Horse/Equine Info. Prepare Now For Mosquito Season

Trap mosquitoes with our MKS-1022 C02 mosquito trap, mosquito control product. A complete mosquito trap and mosquito killing system.

Mosquito season is just around the corner, and mosquito-borne diseases will soon be resurfacing. The Centers for Disease Control documented over 34,000 cases of equine West Nile virus in the United States since 2001, with a 25 percent mortality rate. Eastern Equine Encephalitis is not as prevalent as West Nile virus, but it is predicted to spread to other states this year and the fatality rate is 90 percent.

To protect horses, the mosquito populations around stables and pens must be reduced. Traditional methods of control, however, are not sufficient. Keeping horses stabled during heavy mosquito activity, insecticide fogging, and topical mosquito repellents are not adequate safeguards. Even vaccinations do not ensure protection.

"No vaccine has a 100 percent guarantee of preventing an illness," said Dr. Marcia Hillard, DVM, with the Northeast Arkansas Equine Center in Jonesboro. "Some horses do not respond favorably to vaccinations. As a result, they are susceptible to mosquito-borne diseases. Plus, a large number of horses will not get vaccinated and others will not get their boosters."

Dr. Hillard recommends a safe and effective way to reduce mosquitoes in target areas. "The Mosquito Killing System is the most efficient method of mosquito control we have found. And we've tried everything," she said.

Developed with technical assistance from NASA, the Mosquito Killing System is the result of 16 years of research and testing. This Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Listed device attracts mosquitoes by mimicking body temperatures and breathing patterns of warm-blooded mammals through thermal imagery and carbon dioxide.

The Mosquito Killing System reduces the mosquito population in a one-acre area without pesticides or chemicals. It is quiet, odorless and does not use a propane tank. This technology is used at government facilities, health clinics, amusement parks, universities, stables and horse racetracks.

The Mosquito Killing System has six unique features. First, it uses electricity because propane cannot produce the proper airflow or heat to mimic body temperatures. Second, scientific measurements are applied for the heat source and carbon dioxide release. Third, controlled and measured releases of carbon dioxide cycle every several minutes producing body heat signatures of humans, horses, etc. Fourth, mosquitoes detect no air turbulence, but the airflow sufficiently vacuums them in. Fifth, the machine is self cleaning. Sixth, the unit's surface simulates skin texture.

"I bought my first system five years ago, and I've purchased over a dozen since," said Dr. Hillard. "I gave some to friends, sold several to clients and kept a few. The only alternative is to put horses inside from dusk to dawn and position big fans on them. Using fans doesn't eliminate mosquitoes, it just helps keep them off the horses at night."

Whether you have 20 acres or 220 acres, you don't need to protect the entire property. You only need to protect the area near the stables and pens. This can easily be accomplished with the MKS units, depending on the size and layout of the pens and stables. Horses usually come to this area at dusk and stay until dawn, which is peak mosquito activity. You will notice within a few weeks after using the machines that your horses will seem much more comfortable in the protected area. The mosquito population in the vicinity of these machines will be drastically reduced compared to the mosquitoes in the unprotected areas.

In actual tests, most machines catch 50-100 mosquitoes daily. The Mosquito Killing System in the same test area, however, consistently captures from a few hundred to several thousand per night, greatly reducing mosquito populations. Each mosquito caught is a female that can lay a raft of 300 eggs. So, for every 1,000 mosquitoes eliminated the mosquito population is actually reduced by 300,000 in that area.

Mosquitoes stay very near their hatching source. To reduce an area of mosquitoes requires at least two weeks. Occasionally, it takes longer to capture enough generations of female mosquitoes to eliminate new eggs from hatching in the vicinity of the device. It is recommended that all stagnant water and roosting sites, such as tall grass, be eliminated in conjunction with using the machine.

Now is the time to prepare for mosquitoes. Don't wait for a full-blown infestation. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 9,100 documented human cases of West Nile virus were reported nationwide last year and 228 people died. It is much easier to protect horses, people and pets when a mosquito control program is in place at the beginning of mosquito season.

"If you think anything of your horses, this is a good investment and definitely worth the money," said Dr. Hillard. "I even encourage owners with vaccinated horses to buy one or two systems. Your horses will be a lot more comfortable."

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