RICHMOND, Va., June 18, 2014 // PRNewswire // -- At the start of National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, Mosquito Squad is encouraging homeowners to proactively learn the steps to eliminate mosquitoes from their own yards, while helping to eradicate mosquito-borne illnesses worldwide.
As part of its mission to educate homeowners on mosquito control and make outdoor living more enjoyable, Mosquito Squad (www.mosquitosquad.com) has developed seven DIY, easy-to-follow steps, helping to eliminate the majority of mosquitoes from America's backyards. Concurrently, Mosquito Squad is urging the public to take both a local and global view of mosquito control by donating $1 to Malaria No More's Power of One (Po1) campaign, where a $1 donation provides a life-saving test and treatment for a child in Africa. Donate at SwatMalaria.net.
"As vector-borne illnesses including the new-to-U.S. Chikungunya virus and West Nile Virus continue to capture headlines nationwide, concerns about mosquito control remain high," said Boyd Huneycutt, a founder of Mosquito Squad. "We're urging the public to get involved both locally and globally in the war against mosquitoes and the illnesses they carry. By being proactive, homeowners can take control of their yards and their health, as well as help those facing the life threatening challenge of malaria on a daily basis."
In addition to donating to Malaria No More, Huneycutt encourages homeowners to get up close and personal in their yards to reduce and eliminate mosquito breeding. To help homeowners, the company surveyed hundreds of technicians that work in mosquito control on a daily basis about their most challenging yards and vexing mosquito problems. The data was used to develop a list of DIY tips beyond basic advice provided by municipalities, state health departments and others to reduce mosquitos at home. This summer, Huneycutt recommends the following steps:
Tip. A bottle cap filled with water holds enough water for mosquitos to breed. Since mosquitos 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 to recycle water should all be checked regularly and water tipped.
Toss. Grass clippings, leaves, firewood and piles of mulch are yard trash. By keeping a yard clean, homeowners can remove a major breeding area for both mosquitos and ticks. More than 45 percent of Mosquito Squad customers said areas near foliage or woods bordering their property were the most troublesome spots in their yard, something that the technicians attribute to the accumulation of debris in the yard. Yard debris, including leaves, small twigs and plants, can also accumulate underneath decks, in gutters and at roof lines.
"Keeping a home in good repair is essential," Huneycutt said. "Homeowners with decks need to check under it to determine if water is pooling, if there is debris or if there are objects under the deck like water bottle caps, cans or toys that are collecting water."
Turn. Walk the yard every few days and 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.
Remove Tarps. Many homeowners have tarps or covers on items residing in their outdoor spaces. If not stretched taut, they are holding water. Problem items cited most by Mosquito Squad technicians include tarps over firewood piles, portable fire places, recycling cans, boats, sports equipment and grills.
Take Care. Home maintenance can be a deciding factor in property values and mosquito bites. Regularly clean out gutters and make sure the downspout is attached properly. Re-grade areas where water stands more than a few hours, and make sure that all fallen branches and hollow trees or logs are removed from the property. Check irrigation systems to ensure that they aren't leaking and causing a breeding haven. Keep lawn height low and weed areas.
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 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.
With more than 150 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. For more information, visit www.MosquitoSquad.com, www.MosquitoSquadFranchise.com and www.OutdoorLivingBrands.com.
SOURCE Mosquito Squad