively new invention, especially considering how it&rsquo;s done in the <a href="/home-pest-control">modern day</a>. There&rsquo;s a steady stream of new technologies and new treatment methods that are seemingly always evolving which have kept the industry planted in the now. When you think of pest control, what comes to the top of your mind is probably new pesticides, heat treatments, and traps that have been specifically designed to tackle particular types of infestations.</p>
    [content] => <p>But the truth is, pest control isn&rsquo;t just a modern invention, even though today&rsquo;s iteration is certainly rooted in modern sensibilities. Pest control has actually been around for nearly as long as human civilization! It makes a lot of sense &mdash; pests, after all, have existed as long as people have &mdash; so it&rsquo;s natural that humans through the ages have been looking for ways to combat them.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Here&rsquo;s how they did it in the olden days.</p>
<h2><br>Pest Control in Ancient Egypt</h2>
<p><br>Controlling invasive pests has been an especially important part of the maintenance of civilization since the birth of agriculture. When dependence on crop farming became integral in the way people ate, the importance of having methods for protecting those crops against pests became incredibly important, and directly linked to the survival of entire cultures. This is something that the famously innovative Ancient Egyptians knew, and they are the earliest recorded civilization to use pest control, starting in around 3000 BC.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Remember, this was well before the discovery of pesticides &mdash; the Ancient Sumerians wouldn't start using the earliest pesticides until about 500 years later, in 2500 BC. But the Egyptians worked with what they had, and what they had was a wealth of domesticated animals that could be utilized as a fleet of pest hunters.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>The Egyptians famously viewed cats as magical creatures, but felines also had some practical utilization outside of ancient mysticism: being natural rodent hunters, cats would guard grain stores from rodent invaders who could eat and poison food sources. Ancient Egyptians even dabbled in some rudimentary home pest control, domesticating mongooses and using them to take care of <a href="/rodent-control">invasive rodents</a> and snakes that had made their way into homes.&nbsp;</p>
<h2><br>Pest Control in Ancient Sumer&nbsp;</h2>
<p><img alt="Two parallel pillars in a row at the Vakil Mosque in Iran" height="700" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/blog/photo-1554058922-d51b58b707f5-2.jpeg" title="Vakil Mosque in Iran" width="1050"></p>
<p>The Ancient Sumerians were the earliest recorded civilization to reside in Southern Mesopotamia, and among their almost innumerable innovations was the invention most relevant to us: the earliest recorded use of a pesticide. Being a highly agrarian society, the Sumerians were looking for ways to drive away crop-eating pests. Unlike the Ancient Egyptians, the Ancient Sumerians did not use domesticated animals to protect their crops. They instead used a sulfur compound, an element that they discovered was effective at warding away many crop-eating insects. It was effective enough that it is still used today--even in our own products!</p>
<h2><br>Pest Control in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome&nbsp;</h2>
<p><br><img alt="Line of pillars in a &ldquo;V&rdquo; shape at The Parthenon, Greece" height="700" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/photo-1531816458010-fb7685eecbcb-1.jpeg" width="1050"></p>
<p><br>The Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans are two of the most talked-about ancient civilizations, in part because so much of what they did was well-documented by historians and writers of the time. This has allowed for many of their pest control methods to be relatively easy to access today.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Some of these practices were just not effective&mdash; but they are interesting. As <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1975/12/01/archives/ancient-farmers-knew-pesticides-methods-used-2000-years-ago.html">The New York Times noted in a 1975 article</a>, Greek writers recommended using a crayfish to ward off caterpillars, soaking seeds in olive oil before planting them, and praying to the gods for a blessed harvest &mdash; a practice common in basically all ancient cultures.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>While there were more bizarre pest control practices, the Ancient Greeks and Romans actually used quite a few methods that became the standard practice for centuries afterward. It was in Ancient Rome that the use of amurca &mdash; a substance made out of crushed olives and salt &mdash; began, because of its ability to kill crop-eating ants. Amurca would become a staple baseline ingredient of many pesticides moving forward.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>The Ancient Greeks would also spread wood ash on crop fields, because it was a good pest repellent &mdash; another method that some gardeners still use. They also discovered the value of using smoke to deter insects, which you may have noticed yourself in the summertime. When the mosquitos are out, it usually helps to get a little closer to the campfire.&nbsp;</p>
<h2><br>The Blueprint For the Future&nbsp;</h2>
<p><br>There&rsquo;s no doubt that all of these different cultures and civilizations from thousands of years ago are pretty much the forefathers of pest control. These early discoveries and methods not only contributed to the growth and survival of the human race, but also became the blueprint for the model and method of pest control that would follow in the centuries to come, and even forming the bedrock of what pest control is today.</p>
<p><br>While many of these initial methods were quite different &mdash; and sometimes silly! &mdash; when compared to the science and technology-driven treatments that we deploy here at A-1 Pest Control, the purpose is similar: using the best and most modern tools at our disposal to find ways to turn pest problems into pest solutions. We&rsquo;re proud to carry on this tradition.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Want to learn about pest treatment that&rsquo;s a little more modern? Check out our blog, &ldquo;<a href="/blog/post/the-bedbug-problem">The Bed Bug Problem</a>&rdquo;!</p>
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Attempts to control pest populations is nearly as old as civilization itself. We educate readers on how some ancient civilizations dealt with pests.

Read More

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    [openingParagraph] => <p>Recent years have seen an increase in pesticides that dub themselves &ldquo;green.&rdquo; These pesticides promise to be more friendly to the earth than conventional pesticides, while also being safer for humans. However, often these &ldquo;green&rdquo; pesticides are not all that they seem to be. In this post, we&rsquo;ll take a look at some studies on green and natural pesticides, and debunk some of the common myths about green pest control.</p>
    [content] => <h4>What are Green Pesticides?</h4>
<p>This is one of the big problems with the term &ldquo;green&rdquo; or &ldquo;natural&rdquo; when it comes to pesticides: there isn&rsquo;t an established standard that sets parameters for being categorized as green or natural. Under EPA regulations, the only term that is cleared for use is &ldquo;organic,&rdquo; which leaves the possibility open that the sorts of pesticides being used by companies dubbing themselves green are not actually all that they claim to be. In some cases, companies may be using the term &ldquo;green&rdquo; or &ldquo;natural&rdquo; to make their pesticides more appealing to customers who are looking for alternative options. Because there is no regulatory mechanism that defines &ldquo;green&rdquo; and &ldquo;natural&rdquo; pesticides what they actually are can vary wildly--they might not all be as eco-friendly as they&rsquo;re advertised.</p>
<p>To get a better understanding of green pesticides and pesticides in general, here are some frequently asked questions.</p>
<p><strong>Q:</strong> What are the benefits of green pesticides, when compared to more conventional pesticides?</p>
<p><strong>A:</strong> That&rsquo;s sort of a difficult question to answer, because the term &ldquo;green pesticides&rdquo; isn&rsquo;t exactly well defined. But generally we&rsquo;ve observed that pesticides that call themselves green work less effectively than the traditional ones.<br><br></p>
<p><strong>Q:</strong> Really? Less effective?</p>
<p><strong>A:</strong> Yes. Because they aren&rsquo;t standardized there&rsquo;s a lot more product variability. We can&rsquo;t say for sure that they&rsquo;re all less effective, we&rsquo;ve just found that they don&rsquo;t always do the job as well as other pesticides.<br><br></p>
<p><strong>Q:</strong> Would you recommend using them?</p>
<p><strong>A:</strong> We wouldn&rsquo;t recommend using something with so little oversight.</p>
<h4><br>So, How Safe are Common Pesticides?</h4>
<p>Common pesticides can be safe, when they&rsquo;re applied properly. Many of the concerns that common pesticides and herbicides elicit are caused by improper use or application. Proper application of a pesticide requires a careful analysis of the surrounding area (to ensure none gets into a water supply), correct decision making when choosing the kind of pesticide, properly following label directions, wearing the proper protective gear, and using the correct amount of the actual product to ensure that there is no damage or danger, just to name a few. That&rsquo;s why, when it comes to making these decisions and deploying properly, <a href="/">we recommend consulting a professional</a>--and no one lives up to high standards of effectiveness and professionalism like A1 Pest Control.</p>
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While “green” pest control is now more sought out, it's not as effective or earth-friendly as it's marketed. Learn the truth as we debunk some common green pest control myths.

Read More

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    [openingParagraph] => <p>Summer means the return of <a href="/pest-library/profile/mosquitoes">mosquitoes</a>--and you know what that means. Yup. It means itchy bites and the threat of mosquito-borne viruses. But the threat mosquitoes pose is actually one of the most misunderstood problems families deal with. Let's take a look at this mosquito problem and put it into perspective.</p>
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            [tag] => <img src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/blog/mosquito.png" alt="mosquito bite" title="Learn More About Avoid Mosquitoes In Lenoir" height="430" width="690">
            [title] => Learn More About Avoid Mosquitoes In Lenoir
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            [typeName] => PNG Image
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    [content] => <p><strong>The Shrugger</strong></p>
<p>We all know that mosquitoes cause itchy welts. But there isn't a whole lot we can do about that. We're going to get bitten if we go into a location that has lots of mosquitoes. For most of us, the threat of itchy bites doesn't keep us from enjoying life. We just shrug it off. But we shouldn't. If you're a shrugger, you should know that mosquitoes spread many illnesses that we mistake for the flu or the common cold. If you'd like to be sick less, one of the best ways to do so is to prevent bites. Mosquito bite prevention can actually have a dramatic impact on how many bites you receive. Mosquito bites aren't as inevitable as you may think.</p>
<ul>
<li>
<p>Spray repellent on your skin or on your clothing to ward off bites.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>Use a repellent with oil of lemon eucalyptus if you prefer a natural option.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>If you'll be in a location that has lots of mosquitoes, consider wearing clothing that has mosquito netting.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>A good breeze will keep mosquitoes off you much better than the smoke from a campfire. If you're having a cookout in your backyard, consider running an extension cord and putting some fans outside. That will push those mosquitoes away.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>Wear bright colors to make it harder for mosquitoes to lock onto you.</p>
</li>
<li>
<p>Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants to give mosquitoes less skin to target.</p>
</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>The Shut-In</strong></p>
<p>We all know that mosquitoes can carry diseases. You may even know that those illnesses go far beyond Zika, West Nile, yellow fever, chikungunya, malaria, dengue, and other well-known viruses. You may understand that there is a long list of mosquito-borne diseases that can cause encephalitis. And if you know that encephalitis is inflammation of the brain, you may have decided that you're never going to go out of your home again. If you're a shut-in, you should know that mosquitoes aren't born with pathogens. They contract them from animals or humans. Most of the mosquitoes that bite you are mosquitoes that hatch on or near your property because mosquitoes don't travel very far, generally. That means you can seriously affect how many bites you get by investing in <a href="/mosquito-control">mosquito reduction</a> for your property.</p>
<p>If you live in our North Carolina service area, <a href="/contact-us">give us a call today</a> to get started with professional mosquito control you can trust.</p>
    [postTitle] => Summer Mosquito Threats
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    [abstract] => <p>Summer means the return of mosquitoes--and you know what that means. Yup. It means itchy bites and the threat of mosquito-borne viruses. But the threat mosquitoes pose is actually one of the most misunderstood problems families deal with. Let's take a look at this mosquito problem and put it into perspective.</p>
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Summer means the return of mosquitoes--and you know what that means. Yup. It means itchy bites and the threat of mosquito-borne viruses. But the threat mosquitoes pose is actually one of the most…

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