Yeah, we know we haven’t been talking about the Zika virus lately, and that’s mostly because, thankfully, there hasn’t been much to talk about.
The last case of locally transmitted Zika virus in Florida was on December 21, 2016, in Miami-Dade County. There have only been 13 cases of travel-related Zika so far in 2017, with one case in Collier County, this is as close as the virus has come to the Gulf Coast.
But the Center for Disease Control is warning people not to let our guard down completely. Although cases across the globe have slowed down – mostly due to the unusually cooler weather even in warmer regions this winter – the CDC cautions that Zika has not been completely eliminated in Brazil and the Caribbean, the source, of the most recent outbreaks. And with the weather turning warmer, there’s even more cause for concern.
According to the CDC, the disease can never be truly eradicated, and the unusual spread of the virus – from its South American roots to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific – means that it is not geographically isolated like most mosquito-bourne viruses. Add that to the fact that there is still no known cure for Zika, and you can see why they’re worried.
And while we’re doing okay in the sunshine state, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa and several other states reported almost 4000 cases (combined) between November of 2016 and when we’re reporting this in March of 2017.
So, while we can breathe a little easier on the Gulf Coast of Florida, we should be prepared for the eventuality that an outbreak could reoccur, especially through visitors to our shore. Luckily, now is the perfect time to prepare a mosquito prevention plan.
As always, try and eliminate the typical mosquito breeding ground of standing water whenever possible. That’s sometimes hard to do when it’s raining more often, but keeping your yard in check always helps. When we start seeing more mosquitoes again, cover up your exposed legs and arms to prevent bites, especially if you’re pregnant.
And, hey, why not give us a call and see what it would take to get one of our exclusive NoBiteZones established for your front and back yards. Like all of our solutions, this one is safe for everyone – from your youngest children to your faithful pets. This one’s even safe for the mosquitoes, turning them and their offspring into vegan dieters. No soy necessary.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. For Ed Freytag, senior entomologist at the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board, his latest picture was literally worth half of that.
This is really cool! Freytag was searching for catalpa caterpillars to snap images of when he spotted an acorn weevil under the lower leaves of the catalpa tree. He shifted gears quickly, prodding the insect to move higher so he could get a better shot – and it was worth it.
His highly detailed photo of the acorn weevil was the winner of Pest Control Technology’s annual photography contest, netting him the $500 prize.
Freytag, who has been with the New Orleans Board for 27 years, took the photo while on vacation in August in Missouri. As lifelong bug enthusiasts ourselves, we can’t help but admire his commitment to the insect world.
But Freytag didn’t even know how great a photo he’d snapped until he reviewed the digital image on the camera’s LCD screen.
As he reviewed the several shots he had taken of the weevil, he noticed that its body was covered in scales and fine hair that was not easily visible to the naked eye. Let’s be honest – most of us never want to get so close to a bug that we can see every hair.
But Freytag selected the best image and submitted it for the contest.
The PCT judges were impressed with the detail on the shot, also noting the contrast between the green leaf and the brown weevil and the distinct drops of water.
PCT has been running the contest for 15 years.
If you’re seeing bugs you weren’t expecting in your house or yard, give us a call. We’re happy to come out and take a look – you might even qualify for our Term-Assure 365 program! You never know until you ask!