The Zika virus continues to make news. It was a topic of discussion last week when Kyle and I attended the annual Michigan Mosquito Control Association (MMCA) conference.  We were presented with two days of informational speakers covering a multitude of interesting topics.  We heard about Excelling in Customer Service, Protecting Pollinators, and Treating Near Organic Farms just to name a few.  Representatives presented information to us from pesticide manufacturers, high-tech tracking equipment, spraying equipment and several types of mosquito population monitoring and surveillance equipment.

The MMCA also had data about arbor-viruses (Arthropod Borne Virus) or more specifically viruses transmitted by mosquitoes.  They presented information on common Michigan diseases like West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis as well as Chikungunya, Yellow Fever and Zika Virus.

One of the speakers was Joseph M. Conlon, a retired US Navy entomologist with extensive worldwide experience in mosquito control during a 25 year career in entomology.  Mr. Conlon is the technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association.  He spoke at length about the Zika virus.   After listening to Mr. Conlon you began to realize that there is more unknown about the Zika virus, how it is transmitted and the immediate and long term effects on humans.  One point that he continued to stress is that he is against any media hype that sensationalizes the virus.  We need to use common sense, protect ourselves the best we can and keep informed with documented scientific information.

The impact of the Zika virus on Michigan is yet to be determined.  According to Conlon “Aedes aegypti, the mosquito blamed for the Zika outbreak linked to birth defects in Brazil, can be found in the southern U.S. from Florida to California. Another carrier is the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, which has a more northerly range that includes cities such as Chicago and New York”; therefore, we only have one of the two species to contend with here in West Michigan.

Although nobody can eliminate every mosquito, or totally eliminate the risk of contracting viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, Mosquito Shield of West Michigan will significantly reduce the mosquito population in and around the active living areas of your yard.  We will also begin early to gain control prior to the springtime breading season, which is critical for control according to Conlon.

Go to MoShield.com or call us today to find out more information about how we can help you significantly reduce the mosquito population and the associated risks to you and your family.

Thanks,

Chuck Barnes

Mosquito Shield of West Michigan