Archive for February, 2010

February 25, 2010

Phantom in the Woods

The incidence of Lyme is increasing in number and spreading well beyond the original location of Lyme, Connecticut. Awareness has also been increasing and spreading. In our area of Metro Washington, DC it has gotten to the point that everyone either has it, has had it, or has a family member, friend, neighbor or dog who has Lyme Disease or has had it. It is the Mockingbird of diseases. The way it presents itself, when it does (there are people who get Lyme and seem non-symptomatic for years) is so varied that people are sent to psychologists, orthopedists, neurologists, cardiologists, and  dermatologists to give a partial list. Fatigue, joint pain, rash, mood disorders…any one or combination of symptoms may present. The lucky ones are those who have the “classic” bull’s eye rash along with flu-like symptoms. I say lucky, because they are the ones who get the right treatment right away. I put the word classic in quotes because, though it is considered classic, it presents in a small minority of cases.

Lyme is a fact and it’s here to stay. Unfortunately, this gives parents more reason to fear letting our kids play outside. I remember once a few years ago talking to a mom who was afraid to let her kids play in a wooded area next to their home. We hold an image of the woods as being a dangerous place with the big bad wolf or strangers lurking. Theoretically, the woods next to your home should be a wonderful, magical, educational and healthy choice of environments for children to play, explore, and learn in, lest they develop “Nature Deficit Disorder” as coined by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods.

The reality is that there is some thing big and bad in the woods. Like a phantom, it is there, and BEWARE, it’s not just in the woods. It’s on the Mall in Washington, DC, it’s in the school yards and sports fields, and it’s in our back yards. What are we supposed to do? Lock your kids inside? Give up gardening? Last summer, I chose to reclaim my back yard and like I said in a previous post, I was so happy to be able to have my kids outside that I decided to become part of the company. What are you going to do about it? Click here to learn more about Lyme.

For treatment options click here.

Thanks for reading,

Susan

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

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February 17, 2010

Malaria may have killed King Tut

It’s not certain, but the most famous (as far as modern times goes) king of Ancient Egypt may have ultimately died from an infection of Malaria, a mosquito borne illness. I know. That was a LONG time ago and is VERY far away. So who cares? Well, if you have ever had the dreadful disease, you would sympathetically take notice. Click here to read the BBC article.

Though Malaria exists in many parts of the world, we here in the U.S. don’t associate it as a threat. Of the many cases found in the U.S. each year, an overwhelming number were protracted abroad. Did you know that Malaria was actually epidemic here in the late 1800s and into the first quarter of the 20th century?

According to Directors of Health Promotion and Education:

“The potential also exists for malaria to become re-established in the United States. Currently, about 1,200 malaria cases are reported each year in the United States. Almost all occur in persons who were infected in other parts of the world (imported malaria). Small outbreaks of non-imported malaria, the result of transmission from imported cases, have also been reported. So far, the outbreaks have been quickly and easily contained. A continued increase in drug-resistant malaria throughout the world, however, could increase the number of cases of imported malaria and improve the chances for malaria to re-emerge in the United States.” Click here to read the article for history and prevention tips.

Eye of Horus

Apparently, the wise Horus did not know of Mosquito Squad to protect his young king.

February 10, 2010

How Will all this Snow Affect Mosquitoes?

I'm with my kids in the Wetlands (Snowlands) next to our home.

We just got through round 2 of Snowmeggedon in the Washington, DC area. WOW! I’ve lived here for 25 years and finally got to see not just a blizzard, but a Double Blizzard! Now that my electricity is back on, I’ve been able to get in the computer to tell you how the snow might affect the mosquito population this coming season. Since mosquitoes eggs and larvae rely on moisture, you can expect a hearty crop when it warms up enough. According to our friend, the Groundhog, you have some time to prepare. Did you know the Asian Tiger Mosquitoes we have now do great in extreme climates?  According to Wikipedia: Tiger mosquitoes can tolerate snow and in some microhabitats, the adult tiger mosquitoes can survive throughout winter. Learn all about them here.