Archive for August, 2015

August 26, 2015

Mosquitoes remain the number one killer of humans in the animal kingdom, thanks in no small part to malaria

Bill_Gates_InfoGraphic_BiggestKillers_final_v8_no-logoResponsible for 500,000 deaths in 2013, malaria remains an epidemic with 198 million malaria cases in 2013. One of my attractions to this Mosquito Squad business is our social responsibility partnership with Malaria No More and their work in delivering life-saving tools and education to families across Africa in an effort to end malaria deaths.

What is malaria?

Malaria is a life-threatening disease that is caused when an infected mosquito bites a human, passing a parasite into the human’s blood stream. The parasite moves to the human’s liver where it multiplies. Some strands of malaria parasites can occur again, remaining dormant in the human liver for several months to 4 years. Symptoms of malaria can show up 7 days to 4 weeks to 1 year after being bitten and can include flu-like symptoms such as high fever, sweats, chills, headaches, depression, muscle aches, vomiting and nausea. If drugs are unavailable, diagnoses is late or the parasite is resistant to treatment, malaria can develop into anemia, hypoglycemia or cerebral malaria (which can cause coma, life-long learning disabilities and even death). Unlike some mosquito-borne diseases, mosquitoes can carry malaria from one human to another, which makes it much harder to eradicate.

Anyone Can get Malaria

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

I suffered from malaria in Nepal in 1992. I was extremely fortunate that upon my arrival home a few days after the fever started, I could walk into a clinic and get an immediate diagnosis and malaria treatment. As I experienced it, the illness was draining me of all my energy and was quite scary. Then the treatment was even worse. I did not sleep for three days and had a series of drug induced hallucinations. My senses were heightened to the extent that when a toilet was flushed in the next room, I felt like I was inside the rushing water in the bowl. Still, I was grateful for the treatment, and that I could take the whole course of it for myself.

I understand that many, many people living in Malaria stricken regions who get this disease as an adult, will have a recurrence annually. The reason for this is that they take just enough of the medicine to get better, and then share it with others. Leaving the parasite’s eggs inside to hatch one year later. Older generations understand that once you have Malaria, you have it for life, because that was so often the case in the past, and is still, where there are not enough drugs to go around.

The Challenges of Protecting People from Malaria

You might be wondering why an American would go to Asia and not be protected against Malaria. In fact, I was. Prior to traveling, my doctor prescribed the prophylactic drug as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) according to what strains of malaria had been active in the time period leading up to my trip. But that strain was not all that was out there, lurking and waiting for a host in which to take up residency and procreate were many malarial strands. Quite simply, I was infected by a different strain of malaria that my medicine was not able to prevent.

Not unlike the flu, there are many varieties of the malarial parasite, over 100 species in fact. Preventing malaria with drugs is similar to using the flu vaccine. It is educated guess work when trying to get in front of the strain in a specific geographical area. Sometimes scientists are right on the money and sometimes not. The top four known malaria parasites that infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae.

one-child-dies-every-minute-from-malariaMy husband and I recently saw the movie Mary and Martha, about two women who have little in common until malaria touches both their lives, driving them to get involved in the cause of malaria prevention. My husband was with me when I contracted malaria and he was questioning the severity of the illness in the children in the movie. My husband is worldly, and highly educated. I realized at that point just how ignorant we are, here in the U.S., about the effects of Malaria on children and their families. The fact is that around the worlds a child dies every single minute from malaria. That is 1 child, gone, every 60 seconds. Every day, all week, all year. Children are especially at risk because their young bodies do not have the strengthened immune system of an adult. The death or long term disability of so many children for a perfectly treatable condition is absolutely unacceptable.

How We Can Help

The fact is that not every kid will make it back to school this year. With limited resources in Africa, children die all too often. But we have the tools to end this child killer in its tracks.

With rapid diagnostic tests for people in remote settings, a diagnosis can be made and treatment can be given in time.

Insecticide-treated-bed-net-prevent-malariaThe front-line treatment for malaria is Artemisinin-based combination therapies. This treatment is not necessarily available to the developing world that is so effected by malaria, but all it takes is $1 to provide a full-course of the lifesaving treatment that cures a child in 1-3 days.

The mosquito that transmits malarial parasites is a night feeder, making bed nets a very successful method of prevention. With Long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets a barrier is created to keep the mosquitoes away from people at night.

Indoor Residential spraying is how malaria was eradicated from the southeast United States and it can work in other countries two, but without the help of government aid, the funding for these lifesaving tools is not nearly where it needs to be. But there is hope, scientists and organization from around the world are working diligently on a lifesaving malaria vaccine and are getting closer every day.

Where you come in…

With fast diagnosis, and the medicine pack on hand in the village clinics, children who would die in a few days are able to fully recover. As you’re out shopping for school supplies, choose the lower priced back pack and give the difference to malaria no more. $1 can buy a medicine pack to save a life. Save one with your $1 DONATION or more with your increased generosity. Every little bit helps.

Join Mosquito Squad and Malaria No More to help provide prevention, testing and treatments to children all across Africa.

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August 14, 2015

Whatever you’re celebrating this summer – do it worry free. Outside!

Wren

A Bird Hanging on to Summer.

Here at Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery we believe in living outdoors as much as possible. Whether it’s going for a hike, driving out to the beach or throwing a family reunion in your back yard – be sure to get outside and enjoy the rest of this too short summer and the beautiful fall weather that is coming.

What are you celebrating this month?

August is a fantastic month in the Greater D.C. area for outdoor celebrations. If you’re throwing a bah-mitzvah or a birthday party, have it at your North Potomac house. Your backyard provides a great space to enjoy the outdoors and celebrate with family and friends. The convenience of using your own yard is unbeatable. You can start and end the party at the times that work best for you. If the party runs late, stay outside and throw a bonfire without having to hurry and clean up to be out at a certain time.

Family Reunion

outdoor_party_montgomery_countyPlanning the annual family reunion? Host your extended family at your North Bethesda home for a cook out, softball game, horseshoes and good times. There is no reason to go rent a hall when you can take advantage of summer and fall weather. Don’t let the mosquitoes and ticks deter you, with a simple call to Mosquito Squad we can eliminate mosquitoes and ticks for your next event. Enjoy the comfortable weather outside while you can, winter is coming.

Wine Tasting

Do you love sipping wine with friends? Have your next wine tasting party on your back deck or patio. Whether it’s late summer or early fall, nothing completes a good sampling of wines better than being in nature with great friends. The lovely sound of chirping birds and a cool breeze while you sip wine and catch up on the latest can provide of the best moments we get in this life. Eliminate the mosquitoes and ticks that are interested in interrupting your zen moments by calling Mosquito Squad before your next party or event.

Weddings and Fundraisers

One of the best contributions you can make to your child is to let them have their wedding at your Montgomery County home. The memories you create will be cherished forever and in the place you call home. Hosting a fundraiser at your house is an easy contribution to make to your favorite cause. In either case, bring in the caterers, the party planners and other special event vendors. We love the work that Digital Lightning out of Gaithersburg does, from fireworks and pyro to laser light shows, you can add a wonderful surprise to any wedding or fundraiser at your home. But don’t forget to call Mosquito Squad too, we’ll make sure your guests aren’t swatting mosquitoes while in their formal attire.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

No matter what you’re celebrating, do it pest free with help from  Mosquito Squad. We’ll come out 24-48 hours and spray your property to eliminate up to 90% of mosquitoes and ticks before your next outdoor event. ContactMosquito Squad of West Montgomerytoday to schedule mosquito (and tick) protection for your special outdoor occasion! You can reach us at (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com.

August 5, 2015

A 320% Increase in Areas at High Risk for Lyme Disease in the Northeastern United States

Lyme Disease used to be a little known localized problem that started in Lyme, Connecticut. In 1975 a cluster of children and adults experienced arthritic symptoms that lead to the discovery of the tick-borne disease. While Lyme Disease has over the years become well known in parts of the Northeast and Midwest where it was most common such as Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Minnesota – it is now in the news all up and down the eastern seaboard, even being declared an epidemic in some places.

Confirming suspicions that Lyme Disease is spreading geographically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published an article pointing out a 320% increase in the number of counties with high incidence of Lyme Disease. From 1997 to 2013 Lyme Disease has spread from county to county and from state to state making the risk for Lyme Disease very high along most of the east coast and all of the northeast.

LymeDiseaseGrowth2001-2013

From 2001 to 2013 you can see the spread of Lyme Disease.

Lyme Disease Prevention

Preventing Lyme Disease at your Montgomery County home means lowering your exposure to ticks and tick bites. While you could cover yourself from head to toe when you venture out, or simply don’t venture out at all – neither one of those ideas are practical when attempting to enjoy the variety of summer weather we have in the greater Washington D.C. area. With hot humid days, head to toe clothing would make your outing unbearable and no one wants to miss out on the summer season.

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery can eliminate up to 90% of the ticks on your property, including deer ticks that are spreading Lyme Disease. With our traditional barrier spray ticks are eliminated on contact with continued protection for up to 3 weeks.

Tick Tubes Eliminate the Next Generation of Ticks

With the addition of tick tubes to your Montgomery County tick control plan, we can eliminate the next generation of ticks. Our tick tubes are placed around your property where rodents are known to travel. Within the tubes is treated nesting material for the rodents to take back to their dens. In the rodent dens tick larvae and nymphs will be eliminated before they have a chance to become infected and travel out to spread Lyme Disease to new hosts. Late summer tick tube applications prevent spring tick hatches. Call today 301-444-5566 to find out more or get on the schedule. If you wait until spring it will be too late, we want to eliminate the next generation of ticks over the winter.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

Preventing your exposure to ticks is your best weapon in preventing Lyme Disease. At Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery we can eliminate 85-90% of ticks in your yard with our traditional barrier spray and tick tube treatment. 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

We will manage your mosquito and tick control plan in North Potomac, North Bethesda, Rockville, Darnestown, Gaithersburg, Kensington, Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Kentlands and most of Montgomery County.