2015 spring home improvement

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The 2015 Spring Home Improvement Issue.

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  • Page K2

    Open to the Public

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    Echo Journal, April 16, 2015 Brainerd Dispatch, April 17, 2015Spring Home Improvement

    BY DONNA EVANSIts not long after the snow

    melts that those pesky, biting bugs of summer start showing up in the lakes area.

    In late March, people were already reporting the ticks were out, and as soon as leaves start appearing on trees and shrubs, those flying-winged devils those bugs more commonly called mosquitoes will be disrupting outdoor activities.

    These two creatures are more than just annoying. Tick bites can

    lead to a n a p l a s m o s i s , e h r l i c h i o s i s ,

    babesiosis and Lyme disease. There was a reported case of

    Powassan in Cass County.

    Unfortunately, for those living or visiting

    the area, Crow Wing County has one of the highest numbers of reported cases of Lyme disease in the state.

    And if youre looking for the deadliest animal on the planet, look no further than the mosquito. According to the World Health Organization, mosquito-borne diseases are among the worlds leading causes of illness and death today.

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has basic guidelines to avoid tick and mosquito bites. These guidelines include staying out of wooded and brushy areas, using repellents that contain 20 to 30 percent DEET, treating clothes with permethrin, and showering after being outdoors.

    In addition, to help control mosquitoes, avoid outdoor activities in peak mosquito times around dusk and dawn if

    possible. Mosquito-proof your home by making sure all screens are intact. Its important to drain any areas of standing water, clean clogged gutters and remove any items in the yard that could hold water.

    The Minnesota Extension Service recommends cutting weeds and tall grassy areas to reduce areas where mosquitoes like to hang around. It may also help to switch outdoor lighting from fluorescent or incandescent bulbs to sodium lights, which are less attractive to mosquitoes.

    The American Mosquito Control Association encourages homeowners to drain any water-filled containers; dress in light colored, loose fitting clothing; and defend yourself by using an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) repellent. Repellents that are approved and

    CONTROL those pesky bugs of summer

    See BUGS, Page K3

    Spring Home Improvement

    CONTROL

  • Page K3Echo Journal, April 16, 2015 Brainerd Dispatch, April 17, 2015

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    Spring Home Improvement

    recommended by the AMCA are products that contain DEET, Picardin and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

    But it takes more than just a few practical tasks to conquer ticks and mosquitoes. Clayton "Buzz" Holznagel, owner of Mosquito Squad in Merrifield, said it takes a tiered approach to control these pesky bugs. Mosquito Squad has a 5 T approach to controlling pesky ticks and mosquitoes.

    1. Tip: Reduce standing water to help cut down on mosquitoes. Tip over items such as toys, plant saucers, dog bowls and other items that contain standing water.

    2. Toss: Remove and discard any excess grass, leaves, firewood and clippings that have accumulated in the yard.

    3. Turn: Turn over large items, such as childrens wading pools and wheelbarrows that can contain large amounts of standing water.

    4. Tarps: Check tarps. Any tarps that are not stretched tight, such as those over wood piles, sports vehicles or other items in the yard, may contain pools of water.

    5. Treatment: The final step to having a mosquito free area is to use an effective mosquito treatment around the area.

    Holznagel indicated that before Mosquito Squad begins treatment, a licensed technician surveys the area to be treated. They also look

    at an aerial view to see any nearby areas that could harbor mosquitoes. Nothing can promise the total elimination of all mosquitoes and ticks. But Holznagel said the tiered approach can reduce these pesky critters by up to 90 percent.

    We begin in early spring by targeting ticks, said Holznagel.

    Tick control includes barrier sprays and tick tubes. These tubes are similar to toilet paper tubes and contain cotton doused with the chemical pesticide permethrin. The tubes are placed in areas where field mice are present, who take the treated cotton back to their nests. Mice are often hosts for ticks. The chemical on the treated cotton kills the tick larvae that is often present in mice nests. This step can greatly reduce the number of ticks present in an area.

    Once foliage is out on trees and shrubs, prevention turns more toward eliminating mosquitoes. A chemical barrier is sprayed around the yard that becomes an invisible barrier, which kills existing mosquitoes and keeps others from entering the area. The spray also helps to eliminate any ticks that are present in the treated area.

    Work is performed by technicians who are specially trained and are licensed by the Department of Agriculture in the use of chemicals. While spraying the area, the technicians survey the property and make note of any potential areas that may harbor

    BUGS, From Page K2

    See BUGS, Page K4

  • Page K4

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    Echo Journal, April 16, 2015 Brainerd Dispatch, April 17, 2015Spring Home ImprovementPage K4 Echo Journal, April 16, 2015 Brainerd Dispatch, April 17, 2015Spring Home Improvement

    Clean up brush piles that are around the yard. Piles of brush or leaves are attractive places for mosquitoes to rest and hide from predators.

    PHOTO BY DONNA EVANS

    mosquitoes. This work order is then left with the home or business owner so they are aware of potential problem areas and the necessary actions to take to help keep mosquitoes and ticks in check.

    The main chemical used is permethrin, which is commonly used in pet sprays and recommend lice shampoos. If a homeowner desires a more natural treatment Mosquito Squad can use a solution based on essential oils.

    To have the most protection, Holznagel recommends re-treating the area every 21 days if using the permethrin based spray or every 14 days if using the all natural spray. If treating an area for a special event, such as a wedding, Holnzagel recommends that the area be sprayed 24-48 hours before the occasion.

    Any outdoor area, around homes, businesses, restaurants, parks, resorts and even stables can be treated. The only requirement is to stay out of the area for half an hour after it has been sprayed.

    Lorri Kneeland of Brainerd has been a happy Mosquito Squad customer for over four years. Their product works great, said Kneeland. We have a white dog that always had ticks. Since weve been using Mosquito Squad to treat the area we have not seen one tick on her.

    Kneeland called Mosquito Squad as they would be bombarded by mosquitoes whenever they went to their compost bin in their backyard. Kneeland said after the area was treated they felt like they got their yard back from the bugs.

    Sherry Rocholl, Black Diamond Equine Center in Crosby, has been having her

    outdoor areas, including her riding arena, sprayed for several years. Rocholl highly praised the services she received, I love Mosquito Squad. While riding around in our outdoor indoor riding arena we do not have one mosquito.

    BUGS, From Page K3 Mosquito facts Mosquitoes are known from as far

    back as the Triassic Period 400 million years ago. They are known from North America from the Cretaceous 100 mil-lion years ago. There are about 2,700 spe-cies of mosquito. There are 176 species in the United States.

    The average mosquito weighs about 2.5 milligrams.

    Mosquitoes find hosts by sight (they observe movement); by detecting infrared radiation emitted by warm bodies; and by chemical signals (mosquitoes are attract-ed to carbon