Thursday, November 23, 2017

Use Your Cell Phone To Track Mosquitoes

A very high percentage of us have cell phones, right? We use them on a daily basis to communicate with our nearest and dearest or perhaps to assist us in business. However, there's a new reason why having technology at our fingertips could be of huge benefit. It's possible that we are able to help researchers to identify species and track mosquitoes. Here's more information…

This scientist wants your help tracking mosquitoes—and all you need is a cellphone

Mosquitoes can be deadly, transmitting malaria, dengue, and Zika. But tracking them is tough. Now, researchers—led by bioengineer Manu Prakash of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California—have developed a new, cheap way to monitor these insects with mobile phones and a Shazam-like app that tells them apart based on their "songs." Most mosquito species can be identified by the frequency of their wingbeats, so the web app—aptly named Abuzz—lets users upload recordings of mosquito sounds, identify the species, and map its location.

The app works by using the sound recording device on your phone. However, the challenge may be actually getting close enough to this pesky bug to be able to record its buzz!

We're not quite sure about the 'really nice' music that you could compose with the sound, but if it's a step towards identifying and implementing further methods of mosquito control, then this is a great way that everyone can get involved in the fight against mosquitoes.

You can now track mosquitoes through your mobile phones

Scientists have figured out a way of tracking and getting rid of the annoying mosquitoes carrying harmful diseases simply through our mobile phones.
Scientists at Stanford University have created a mosquito monitoring platform 'Abuzz' to develop the most detailed global map of mosquito distribution. All people would have to do is record the mosquito buzzing and submit it to Abuzz.

It's not just smart phones that will be able to do this. Other cell phones such as flip phones will work too, as long as they have a recording device. Cell phones have come a very long way over the last decade, let's use them for all they are capable for, for a better, healthier and hopefully mosquito borne disease reduced future.

Use Your Cell Phone To Track Mosquitoes first appeared on:

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ticks Are Making Williamsburg VA Their Home

Residents in Williamsburg, VA need to be particularly on the lookout for ticks, as these disease spreading pests are taking a particular liking to the area.  It's not a 'new thing' as these critters have been around for some time, however, the different species of tick to make the area their home is on the rise, and with that the potential to be those identified to transmit harmful diseases.

More disease-carrying ticks are finding Williamsburg area to their liking

A walk through the woods can be more dangerous than one might expect. The Virginia Peninsula is prime territory for the confluence of several species of disease-carrying parasites; aka ticks. That means Greater Williamsburg in particular could see a rise in diseases carried by ticks. Since 2009, Lyme disease has earned either the first or second highest "disease ranking" by the Virginia Department of Health. While the ranking excludes cases of hepatitis, the number of cases increased by nearly half between 2009 and 2016, according to the Virginia Department of Health's website.

As the article mentioned, just raising awareness of these parasites can help to stop the spread of disease.  It's all about prevention rather than cure, so each time you venture out, make sure you are protected from the possible bite of a tick.


They may be tiny, but you can definitely feel their presence if they happen to bite you. So if you are venturing outside, please, please take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from ticks. If that's not enough to warn you, then you might want to read this article…

The Truth About Ticks

Here's a startling, and more so, horrific truth – Plymouth County leads the country in tick bites that result in the spread of disease; and not only one disease like the notorious Lyme disease, but other "co-infections" where a tick bite induces more than one illness in humans. On November 4, Blake Dinius, entomologist and Plymouth County extension educator, spoke at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library to a full house on the theme of all things ticks. For a solid hour, Dinius gave a comprehensive presentation, enlightening the group on everything from the lifecycle of ticks to best practices in managing the spread of tick-borne diseases.

Ticks are a big problem all over the U.S, so wherever you are, do the sensible thing and be alert, be aware and be educated in what you need to do, should you find yourself a victim of the tick!

Ticks Are Making Williamsburg VA Their Home first appeared on:

Backyard Bug Patrol
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Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 621-7116
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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mosquitoes Vs Mosquitoes – EPA Give The ‘Go-Ahead’

Some big news in the fight against mosquitoes and the diseases they spread! The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have given the go ahead to use 'lab-grown' mosquitoes armed with a bacteria to help get rid of other mosquitoes! Here's an interesting article that provides more information on this huge development when it comes to mosquito control.

EPA approves bacteria-infected insects to kill mosquitoes

On Nov. 3, the Environmental Protection Agency approved a new approach from the biotech company MosquitoMate. The goal is to destroy populations of wild mosquitoes that could be carrying nasty viruses, according to a report from Nature magazine. Instead of relying on genetic engineering, MosquitoMate infects lab-grown mosquitoes with the common bacterium Wolbachia pipientis, which affects mosquitoes but not animals or humans.

Creating an army of mosquitoes to be released into the environment and go into combat with the female of the species! It does almost sound like science fiction, but one that's science fact.

Could this be the answer to fighting deadly diseases such as Malaria or debilitating viruses like Zika or West Nile? It's early days, but if the EPA have approved it, there must be some hope of success.

EPA OKs use of mosquitoes to kill mosquitoes

A biotech startup has just gotten approval from the FDA to unleash a new weapon against potentially dangerous mosquitoes. The weapon? Mosquitoes. As Gizmodo explains, a company out of Kentucky called MosquitoMate will sell male mosquitoes infected with a bacterium to businesses and homeowners in 20 states still to be named, along with DC. The idea is that the males will mate with female Asian tiger mosquitoes in the wild, resulting in eggs that won't hatch. The Asian tiger (Aedes albopictus) can spread diseases such as Zika, yellow, fever, and dengue, and the company plans to roll out the strategy next summer in Lexington, Ky., before expanding elsewhere.

We'll keep you updated with more news as we find it on this subject. Maybe in this instance the female of the species may no longer be more deadly that the male!

Mosquitoes Vs Mosquitoes – EPA Give The 'Go-Ahead' first appeared on:

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Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 621-7116
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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ticks Are Joining Us For Thanksgiving!

Ticks are not just a cause for concern during the warmer months. As we experience a drop in temperature, these tiny, troublesome ticks are still hanging around and as Thanksgiving approaches, they may just stay around to join the celebrations too, as uninvited guests!

Health Dept: Ticks out in force through Thanksgiving

Ticks are back for one more meal before winter, and health officials warn this means a high risk to Vermonters of tickborne disease. Anaplasmosis — a disease spread by the same type of tick that transmits Lyme disease, babesiosis, Borrelia miyamotoi and Powassan virus — has been on the rise. According to the Vermont Department of Health, the number of cases has increased from three in 2010 to 201 in 2016. More than one-third of Vermonters reported to have anaplasmosis were sick enough to be hospitalized, the health department reports.

Of course, it's not just in Vermont that people need to be wary. Ticks are still active in other parts of the U.S including Virginia and Maryland.


If summer means "suiting up" to protect yourself from ticks, then make sure you carry on wearing sensible clothing throughout the rest of the seasons, because these pests mean business.

State experts predict uptick in tick-borne diseases will continue

Health workers have already seen a record number of anaplasmosis cases, Tompkins said, and there are indications that pattern will continue through the fall. Tick-borne illnesses will continue to be a concern at least through Thanksgiving, Tompkins said. While mosquito-borne illnesses are generally a problem only until the first hard frost, ticks don't respond to seasonal weather in the same way, he said.

Don't let ticks spoil your Thanksgiving! They spread disease, not joy!

Ticks Are Joining Us For Thanksgiving! first appeared on:

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Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 621-7116
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Tick & Mosquito Control Leesburg VA

5 Star Backyard Bug Patrol review by Vic S on Yelp:

Tick & Mosquito Control Leesburg VA first appeared on:

Backyard Bug Patrol
901 Cantle Ln
Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 621-7116
https://goo.gl/maps/H4QoAjULFBJ2

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Could Mosquitoes Assist With A Possible Zombie Apocalypse?

So it may be a little extreme, but the spread of disease from infected creatures is a very real scenario that we are all facing right now, in the world today. We'd like to draw your attention to the first section in this article and the 'real world possibility' it describes. For many fans of a good zombie movie, this might even send a shudder down your spine.

REAL-LIFE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: ARE WE THE NEXT WALKING DEAD?

It's safe to say that all things zombie are now mainstream (any Walking Dead fans here?). What's not to love about postapocalyptic times where dead people come to life and have no purpose other than to feast on the living? But what do they have to do with vaccine refusals, climate change and natural disasters?

Get the right combination of 'agent, host and environment' and there might just be something to worry about.


What it all comes down to, would be if the zombie virus could actually be transmitted by a mosquito? Would they be able to carry it or even survive it? Let's use the TV show The Walking Dead for an example…

Why don't undead mosquitoes exist in the Walking Dead series?

It depends if the zombie virus is lethal to mosquito or not. Also if they can transfer the zombie virus in the first place. Mosquito can transfer malaria but not Aids. Also including the fact that they may not drink dead person's blood/putrefying blood because it may or probably is poisonous to them. Mosquitoes are attracted by Carbon dioxide, heat, and certain acids on the skin. So I guess Walkers of The Walking Dead series wouldn't be a food choice for the mosquitoes.

It may seem a very unlikely event, but zombies and mosquitoes have one thing in common, they spread disease with their bite. So next time you venture out without protecting yourself from these potentially apocalyptic pests, take a moment to realize the risks you are taking.

Could Mosquitoes Assist With A Possible Zombie Apocalypse? first appeared on:

Backyard Bug Patrol
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Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 621-7116
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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Freezing Temperatures In Northern Virginia Can Still Mean Ticks In Winter

Halloween of 2017 has been and gone, and with it comes the discarding of our carefully carved pumpkins. The fun and excitement of creating a scary (or friendly) face into these giant fruit forms will have to wait another year. However, we just wanted to share a reminder of how Ticks Could Turn Halloween Into Your Worst Nightmare  as they also like to get involved in the spooky celebrations. So much so, that they are hanging around longer into the colder months. Here's one mom's terrifying story.

A Woman Shared A Scary Photo Of Her Legs To Remind Us Tick Season Isn't Over

Fall is a time to think about cozy sweaters, jack o'lanterns, pumpkin spice everything, and … ticks? While the tiny creatures probably aren't the bloodsuckers you're thinking about around this time of year, one mom warns that they should be.

Even as the colder months are upon us, we should always be vigilant when it comes to ticks. Each year they seem to survive longer and make our lives miserable into the winter months. Even with the first freezing temperatures dropping in North Virginia, it's still worth being mindful when it comes to protecting yourself against ticks. Okay, so the chances of being bitten may have reduced, but these clever critters are surprising us with just how much 'cold' they can take.

First Freezing Temps May Hit Northern Virginia This Week

Break out the heavy coats, for Northern Virginia's first freezing temperatures are expected to blow in Friday night with an Arctic air blast, according to the National Weather Service's satellite branch in Sterling. After a mostly sunny day with relatively mild temperatures, the thermometer should take a dive that night with lows in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

This video shows how some ticks are surviving underneath the snow!!


Please do take this as a warning. Ticks are proving themselves to be on the verge of invincible, so do what you can to protect yourselves when venturing outside. Wear appropriate clothing and always check for these hitchhiking little critters after a trip outdoors.

Freezing Temperatures In Northern Virginia Can Still Mean Ticks In Winter first appeared on:

Backyard Bug Patrol
901 Cantle Ln
Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 621-7116
https://goo.gl/maps/H4QoAjULFBJ2