What to Know About Fleas

At Mosquito Authority, we offer more than just protection from mosquitoes and ticks– some of our locations offer flea control, too. We believe that our customers should know all the facts when it comes to these pests, so here are some things about fleas you might not have known:

Fleas have an interesting life

Similar to ticks, most fleas go through four stages of life: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, ticks may live anywhere from days to months to years, depending on their environment. 

Fleas need blood to survive

Just like mosquitoes, female fleas need a blood meal in order for their eggs to develop. However, all fleas, male and female, need to feed on hosts for blood. Fleas are also known to eat 10-15 blood meals every day. They get these blood meals by finding a human or animal host (preferably animal) and then lay their eggs on the host. According to the CDC, these insects find their hosts by detecting body heat, movement, and breathing.

Fleas can find homes in many places

Fleas typically prefer to inhabit places where your pets hang out– carpets, furniture, pet beds, and even your own bedding. As part of flea control in your home, be sure to vacuum your carpets and rugs frequently, as well as couch and chair cushions. Also, be sure to clean bedding (yours and your pet’s) often with soap and water.

Fleas can feed on animals and humans

While most fleas in the United States prefer to feed on animals, they sometimes bite humans out of convenience, according to the CDC. Most human flea bites occur when the human is in close contact with a pet. While flea bites are not usually as harmful to humans as they are to animals, they can still cause irritation and itching. 

There are thousands of flea species in the world

According to the CDC, there are roughly 2,500 species of flea worldwide, and around 300 of them inhabit the United States. The four most common flea species found in the U.S. are the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis), the dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis), the ground squirrel flea (Oropsylla montana), and the oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis).

Fleas can transmit diseases to both animals and humans

While many believe that fleas are only harmful to animals, that is not the case. In fact, there are several diseases that fleas can transmit to humans. For instance, the cat flea is responsible for transmitting flea-borne typhus and cat scratch disease, while the ground squirrel flea can transmit plague bacteria to people in the United States. The dog flea contributes to the spread of Dipylidium caninum, a tapeworm that affects dogs, cats, and sometimes even humans.

Fleas can cause a variety of problems, from infesting your home to causing serious health problems. Proper flea control is a big part of keeping your family, including the furry members, happy and healthy. 

Find a Mosquito Authority location near you to find out if they offer flea control.

Family Health and Fitness Day

Saturday, September 26th is Family Health and Fitness Day, so here are some ways to make the most of it.

Family Health and Fitness Day is intended to promote both physical health and fitness among families in the United States. Observed on the last Saturday of September, Family Health and Fitness Day encourages families and their loved ones to implement healthy habits and activities in their daily lives. This day was established by the Health and Information Resource Center in 1996 in order to promote a healthy family lifestyle for Americans.

At Mosquito Authority, we love to promote the health and wellbeing of our customers, so we came up with some suggestions for how you can make the most of Family Health and Fitness Day.

1. Go on a hike

Exercise is an important part of the day, so why not enjoy it? Hiking not only benefits your health but it also gives you the opportunity to get some fresh air and appreciate the outdoors. Just be sure to wear mosquito repellent and check for ticks after hiking in the woods.

2.  Play a sport as a family

Because of COVID-19 your kids might not be able to enjoy their favorite sports like they used to. However, that doesn’t mean playing sports is out of the question. Organize a family game, whether it is football, basketball, soccer, etc., and get the whole family outside for some fun (and friendly) competition.    

3. Go for a family bike ride

Biking is a tried-and-true family activity. Whether you are biking on a trail or just going for a ride through the neighborhood, this is a great way to keep your family active. Not only is it good for fitness, but exercising outside provides a nice break from those indoor workouts.

3. Come up with a weekly meal plan

Planning your meals at the beginning of the week saves time and also allows you to make intentional food choices. By taking the time each week to meal-plan, you can form healthy eating habits for your family and take the stress out of last-minute dinner plans!

4. Know your family health history

Educating yourself on family health history is crucial. By being aware of your family medical history, you can reduce your risk of developing health problems in the future. 

5. Go for daily walks

Sometimes a simple walk is the best way to exercise as a family. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults 18-64 years old should walk for at least 150 minutes every week (that’s roughly 22 minutes per day). 

Family Health and Fitness Day is a great time to spend time with your family and recognize the importance of physical health. To make sure your backyard is a safe space to spend some time getting active, schedule a mosquito treatment with us today.

Foods That Attract Pests

Here are some of the foods that are most attractive to pests, from fruits and veggies to sugary drinks.

Pests are annoying enough without them getting into our food. Unfortunately, there are a lot of foods in our daily diets that can draw pests into our homes. Here are a few of the most attractive foods for pests and some tips for reducing your chance of having to deal with them. 

1. Any type of fruit and/or vegetable

You have most likely seen fruit flies hovering around the fruit bowl on your counter or a bunch of bananas you left out overnight. Fruit flies are probably the most infamous type of household pest, and also the most bothersome. However, there is a simple way to minimize your fruit fly problem: avoid leaving fruits and vegetables uncovered in your kitchen.

2. Crumbs

It’s pretty much impossible to avoid crumbs inside your home. Whether you are making dinner or grabbing a breakfast bar, there’s bound to be a few crumbs that end up on your counter and/or floor. However, these little bits of food can attract certain pests such as ants and cockroaches, so it’s important to always clean up any crumbs around your house. 

3. Sugary drinks

Juice, soda, and other types of sugary drinks are all extremely attractive to pests, specifically wasps and bees. If you are enjoying a nice day outside with a cool soda in hand, make sure to clean up any spills and be on the lookout for wasps. These stinging insects love high fructose corn syrup, the main ingredient in soda, so you’re likely to get some unwanted attention with a sugary drink by your side. 

4.  Sugary foods

Soda and juice are not the only sugary substances that attract pests. Ants love to get into all kinds of sugary foods such as candy, jam, and cookies. If you are planning an outdoor barbeque with some sweets or making s’ mores by the fire, keep an eye out for hungry ants.

5. Peanut butter

Speaking of ants, they don’t always go for the sweet snacks. In fact, some ants are more attracted to salty foods as opposed to sweet. Because it is a food high in protein and fat, peanut butter is an appealing option for ants in search of a meal. 

6. Alcohol

Alcohol is another beverage that entices pests such as fruit flies and beetles. If you are having a glass of wine, remember to put the cork back in the bottle. As with sodas and juices, make sure to clean up any spills immediately to avoid attracting any bugs.

Now that you know which foods can attract pests, you hopefully have a better idea of how to make sure your kitchen and/or outdoor space stay pest-free. For more information on dealing with pests, check out our other blogs and stay up-to-date with us!

Mosquito Authority’s tips on how to have a bug-free barbeque

Summer might be coming to an end, but barbeque season is still going strong! In fact, with the weather cooling down in September, this might just be the best time to fire up the grill and enjoy your backyard. 

There is just one problem: how do you stop mosquitoes from ruining your outdoor dinner plans? That’s where Mosquito Authority comes in. We want you to enjoy your backyard to the fullest, so here are some Mosquito Authority-approved tips for having a bug-free barbeque this season:

1.  Set out some citronella candles

While citronella is not 100% effective in staving off mosquitoes, it can still help. Try setting out some citronella candles or torches around your backyard area if you are planning on hosting a gathering.

 2. Wear light-colored clothing

It might sound odd, but people wearing dark clothing are actually at a higher risk for mosquito bites than those wearing lighter clothes. Avoid being a target for mosquitoes in search of a meal by wearing light-colored clothing during an outdoor event. 

3. Use a fan

Another strategy for keeping mosquitoes from ruining your backyard barbeque is to put one or two fans in your outdoor space. There are two reasons why fans can help deter mosquitoes, one of them being that mosquitoes are weak fliers, so a strong fan can keep them from getting to you. The other reason is that mosquitoes are enticed by the lactic acid from human sweat, so by cooling you down, fans also make you less attractive to these pests. 

4. Remove any standing water from your yard

Mosquitoes love standing water, so make sure you don’t have any puddles or places where water could build up in your yard. If you have any birdbaths, be sure to change out the water frequently in order to avoid mosquitoes on the day or night of your barbeque.

5. Cover your trash cans and get rid of any trash as soon as possible

Leftover food and beverages in trash cans attract all sorts of bugs, so it’s important to keep your outdoor trash cans covered. In addition, using a lid avoids any water from getting in your trash can, which can help deter mosquitoes.

6.  Schedule your BBQ for early afternoon

We’ve all had a nice night or two ruined by the presence of mosquitoes. Since these pests are most active during dusk, we recommend scheduling your barbeque early in the afternoon to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

7. Eat outside, but serve the food inside

Try serving your meal inside in order to keep the majority of the food away from hungry pests. This way, you and your guests can still enjoy eating outdoors without constantly worrying if bugs have gotten into the food.

8. Call Mosquito Authority

At Mosquito Authority, our primary focus is ensuring you and your family’s safety and helping you enjoy your outdoor space without the presence of mosquitoes. To ensure that your next barbeque or outdoor event is mosquito-free, schedule a treatment with us today. 

What You Probably Don’t Know About Mosquitoes

If you thought you knew all there was to know about mosquitoes, these facts might surprise you.

We all know mosquitoes are a nuisance; they invade our backyards, sneak into our homes, and make going outdoors a far less enjoyable experience. However, there are a lot of things that you probably don’t know about these insects, such as how many species there are and what makes humans so attractive to them in the first place. Since we at Mosquito Authority believe that education is an important aspect of mosquito control, we put together some fun (or not-so-fun) facts that you probably didn’t know about mosquitoes.

1. Only female mosquitoes bite humans.

It might seem like every mosquito in the world is out to get you, but in reality, female mosquitoes are the only ones who bite humans. While male mosquitoes are able to live off of the nectar from flowers, female mosquitoes need blood in order to lay eggs.

2. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in shallow water.

Because female mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in shallow water or other damp areas, it is important to remove any areas of stagnant water near your home. Less standing water means less room for mosquitoes to breed!

3. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide.

If you’ve ever wondered why mosquitoes are attracted to humans, here’s one reason: these insects are drawn to the odor of the carbon dioxide that we naturally exhale. In addition to this, mosquitoes are also attracted to lactic acid and octenol, both of which are found in human breath and sweat.

4. Not all mosquitoes feed on humans.

With over 3,000 species of mosquito in the world, it might be hard to believe that only some of them bite humans. And, according to National Geographic, only about 3 mosquito species are responsible for spreading human diseases.

5. Mosquitoes are deadlier than you think.

They might be small, but mosquitoes are one of the deadliest species on earth. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes them as the world’s deadliest animal, as they kill more humans than any other species on the planet.

6. Blood type matters when it comes to mosquito bites.

You have probably noticed that some people you know are more prone to mosquito bites than others. Well, it turns out that mosquitoes are most attracted to people with type O blood, and tend to be less drawn to humans with type A and B blood.

7. Wearing dark clothing increases your risk of being bitten.

According to the American Mosquito Control Association, some mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing. If you’re planning on spending time outdoors, try wearing light-colored clothing to reduce your risk of being bitten.

8. Mosquitoes have been around for a long time.

To be more specific, the American Mosquito Control Association estimates that these insects have been around for about 400 million years.

At Mosquito Authority, we want to do everything we can to ensure you and your family are protected from these insects. Call us today to schedule a treatment with us and reclaim your outdoor area.