Maintaining Your Winter Garden

Maintaining a garden during the winter months can be difficult for anyone, even if you have a “green thumb.” Depending on where you live, there are a number of things you can do to preserve your winter garden. Here are some tips for each region on how to create a thriving garden and maintain it during the winter months:

If you live in the Southwest:

Keeping your January garden healthy in dry regions of the country like this can be tricky. However, as long as you have a good supply of water there are several things you can do to maintain your garden.

  • One thing you can do is prepare for next season. Think about planting seeds for crops such as broccoli, cabbage, onions, peas, and turnips that you can transplant next month. You can also plant asparagus.
  • Make sure to water your evergreen plants often if there is not a good amount of rainfall in your area.
  • If you are looking to add some color to your garden, you can plant flowers that do well in the cool weather such as pansies, petunias, and violas. 

If you live in the Southeast:

Since winters in the southeast region of the United States are mild, you do not need to worry too much about harsh winter weather ruining your garden. Here are some things to do if you are a gardener in the southeast:

  • Add some compost to your garden.
  • Finish pruning your wisteria if you have some planted in your garden.
  • If temperatures drop, use row covers to shelter your plants.

If you live in the Midwest:

Winters in the Midwest are notoriously brutal, so there is not much planting you can do in your garden in January. If you live in this region, your primary focus should be on maintaining and inspecting your garden.

  • Remove snow from around your garden to create a path. This way you will have easy access to your garden so you can clear any debris and check for shrubbery damage.
  • Check your trees for bark damage, which could be a sign that uninvited creatures like deer and voles are making their way into your yard or garden.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest:

The Pacific Northwest climate generally provides good gardening weather because of its moderate temperatures. Here are some gardening tips for those of you in this region:

  • Use row covers to protect plants on cold nights.
  •  If you want to do some planting, go for vegetables such as asparagus and artichokes.
  • Remove dead limbs from trees and complete trimming on your perennials.

If you live in the Northeast:

Much like in the Midwest, there is not much you can do in terms of planting and working in your garden during a northeastern winter. However, here a couple of tips:

  • If you live on the coast, you can assess your plants for salt-spray damage.
  • Just like in the Midwest, clear paths after a snowfall to ensure you have access to your garden.

Working to maintain your garden during the winter can prove difficult in some places, but you will be happy with the results when spring comes around. If you live in colder regions like the Midwest or the Northeast, you should focus on just maintaining your garden and keeping it healthy. On the other hand, if you live in warmer regions of the country, you can start planting some seeds. Read more winter gardening tips at The Spruce.

While you’re working to maintain your garden this winter, remember that certain tick species might be hiding out around your yard. Ticks often hide in life piles, areas of tall grass, and lawn debris, making it easy for them to invade your garden. Click here to find your local tick control company and prevent these pests from invading your garden.


Source: The Spruce

Mosquito-Borne Illness: Zika Virus

Mosquitoes are quite a nuisance during the warmer months of the year. But did you know they can be much more than just an obstacle in the way of enjoying the outdoors? These pests can be highly dangerous, as they are vectors for a variety of diseases such as West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever, and equine encephalitis.

In our last spotlight on mosquito-borne illness, we discussed West Nile virus, from the symptoms of the disease to how to prevent yourself from contracting it. As we continue our series on mosquito-borne illnesses, this week we are introducing you to Zika virus. 

As a mosquito control company, we strive to educate our customers on the potential health risks of mosquitoes in order to create a happy and safe outdoor environment. Here are some frequently asked questions about mosquito control and Zika virus along with information from the National Pest Management Alliance (NPMA):

Where are mosquitoes found?

While mosquitoes inhabit areas all throughout the United States, some species are more common in specific regions. For example, the Asian tiger mosquito, which can transmit Zika virus, is typically found in the southern and northeastern states. Unlike many mosquito species that feed during dusk and dawn, Asian tiger mosquitoes prefer to feed during the day (NPMA).

What is Zika virus?

Zika is a disease spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito of the Aedes species. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Zika outbreaks have been reported in areas such as tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands since the first human cases were detected in 1952. However, Zika cases have also been reported throughout the Eastern Pacific, South and Central America, and the United States.

While Zika virus is usually not fatal, it can have long-term side effects. For more information on Zika virus, visit the CDC website here.

How is Zika transmitted?

As mentioned before, Zika is transmitted through the bites of infected Aedes species mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are also responsible for transmitting illnesses such as dengue fever and chikungunya. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are among the most common mosquitoes in the United States, are the primary carriers of Zika. Additionally, Asian tiger mosquitoes can transmit Zika and are found mainly in Southeast Asia (NPMA). 

What precautions can be taken to help prevent mosquito bites?

Knowing what precautions to take in order to prevent mosquito bites is crucial to proper mosquito control. Here are some helpful tips on how to do this:

  • Use air conditioning and fans (if possible) when you are sitting outside.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellent products.
  • Always apply and reapply insect repellent when outside.
  • Dress your child in clothing that covers their arms and legs.
  • Use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin.
  • Hire a local mosquito control company.

We at Mosquito Authority aim to give you and your family peace of mind by eliminating mosquitoes from your outdoor space. Apart from being a bothersome pest, mosquitoes also transmit dangerous diseases such as Zika virus, malaria, dengue fever, and more.


Don’t wait until mosquitoes have invaded your backyard to do something about it. Find your local mosquito control company here.

Species Spotlight: Gulf Coast Tick

Gulf Coast tick

Ticks are some of the most common pests in the United States. With over 800 species in the whole world and roughly 90 of them inhabiting the United States, ticks are everywhere. As a company that specializes in tick control, one of our goals at Mosquito Authority is to educate our customers on just how important proper tick control is. Each species of tick is different and it is crucial to understand each one, from where they live to what diseases they spread.

In our last Species Spotlight, we told you about the lone star tick. The lone star tick typically inhabits the eastern half of the United States, feeds on different hosts throughout its lifecycle, and transmits a number of diseases to both humans and animals. In this week’s Species Spotlight, you will learn about a different tick species: the Amblyomma maculatum, otherwise known as the Gulf Coast tick. Read on to learn more about the Gulf Coast tick:

Where do they live?

As the name suggests, the Gulf Coast tick is usually found in states along the Atlantic coast such as Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. Ticks of this species can also be found in parts of southern Arizona and other areas along the Gulf of Mexico. 

What does their life cycle look like?

The Gulf Coast tick goes through the typical life cycle with four stages: egg, larvae, nymph, and adult. Unlike other ticks who prefer to have only one host throughout their life cycles, such as the brown dog tick, the Gulf Coast tick usually feeds on three different hosts at each life stage

Are they dangerous to humans?

Like many other species, Gulf Coast ticks can transmit diseases to humans. According to the National Environmental Health Association, ticks of this species are able to transmit Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis to humans. This disease is a form of spotted fever and differs slightly from Rocky Mountain spotted fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Are they dangerous to animals?

Gulf Coast ticks can transmit Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis to both humans and animals. While they will occasionally choose human hosts, these ticks primarily feed on wildlife.

When are they active?

Gulf Coast ticks are active at different times of the year depending on what life stage they are in. As adults, these ticks are most active from June through October. As nymphs, however, they are typically more active from December through March. Gulf Coast tick activity can also vary based on geographic location. For example, Gulf Coast ticks in Texas can be active from May through March.

What do they look like?

Ticks of this species look different depending on their life stage. As nymphs, Gulf Coast ticks are typically dark bluish-gray or a dull white. Adult female and male ticks of this species are dark brown with silvery-white stripes near the tops of their bodies.

How do I protect myself and my pets from Gulf Coast ticks?

Here are some simple and effective ways you can protect yourself and your family from tick bites:

  • Gulf Coast ticks often feed on birds and mammals, so discourage any unwanted wildlife from entering your yard by constructing fences.
  • Clear tall grass and bushes from around your home.
  • If you find a tick on your pet, remove it right away.
  • If you are hiking, keep to the center of trails.
  • Hire a local tick control company

Now that you know a little bit about Gulf Coast ticks, you can be better prepared and more knowledgeable about tick control. However, the best thing you can do to avoid ticks in your yard is to hire a professional. At Mosquito Authority, we rid your yard of ticks so you don’t have to worry every time you step outside.
To find your local tick control company, click here.