The Best in Mosquito Elimination


Staycation St. Louis Style

It’s August.  Work has slowed down, the kids are tiring of their lazy summer routine, and all you want to do is go on vacation.  But the reason you didn’t plan one already is because vacations are SO expensive.  What is the solution?  A staycation of course!

Staycations are exciting because you make your own rules.  The only defining factor is that you sleep at home, therefore saving all of the money that would normally be spent on travel and lodging.  Beyond that simple restriction the time is yours!  Below are some ideas for creating a special staycation in St. Louis.

1. Set rules for use of electronics, seeing friends, doing errands, answering the phone, responding to emails, and anything else that signifies routine life.

2. Try out new restaurants.  Limit the amount of cooking you do so that you can maximize your leisure time

3. Enjoy lots of private time in your backyard lounging and playing around.  It is very convenient if you have a pool, but if not just set up some sprinklers and a Slip ‘n Slide!

4. Spend a day at the City Museum and/or the Saint Louis Science Center.

5. Play around at Elephant Rocks and Johnson’s Shut-Ins.  They are very close to one another, so you can do both on the same day!

6. Take advantage of Forest Park-all of it. Swim in the fountains below the World’s Fair Pavilion, walk around in the art and history museums, rent paddle boats, eat at the Boat House, experience the Jewel Box, enjoy the zoo, and top off the day with a show at the Muny.

7. Go on a float trip!  The other weekend we had a fabulous time floating down the Meramec from Old Cove Canoe.  Other nearby float trips include Cherokee LandingTwin Rivers, and Forest 44.

8. Visit Six Flags or Raging Rivers if you desire further amusement.

 

BUG BYTE: There are 176 species of mosquitoes in the United States.  Be sure to protect your family from the dangerous diseases mosquitoes can carry by using a  barrier spray on your property or with the proper use of DEET.

 

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Grilling for Gold

Healthy grilling tips from the registered Dieticians and NutriFormance

"Healthy Grilling St. Louis"

1.  Choose LEAN cuts of meat: Using baby back pork ribs instead of beef short ribs saves 300 calories and 17 grams of saturated fat for every 6 ounces. Choose 93% lean ground beef, bison, loin cuts, fish, chicken sausage, and veggie burgers for fun alternatives to traditional burgers.

2.  Pile up the PRODUCE: grill asparagus, peppers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, beets, mushrooms, artichokes…and the list goes on.  Sprinkle a dash of olive oil and pepper to bring out the vegetables’ natural flavor.  Add a smoky twist to fruit by grilling pineapple or pears with honey for a warm dessert.

"Seasoned Grilled Steak"

3.  SPICE things up: choose spices or powders for flavor to help cut out the added salt. Also consider adding citrus juices like lemon or lime to for extra flavor and health benefits.

4.  Get proper grilling TOOLS: soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes before grilling for creative meat and veggie kebob combinations.  This will keep wood skewers from burning.  Use a meat thermometer to take the guesswork out of grilling meat (beef = 145 degrees, pork = 160 degrees, lamb = 145 degrees, poultry = 165 degrees).

"Grilling Salmon on Wood Plank"

5.  Avoid CANCER causing compounds: use a wood plank to prevent direct contact between meet and grill flames (where carcinogens can form).  Grilling on a wood plank also enhances the aroma and flavor of the meat.  In addition to grilling on wood, integrating antioxidant rich vegetables, fruits, spices, olive oil, and citrus juices into the meal can also help fight these cancer-causing compounds.

Get more grilling tips in the full article by Molly Kimball, RD:                             http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2012/06/5_ways_to_stick_to_a_healthy_d.html

This article is brought to you & approved by St. Louis’ Emily Bailey, RD, LD, NASM
NutriFormance and Athletic Republic
Director of Nutrition and Massage

Find Your Farmer!

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Summertime and the EATIN’ is easy…

…thanks to the dedicated farmers that bring their fresh, locally grown produce right into our neighborhoods.  It couldn’t be any easier to make sustainable food choices with so many fantastic farmers’ markets scattered throughout Greater Saint Louis!  Check out the table below for current information about the local markets.

I personally frequent Soulard, Clayton, Kirkwood, and Webster Groves Farmers’ Markets.

Soulard is special because it is HUGE, has a permanent structure, and is open year-round on Fridays and Saturdays (and Wednesdays and Thursdays May through September).  This is the best market to visit if you’re looking to get all of your groceries from local farmers.  There is an extensive meat and cheese selection, and if you get hungry while you are there you can make a stop for peanuts, donuts, or a full-blown meal.

I go to Clayton Farmers’ Market because there are wonderful fruit stands as well as several quality baked goods vendors.  On top of these typical farmers’ market items, Clayton also lures in the crowd with Straub’s BBQ, Belgian waffles, farm sandwiches and fresh tea and coffee!!!  Take your kids—this time it is socially acceptable for them to be eating as you continue to shop for food…

Kirkwood Farmers’ Market stands out because it is open every day of the week.   And, Saturdays at Kirkwood outdo Saturdays at the other markets thanks to the live music at 10am in June, July, and August.  AND Kirkwood has Tro-Mo (“Tropical Moose Shaved Ice” for those of you who aren’t abbreviation-crazed teens).

Webster Groves Farmers’ Market is truly a community center.  Of course their mission is to promote healthy eating and locally grown foods, but your kids won’t even realize that they are becoming sustainability champions as they enjoy “Kids at the Market” on Thursday nights.

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Tick…Tick…Tick…BOOM!

Ticks are proving to be a prolific pest this year in St. Louis because of our mild winter and lack of frost this spring. Over the last month I have had at least 30 people call with concerns about ticks compared with three people the last two years! Ticks might be little, but they pack a mighty punch. There is reason for concern: Ticks carry serious diseases for humans AND pets like Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, STARI and Erhlichiosis. The CDC’s website offers extensive information on these tick-borne illnesses.

The three most prevalent ticks in Missouri are deer ticks, lone star ticks and American dog ticks. They live in moist, humid environments especially near wooded and grassy areas, so after being in these areas be sure to check yourself, children and pets for ticks.

Ticks are often found in these areas of the body:

  • Under the Arms
  • Around the ears
  • Inside the belly button
  • Around the hairline and scalp
  • Between the legs

Removing Ticks
The quicker a tick can be removed, the less of a chance for infection. Most infection occurs when ticks are attached for at least 24 hours.

To remove an attached tick, wearing latex gloves use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull the tick straight out. Be sure not to twist the body. Be careful not to break the tick. Treat the bite area with rubbing alcohol. Use rubbing alcohol to kill the tick by soaking it in a container. If you encounter a nest of seed ticks (tick larvae) quickly remove clothing and bathe in warm soapy water. It’s possible to encounter thousands of these little creatures at one time!

Remember the 5 Ps for Tick Protection:

PRUNE: Prune all tree branches and shrubs away from the edge of the lawn and place a path of wood chips, mulch or gravel between woods and lawn. Remove as much honeysuckle as possible from your property. Honeysuckle is an invasive, noxious plant that provides nesting areas for animals that carry ticks like deer and rodents.

PITCH: Pitch any leaf litter or yard debris before ticks can settle in and make a home.

PREVENT: Prevent deer (which carry ticks) from gathering in your yard by eliminating deer food sources like groundcovers.

PROVIDE: Provide children with vegetation free play areas. Place play equipment on a bed of mulch or wood chips.

PROTECT: Protect your family and pets with a professional barrier spray program that eliminates adult ticks. Apply DEET bug repellent if you are going in the woods or other areas where ticks are present. Apply Frontline Plus or Advantix to dogs to keep ticks from attaching to them. Mosquito Squad can also protect your yard with tick tubes. Visit MosquitoSquad.com to read more about them.

BUG BYTE: One tick can lay up to 3,000 eggs! 

The ScuttleBUZZ Goes Live.

2011 is going to be an exciting year in the blog world! As you have noticed, Mosquito Squad of Greater Saint Louis’ blog has a new name: “The ScuttleBUZZ…inside scoop on outside living.” As seen in my previous blogs, I like to journey beyond the world of mosquitoes, and I thought I needed a fun name to relay that message. This is where you’ll find the 4-1-1 on outdoor fun. But never fret…I will continue to add interesting and relevant news about all things mosquito, tick and flea that I think are worthwhile to pass along. Be sure to keep your eye out for these “bug bytes.”

I just came across a new company in St. Louis called The Backyard BBQ Grill Company. What a simple yet innovative concept they have. How many of you have caked on crud all over your grill? Did you know that not properly cleaning your grill greatly reduces its lifespan, affects the flavor of your food and can be a fire hazard? Well that’s where Steve and his company can help you out. Using a unique steam cleaning system, they thoroughly clean your grill making sure it’s ready for your next outdoor cooking adventure. Wow! Another great service by another great St. Louis company.

Way to go The Backyard BBQ Grill Company! Just like Mosquito Squad of Greater Saint Louis you’re helping make outdoor experiences wonderful!

BUG BYTE: In Malaysia genetically modified male mosquitoes were released into the wild. The Malaysian authorities hope the modified male mosquitoes will breed with wild females and produce offspring with a shorter lifespan hoping to slow the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. Here in STL you don’t need to wait for genetically modified mosquitoes to eradicate the pests. Mosquito Squad of Greater St. Louis is prepared to safely solve your mosquito problem from April through October, allowing your family to enjoy your outdoor areas.

Homegrown fun…the county fair.

So our oldest daughter leaves for sleep away camp tomorrow. Having never been a camper myself, I’m not sure where she gets this urge to spend six nights in an un-air-conditioned teepee. (By the way, the temperature is going to be 98 degrees on Tuesday. Bless her little soul). I may not like camp life, but I do love a county fair. As her last hurrah before she loads the bus and heads out in the morning, the family went to the St. Charles County Fair.

I grew up in a small town in eastern North Carolina. One of the highlights of the year was the county fair. It was always in early fall. I loved the 4-H animals, cheerleading competitions, monster truck races, down home cooking (especially the ham biscuits), nausea inducing rides and those always fashionable little metal clips with the skinny leather strips with colorful feathers on the end that my older brother’s friends told me were for illegal purposes. What?!! It was small town living at its finest!

I’ll be the first one to tell you that not many people around here are going to a county fair. My girls definitely didn’t know what to expect tonight as we loaded up in the car for the 45 minute drive. But oh how their eyes lit up with the first glance of the Ferris wheel. It’s not often that they get to pet cows and see prize chickens. When one of them touched a “real egg” you would have thought she touched Hannah Montana! (Never mind that we have a dozen in the fridge). They learned that angora comes from rabbits. They even got a turn, although very brief, on a mechanical bull. It proved to be a tough match for them. Goats, an 8 week old pig, camels, and turtles made the petting zoo a hit. Who can go to a fair without getting suckered into playing the games? As with everything else these days though everyone is a winner. Kind of nice I have to say to be guaranteed a prize. The prizes are still as cheesy as ever…some things never change. And speaking of things never changing, the “carnies” look the exact same along with the rides that seem like they could swing off their hinges any minute. Regardless, everyone still rides them and loves every minute of it. We knew it was time to end the evening when we hopped on the Ferris wheel only to be met with a lightning storm. With everyone freaking out, I calmly said, “Have you ever heard of anyone dying on a Ferris wheel from lightning?” Don’t know if anyone has, but my confident delivery seemed to calm everyone down. One thing is for sure, they’ll all remember their first ride on a Ferris wheel. You know it’s been a good night as you’re walking back to the car in the rain and hear, “Mom and dad, that was the best family night ever!”

As always, Mosquito Squad of Greater Saint Louis‘ mission is to help make your outdoor experiences wonderful. The volunteers at the St. Charles County Fair are taking it to the next level. Thanks for providing some wonderful memories for my family!

Campho-Phenique? Still? Really? Seriously?

The other day I was talking to a grandmother who had her precious granddaughter in a red flyer wagon. The sweet little girl had some welts on her arm caused by mosquitoes. When I made a comment about the painful looking, raised, red areas…the grandmother said, “She’ll be fine. I just put some campho-phenique on them.” Holy blast to the past. I remember that little green bottle so vividly. When I was a little girl, campho-phenique was a staple in our medicine cabinet! Even with its fancy sounding french name, Jeff Foxworthy includes campho-phenique in his redneck jokes. “You know you’re a redneck when you think campho-phenique is a miracle drug.” My family sure thought it was. It ranked right up there with mentholatum, baby aspirin and mercurochrome. I’m lucky I never got mercury poisoning. Did you know mercurochrome was officially taken off the market in the US in 1998? The US FDA deemed it a potential hazard because of its mercury content. Many a time, I walked around with that literal “red badge of courage.” The reddish brown stain left on the skin after treatment of a cut or bug bite was a sign that I just endured some MAJOR stinging. Fortunately for my children’s generation, mercurochrome has gone the way of the milkman.

How do most people treat mosquito bites today? According to America’s favorite pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene, you should use a multi-prong approach. Begin with an antihistamine like Zyrtec. That will help relieve the itching. A simple mixture of baking soda and water applied to the bites can bring relief. Calamine lotion or a topical anesthetic like Caladryl helps, too. Ibuprofen can cut back on inflammation. Topical steroid creams offer aid from itching. Sometimes systemic steroids are needed in cases of extreme allergic reactions. Funny how he doesn’t mention campho-phenique.

The best way to treat mosquito bites is to prevent them. Give Mosquito Squad of Greater Saint Louis a call. With our successful barrier spray, you’ll be sure to enjoy your yard without the nuisance of mosquitoes. No bugs. No bites. No kidding.

As always, Mosquito Squad of Greater Saint Louis‘ mission is to help make your outdoor experiences wonderful!

Catching Up With Mosquito Squad!

For those of you who anxiously await my blogs, I apologize for the recent lag. Mosquito Squad of Greater Saint Louis has been so busy fighting mosquitoes and winning that we have hardly had time for anything else. So here I sit at 10:45 at night, all kids are tucked in bed, storms are rolling in, and I’m ready to write.

Lots of things have been going on. I never followed up on my previous blog about training for the St. Louis 1/2 Marathon. I completed it and beat last year’s time by one minute. Dr. Oz just last week reiterated the fact that mosquitoes are one of the most dangerous animals on earth carrying diseases like West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis (ironically named for an awful outbreak in St. Louis in 1933). We donated fifty mosquito nets to Malaria No More. They will protect at least 100 people from disease carrying mosquitoes for five years! Someone wrecked into the Skeeter Beater (our truck) scraping up the great artwork, denting a rim and ruining the bumper. That was a very sad day. My daughter and her classmates raised over $600 for the World Bird Sanctuary. One mom even developed a Save the Birds website! I successfully convinced the editors at Ladue News that Mosquito Squad should be featured as a perfect Father’s Day gift in its “Great Gifts for Dads” story. Look for us in its June 11th edition. Finally, come see us at the Clayton Farmer’s Market on Saturdays (8:30-12:00) in June. After stopping by our booth to say hi, you’ve got to head over to Blues Hog Barbeque Company and buy the best bbq in town. Bill Arnold pulls up the night before and camps out while he slow-cooks ribs, pork shoulder and brisket. You’ve got to get there early because he sells out fast!

I’m going to close with the best testimony for Mosquito Squad. Just tonight at 8:15 my girls headed outside to catch lightning bugs. Not one mosquito bite on any of them!

As always, Mosquito Squad of Greater Saint Louis‘ mission is to help make your outdoor experiences wonderful! There is nothing sweeter than catching lightning bugs mosquito-free!

Conway Kids’ Lemonade Stand Raises Money for the World Bird Sanctuary

Conway School has the best group of third graders! At Tilles Park every Sunday from noon-2:00 during the month of May, they are sponsoring a lemonade stand. The proceeds will benefit the World Bird Sanctuary and its mission to help injured birds of prey. In the first two weeks, they have raised over $200!! One of the parents has even created a website to help the kids’ efforts. www.savethebirdstlouis.com. Come visit us one Sunday and enjoy some refreshing lemonade. (You’ll find us between the swings and the playground). Don’t forget to enter the raffle. You could win a 12 person private tour of the World Bird Sanctuary, and then you can help release a rehabilitated bird back into the wild! As you can see for yourself…helping others is lots of fun.

As always, Mosquito Squad of Greater Saint Louis‘ mission is to help make your outdoor experiences wonderful. The children at Conway are taking it to the next level. Thanks, kids!

It’s World Malaria Day.

Every year 850,000 people die from malaria. 90 percent of those who die are under the age of five. We at Mosquito Squad (the world’s largest mosquito control company) have a social purpose to help raise funds to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015, and heighten awareness of the malaria plight, by supporting Malaria No More in every way possible.

For every customer who signs up with Mosquito Squad of Greater Saint Louis, we are donating $10 to Malaria No More. $10 will buy a treated mosquito net that will protect one family from the bite of deadly mosquitoes. You can help too! Since today is World Malaria Day, why not make a $10 donation by texting “SWAT” to 85944 or by visiting SwatMalaria.net online? Think about how lucky we are to go to sleep in a bug-free cozy bed. We don’t have to worry about dangerous mosquitoes who bite only at night, often transferring the parasite that causes malaria from person to person. African families do, but we can help change that! Click here to see for yourself how something as simple as a bed net is a proven, successful tool in the battle against malaria.

American Idol Gives Back believes in Malaria No More‘s efforts. Of the $45,000,000 that was raised on Wednesday night’s show $8,000,000 will go to Malaria No More, which will provide 800,000 bed nets. Amazing! You can help FIGHT THE BITE and save lives in Africa, too. It’s the best $10 you’ll ever spend!

As always, Mosquito Squad of Greater Saint Louis‘ mission is to help make your outdoor experiences wonderful. Malaria No More takes it to the next level. Thank you!

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