Chikungunya Fever and Mosquito Reduction

Chikungunya Fever and Mosquito Reduction

Chicken who?? Chikungunya.

The Chikungunya virus has been limited to Africa and Asia for a very long time. In fact, it was first recorded in a human in Tanzania in 1953. So, this is not a new virus. But, it’s quickly becoming a hot topic in the media since it was discovered in the caribbean in December 2013. The concern is that this could soon spread to the United States in the coming year from travelers.

According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), the Chikunguyna virus can cause high fever, severe pain, nausea, vomiting, and headache. The disease is spread by being bitten by a mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person. It is not transmitted person to person.

The Bug Man is in the business of controlling pests and we are not medical professionals. But, because pests can spread disease and cause a variety of illnesses we are often caught in the middle of addressing the medical concerns caused by the pests. If you have any of the symptoms listed above we will always tell you to discuss them with your physician. What we CAN help with is education on what you can do to reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, in general.

The mosquitoes that carry the chikungunya virus (as well as other viruses) are the Yellow-Fever Mosquito (aedes aegypti) and the Asian Tiger Mosquito (aedes albopictus).

As of this writing, no infected mosquitoes have been found in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, or anywhere in the United States. So far the CDC is reporting that all of the documented cases of chikunguyna in the US have been in people who have recently traveled outside of the United States to a country with the infected mosquitoes.

Recommendations to reduce the mosquito population in Murfreesboro, middle Tennessee, and beyond:

To reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes we have a long list of recommendations that we give to every customer on our Mosquito Management Program. Almost every item in our list involves getting rid of anything that holds standing water and/or making sure to empty and scrub items that hold water, frequently. Also, contact your City and/or County and make sure that they are treating water retention areas with a larvicide on a regular basis.

  • Dispose of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, plastic sheeting, or any water-holding containers.
  • Clean debris from rain gutters to allow proper drainage.
  • Fill in or drain low places (puddles, ruts, etc) in your yard.
  • Keep drains, ditches, and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water can flow properly.
  • Cover trash containers to keep out rain water
  • Check around outdoor faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks or other causes for water puddles.
  • Empty plastic wading pools at least once per week and store indoors when not in use.
  • Make sure your backyard pool is cared for while away from the home.
  • Fill in tree holes and stumps that hold water with sand or cement.
  • Change the water in bird baths, plant pots, and drip trays at least once per week.
  • Keep the grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house where adult mosquitoes may rest.
  • Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing.
  • Eliminate seepage from cisterns, cesspools, and septic tanks.
  • Stock ornamental pools with top feeding predacious minnows.
  • Check window and door screens on the home. Be sure they are in good condition to seal out mosquitoes.
  • Wear light-colored clothing, plus long sleeve shirts and long pants for extra protection.
  • Use repellants on skin and clothing while outdoors.

In addition to these steps, The Bug Man also offers a Mosquito Reduction Program.

Curbing Crickets: Tips on How to Keep the Chirpers Out of Your House

Tips on How to Keep the Chirpers Out of Your House

Read these tips to learn how to prevent chirpy, destructive crickets from entering your home.

Fall means football. That’s an undeniable, wonderful reality! That’s a guarantee.

For many, the fall season also means crickets. Swarms of chirpy, destructive crickets.

Crickets chew on field crops. But did you know that crickets also feast on your fabrics of cotton, wool, linen, silk, synthetics, leather, or fur? They especially enjoy clothes soiled with sweat or food stains. Imagine them chewing on your son’s football practice gear. And, as a final kicker, they even eat other dead cricket carcasses. Yeesh!

Check out these handy tips for how to prevent crickets from invading your home:

  • Secure your doors and windows. Patch up any holes in screens, seal off drafty windows, fix holes in masonry. This not only deters crickets, but lots of other pesky critters, too. Check out this page for other pest prevention tips.
  • Change your outdoor light bulbs.  What a bright idea! By using yellowish-tinted light bulbs or a sodium vapor lamps, you’ll attract fewer crickets. And, like we wrote about in our blog about outdoor lighting, using different types of light bulbs will ward off lots of other pests, too.
  • Remove woodpiles. Not only is this good for crickets, but wood piles could spell disaster here in subterranean termite country. Read our blog about termite prevention tips for a helpful story about that particular problem.
  • Call The Bug Man! We are always willing to come cease the chirping. We want you to be able to sleep at night, chirp free.

Thanks for reading! We’ll catch ya next week for more Bug Basics!

Garage Sale Goodies and Bed Bug Bites

Garage sale bed bugs

Be cautious when searching for that great bargain at the local garage sale. You could be bringing bed bugs and roaches to your home. I drove by my first yard sale of the season this afternoon while cruising through Murfreesboro on Highway 96. You’d think that gazing at the steals-of-a-deals and knick-knacks strewn about on the lawn would bring me feelings of joy and delight.

I did not feel those warm, fuzzy feelings. Instead, I was provoked.

Why the provocation? Allow me to offer you an explanation.

In addition to the goodies out for sale on the lawn, I also saw furniture. I was then reminded that bed bugs and roaches often hang out in used couches, chairs, appliances, and beds. Sometimes bed bugs can even be transferred in used clothing.

Most bargain shoppers are unaware of the dangers of bugs as they shop. We’re not writing this blog in an attempt to scare you away from your neighborhood garage sale. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to provide for you and your family. But we are informing you on bug basics for bargain shopping.

If you purchase any clothes at a garage sale/yard sale/thrift store/etc., wash them before you wear them. The heat of the clothes washing and drying process kills a possible bug threat.

If you see a piece of used furniture that you simply must buy because it’s such a great deal, thoroughly inspect it before you buy it. Look in the seams of the fabric. Lift up the cushions. Inspect the crevices. Look underneath the furniture.

If you’re shopping for mattresses–especially used mattresses–look for any tiny blood stains or dark spots. Comb through the cracks and crevices of this cushioned comfort.

The exhilarating feeling of getting a great deal can easily fade upon discovering a pest infestation because of a lack of diligence while shopping.

Ant Season? Termite Season?

Ant and Termite season

Tell me folks, is it ant season or termite season?

Is it Bugs season or Daffy season?

“Duck season!”
“Rabbit season!”
“Duck season!”
“Rabbit season”

Remember Looney Toons? Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck used to argue back and forth about which hunting season it was. And ol’ Elmer Fudd was befuddled by all of the crazy commotion.

Similar to Bugs and Daffy, it’s the time of year where you could find yourself saying:

“Ant season!”
“Termite season!”
“Ant season!”
“Termite season!”

In our previous blog, we talked about how ant-like bugs swarming in your house can actually be termites. To help you identify termites easier, check out the information below:

* Winged ants have two pairs of wings. The front pair is larger than the hind pair. Termite wings are the same shape and size.
* Ants have antennae that appear to have elbows. Termites have short, straight, beaded antennae.
* Ants have long, segmented bodies. Termites have short, stubby bodies.
* Both pests vary in size and color.

When you encounter pests in your home, don’t be befuddled. Call the The Bug Man. We will help you identify exactly what “pest season” it is.

Homeowner Pest Prevention Tips

Pest Prevention tips

Did you know that there are many things that YOU, the homeowner, can do to help prevent pests from getting into your home?

Indoor Tips:

  • Keep air conditioning filters clean. Dirty filters can lead to moisture build-up, which is a magnet for pests.
  • Check for plumbing leaks and seal gaps around pipes. Do this everywhere, but especially behind cabinetry. Water shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate anywhere in or around your home.
  • Check grout around bathtubs and toilets. A good caulk seal assures that even the smallest insects can’t enter.
  • Clear your attic of clutter. Clearing out clutter and sealing cardboard boxes prevents insects from nesting inside.
  • Store food in tightly sealed containers or in the refrigerator. This cuts off potential food sources for pests.
  • Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight. This eliminates a possible food source during a time period when pest activity increases.

Outdoor Tips:

  • Outside doors must be well sealed. If light can be seen from around or under a door, then insects can gain access inside your home.
  • Repair torn screens. Screens are a prime entry point for pests.
  • Seal around soffits and gable vents. This keeps rodents and insects from getting inside the roof or attic space.
  • Seal around conduits and piping where it enters the structure. Many insects and rodents follow power lines or climb conduits and pipes to get inside your home.
  • Check gutter drains to ensure water is kept away from your home. This helps discourage moisture build-up adjacent to your home.
  • Remove excess leaves from the roof and rain gutters. This keeps ants and other insects from breeding under the build-up.
  • Caulk all cracks and crevices. Check and seal under window frames and around pipes entering the side of the home to keep insects from entering.
  • Keep trash cans clean and lids sealed. This keeps ants, roaches, and flies from feeding and breeding in the trash.
  • Keep the garage door closed and make sure the weather stripping is in good condition.
  • Prune excess vegetation touching the home. Pay special attention to eaves and the roof.
  • Remove wood debris and keep woodpiles away from your home’s foundation. This helps prevent rodent nesting or insect colonization next to your home.
  • Ensure your irrigation system is functioning properly. Make sure water doesn’t accumulate near the foundation or sprays onto your home.
  • Guide air conditioner drip line away from the foundation. Extend the piping at least 2 feet.