Archive for June, 2015

June 25, 2015

Mosquito Eater? Mosquito Hawk? Giant Mosquito? What is this Huge Flying Daddy Long Legs Looking Thing?

Crane Fly

Crane Fly

You just sprayed my yard and it’s covered in giant mosquitoes! Please come back and spray again.” Receiving a call like this at Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery County is our worst nightmare. It is also something we are not accustomed to and we take it very seriously. We headed out to the house in question that very same day to see what possibly could have happened.

A Giant Mosquito Infestation

Sure enough, the back yard really was covered in large mosquito-like insects. Upon closer inspection however, they were not mosquitoes. They in fact were Mosquito Eaters. Often mistaken for giant mosquitoes these lovely creatures resemble a cross between a mosquito and a Daddy Long Legs with wings. They are also widely known in the south as Mosquito Hawks or Skeeter Eaters. But their proper name is actually Crane Fly.

What You Should Know About the Crane Fly

  1. Crane flies do not eat mosquitoes. They were named after them because they look like large versions of them, not because they eat them.
  2. Crane flies do not bite humans.
  3. Adult Crane flies usually don’t eat at all, but their larvae will devour any decaying matter in the water where they live.
  4. Adults only live for 10 to 15 days after hatching.
  5. Living to reproduce, sometimes the female Crane fly will die immediately after laying her eggs.

Crane flies are known for their lazy flight, attraction to light and their dangly long legs. Many of us were under the impression that they were a natural form of mosquito control. If one would get in the house we might carefully shoo it out, realizing its value in eating mosquitoes was too important to squash. Carefully picking it up and trying to release it back in the wild was always a challenge with their fragile long legs often becoming victims to our good will.

Mosquito

Mosquito

Don’t Kill Mosquito Hawks

While you don’t have to “save” them for their mosquito control value, there is no need to eliminate these harmless flies. They serve as food for a large variety of other insects, birds and fish and their larvae provide a great service in munching away at the decaying matter in wetlands. There have been reports of larvae munching on the roots and destroying lawns when they show up in massive droves but that is the exception not the norm.

If you happen to be an angler you might be very familiar with The Crane Fly and its value. But you probably don’t call it a Crane Fly either, you quite likely call it great bait or fish food. Known to be a wonderful bait for catching Bass, the Crane Fly can be mighty useful to the fishing sportsman/woman.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

While we don’t advocate killing Crane Flies we do suggest you eliminate its smaller, much more dangerous, smaller name sake – the mosquito. Protect your family and friends today by contacting Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery to schedule mosquito (and tick) protection for your special outdoor occasion and all season long! You can reach us at (301) 444-5566 • email: westmontco@mosquitosquad.com.

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June 16, 2015

Don’t Let One Mosquito Turn into One Billion Mosquitoes in your Montgomery County Back Yard

The wet weather that has been occurring here in Maryland over past weeks presents the perfect mix of moisture and warmth, resulting in booming mosquito populations. In honor of  Mosquito Awareness week, which is June 21-27, we want to do our part in making the public aware of the reality of mosquitoes we want to share with you the crazy,  unbelievable facts about how fast mosquitoes can reproduce going from 1 to more than 1 billion.

You may think having an unprotected property means you will have a few pesky mosquitoes here and there. You will have to light a candle or spray some spray when you are going outside for the evening, no big deal. Right? Wrong. What you don’t know can hurt you, and your neighbors! It only takes one bite from one mosquito carrying West Nile Virus (WNV) or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) to make you, a loved one, or your neighbor very sick.

Only One Mosquito to Make you Sick. What Will a Billion Do?

Here at Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery County we like numbers. Numbers help us make sure we are doing our job. How many mosquitoes did you see in your yard before we treated it? How many did you see after? Numbers are a perfect measuring tool. Let’s look at the numbers to see how in the world mosquito populations get to be so big so fast.

  • mosquito math week 1Week One

That one female mosquito comes a takes a bite out of you. The blood you provided her allows her to develop viable eggs. This little lady goes and lays up to 300 eggs at one time! (She can lay 3 batches of eggs in her lifetime.) About half of these 300 eggs will become egg laying female mosquitoes, hanging out in your backyard waiting for a meal to help them produce their 300 eggs.

  • mosquito math week 2Week Two

Now you have 151 female mosquitoes flying around your back yard laying their eggs. Not only will these mosquitoes be gaining 300 new siblings as Mom lays 300 more eggs, but they are also making Momma mosquito a grandma to 45,000 grandbabies. Add the grandbabies and siblings up and you have 45,300 new mosquitoes during week two.mosquito math week 3

  • Week Three

It is safe to assume half of week two’s new mosquitoes are egg laying females, or 22,650. Do you want to do the math? 22,650 x 300 eggs each = 6,795,300 new mosquitoes and that is just from the mosquitoes that hatched from week 2. You still have to add their mothers’ new batch of eggs laid (for simplicity we will skip that part).

  • mosquito math week 4Week Four

Keep doing the math as we have before and week three’s 3,397,000 new female mosquitoes are laying their eggs in week four. We are talking about 1,319,250,000 mosquitoes in your yard (and your neighbors I am sure) in just four weeks. Four weeks is all it takes for 1 female mosquito to turn into 1.3+ billion mosquitoes.

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery County wants to help you nip it  in the bud when you are in week 1 or at the least, week 2. Doesn’t it make sense to eliminate 1-300 mosquito bites and avoid the whole math thing in the first place? Don’t fret if you are already in the thick of your mosquito multiplication problem, our traditional barrier spray eliminates mosquitoes on contact. With the time-released formula it keeps working for up to 3 weeks eliminating up to 90% of the mosquitoes in your yard.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Protect your family and friends today by contacting Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery to schedule mosquito (and tick) protection for your special outdoor occasion and all season long! You can reach us at (301) 444-5566 • email: westmontco@mosquitosquad.com.

June 5, 2015

Team Up against dangerous mosquitoes and ticks with your friends, family, and neighbors!

Dread Skeeter 022Do you want your neighbors to have their yard sprayed to help keep the tick and mosquito population down in your adjoining yards? Are you hoping for a pest free barbecue when you go to your sister’s house for her annual Fourth of July party? Do you want to earn a $25 gift card to your favorite store just for telling your friends how awesome we are? Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery is making it easy to share your pest free-living with others with our ShareTheSquad Referral Reward Program.

Build Your Mosquito Fighting Team

Mosquito Squad’s success in fighting Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus, by eliminating the number of ticks and mosquitoes in Montgomery County depends greatly on word of mouth. The more yards we treat, the more successful the battle. That’s why we made it easy to tell your friends, family, and neighbors about Mosquito Squad with just a few clicks at ShareTheSquad.com.

  • A Win-Win

When your neighbors are enjoying your backyard in the evening or at night are they curious as to why (and how) your yard is mosquito free? Tell them. By using ShareTheSquad.com to spread the word, everyone wins:

  1. You earn a $25 gift card to your choice of retailers for every referral who becomes a client as a special thank you from us.
  2. If your neighbors become a client, your success with Mosquito Squad spraying your yard will be even better than the 85-90% you are already accustomed to.
  3. When you go to outdoor gatherings at your friends’ and families’ homes you will get to experience the same pest-free living you are used to.
  4. When your friend, family, or neighbor signs up they will get $25 off of their first spray.
  5. We get to spray more yards. Eliminating more ticks and mosquitoes. Lowering the risk for Lyme Disease, West Nile Virus and other tick-borne and mosquito-borne diseases.

ShareTheSquad Program Intro

Our goal is to make sure our customers hear “thank you for the referral” loud and clear and that making that referral is as easy as possible.

Sign Up Today to register. Just enter the email address you already have on file with Mosquito Squad. You will then get an email from ShareTheSquad with a confirmation code. Once you are confirmed you can log in and get your personalized share codes for popular social media sites, email, a printable form, and a personalized link that you can share anywhere.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

If you have any questions about the ShareTheSquad Referral Rewards Program give us a call. Contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery today to schedule mosquito (and tick) protection for your special outdoor occasion! You can reach us at (301) 444-5566 • email: westmontco@mosquitosquad.com.

June 3, 2015

Tis the season for Dads and Grads; keep the ones you love protected!

Special events are an important time to make certain that you and your guests don’t get bitten while attending your special event.

Special events are an important time to make certain that you and your guests don’t get bitten while attending your special event.

With Father’s Day a few short weeks away and graduates moving their tassel from right to left in the weeks ahead now is the time to think about the outdoor events these occasions will ensue. One of Dad’s favorite things is hosting a backyard BBQ and the backyard is always the best spot to hold a graduation party — right? With this in mind, planning ahead is crucial to the success and enjoyment of any outdoor event or celebration. Chances are you have already begun to plan for the food, paper goods and decorations that you intend to use, but, have you considered how you plan to keep mosquitoes away during your outdoor event?

Unfortunately, for most people mosquito control is an afterthought that leaves the host wishing for a time machine to back up and plan more thoroughly. Mosquitoes are not only bothersome they also carry the potential to have your guests leave with a mosquito-borne illness as a party favor!

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery County Dread-TuxThere’s good news — Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery offers special event mosquito control services for your outdoor celebration. Don’t let buzzing, biting mosquitoes ruin your special day. Our special events spray will keep mosquitoes off your guest list. Here’s how it works:

About 24-48 hours prior to guests’ arrival, we’ll lay down a barrier spray that includes extra protection against biting, stinging insects. It’s exactly what you need for a perfect party:

  • Eliminates or greatly reduces the number of mosquitoes that might otherwise bite guests or hover around food.
  • Dries in 30 minutes, leaving no odor or visible residue.
  • Is applied long before your food and dinnerware arrive, so there’s no opportunity for contamination.
  • Provides protection day and night through your entire event.
Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery today to schedule mosquito (and tick) protection for your special outdoor occasion! You can reach us at (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com.

 

June 2, 2015

Beyond the Bullseye; Exploring Inflammatory Problems Associated with Lyme Disease

LLyme Disease Awareness Monthyme Disease is an acute inflammatory disease caused by the bite of a deer tick infected with the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria are the culprit of the infection, and as it enters the body can affect each person quite differently. The disease itself can present itself in a myriad of ways often being referred to as “the great pretender” by many because its symptoms often mimic those of other disorders. There are three stages of Lyme Disease, and each can wreak havoc on our bodies if the disease is not caught early or if the disease doesn’t respond well to treatment.

  • Bulls eye rash from Lyme Disease Erythma Migrans

    The well-known bulls-eye rash associated with Lyme Disease.

    Stage #1 Early Lyme Disease — 

    Lyme Disease begins after an infected tick expels its salivary gland and abdominal contents into the skin of a human. In about 60-70% of cases, a rash may develop at the site of the tick bite. This rash is most often circular with a clear edge, but can be oblong or another shape. This rash is called  Erythema Migrans of EM for short. The appearance of EM can begin from 3-30 days after a tick bite, or sometimes not at all. The rash is often mistaken as a spider or insect bite. The rash was aptly named “migrans” because it grows in size, gradually expanding over several days to greater than 2 inches across; sometimes covering a large, such as a patients’ entire back.  As the center of the rash clears, it takes on a “bull’s-eye” appearance. The rash is usually not itchy or painful.  Sometimes, other rashes occur in other parts of the body far away from the initial tick bite. This is because the spirochete gets transmitted quite rapidly in the bloodstream after the initial tick bite. Where the blood travels through the body the Borrelia spirochete also travel. In early Lyme disease, patients often experience moderate to severe flu-like symptoms (fatigue, chills, fever, headache, and muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes).  In approximately 18% of cases, the classic well-known CDC clinical features of Lyme disease are not present.  In these cases, the only symptoms may be marked fatigue and flu-like symptoms. Given that fatigue and flu-like symptoms may often arise from other causes, (hence “the great pretender”) Lyme Disease may not even be considered a possibility in the diagnosis and the patient may suffer for many months with an unrecognized, untreated infectious illness.

  • Tiny deer ticks can mean BIG trouble.

    Tiny deer ticks can mean BIG trouble.

    Stage #2 Late Disseminated Lyme Disease —

    If Lyme Disease is not caught early and successfully treated it may then spread to many other parts of the body.  This can occur over a period of days, affecting the central nervous system (brain), the peripheral nervous system (nerves), the cardiovascular system causing pericarditis and/or 2nd or 3rd degree heart block and possible death, the liver (causing mild hepatitis), the eyes (causing conjunctivitis). and the  muscles and joints (causing migrating swelling, tenderness, and/or pain). Typically the symptoms associated with disseminated Lyme Disease include severe fatigue with a need for naps during the day, low-grade fevers, muscle and joint pains, sleep disturbance, irritability, headaches, light or sound sensitivity, sharp stabbing or shooting pains, and/or numbness and tingling..

Lyme DiseaseAccording to the Columbia University Medical Center Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center, when Lyme Disease first affects the nervous system, one may experience symptoms of meningitis, encephalitis, or cranial neuritis:

 Meningitis is characterized by headaches that fluctuate in intensity from mild to severe with or without associated nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, neck stiffness, or pain on eye motion.

 Encephalitis is commonly accompanied sleepiness, mood swings and irritability, atypical spontaneous tearfulness or personality change, cognitive problems (typically with word finding problems, memory loss, slowed mental speed), balance problems, and sensory hyperarousal.

Cranial Neuritis.also referred to as  CN VII Palsy (facial nerve weakness) is a form of cranial neuritis that is thought by many physicians to be common, however studies suggest that it may be seen in as few as 10% of patients with neurologic Lyme Disease. However, in a patient from a Lyme endemic area or in an individual who has previously visited a Lyme endemic area, a presentation of a facial nerve palsy should lead the physician to test for Lyme Disease.  If the CN VII palsy affects both sides of the face, then Lyme Disease should be even more strongly considered as very few diseases cause a bilateral facial nerve palsy. Typically, a cranial neuritis occurs within days to weeks of the initial infection.

Radiculoneuritis. When the infection in Lyme disease affects the nerve roots, it is called radiculoneuropathy. Typical symptoms include radicular pain and symmetric or asymmetric sensory abnormalities, such as numbness or tingling. The radicular pain may be experienced as sharp stabbing or burning or shooting pains that radiate down a dermatomal distribution, such as into the limbs or across the trunk. There may also be elements of motor weakness.

  • Deer tick awaiting a host in Rockville MDStage #3 Late Neurologic Lyme Disease —  Additionally Late stage Lyme Disease can also cause Encephalomyelitis and Neuropsychiatric Lyme Disease. Neuropsychiatric symptoms can emerge early or late in the disseminated phase of infection. These symptoms commonly appear as cognitive symptoms (as in the encephalopathy above) and as irritability, easy tearfulness, anxiety, and depression. Neurologic Lyme Disease can also affect hearing and vision in many patients. Patients may develop cognitive problems from Lyme Disease either early or many months or years after the initial infection.  The cognitive problems most commonly include problems with short-term memory, problems with verbal fluency such as in name or word retrieval, and problems with slower speed of thinking. Patients typically report that they have “Brain Fog“, this is attributed to Encephalopathy. Inflammation from Lyme Disease can slow down the brain, aggravate symptoms of pain, swelling, poor concentration, and mood swings.

Additionally Late stage Lyme Disease can also cause Encephalomyelitis and Neuropsychiatric Lyme Disease. Neuropsychiatric symptoms can emerge early or late in the disseminated phase of infection. These symptoms commonly appear as cognitive symptoms (as in the encephalopathy above) and as irritability, easy tearfulness, anxiety, and depression. Neurologic Lyme Disease can also affect hearing and vision in many patients. 

Scientists know that it generally takes 24-36 hours before a tick can transmit Lyme Disease through its bite.  Therefore, even with a tick carrying Lyme Disease, it takes some time for the infection to be transmitted.  Once established a Lyme infection can be long-lasting.  Even after successful treatment and test results showing no Lyme Disease is present, Lyme spirochetes, B. burgdorferi, can be present in small numbers in patients for years.  Until further research is done, it only seems prudent to be safe until a physician confirms a Lyme infection no longer exists.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery  to learn more about protecting yourself and your family from the risks of tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme Disease in your backyard! Sign up today • (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com