Welcome to Argus Environmental’s Blog!

Although it’s less than a week old, Spring has more than sprung in south Texas….our bluebonnets, Indian paint brushes and wine cups are in full bloom! That can mean a lot of different things for the environment, but our topic today is the insect kingdom, how it is affecting so many lives, and what you should do to protect your home.

It’s amazing how things that are virtually unseen in the modern world can have such a profound effect on our daily lives. Mosquitos have always been a natural transmitter of disease. After all, they feast on the blood of living organisms and are nearly insatiable. Many readers may have experienced the sting of an engorged mosquito that was too slow to get away from an angered slap!

In fact, the mosquito has carried deadly disease to more human beings than any other documented transporter of infectious disease. Malaria has cost more lives over time than any other recorded disease. As you may imagine, many good people have devoted themselves to the stop of malaria. The World Health Organization reported that there were an estimated 198 million – that’s MILLION! – cases that occurred worldwide in 2013. Nearly 500,000 human beings, mostly children in the African continent, died.

The Center for Disease Control reports that about 1,500 cases of malaria in the United States annually, most of whom contracted the disease abroad.

How is malaria controlled?

Typically, by eradicating the mosquito. Malaria may also be prevented by taking medications before, during and after potential exposures. Healthy individuals who have contracted malaria may be treated by being placed under a doctor’s care who will administer medication for treatment.

Ok great. Mosquitos spread disease. LOTS of it….and we have mosquitos in San Antonio…and there’s a new threat to that is looming…the Zika virus!

 

DDT anyone?

There may be many of you who can recall when this pesticide was first formulated in the 50s. Its application was universal in the agricultural and residential market for over 20 years and, make no mistake, it rendered insects – including the dreaded mosquito – absolutely dead! DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane, one of the most effective and notorious organo-insecticides) may be responsible for saving countless lives and crops across the face of the globe. Yet its residual effects as a neuro-toxic insecticide remain, even though the EPA has banned its use for over 30 years.

Well, what about the newest and latest mosquito repellant available? That marvel of modern chemical technology should keep us safe shouldn’t it? After all, mosquitos avoid it all cost. With the threat of the zika and so many other mosquito viruses here, it’s the right thing to do, right?

Most popular best-selling mosquito repellants contain a chemical called N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide – also known as DEET. Folks, the jury on DEET is still out and our medical professionals have yet to render a steadfast opinion on the potential hazards that exist in its use as an insect repellant….but laboratory research indicates that the chemical is readily absorbed through the skin and may trigger a wide variety of biological responses in the human body. Also, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) has clearly identified DEET as toxic if inhaled, ingested or otherwise systemically (through the skin) introduced into the body.

What can we do to keep our families and loved ones safe, you ask?

First, don’t let standing water accumulate near your home. If you have any type of water fixture, make sure the water is properly circulated and filtrated. This will prevent mosquitos from laying eggs.

But how do you control what your neighbors do?

Well… you can’t. So, the real question is…how do you provide protection for your home environment?

Should you get an indoor environmental quality assessment?

There are a number of strategies for protecting humans from mosquitos. Most strategies involve controlling their ability to reproduce. After all, if you prevent them from breeding, they will disappear, right?

True enough; however, the solution does not come about without long-term ramifications for your property and the surrounding flora and fauna…and perhaps yourself or your family.

This is why it's important for homeowners to get indoor environmental quality assessments to protect their loved ones from potential contaminants.

So- what’s our best strategy to prevent insect-borne disease?

Contact Argus and schedule your indoor environmental quality assessment today!

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