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Why Are Mosquitoes Infecting So Many People With The West Nile Virus In Arizona?

Authorities in the Phoenix metro area are asking residents to keep their properties free of standing water sources, and to keep themselves protected from mosquito bites while outdoors. The number of West Nile virus cases has skyrocketed this year in Arizona, and the mosquitoes that spread this disease are urban-dwelling species that rely on small sources of standing water on residential properties in order to breed. Rainwater that collects in flower pot saucers, flower beds, kiddie pools, children’s toys, solo cups, aluminum cans and many other objects that are commonly found in yards attract massive amounts of disease-causing mosquitoes into neighborhoods. These water sources have ultimately been fueling the ongoing West Nile epidemic in Arizona, and therefore, removing standing water from properties can dramatically reduce the annual rate of  West Nile infections and even save lives.

Last year, only eight cases of West Nile occurred in Arizona, two of which resulted in death. However, as of August 28th, 135 West Nile Cases and eight deaths have occurred in the state, making Arizona the state with the highest number of West Nile infection cases. Despite California’s significantly higher population and greater size in terms of area, that state has seen 57 West Nile cases so far this year, far fewer than in Arizona. Surprisingly, California is second to Arizona when it comes to the number of West Nile cases per state, so why has Arizona become the number one state in the nation for West Nile virus cases? According to Dr. Stefanie Schroeder, medical director for ASU Health Services, West Nile cases increase during and after the monsoon season, and the virus is spread by both birds and mosquitoes, but it is not yet known which of the two is responsible for the current epidemic. In other words, nobody knows exactly why Arizona leads the nation in West Nile infection cases this year, but keeping properties free of standing water sources will certainly reduce the rate at which these cases occur..

Do you have more mosquito bites this year than you did last year?

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Arizona Is Now Seeing More West Nile Cases Than Any Other State, And Seven Residents Have Died From The Disease This Year Alone

Arizona Is Now Seeing More West Nile Cases Than Any Other State, And Seven Residents Have Died From The Disease This Year Alone

Those who assume that mosquitoes are only abundant in humid regions of the US are wrong, as the driest region of the US sees a higher rate of West Nile virus disease cases than any other region in the country, including subtropical and tropical regions like southern Florida and Hawaii. Arizona has emerged as the state with the highest number of west Nile-infected residents, and surprisingly, most cases are occurring in southern Arizona where the climate is particularly dry.

The significant increase in West Nile virus cases this year does not surprise researchers who found mosquito populations to be unusually high last spring. The high mosquito population this year is due to the relatively rainy 2018-2019 winter season in Arizona, which provided the first generation of urban-dwelling mosquito species with an abundance of stagnant water sources that were ideal for breeding.

Most of these breeding sites are located on residential and urban properties where rainwater collects within various objects commonly found on lawns. For example, bird baths, garbage and recycle bins, ornamental ponds, potted plants, tires, wheelbarrows, clogged gutters, water puddles beneath outdoor faucets, children’s toys, and ground depressions can all gather rainwater where massive numbers of mosquito eggs can develop into adult mosquitoes within a period of 7 to 10 days. Simply removing these water sources from residential lawns would drastically decrease the rate of West Nile disease cases, as urban mosquitoes rely primarily on these water sources for breeding.

Seven deaths have occurred in Arizona this year alone due to West Nile infection, and the latest statistics released a week ago show that most West Nile infections have been contracted in Maricopa County this year. Currently in Maricopa County, 135 confirmed West Nile cases and three more probable cases have been documented, which far outnumbers the usual 20 West Nile cases that are recorded at this time of year in Arizona. Both federal and state officials are now working together to reduce disease-carrying mosquito populations in Arizona.

Have you noticed mosquito swarms within your neighborhood this year?



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Southern House Mosquito Bites After Dark In Residential Areas Where They Can Transmit Multiple Diseases To Humans

Mosquitoes are becoming more abundant in southern Arizona, and so are human cases of mosquito-borne disease. The most significant mosquito-borne disease in the state, the west Nile virus, was virtually unheard of in the southwest 15 years ago, but now, mosquitoes are transmitting this disease to numerous residents of Maricopa and Pima Counties. Unfortunately, mosquitoes infected with the west Nile virus may be growing in number at higher elevations in more northern areas of the state, as infected mosquitoes were collected from Flagstaff less than two weeks ago. The last human cases of west Nile in Flagstaff were reported back in 2010, but another batch of west Nile-infected mosquitoes were collected in Flagstaff three months ago, indicating that the local population is at an increased risk of contracting the infection this year. Culex quinquefasciatus is one mosquito species that can transmit west Nile to humans, and this species thrives within urban and suburban areas where it breeds in stagnant water sources found in residential yards.

Culex quinquefasciatus is more commonly known as the “southern house mosquito,” and this species can be identified by the five lines that adorn its abdomen. However, identifying this species by physical features is both difficult and unnecessary, as southern Arizona residents know this species as the mosquitoes that frequently inflict bites after the sun goes down. This mosquito can also be identified readily by the particularly loud buzzing sound that it produces. This buzzing sound contributes to the species’ reputation as a nuisance pest in and around households, but this species’ is most notable for its ability to transmit diseases from birds to humans. In addition to the west Nile virus, southern house mosquitoes also transmit St. Louis encephalitis and other encephalitis diseases in humans. These mosquitoes even transmit a parasite that causes heartworm in dogs. Southern house mosquitoes are only able to survive due to the ease with which they locate stagnant water sources in human populated areas. Removing containers that have collected rainwater and reducing the amount of water used to feed lawn grass can go a long way at reducing the southern house mosquito population in neighborhoods and parks in the state.

Do you recall sustaining mosquito bites after dark?

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A Few Mosquitoes In America Have Been Found Carrying A Rare And Deadly Virus

Given the copious amount of news coverage on the Zika outbreaks, as well as the aggressive public health campaign to convince people to take precautions against disease-carrying bugs, most Americans probably think that they are well aware of the diseases that mosquitoes can spread to humans. However, a recent finding in North Carolina will cause many people to think twice about this assumption. Researchers in North Carolina captured several mosquitoes that had been carrying a life threatening virus, but you have likely never heard of this particular mosquito-borne disease. The virus is known as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and two cases have already been reported in one single county. The virus is a threat to both humans and horses. Luckily, no human cases of EEE have been reported in the United States this year, but one horse has already died as a result of sustaining a bite from a mosquito that had been carrying EEE.

In Onslow County, North Carolina, researchers have found more EEE-carrying mosquitoes. These mosquitoes can spread the devastating virus to humans and horses through one single bite. According to Pamela Brown, Community Relations Officer for the Onslow County Health Department, some people who contract EEE may show no symptoms, while others may develop flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. If you or anyone you know is experiencing these symptoms, then a visit to the doctor is in order. Those that contract the disease, but fail to seek medical attention, can rapidly develop more serious medical issues, including seizures, coma and sometimes death. Using repellent every time you step outdoors and being mindful of areas that contain standing water can prevent bites from infected mosquitoes. The CDC states that EEE is one of the most significant mosquito-borne diseases in the US. Thirty three percent of Americans who contract EEE die as a result of the virus. Most people who survive the disease will sustain serious brain damage as a result of brain swelling.

Had you ever heard of EEE? Does learning about this virus make you concerned for your safety this summer?

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Mosquito Protection Tips | Magic Pest Control

Mosquito Protection Tips | Magic Pest Control

Many people may connect the height of mosquito season, occurring in the summer through early fall, to the irksomely itchy welts that accompany mosquito bites. But, there are far worse associations to make with these blood-sucking pests, such as the health threats they pose to humans in their daily lives—even in their own backyards. To help protect the community against mosquito-related health risks, Magic Pest Control is reminding the public about threatening mosquito-borne diseases as well as prevention tips to avoid bites.

Thanks to professional pest control there are certain serious, and sometimes even deadly, mosquito-transmitted illnesses, such as malaria, that we rarely see in the U.S. But, the public should remember that there are still harmful diseases including the Zika, West Nile and chikungunya viruses present in the U.S. that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. In order to protect against these health threats, knowledge about each disease and general mosquito prevention is key.

The main ways to avoid mosquito bites and better protect against mosquito-transmitted diseases include:

  • Applying insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon-eucalyptus or IR3535 when outdoors and use as directed on the product label. Apply repellant over top of sunscreen, and reapply every four to six hours.
  • Minimizing outside activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, though it is important to note that mosquitoes that transmit chikungunya are active throughout the day.
  • Wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors.
  • Eliminating areas of standing water around the home including clogged gutters, birdbaths, flower pots, tires and kiddie pools or untreated pools. Mosquitoes need only half an inch of water to breed.
  • Screening windows and doors, and patching torn screens.

How To Prevent Mosquito Illness

How To Prevent Mosquito Illness

Monsoon season is not over yet, and the mosquitoes are just beginning to become bothersome. But, mosquitoes are more than bothersome, they can be quite dangerous.

From the Zika Virus to the West Nile Virus to more common illnesses, mosquitoes can carry all sorts of dangerous diseases.

Did you know that Magic Pest Control does mosquito fogging? Keep mosquitoes away from your home, pets and family by having a pest control expert come out and fog for mosquitoes. There is no better way to keep mosquitoes away from your family.

While mosquitoes carrying fatal diseases are not incredibly common, there is still a high percentage of Arizona mosquitoes that can be extremely dangerous, particularly to children and seniors.

To help prevent mosquitoes and mosquito bites:

  • Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. Check for items outside the home that collect water, such as cans, bottles, jars, buckets, old tires, drums and other containers and get rid of them.
  • Change water in flower vases, birdbaths, planters, troughs, and animal watering pans at least twice a week. Be sure to scrub them out when changing water.
  • Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets, and move air conditioner drain hoses frequently to prevent standing water.
  • If you have a swimming pool, keep it operational. If you must keep it out of use, make sure you remove the standing water, keep it chlorinated, or run the filter daily.
  • Even a short time being outdoors can be long enough to get a mosquito bite. Take extra care to use insect repellent and protective clothing. When outdoors, use an EPA-registered and CDC approved insect repellent.
  • Keep mosquitoes outside by having well-fitting screens on both windows and doors.

If you have mosquitoes at your home, the best thing you can do is give Magic Pest Control a call. We’ll take care of those mosquitoes for you!

Is Your Yard a Breeding Ground for Mosquitoes?

You yard might be infested with mosquito eggs right now, and you’d have no idea. Your neighbor’s yard, or your neighborhood green belt might be infested with mosquito eggs right now, all waiting to hatch and invade your property.

Mosquitoes are resilient creatures, having been around since before the dawn of man (remember the movie Jurassic Park). They are not only resilient, the amazing monsoon season we’ve seen here in Arizona these past two months has made conditions ripe for a mosquito invasion.

With hot and humid temperatures, combined with an enormous amount of rain and soil that seems to remain damp for days on end, mosquitoes are breeding like there’s no tomorrow.

Mosquitoes need water to breed. They need standing water, or in some cases moist soil, to lay their eggs. Mosquitoes need humid environments to keep those eggs healthy. A mosquito life cycle has four stages, all of which depend on water and food.

If you have any standing water around your home, you can apply larvicide and treat the area, although it’s best to call in a pest control expert to do it for you.

Mosquitoes can live up to 8 months, as long as they survive hungry birds and swatting hands. During that time they’ll continue to breed and lay eggs if the environment is right…like right now.

Here are some ways to control mosquitoes around your home:

  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have accumulated on your property.
  • Empty standing water from used or discarded tires (pdf) that may have accumulated on your property (e.g. tire swings).
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left out of doors.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters on an annual basis, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the drains.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
  • Turn over wheelbarrows and do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths.
  • Change water in birdbaths and wading pools on a weekly basis.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.

If your mosquito problem is beyond control, call in the Magic Pest Control experts. We now fog for mosquitoes!

DIY Mosquito Repellent: Keep Mosquitoes Away This Season

DIY Mosquito Repellent: Keep Mosquitoes Away This Season

We’ve gotten a lot of rain this monsoon season, and the mosquitoes are out in full force. Technically, it’s not even mosquito season yet, but the rain and the pretty extreme humidity has made the Arizona valley a breeding ground for mosquitoes…quite literally.

Did you know that Magic Pest Control does mosquito fogging? Yes, we have to tools to keep mosquitoes out of your yard and away from your home.

But for today’s blog, we thought we’d give you some DIY ways to keep mosquitoes away from your property, pets and loved ones.

Get Rid of Stagnant Water: After a rain, it’s common to have puddles of stagnant water around the yard. But this is what calls to mosquitoes. This is exactly what mosquitoes need to survive and multiply. Stagnant, standing puddles of water near or around your Phoenix home will attract thousands of mosquitoes who will multiply quickly. If you have any standing water around your home or in your Phoenix yard, get rid of it.

Natural Repellents: There are certain scents and plants that mosquitoes tend to avoid. Citronella candles can partially do the trick, but better yet is to get citronella plants. They secrete a scent that mosquitoes avoid. Lavender also keeps mosquitoes away. So planting planting lavender might be a good idea.

BBQ Party: If you have people coming over this weekend and want some additional DIY ideas to keep mosquitoes away from your Phoenix home, consider tossing some rosemary on the BBQ. As with citronella and lavender, mosquitoes hate the scent of rosemary. Toss some on the bbq before and during your outdoor party, and the mosquitoes will stay away.

Add Some Garlic: In my family, we can never have enough garlic. It’s not only great for your body, it’s also great for your Phoenix home as a repellent to mosquitoes. So toss some more on that burger on the BBQ!

Mosquito Traps: While not as effective as having Magic Pest Control professionals come out and fog your property, mosquito traps can be useful for containing your mosquito problem.

The best solution to get rid of mosquitoes this time of year is to call Magic Pest Control and have us come out to fog.

Keep Mosquitos At Bay Conveniently with 4 Helpful Strategies

Keep Mosquitos At Bay Conveniently with 4 Helpful Strategies

Because of the Zika virus that is taking the U.S. by storm, mosquitos are on everyone’s minds.

Here in Arizona, we’ve seen resurgence, of sorts, of mosquitoes…and it worries us, all of us.

There is little worse than having your Gilbert, AZ yard full of mosquitos –except for having the pests all over your house, too.

Mosquitos are really annoying outside, but at least when you head out you can put on bug spray to keep them away from you.

If mosquitos get inside, though, it’s uncomfortable for everyone.

Keep Mosquitos At Bay Conveniently with 4 Helpful Strategies

You can’t wear bug spray all the time. In that case, it’s time for pest control to take over.

You can do your own pest control for mosquito prevention at home. Just use these 4 strategies:

Place Lavender near Access Points

Humans love lavender and often wear it in perfumes or use lavender scented products. Add lavender scents to everything you can during the mosquito season because mosquitos hate the smell of it.

To really protect your home, place a small lavender scented candle or glass with lavender oil in it near windows and doors.

Mosquitos will be repulsed and stay far away.

Plant Flowers and Vegetation that Mosquitos Hate

You can also just plant lavender in your yard. Other types of plants to add to your gardens in order to keep mosquitos away include:






Plants like these add attractive vegetation to your yard and subtly ward off mosquitos with their natural odors (which, of course, are pleasant to people.)

Get Rid of Standing Water

You might have noticed that there are more mosquitos around when it rains. Mosquitos love damp areas. If they can find standing water, they will be glad to settle there.

Ponds, puddles, rain collection bins, and even spots where water pool near leaky faucets can all attract the annoying insects.

Cover any standing water during mosquito season or place it far from your home or parts of the yard that you like to spend time in.

Use Fire to Keep Them Away

Smoke naturally puts mosquitos off. Setting some scented items on fire can enhance that quality majorly.

If you want mosquitoes to leave you and your Gilbert, AZ home alone, try lighting citronella candles.

Or, throw rosemary on the grill for a natural form of pest control.

If you’re still having trouble with mosquitoes, or any other pests, around your home, don’t hesitate to call the pest control professionals here at Magic Pest Control.

Mosquitos are quickly becoming a pest that you definitely do not want around your home, your pets and your family.