Terminix Debunks Five Myths About Mosquitoes

Contributed by BSM Staff

MEMPHIS, TN -- To recognize National Mosquito Awareness Week (June 21-27), Terminix, a leading provider of termite and pest control services and a ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) company, is sharing expert knowledge to help homeowners ward off mosquitoes and the serious diseases they can potentially transmit such as West Nile Virus and St. Louis encephalitis, and globally, Zika, malaria and dengue.

With travel and vacation on hold for millions across the country this summer, and many people spending more time at home, outdoor living spaces have become a place for families to escape to—and keeping them comfortable and pest-free is more important than ever.

“Protecting homes and families is at the heart of everything we do,” said Kim Scott, president of Terminix Residential. “For the last several months, our homes have also served as our offices and our schools. As Summer begins, backyards are becoming staycation spots for many families. We want to protect those outdoor spaces and the special moments that bring our customers joy, so they can focus on what matters most.”

Understanding misconceptions about mosquitoes, like what attracts them and the most effective ways to keep them away from homes and yards, is critical to keeping families safe—and backyards protected—this summer.

Mosquito Myths
Myth #1: Mosquitoes need a lot of water to breed.
Truth: Mosquitoes can breed in a very small amount of stagnant water, such as standing water in buckets, bird baths, tires, tarps, flowerpots and trash can lids. Rid your yard of these water sources every 3-5 days to help control the mosquito population. Check for standing water often as mosquitoes can lay thousands of eggs in just a couple of weeks! Mosquitoes require water to complete their life cycle, so by eliminating their water source, you eliminate their offspring.

Myth #2: Mosquitoes aren't that dangerous.
Truth: Mosquitoes are considered the deadliest animal on earth, spreading diseases such as malaria, Zika and West Nile virus to people across the globe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that mosquitoes kill more people than any other creature in the world.

Myth #3: Mosquitoes are only dangerous to humans.
Truth: In fact, mosquitoes can bite, and spread diseases to, animals - including your pets! Mosquito-borne diseases kill countless birds, reptiles, dogs, horses and endangered species each year. Mosquito bites can cause canine heartworm, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Western Equine Encephalitis in animals.

Myth #4: DIY Mosquito control techniques are good enough.
Truth: DIY Methods might help you temporarily get rid of adult mosquitoes, but they won’t help with the thousands of eggs that could be ready to hatch at any moment. What's more, there is little scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of citronella candles, dryer sheets, ultrasonic devices and other DIY methods. Bug zappers may eliminate some mosquitoes, however, the light itself can actually attract even more mosquitoes, thereby increasing the population in your yard.

Myth #5: It's not a "bad year" for mosquitoes, so I don’t need to worry about them in my yard.
Truth: This year in particular, Americans are spending more time at home and outdoors in an effort to social distance. Patios, porches, decks and rooftops are all excellent places for families – and mosquitoes – to gather. Mosquitoes affect populations that live in temperatures above 50 degrees, meaning they’re a nuisance across the globe, but especially in areas with hot, humid climates and in coastal zones. When you take steps to control the mosquito population in your yard, you’re doing your part to help protect your family, neighborhood and community.

Proper mosquito management is key to alleviating the ongoing public health concerns associated with this pest.

Following these simple prevention tips and using professional control methods such as Terminix Quick Guard mosquito service can help protect families:

  • Eliminate water sources: Empty any outdoor water containers or equipment every 3-5 days. This includes bird baths, pet dishes, children’s toys and recreational equipment or patio decorations.
  • Dress appropriately outdoors: Wear loose-fitting and light-colored clothing.
  • Protect yourself: Apply repellent such as DEET, picaridin, IR-3535 or Oil of Lemon-Eucalyptus (OLE).
  • Maintain your home: Clean gutters often, maintain your lawn, and repair tears in window or door screens.
  • Hire a professional: Focus on control methods offered by expertly trained professionals to handle these aggressive pests.

For more information on helping protect your home and property from mosquitoes, visit Terminix.com or call 1-800-TERMINIX.

Terminix is a business unit of ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV), a provider of essential residential and commercial services. To learn more about Terminix, visit Terminix.com.

ServiceMaster is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. Go to www.servicemaster.com.