Question: When we think about mosquitoes, can you educate us on when they first come out during the year and start to really bother us?
Answer: It really depends on what area or the season here in South Carolina so all the answers and I\'m going to give you is going to be from the area that we work in. Generally, it depends on the temperature and the coldness of the winter we’ve had but, in general, they usually start being very active somewhere in the middle to last of March. First of April they are really active where it’s difficult to go outside and enjoy your barbecue grill or swimming pool or anything like that.
Question: I always heard through the years and mosquitoes could carry diseases. Is that really true and if so what kind of diseases do they carry?
Answer: his is very true and of course the better the technology gets the more the scientists and doctors come up with the additional diseases they can carry. They do carry the West Nile virus. I\'ll just give you some examples. The West Nile virus, Chicken Ganja Dingy virus, Malaria, the Zika virus just a few. I guess the most common here in this area is the West Nile virus. Of course, who know what’s to come after the technology gets better and better every year.
Question: Now, where in our yards do mosquitoes tend to breed and is there anything at all we can do as homeowners, property owners to try to make our yards less attractive for mosquitoes
Answer: A lot of people in our area have Bermuda grass and Zoysia and therefore they have sprinkler systems. When your sprinkler system comes on during the day, you have puddles of water. Some of the areas you can\'t see with the naked eye but all it takes is a spoonful of water for mosquitoes to go breed and from that spoon full of water, you can have from one mosquito egg to all the way up to 2-3,000 eggs. Also beware of toys in the yard. If you have children’s toys that stay outside year round, they collect water. Anything that collects water, you’re bound to have mosquito activity. Also be aware of potting plants as they have a saucer on the bottom which collects water. Consider birdbaths, just be mindful of anything that holds water as you’ll want to keep it empty. Swimming pools that are not used can become breeding ground for mosquitos. That old, nasty green water is a top place we find them. We see vacant homes with pools that are not being maintained and you can actually see the larva swimming around in the water. So, those are examples of areas that can hold standing water that need to be kept empty to lessen the likelihood of mosquito breeding.
Question: So the bottom line is to dump it out. Don’t have standing water in your yard?
Answer: That’s correct. Also, keep you grass cut to a short height and that should allow the sunlight to dry out areas more quickly.
Question: When it’s that time of the year that I want to be able to cook out and really enjoy my yard with family and friends and we start to have those darn mosquitos flying all around and pestering us. Tell me about the First Choice mosquito service. What do you come out and actually do and how long does a treatment last?
Answer: The length of it last depends partly on the weather and the region you live. Here in the Greenville-Spartanburg area, it usually lasts between 21 and 30 days. The service we offer is actually every 28 days. We come to your home every 28 days and treat for mosquitos and any time in between that we need to. We have technicians that are equipped with a gas powered backpack sprayer misters. We utilize a solution that is very effective and it’s safe for children and pets to be outside after we apply the spray. Our treatment does last 28 days to 30 days before it would have to be done again. Mosquitoes actually have a birth cycle of every 30 days so when a mosquito lays eggs, it becomes an adult in 28 days. That’s why you want to be having your yard treated at least every 30 days to keep the activity down to a minimum. We do have actually have an IGR, integrated growth regulator which is instilled in the solution we spray so therefore if any mosquito actually comes in contact with the insecticide, it does have an impact on the mosquito’s ability to reproduce. I really think our treatments are the best in the upstate.
Question: So is it best to get on a schedule and if so for the Greenville Spartanburg area, what are the key months that you want to be on the schedule to be getting monthly treatments?
Answer: April to October is what we emphasize. Last year we actually had mosquito treatment needs all the way into November because I didn\'t get cold expected but generally we focus on April through October.
Question: What can you tell us about the range of expense to have your treatment done? Is it based on the size of the yard or how do you price it?
Answer: Our general service is $50 monthly for up to 1 acre. Anything over an acre is $50, $60 for an acre and a half, $70 for two acres an so forth.
Question: I guess it’s just logical that if you’re in a neighborhood with medium size backyards that you’ll get a little better protection if you also talk to your neighbors and get them to have treatments as well?
Answer: Absolutely. We are actually working on a program where we put out door knockers on the neighbor to the left and right of our treated customer homes letting them know of the treatment and the benefits of also having their yards treated. Yes, it does work tremendously better if you can have your neighbors do the same thing and we can offer even more attractive pricing for multiple homes like this.
Question: Well, we always like a price break! Anything else that we should know about mosquitoes?
Answer: I just want everybody to be aware that mosquitos do transfer diseases and it’s a proven fact that if you or your children are getting bites, please, regardless of whom you use, get your yard treated on a scheduled basis because it is getting dangerous with disease transmission.
Question: We want to thank you for your time again. It’s Gary Corbin in the Greenville-Spartanburg area of South Carolina with First Choice Termite and Pest Control. We thank you for being with us today. Stay tuned for more Pest Podcast News right here where we take your questions and put them to the experts.