Tips for an Itch Free Fourth of July You Can Feel Good About

There are many things that make the Fourth of July a holiday we look forward to: warm (or downright hot depending on where you are!) weather, barbecues, pool parties, and fireworks. What do all of these have in common? They’re all enjoyed outdoors! That is our kind of holiday. But, sometimes the great outdoors can bring unwanted guests to your events, and this year we want to be sure you have all your bases covered whether you’re throwing a low key get together or a full blown party.

You probably have all the essentials on your Fourth of July to-do list: red, white, and blue decorations, stocking up on sparklers, and of course, figuring out what to feed your guests. But there is one thing you want to add to the very top of that list – calling us for a barrier spray treatment so that your guests are NOT on the menu. Mosquitoes feed mainly at dawn and dusk, and dusk is the perfect time to be outside manning the grill or enjoying a festive cocktail. Give your local Mosquito Joe a call today to get on the schedule and make sure your yard is itch-free place to enjoy fireworks this weekend. Schedules are filling up fast, so make sure you give them a call!

Mosquito Control Awareness Week

This year is even more special thanks to a campaign that is near and dear to our hearts. To add to the amazing reasons the Fourth of July is our favorite this year, Mosquito Control Awareness Week is happening right now. Every year, the American Mosquito Control Association declares the week of June 26 National Mosquito Control Awareness Week. To celebrate, we partner with local blood banks in our communities to help with the amazing work they do during our Beat the Bloodsuckers campaign. This week, when you sign up for service, 10% of the sale will go back to the local blood bank! How cool is that? You can have an itch and swat-free fourth AND give back to your local community. It’s a win-win.

And since the need for blood doesn’t take a summer vacation, we also encourage you to donate! Mosquitoes take blood from us all the time without asking. Let’s Beat Those Bloodsuckers and donate it to a better cause.

Just Because We Love Food

With mosquitoes out of the picture and your good deed accomplished for the holiday, here’s one more tip – this time for your menu planning. This holiday means cookouts galore, and we’re pretty serious about our grills. Whether you’re going with burgers, brats, dogs, ribs, or chicken, what’s a cookout without potato salad? Since that grill is going to be utilized quite a bit over your long weekend, we thought we’d share one of our favorite recipes that you can throw right on the grill along with everything else. Click to check out this recipe for Grilled Potato Salad.

Happy Fourth of July from all of us at Mosquito Joe. Wishing you a safe and mosquito-free celebration!

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Mosquito Control Awareness Week 2016

Every year in late June, the American Mosquito Control Association recognizes Mosquito Control Awareness Week (MCAW), and June 26 – July 2, 2016 marks the 20th year for this event.  MCAW is a time to educate the general public about the significance of mosquitoes in daily life and the important services provided by mosquito control workers.  This year seems especially significant given the increased concern about Zika virus and its spread.  To make the most of this week and create a greater impact, Mosquito Joe runs an annual campaign called ‘Beat the Bloodsuckers. The campaign has two major components – the first is working to raise awareness of mosquito control and mosquito borne illness through community involvement and education, and the second part of our campaign involves partnering with local blood banks in our franchisees’ communities to support the amazing work these organizations do year round.

‘Beat the Bloodsuckers’ Campaign

Mosquito Joe franchisees across the country also take this opportunity to educate their communities about mosquito-borne illnesses and prevention by reaching out to local organizations and providing education around mosquitoes and other mosquito control topics, such as how to control the mosquito population around your home and how to avoid mosquito bites.  Many locations offer complimentary mosquito control treatments to community organizations and businesses such as public parks, daycares and schools, dog parks, etc. to raise awareness of the importance of mosquito control.

As new customers hear about our services and sign up, participating Mosquito Joe locations make a 10% donation of new customer sales during Mosquito Control Awareness Week to local blood donation centers.  In addition, some locations work with the blood bank to organize a blood drive and encourage their customers, friends, family, and co-workers to donate and beat those bloodsuckers!  Our corporate team and franchisees make a point to donate blood during the week, donate gift baskets to raffle off at blood drives to raise attendance, or offer other perks to donors throughout the week.

Why Blood Donation Centers?

Mosquitoes take a lot of our blood without asking, so why not give some back to help those in need?  Summer brings with it an extremely high need for blood donations in the United States as the rate of accidents and violence increase in the warmer months.  According to the American Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.  Although 38% of the American population is eligible to donate blood each year, less than 10% actually do.  This is critical because blood cannot be re-created or manufactured, it can only be donated from generous individuals.  We encourage you to consider donating this year in celebration of Mosquito Control Awareness Week (and to beat those bloodsuckers, of course), so visit the American Red Cross page to find a donation center near you.

Mosquito Control Awareness Week is close to our hearts here at Mosquito Joe.  While we work all year long to educate our communities about mosquito control and mosquito-borne illnesses, a designated week such as this really shines the spotlight on professional mosquito control and why we need it.  New Mosquito Joe customers will help drive donations, and we encourage everyone to donate blood to a local blood bank or sign up for our professional mosquito control services so that a portion of your service cost will be donated to a blood donation center.  If you donate blood during our campaign, post it to Twitter or Facebook and tag @mosquitojoe with the hashtag #beatthebloodsuckers. We can’t wait to see all the great things this campaign is going to do in communities across the country!

Remember, if you or someone you know needs mosquito control treatment in their yard, Mosquito Control Awareness Week is the perfect time to signup! 10% of sales from new customers will be going to a local blood bank in your community. To inquire about having a representative come and speak about mosquito control at your event this month, contact Julie Green at marketing@mosquitojoe.com. Thanks for helping us celebrate Mosquito Control Awareness Week and Beat the Bloodsuckers!

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Zika Situation Report: June 2016

As a mosquito control expert, Mosquito Joe is making an effort to provide continuously updated information about the ongoing Zika virus situation in the U.S. and around the world.  Our Zika Virus Information Page contains more details about the mosquito-borne illness, but there are many other updates to do with transmission, areas where the virus is spreading, available resources, and scientific research that are important to disperse as well.  We encourage you to check our blog continuously along with our website and Facebook page for the most current information about Zika virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses.

Transmission and Areas Effected

  • There have been no major updates within the last couple of months in the ways Zika is transmitted.  The virus is predominantly spread via an infected Aedes mosquito.  However, it can also be sexually transmitted from an infected male to his partner during unprotected sex, and there have been multiple cases in Brazil of Zika spreading via blood transfusion.  Most notably, Zika can be transmitted from an infected pregnant woman to her child during pregnancy and/or childbirth, which can lead to microcephaly or Guillain-Barre syndrome.
  • There has been a second case of a baby born with microcephaly in the U.S., this time in New Jersey.  The mother was infected with Zika in Honduras, but traveled to the U.S. where she has family and the opportunity for better medical care.
  • As of June 15, 2016, there are 755 reported cases of travel-related Zika virus in the United States, 234 of them are pregnant women, 11 of them sexually transmitted, and 3 of them resulting in microcephaly or Guillain-Barre Syndrome.  There are still no locally transmitted cases, although Zika is expected to arrive in the U.S. within the following month.

Response

  • There is still no federal funding in place to combat Zika virus as Congress is currently working to reconcile two separate bills, a $1.1 billion version passed by the Senate and a $622 million version passed by the House which simply re-allocated funding meant to fight Ebola.
  • In the meantime, the White House and CDC have released a national Zika response plan to help state officials best handle the situation.  Although the plan has not been released to the public, it “includes detailed guidance about the protocol for federal and state officials when Zika spreads to the U.S. for the first time.”
  • As one of the leading health experts in the country, the CDC is not only tracking the spread of the disease but is also doing its best to predict the range of impact Zika will have in the U.S.  The most recent vector surveillance maps estimate the range of mosquitoes that transmit Zika could reach the entire width of the country and as far north as New Hampshire.

Resources

  • The CDC has created a “Zika and Sexual Transmission” webpage that serves as a comprehensive resource with information about transmission, prevention techniques, and advice for couples trying to get pregnant.  There is information about getting tested along with several infographics targeted towards expectant mothers and men with pregnant partners.
  • On a similar note, the CDC also created a webpage dedicated to providing parents with information on how to talk to their children about Zika, signs to watch out for, and tips for controlling mosquitoes at home.
  • As Zika moves closer to the United States, the CDC is working to amplify resources for pregnant women living in effected areas.  This Zika Prevention Kit  and tips for pregnant women in areas with Zika are great tools to make sure you have everything at your disposal to keep those mosquitoes away; i.e. netting, sprays, water treatment tabs, etc.
  • MothertoBaby is an alternative resource sponsored by the CDC.  It is “the nation’s leading authority and most trusted source of evidence-based information on the safety of medications and other exposures during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.  MothertoBaby provides pregnant mothers access to health experts on an immediate and personal basis.
  • Lastly, the CDC has established a U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry, working with state, local, and tribal organizations to “collect information about pregnancy and infant outcomes following laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection during pregnancy. The data collected through this registry will be used to update recommendations for clinical care, to plan for services for pregnant women and families affected by Zika virus, and to improve prevention of Zika virus infection during pregnancy. “

While we are not health experts, we are experts in mosquito control.  We feel it is part of our job and contribution to the larger community to provide these updates on a potentially very dangerous situation.  Please call your local Mosquito Joe to find out how we can provide you with an added layer of defense against mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika virus.  And as always, check back for new information as the situation develops.

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The Best Advice My Dad Ever Gave Me

Believe it or not, Father’s Day was not always the widely celebrated and beloved holiday it is today in America.  While Mother’s Day was established as a national holiday in 1908, it wasn’t until 1972 that Father’s Day was declared a federal holiday by President Richard Nixon.  There was recognition for the day on a state level beginning in the early 1900s, but many were against the idea of a sentimental celebration of fatherhood, especially one created for commercial gain.

Interestingly, there was a movement in the 1920s and 1930s to get rid of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day altogether, replacing it with Parent’s Day.  Protesters would actually gather in Central Park every Mother’s Day in an effort to create an alternative day on which both parents could be respected together.  This effort lost steam during the Great Depression, however, when shopkeepers and retailers pushed for a Father’s Day in the hopes of bringing in more business.  The holiday gained even more momentum during World War II as a way to honor the troops.  Since then, it has been widely celebrated each year, getting its official recognition in 1972.

Father's Day
Kyle Jones and Dad

“Getting old is not for whiners.  Laugh instead.” – Kyle Jones, Graphic Designer

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Jake Vinluan and Dad

“Be ready to take the opportunity when it comes along, because it may not last for long.”  – Kevin Wilson, CEO

“Right or wrong, people’s perception is their reality.” – Kyle Beach, Franchise Business Coach

“Always take care of your family.” – Jake Vinluan, Franchise Business Coach

“My dad usually offers soft-spoken advice.  A slight nudge or hint of what I should do in a given situation goes a long way because I have so much respect for him.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s usually right.  Especially with his advice to “Always make sure the cats have access to the litter boxes.” – David Barrett, Financial Analyst

Father's Day
Tracey Willmott and Dad

“A father figure/mentor once told me: ‘You’re only as strong as your weakest link.’  That advice is something I use everyday to drive myself to bigger and better places.  It’s why working at Mosquito Joe is such a great opportunity because we all try to bring ourselves up.” – Kieran Scott, Franchise Business Coach

“I’ve learned the most important lessons from my dad just by watching the way he lives everyday.  He’s never afraid to try new things, and will never leave a job unfinished.  That sense of adventure and persistence are really inspiring.  But his best advice has been ‘Go for it!’ It’s simple, but it reminds me to go on new adventures and make life exciting.” – Tracey Willmott, Marketing Assistant


We asked our friends at our sister company, Pool Scouts, to chip in as well!  Please check out their website for more information on their pool cleaning and maintenance services.

Father's Day
Gwen Marsh and Dad

“The harder you work, the luckier you get.” – Chris Bushey, Director of Operations, Pool Scouts

“My father’s best advice that he gave me was ‘neatness counts.’  He harped on this as a child, and I believe it has carried through in many facets of my life.” – Michael Wagner, President of Pool Scouts

“‘If you’re going to do a job, do it right!’ Which is ironic because as a dentist by trade, my dad, who fancies himself a handyman, has fumbled his way through many a home project.  But he’s always made it work, no matter how unorthodox the process!  He passed that on to me; a love for creative DIY!” – Gwen Marsh, Marketing Manager, Pool Scouts


We hope everyone has a great Father’s Day this year.  Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page with the best advice you’ve ever received from your father!  If you’re having a party or cookout, don’t forget to call Mosquito Joe to protect your yard and guests from mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks.  That way, you can enjoy the celebration together and not spend it swatting the pests away.

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What’s the Buzz on Summer Reading?

Although you might not get a break from working this summer like kids do from school, you might be looking forward to a vacation, road trip, or simply spending some time by the pool in your free time.  You may also be looking to get into some hobbies or projects that have fallen by the wayside during the busy winter months.  If you’re like me, then reading is definitely on your summer wish-list.  But which book to choose?  While the mainstream newspapers and blogs have guides of well-known romance novels, heart-pounding thrillers, and self-help books, you may be hard-pressed to find a list of mosquito and bug related titles for your summer reading pleasure.  Well, look no further!  Mosquito Joe has your reading needs covered whether you’re searching for drama, comedy, or even children’s books (and don’t worry, the bugs are mostly kept to the title).

Adult Novels

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

“After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom.  Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, Mosquitoland is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.”

The Mosquito Coast – by Paul Theroux

“In a breathtaking adventure story, the paranoid and brilliant inventor Allie Fox takes his family to live in the Honduran jungle, determined to build a civilization better than the one they’ve left.”

Mosquito: The Story of Man’s Deadliest Foe by Andrew Spielman and Michael D’Antonio

“In this lively and comprehensive portrait of the mosquito, its role in history, and its threat to mankind, Spielman and D’Antonio take a mosquito’s-eye view of nature and man. They show us how mosquitoes breed, live, mate, and die, and introduce us to their enemies, both natural and man-made.”

Mosquitoes by William Faulkner

“Mosquitoes centers around a colorful assortment of passengers, out on a boating excursion from New Orleans.  The rich and the aspiring, social butterflies and dissolute dilettantes are all easy game for Faulkner’s barbed wit in this engaging high-spirited novel which offers a fascinating glimpse of Faulkner as a young artist.”

Children’s Books

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema

A West-African folk tale in picture-book format about a mischievous mosquito and the long adventure it goes on which explains why these pests always buzz in our ears.

Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot vs. The Mutant Mosquitoes from Mercury by Dan Pilkey

“Ricky Ricotta may be a small mouse, but he has a VERY big friend — a giant flying Robot! And when an evil, outer space villain named Mr. Mosquito invades Earth with an army of Mutant Mosquitoes from Mercury, Ricky and his Robot know exactly what to do!  From Dav Pilkey, creator of Captain Underpants, and acclaimed artist Dan Santat, an out-of-this-world friendship adventure with all-new full-color illustrations!”

Mosquito by Virginia Kroll

“Mosquito is a nuisance to all the animals as he buzzes about the forest. With fun word play, including rhyme, alliteration, and onomatopoeia, each critter expresses its annoyance with him. Finally, Mosquito bothers the wrong neighbor, who ends the insect’s career as resident pest.”

Mosquito Bite by Alexandra Siy

“In this clever science book, two stories are told: the story of a real mosquito, its life cycle, and how it uses its senses to survive; and the other about a boy that may become the mosquito’s prey. Great photographs reveal close-up views of mosquitoes.”


If you dive into any of these books over the summer, be sure to leave a comment with a review!  And if you’re looking for more well-known titles related to bugs, you could try William Goldings’ Lord of the Flies, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

Of course, getting your summer off to the right start not only takes a good book, but also a swat-free yard!  Give your local Mosquito Joe a call today so you can enjoy the season and start making outside fun again.

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