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Captain Stan Archives - Catchmaster Pro

Stan Cope, PhD

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You may know our Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mostquito Man) from our online content.  Each month he publishes a new article covering everything mosquito.  But how did Stan become such a mosquito management expert?  Read on for some background on our Vice President of Technical Services.

Stan Cope – Educational Background

Stan was born and raised in Huntington, Indiana.   He was graduated in 1976 from Swarthmore (PA) College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology.  In 1980, he completed a Masters in Entomology at the University of Delaware, with emphasis on medical entomology.  In 1988, Stan was awarded a PhD in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he focused on medical entomology, tropical medicine and infectious diseases.

Military Career

In 1988, Stan was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy, where he served as a Medical Entomologist for the next 23+ years, retiring with the rank of Captain (same as a full-bird Colonel).  He held a wide variety of assignments, conducting operational and research entomology in 18 countries.  The pinnacle of his career in the Navy was serving as Director, Armed Forces Pest Management Board and Director, Defense Pest Management in Washington, DC, where he had responsibility for all aspects of pest management for the United States Department of Defense.

Stan Cope - Fun Facts

He also directed a $5 million/year federal research program targeted at product development for arthropod control.  In this capacity, Stan fostered numerous global industry agreements, resulting in licensing, production and availability of several new tools including traps, attractants, baits and spray equipment.

Stan was awarded 24 ribbons and medals, including the Defense Superior Service Medal.  He retired from the Navy on September 1, 2012 and joined Terminix International two weeks later as Manager and then Director, Entomology and Regulatory Services.  Stan left Terminix in December of 2016 and joined Atlantic Paste and Glue (Catchmaster) in May of 2017.

Publications & Professional Stewardship

Dr. Cope has authored or co-authored over 80 scientific and technical publications.  A highly sought-after speaker, he has delivered over 150 presentations at scientific, technical and certification meetings and has given numerous lectures to community groups, school children and civic organizations.  He is a recognized expert on the history of medical entomology and yellow fever.

From 2008-2012, Stan served as a Regional Director for the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and was instrumental in launching AMCA’s Young Professionals group, designed to recruit a younger and more diverse membership interested in entomology, mosquito control and pest management.  He was elected Vice President of AMCA in 2014 and served as President in 2015-16, during the Zika crisis.  He also worked closely with Bayer to establish the Kelly Labell Travel Award, which funds a mosquito researcher, usually a student, to attend the AMCA annual meeting.  Kelly’s young life was tragically cut short by Eastern equine encephalomyelitis.

Stan Cope - Deadliest

Catchmaster & Leadership

Since joining the pest control industry, Stan has become the ‘go to’ person for all things mosquitoes.  Whether conducting site visits, providing field training or giving one of his highly popular lectures, he is always full of enthusiasm and passion for his subject.  He has been a crusader to encourage private industry to increase its commitment to Integrated Mosquito Management.  Additionally, Stan has developed a three-hour recertification class on mosquitoes, which he customizes depending on what audience and geographic region is targeted.  And check out his highly successful blog, ‘Captain Stan The Mosquito Man’ on the Catchmaster PRO website.

Stan has been very active in the National Pest Management Association.  Besides giving several presentations at NPMA events, he has served on the Technical Committee as a member and correspondent, served on the Commercial Committee, and served on the Pest Management Foundation’s research advisory group.    Also, he is a ‘Founding Father’, along with Marty Overline of Aardvark Pest Control, of NPMA’s PestVets Committee.

Finally, Stan is a regular contributor to Pest Control Technology (PCT) magazine and has written some pieces for Pest Management Professional (PMP).

Personal

In his ‘spare time’, Stan enjoys gardening, Civil War history, book collecting, sports, reading and family time.  Oh, and he also pitched three no-hitters in his baseball career; one in Little League, one in high school and one in college.

Stan Cope – Additional Resources

Get more great content like this in your inbox – sign up for our mailing list here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

For help with your upcoming mosquito season, discover Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/collection/mosquito-management-tools/

Learn more about mosquitoes from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

Discover more efforts in mosquito management with the American Mosquito Control Association here: www.mosquito.org

Mosquito Management 2019 Review

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Oh! What a Year it has been in Mosquito Management!  What did we Learn?

2019 was a very unusual year for mosquito management and mosquito-transmitted in the United States.  The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reported the information below as of the first week of December.

2019 Disease prevalence

For the past two years, there have been no locally transmitted cases of Zika virus reported in the US.  The yearly average since 1999 has been about 2,500 cases.  Conversely, we had a frightening year with Eastern equine encephalitis.  Normally, the US averages about 7 cases per year but in 2019, there were 37 cases and 15 deaths.  Cases occurred in 9 states, with Massachusetts leading the way with 12.

Also, there were 14 locally acquired cases of dengue; 12 of these in Florida, 1 in North Carolina, and 1 questionable case in the District of Columbia.  The local cases in Florida are not surprising, as a whopping 32% (321) of the travel-related cases occurred there!

Mosquito Management - Fun Facts

So, what can we learn from this – 3 lessons learned from mosquito Season 2019

  1. The threat from mosquito-transmitted diseases in the United States is very real.
  2. The threat varies each year geographically as well as by disease and by type of mosquito.
  3. Diseases that have not occurred in an area for several years can suddenly reappear, bringing significant morbidity and mortality.

Remain vigilant, especially if you are traveling to warmer climates (either within or outside the United States) over the holiday season and beyond.

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services.  Learn more about Stan here:  https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

Mosquito Management – Additional Resources

Get more great content like this in your inbox – sign up for our mailing list here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

For help with mosquito season 2020 & beyond, discover Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/product/final-feed-mosquito-bait/

Finally, learn more about mosquitoes from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

By | Insects, Mosquitoes, Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

Eastern Equine Encephalitis – History

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), also known as sleeping sickness, was first recognized in 1831 when 75 horses died in Massachusetts.  The EEE virus was first isolated from horse brain in 1933.  Human cases were recognized in 1938 when 30 children died in the Northeast US.

Geography

Most cases occur in the Eastern US or Gulf Coast states as well as the upper Midwest.  Many cases are associated with hardwood swamps.  The virus is maintained in a mosquito-bird-mosquito cycle.  In the summer and early fall it is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes .  These mosquitoes are referred to as ‘bridge vectors’, as they ‘bridge’ the virus from birds to humans.  The virus cannot be transmitted human to human.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis - Mosquito Fun Facts

Eastern Equine Encephalitis – Impact on Public Health

About 30% of those who get Eastern Equine Encephalitis die, and those who survive have significant neurological impairment.  Those over the age of 50 and under 15 are at increased risk of severe disease, and infection provides life-long immunity.  There is no vaccine for humans.

Clinical illness presents in two forms:

  • A systemic illness, with symptoms much like influenza, that lasts 1-2 weeks with complete recovery
  • An encephalitic (inflammation of the brain) illness with restlessness, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and coma.

2019 Update

The average number of cases per year is about 7.  However, in 2019 there have already been at least 27 cases in 6 states with 11 deaths (as of October 3rd).  Cases so far by state with deaths in parentheses include Massachusetts – 11 (4), Michigan – 8 (3), Connecticut – 4 (3), Rhode Island – 1 (1), New Jersey – 1, North Carolina – 1.

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services.  Learn more about Stan here:  https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

Additional Resources

For help with mosquito season 2019 & beyond, discover Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/product/final-feed-mosquito-bait/

Finally, learn more about mosquitoes from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

Mosquito Season 2019 – September Update

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In this mosquito season 2019 update, our Captain Stan (aka the Mosquito Man) shares some updates with fall approaching.  Although the season is changing, that doesn’t mean mosquitoes aren’t still a threat.

Is Mosquito Season Winding Down? Don’t be Fooled


The end of summer generally means cooler temperatures, and cooler temperatures mean fewer mosquitos, right?  Well, maybe.  There may be fewer mosquitoes but the disease threat, particularly in 2019, is still significant and all precautions to avoid mosquito bites should be practiced until the first hard freeze in your region.

Examples, you say?  Eastern equine encephalomyelitis, or EEE, has already killed four people in Massachusetts and it has been found in mosquitoes over a wide area of the state (also in some neighboring states).  There have also been several fatal cases in horses in Michigan.  West Nile virus has been very active throughout the country this year and in warmer areas, transmission to humans could continue into October or even November.  Finally, the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti, responsible for spreading Zika virus, chikungunya, yellow fever and dengue) continues to spread throughout California.

Mosquitoes bite; they want your blood,
And they care not that they aren’t loved;
They’re nature’s scourge, so stay awake;
Protect yourself – make no mistake.

(Ok, I know that I lack an impressive iambic pentameter……)

When not dabbling in poetry, our Captain Stan (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services.  Learn more about Stan here:  https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

Additional Resources

For help with mosquito season 2019 & beyond, discover Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/product/final-feed-mosquito-bait/

Finally, learn more about mosquitoes from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

Educating Your Customers: The “Aha” Mosquito Moment

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Educating your customers starts with inspection

Captain Stan preaches that a proper inspection, on every visit, is the key to controlling most mosquito problems and provide you with the opportunity for educating your customers.  Be aware that most customers do not associate their mosquito problem with standing water on their property; they only know they are being bitten.

The “3 Ws” of an inspection

If you find mosquito breeding sites on a customer’s property, if possible show the larvae and pupae to the customer, explain what they are, where they are breeding and why.  Educating your customers has three areas.  I like to call them the three Ws:

  1. What you found
  2. Why they are there
  3. What the customer can do to help the situation

The customer may then have an ‘aha’ moment = “oh, is THAT what those are?  I see them all over the property and never knew what they were”.  At that point, make your pitch on what the customer can do to help YOU provide a better mosquito service and you may have a friend for life!

Educating your customers – Professional tip

One other hint – show the mosquitoes to any kids that may live in the house.  Educate them and the next thing you know, you may have some young ‘mosquito detectives’ to help!

Learn more about Captain Stan (aka the Mosquito Man) here: https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

Discover how mosquito control tools from the Catchmaster® brand can help you grow your mosquito control business here: https://catchmasterpro.com/collection/mosquito-management-tools/

Learn more about mosquitoes from the National Pest Management Association here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

 

 

How Far Mosquitoes Fly: Implications for Control

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How Far Mosquitoes Fly

One of the factors that makes mosquitoes difficult to control is that they fly.  Therefore, even if a yard has been properly serviced, flying, biting mosquitoes may appear, much to a customer’s chagrin!  Let’s look at two scenarios to see how flight range and other factors may impact a mosquito control service.

Mosquito Scenario A

Location:  backyard in urban Louisiana.

Mosquito:  Asian tiger mosquito (ATM), Aedes albopictus.

Flight range:  Limited – 150 yards or less from breeding site.

Breeding sites:  Artificial and natural containers holding relatively clean water.

Control

The key here is source reduction = finding and removing or treating all breeding sites.  The female ATM lays eggs in as many places as she can find so you have to really inspect thoroughly.  Because of the limited flight range, adults are much less likely to re-infest the property.  Use non-pesticidal traps and residual sprays or mosquito bait on vegetation.

Mosquito Scenario B

Location:  coastal areas along saltmarshes in Texas.

Mosquito:  Black saltmarsh mosquito, Aedes taeniorhynchus.

Flight range:  40 miles or so from breeding site!

Breeding sites:  Salt marshes.

Control

Wow!  Mosquitoes that fly 40 miles!  Obviously, larval control will not be part of your service!  These mosquitoes are vicious biters, attacking during the day.  Use residual sprays or baits on vegetation along with ultra-low-volume spray, and good luck!

Learn more about Captain Stan (aka the Mosquito Man) here: https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

Learn more about mosquitoes from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

On The Wing – Return Of The Mosquitoes

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Spring Mosquito Season

Mosquito season is in full swing in many parts of the country.  I was just in Louisiana last week and companies there are already out providing mosquito control services.  Do you ever wonder where mosquitoes ‘return from’ each season?  Some species spend the winter (or cooler months) as adults.  They hang out in buildings, animal burrows, under decks or other protected areas.  Then, when one of the first warm days of spring arrives (usually above 65 degrees or so), they emerge and look for something, or someone, to bite!

Other species overwinter in the egg stage.  These eggs hatch almost simultaneously with the spring rains and then 10 days later or so, huge clouds of hungry adult mosquitoes emerge.  This particular scenario is especially common in heavily wooded areas, swamps, forest preserves, etc.  Mosquito control personnel try to limit this emergence by applying mosquito larvicides, often by fixed wing or rotary aircraft, in the early spring before the adults are produced.

And remember that after each blood meal, a female mosquito can lay 150-300 eggs so the populations will build up quickly, regardless of how harsh the winter may have been.

Learn more about Captain Stan (aka the Mosquito Man) here: https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

Top 7 Tips for Mosquito Inspections

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7 Tips for Mosquito Inspections

A thorough inspection is key to solving any pest problem, and this is especially true when it comes to mosquitoes. With all due respect to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, are you a ‘sure lock’ at investigating mosquito problems and providing reliable solutions to your customers? Read on for some valuable information and tips for battling these thirsty bloodsuckers.

  1. NECESSARY TOOLS. All mosquitoes require water to complete their life cycle so most of your inspection will involve looking for and sampling water sources. At a minimum, have a mosquito dipper (available from most biological supply companies); a plastic turkey baster for getting into small areas; plastic, resealable bags for samples; a small metal or plastic pan for examining samples; and a good flashlight. The tools will not take up much room on your truck and they are very inexpensive.
  2. INTERVIEW THE CUSTOMER. On your initial visit, interview the customer if possible. Ask about standing water sources on the property. Are people bitten mostly during the day, in the evening or both? Are there certain areas of the yard where mosquito biting is more intense? Do they get bitten inside the house? Do they have an irrigation/sprinkler system? This interview will provide valuable information to help guide your inspection and subsequent treatments. Also, look around the yard for evidence of mosquito repellents, candles, torches and other things a customer may be using to ward off mosquitoes.
  3. ELIMINATE TOP BREEDING SITES. Mosquitoes will breed in almost anything that can hold water, from a large, neglected swimming pool to something as small as a bottle cap, so take your time and examine the premises thoroughly. A partial list of common mosquito breeding sites includes tires, outdoor sinks, buckets, pet dishes, bird baths, bottles and cans, children’s toys, flower pots and drain saucers, tarps, leaky faucets, wheelbarrows, low spots holding water, decorative fountains that aren’t maintained and kiddie pools.Not all mosquito breeding sites are obvious. Be sure to look for water-holding plants such as bromeliads. Although these may only hold a small amount of water, they can produce enormous numbers of mosquitoes! Open and examine any in-ground drains for sprinkler and irrigation systems. Check corrugated plastic tubes used to draw water away from downspouts — frequently the ends of these tip up or curl and hold water. And don’t forget to look up during your inspection! Clogged gutters and tree holes are often the culprits. Also, while you are inspecting the premises, take note of any mosquitoes that may be attempting to bite you!
  4. TAKE SAMPLES. Sometimes, mosquito larvae and pupae (the immature stages) can be easily seen where they are breeding, such as in a bucket or plastic bottle. Other times they may not be so obvious. For larger bodies of water, use the plastic dipper for sampling, focusing on the surface of the water. For smaller spaces such as tree holes or plants, use the turkey baster to suck the water out. Dump the water into your plastic or metal pan (a light background works best) and look for the wigglers and tumblers. Tapping the side of the pan with your baster or finger will cause the mosquitoes to move around, making them easier to see. If you choose to preserve any samples, simply dump the water and mosquitoes into one of the resealable bags.Be advised that mosquito larvae and pupae are very sensitive to shadows and vibrations. If you cast a shadow over the breeding site or disturb it prior to sampling, the mosquitoes will dive below the surface of the water, where they can remain for a minute or so. Therefore, you may have to wait a short time before taking your sample.
  5. SHOW THE CUSTOMER. One of the most effective tools in your arsenal can be to show the customer the mosquitoes that you found as well as the breeding sites. Explain why the site is producing mosquitoes, what the different mosquito life stages are, and what, if anything, the customer can do about it. If you plan to treat any sites with larvicide or an insect growth regulator (IGR), explain that as well. Frequently, the customer may say something like ‘so, THAT’S what they look like. I always wondered what those were’ and they may then lead you to other breeding sites on the property that you didn’t find.
  6. DON’T FORGET EXCLUSION. Examine the structure(s) for mosquito entry points, especially if people are being bitten indoors. Look for torn or missing screens, broken windows, and doors that may be left open, propped open or don’t fit tightly. Mosquitoes will find their way inside buildings through the smallest of spaces! Also, some kinds of mosquitoes are highly attracted to light, so a change in lighting scheme may help.
  7. INSPECT ON EVERY VISIT. Under ideal conditions, mosquitoes can complete their life cycle in as little as 5-7 days. Therefore, if you only visit the property every 30 days or so, you may encounter several new or previously undetected breeding sites and there may be adult mosquitoes on the loose. Hopefully, if you have properly educated your customer, some of these sites will be emptied before you arrive. Regardless, take the time on every visit to do another thorough inspection of the property.

IN SUMMARY: Top 7 Tips for Mosquito Inspections 

Now that you have successfully found the breeding sites on your customer’s property, you can make decisions on which sources to dump or drain and which ones may need to be treated. However, do not dump or drain any water without first asking the customer, and always read and follow the label on any product you choose to use. It can also be useful to make a quick map of the property, showing where the breeding sites and any conducive conditions were for future reference.

What if you can’t find any mosquito breeding on the customer’s property, yet they are still having a mosquito problem? This is common due to the fact that some kinds of mosquitoes will fly significant distances, up to perhaps 40 miles, from their breeding sites before they feed. So, you may not be able to do anything about the breeding sites but you can offer a service to control the adult mosquitoes. And, it is always a good idea to explain situations like this to the customer.

Finally, remember that without a thorough inspection for mosquito breeding sites on each visit, your mosquito control service is likely to fail, resulting in callbacks, unhappy customers and cancellations. So, look hard and look often!

Now that you know the top 7 tips for mosquito inspections, learn more about Captain Stan (aka the Mosquito Man) here: https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/