Archive for ‘Mosquito Facts’

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.

April 3, 2015

Your Guardian Angel For Montgomery County MD Mosquito Control

Mosquito free lifeThe fresh, warm air has us all wishing we could sprout wings and fly out into nature! Birds call; creatures chatter, and flowers begin to bloom. It is a magical combination of warmth and sunshine that beckons us to once again get out in our yards and enjoy the world around us. The balmy spring weather; however, brings something else with it as well: mosquitoes and ticks coming out of hibernation. Hiding out all winter season in abandoned tires, woodpiles, and sheds, they rouse with the heat and are naturally ready to feast, like little vampires. How do you fight a vampire? With an angel, of course! Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery County is ready to help protect you, your family, and pets from pesky mosquitoes and ticks. To keep your yard from laying out the welcome mat to the pest kingdom, we have some divine tips you can take under consideration.

Mosquito Squad’s 5 Tips for Mosquito Control

Mosquito Squad 5Ts

  1. Tip. Tip over those standing containers of water! Mosquitoes need only a bottle cap’s worth to breed in, so empty the water. This includes freshening bird baths and dog bowls at least every three days.
  2. Toss. Toss out that old pile of leaves you’ve been meaning to get to. Adult mosquitoes use standing debris as their nesting ground, so keeping yard clutter to a minimum ensures fewer mosquitoes have a place to hang out.
  3. Turn. Turn over any large items that may be holding stagnant water. This includes kiddie pools, toys like dump trucks, buckets, canoes, kayaks, or yard equipment, like your wheelbarrow.
  4. Tilt. Double check all your tarps and gutters to ensure that they are water free. Sags equal pooling water, and that equates to a mosquito breeding sanctuary. It only takes 10 days for mosquitoes to hatch, and one adult female mosquito can lay up to 3,000 eggs in her lifetime. She is welcome to lay her eggs somewhere other than your yard, and by eliminating haunts for her, you reduce the mosquito population in your area automatically.
  5. Treat. The best Montgomery County MD Mosquito Control is through the use of a proven, effective barrier spray. Our barrier spray places a boundary, or a “no fly zone” between your yard and mosquitoes. Unlike other companies who only spray around the perimeter of your house, we believe you are allowed to be in your entire yard, whenever you wish. Mosquitoes bites are painful and annoying, but it is the illnesses (like West Nile Virus and heartworms) that infected mosquitoes carry that make having a hedge of protection between you and them a smart idea.

Let Dread Skeeter and our trained service technicians be your family’s guardian angel when it comes to keeping 85% – 90% of mosquitoes at bay. Here at Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery, we offer EPA-approved barrier spray protection for your entire landscape. We stand behind our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Enjoy getting out in the beautiful warm weather and being a part of nature this Spring and Summer. We welcome your call for a free quote 301-444-5566 or email us at westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

 

August 14, 2014

“Mosquitoes remind us that we are not as high up on the food chain as we think.”

The mosquito blood meal

In true fashion, reality is sometimes stranger than fiction. I recently read a quote by Tom Wilson that speaks more fact than much lengthier prose I have read on the subject of mosquitoes… “Mosquitoes remind us that we are not as high up on the food chain as we think.”

Simple and very poignant to say the least. How is it that such a tiny insect can strike such fear in us and remind us of our place in the big “scheme” of things — the circle of life? In order to understand the mosquito we must first go back, way back in fact, to the beginning. The oldest known mosquito with an anatomy similar to the modern species we deal with today was found in 79-million-year-old Canadian amber from the Cretaceous period. In addition, an even older sister species with more primitive features was found in Burmese amber that is 90 to 100 million years old. Two mosquito fossils have also been found that show very little morphological difference from modern mosquitoes against their counterpart from 46 million years ago.

Yes, indeed this would mean the tiny mosquito survived the ice age, even when the dinosaurs did not. 

dinosaurs-caveman-clubc-rag-prehistoric-wild-human (1)Scientists have even discovered evidence of bedding that was constructed from plant stems and leaves which contained a natural plant derived insecticide. This bedding would have served as much for mosquito control as for comfort at the time. The bedding was discovered in a rock shelter in Sibudu South Africa and is believed to be left by our early ancestors who slept in the shelter from 38,000 to 77,000 years ago. The use of these plants and leaves prove that the cavemen had knowledge of the specific insecticidal and medicinal uses of the plants within the world around them. Analysis of the bedding also concluded it was refurbished with the insecticidal plants and leaves on more than one occasion proving again, that the inhabitants of the Sibudu site were well aware of the properties and attributes of the plants and leaves they were choosing to “feather their beds” with at the time. Researchers also learned from excavation of the sight that the cavemen burned spent and used bedding in a way to possibly further mosquito control efforts within their living space and to maintain an insect free space for further occupation. This discovery is 50,000 years older than the most ancient preserved bedding we have found in the past — wow.

Now, for the skinny on where the mosquito ends up on the food chain: Even though there are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes on earth doesn’t mean they are higher up on the food chain than humans. To better explain this, I turn to the wonderful minds at National Geographic who explain the theory of the “food chain” in more detail.  “A food web consists of all the food chains in a single ecosystem. Each living thing in an ecosystem is part of multiple food chains. Each food chain is one possible path that energy and nutrients may take as they move through the ecosystem. All of the interconnected and overlapping food chains in an ecosystem make up a food web.” Mosquitoes are part of many food webs. The female mosquito needs blood to feed her eggs. Humans make easy prey for mosquitoes because of many factors, including smell. Mosquitoes eat from plants as male mosquitoes are beneficial pollinators and do not feed from blood. Mosquito eggs too, are food to crayfish, dragonflies and frogs. Bass, pike, trout and perch are a few of the many fish that feed on mosquito larva. Flying mosquitoes are food for frogs, bats and birds, especially purple martins.

So you see mosquitoes, though they are vectors for illness and disease and get on our last nerve, are part of the circle of life — they eat plants, deposit eggs and become food. 

I truly think the basis of this quote, in particular, comes from the track record of the mosquito as a predator. Earlier this year, Bill Gates made a reference to the mosquito being the world’s deadliest predator on his blog, gatesnotes. When it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close. Here is a look at the number of people each year killed by various animals, many of which you would assume more menacing than the mosquito: Sharks accounted for 10 deaths per year, elephants 100, dogs 25,000 , humans killing humans 425,00 and the mosquito came in at a whopping 725,000!

Bill Gates Deadliest Animal Mosquito Graphic

Bill Gates Deadliest Animal Mosquito Graphic

What makes mosquitoes so dangerous? Despite their innocuous-sounding name—Spanish for “little fly”—they carry devastating diseases. The worst is Malaria, which kills more than 600,000 people every year; another 200 million cases incapacitate people for days at a time. It threatens half of the world’s population and causes billions of dollars in lost productivity annually. Other mosquito-borne diseases include Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, and Encephalitis and West Nile Virus.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Even though many of these diseases are not in your backyard, the mosquitoes are. Our goal is to keep you, your family and your pets completely protect you from mosquitoes the entire season for comfort and safety. Contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery for a free estimate today • (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

August 6, 2014

The top 10 things you need to know about the Asian Tiger Mosquito in Montgomery County, MD

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito

The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is an invasive mosquito species that is known to be a vector for a wide range of mosquito-borne illness and disease.  These include Dengue Fever, which is predominant throughout Southeast Asia.  The Asian tiger is also a potential vector for Yellow Fever and has now been identified as the main carrier of Chikungunya , a debilitating virus prevalent in Africa, Asia and as of December 2013, also in the Caribbean. This virus causes fever and joint pain among other symptoms. The first two cases of Chikungunya were contracted in Florida last week, according to the CDC.  Here in Maryland the Asian tiger is to blame for the spread of  West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Lacrosse Encephalitis and Canine heartworms.

The tire trade in the US is to blame for the rise of the Asian Tiger mosquito.

The tire trade in the US is to blame for the rise of the Asian Tiger mosquito.

This mosquito is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Southeast Asia.  The tiger mosquito now thrives in both urban and suburban environments across Maryland. The initial discovery of Asian Tiger mosquitoes in the US occurred in Houston tow years prior to when their discovery Baltimore, MD in 1987 at a used tire processing plant. From there, it spread to nearby communities as buckets, cans, flower vases and many other artificial water holding containers have proved as suitable as tire casings for breeding sites. Many communities in Maryland which experienced very little mosquito annoyance in the past are now infested by these mosquitoes. The tiger mosquito prefers residential areas where shade and water-holding containers are common. This pest is found in all neighborhoods, from the poorest to the most affluent. Older residential areas with a good deal of shade are preferred sites. Areas near commercial establishments which store a large number of tire casings outside are often infested with the greatest number of Asian Tiger mosquitoes.

The Asian Tiger mosquito is colored like it's namesake: the tiger.

The Asian Tiger mosquito is colored like it’s namesake: the tiger.

Only two years after the arrival of this unwanted world traveler, the population had already spread into 17 states.  Currently the Asian tiger mosquito’s realm extends from Texas all along the southern coast all the way to the Atlantic.  This mosquito has now been identified in 25 states that range as far north as Iowa.

The Asian tiger mosquito was named for its distinct black and white markings, which resemble its namesake – the tiger.  This mosquito was aptly named because it exhibits much of the same aggression as a tiger.  It will return again and again, even as it’s pushed or swatted away, to gain a blood meal.  It has even been reported to have swarmed homeowners in their backyard, being mistaken for bees.

One of the most distinct characteristics of this mosquito is that it is a day-feeder — when other mosquitoes are in their “down” time waiting for the sun to fade into the horizon, the Asian tiger is busy in search of an all-you-can-eat buffet!  In an effort to educate Montgomery County homeowners on the unique traits of this mosquito, we have put together a  list of the ten things you need to know about the Asian tiger mosquito:

Top 10 things your need to know about the Asian tiger mosquito

#1) Asian tiger mosquitoes are aggressive day feeders. Early morning and late afternoon are peak biting times.

#2) Tiger mosquitoes rest, fly and bite close to the ground.

#3) These mosquitoes are strongly attracted to bite humans, but will feed on cats, dogs and other mammals, as well as birds active on the ground.

the bloodthirsty asian tiger mosquito

The bloodthirsty Asian Tiger mosquito is just one of over species of mosquito here in MD.

#4) Asian tiger mosquitoes can breed in minimal amount of water including small puddles, crevices, knots in trees, planter reservoirs and even soda bottle caps.

#5) Female Asian Tiger mosquitoes lay 40 to 150 eggs after obtaining a blood meal.

#6) The cycle of blood feeding and egg laying will continue throughout the mosquito’s life span.

#7) Egg laying occurs about once per week.

#8) Adult tiger mosquitoes live from a few days to several weeks, largely depending on weather conditions. Hot, dry weather reduces life expectancy.

#9) During her lifetime, female Asian Tiger Mosquitoes will lay approximately 300 eggs.

#10)  In Maryland, Tiger mosquito eggs are present year round. Larvae is present from April through October. Adult tiger mosquitoes are found May through October. The period of peak population is June through September.

You can enjoy your yard and eliminate Asian tiger mosquitoes by using the proven Mosquito Squad  mosquito barrier spray program along with exercising safe-mosquito habits around your home!

Being able to use your yard more allows you to invite more friends and family over during the summer. Having the freedom to enjoy your yard also allows kids to play, explore nature and enjoy being a kid! Outdoor entertaining is also a plus this time of year, but, you also know getting your guests to come back for the next celebration will only occur if you provide them a safe and relaxing time while outside. Swatting and worrying about mosquitoes isn’t a memory you want guests taking home with them after a visit to your home.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Our program will eliminate mosquitoes in your yard, including the Asian tiger mosquito, all season long.  Our worry-free, effective barrier spray will get rid of mosquitoes present and prevent them from returning for up to 21 days.  Eliminating mosquitoes reduces you and your family’s chances of contracting  a mosquito-borne illness. Getting started is easy and our rotation program ensures mosquito control all summer long, with no gaps in service.

Take the tiger by the tail this season and contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery today to schedule a season free of mosquitoes, ticks and stink bugs!

 

 

 

June 19, 2014

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery discusses the misconception of the Polar Vortex’s impact on mosquitoes

Polar Vortex photo courtesy of the Washington Post

Polar Vortex photo courtesy of the Washington Post.

In talking to our customers, it seems many of them think harsh winters mean fewer insects in the spring and summer.  We know the much talked about Polar Vortex that Maryland and other states endured this past winter must mean the mosquito population has to be less in West Montgomery County this year. Right? That’s actually not the case.

If you think about the number of millennia insects have faced warm and extremely cold winters, yet are still with us, you know they must have a way to adapt to severe climate changes.  Mosquitoes are extreme survivors.  Ask any Alaska resident if mosquito numbers are reduced in years with extremely cold winters.  They will tell you clearly the answer is ‘No’.  Our 49th state has 35 mosquito species and they all survive the sub-zero winters very well each year.  Maryland has 59 mosquito species, and all have adapted equally as well to our winters too!

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery MD

Mosquitoes survive like most species, by first timing their lifecycle to seasonal weather changes.

So how do they survive?  Mosquitoes survive like most species by first timing their lifecycle to seasonal weather changes.  As eggs, mosquitoes can survive very harsh winters.  Harsh winters and the cold water eggs  may slow down the development of the mosquito egg which means in long, cold winters, they will hatch later in the spring but they will still hatch.  This developmental slowdown is called diapause by scientists and is an adaptation used by many insects, not just mosquitoes.

Adult mosquitoes survive winter by hiding in any warm, moist place they can find.  Heavy, damp leaf litter, in tree bark, openings in trees or deadfalls are among their favorite hiding places.  If mosquitoes can find warmth in garages, attics, walls and other places in your home they will over-winter there also.  Even animal burrows underground will keep mosquitoes warm and moist during harsh winters.  Warmth and moisture are the necessary elements for larvae and adult stage mosquitoes to survive cold winters.

Adult mosquitoes have developed two adaptations to help them further survive cold winters.  The first is a process that turns their body’s fluid into glycerol as the weather cools.  Glycerol acts like an anti-freeze to keep them from freezing.  Like other insects, mosquitoes also use an adaptation called “super cooling”.  As cold weather approaches, they begin to lower their temperature so they can survive much colder temperatures.  A mosquito that can’t find a place warm enough to keep them above their lower super cooled temperature won’t survive winter, but most do.

The emerging mosquito rears it's ugly head!

The emerging mosquito rears it’s ugly head!

Equally as important as warmth is to mosquitoes is moisture and dampness.  Mosquitoes in any lifecycle stage need moisture or they will dry out.  Our wet spring, on top of plenty of water from snow-melt has provided an ample amount of warm and wet hiding places for mosquitoes to get the moisture they need this year.  Increased rains this spring warmed our lakes, rivers and streams.  This quickly restarted Marylands’s mosquito eggs developing toward adults. The increased rainfall we’ve had this spring gave these pest many more places for eggs to develop and hatch.

The cold truth is;  weather temperature influences the mosquito lifecycle but it has little effect on their survival rate.  Temperature and rain mainly affect the time when mosquitoes hatch.  In areas like Rockville and all over Montgomery County, hatching and mosquitoes emerging from hibernation generally begins each year around mid-April or earlier.  For more information on The Four Seasons of Mosquitoes, you can visit the Department of Agriculture’s website.

mosquito larvae and eggs in standing water

Mosquito larvae and eggs in standing water.

Since mosquitoes aren’t good fliers, most spend their lifetime within a few hundred yards of where they are born.  In order to reduce the number of mosquitoes on your property, it’s important to begin protecting your yard early with a barrier spray.  We want to serve all of our customers before mosquitoes are a problem and at a time that is most convenient to you.  The earlier you call, the more flexible we can be in scheduling the protection you want for your family and friends who will be enjoying your yard this summer.

mosquito in the snow

Mosquito in the snow, well, not literally.

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery offers an intensive mosquito control program that controls and prevents mosquitoes all season. Our highly effective barrier sprays are sprayed on a regular schedule throughout the mosquito season to ensure no gaps in your mosquito and tick control. We also offer an organic mosquito control spray that is highly effective in controlling mosquitoes as well!

Our goal is to keep you, your family and your pets completely protect you from mosquitoes and the many diseases they carry for the entire season. Contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery for a free estimate today • (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

 

August 3, 2011

AMMM-August Means More Mosquitoes

“Water plus seven days equals mosquitoes,” Dr. Dina Fonseca, an associate professor of entomology at Rutgers University, told the Wall Street Journal, recently. Throughout the mid-Atlantic region, mosquito season runs from April through October, with a definite uptick in the hottest months, especially August. While we may be bigger than they are, they do outnumber us. By point of fact, there are 60 different species of mosquitoes in the Mid-Atlantic region; however, it’s important to note, it’s only the female that bites. Why? She needs your blood to give birth. If you’re the sympathetic type, that fact might tug on your heart-strings, after all, she’s just being a mom trying to look out for her offspring. The only trouble is, these “pests” do carry diseases from West Nile Virus to encephalitis  (Eastern equine encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, West Nile virus, Western equine encephalitis).

The CDC (Centers of Disease Control), Maryland Department of Agriculture and departments of agricultural throughout the United States are focused on protecting children and families from diseases carried by backyard insects such as mosquitoes and ticks, which also have a population growth in August.

Every year 1,000 Americans suffer serious illness or death because of mosquito bites. Worldwide, researchers hypothesize that the mosquito can be blamed for more human deaths throughout history than any other organism. But really, the mosquito is not the bad guy, she is just the messenger, if you will, the carrier, because the mosquito carries bacteria and parasites that cause disease. For this reason, it’s important to keep your family safe from mosquitoes.

Here are some great tips:

• Empty and remove containers with standing water  (if you empty but don’t remove the container, make sure to return weekly or after rain storms to empty again).

• When outside, protect family members with products that contain DEET. Suggests Bruce Robinson, a clinical instructor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, “as long as you don’t bathe in DEET or inhale too much of it, you should be fine.”

• Keep ankles and legs covered to protect again the low-flying varieties

• Wear light-colored clothes. Believe it or not, mosquitoes such as the Asian Tiger “like” or are “attracted to” dark colored clothing.

After spraying:

• Stay inside during spraying

• Shut windows, turn off fans and air conditioners during application

• Bring pet supplies inside

• Cover outdoor toys

• Cover bird-baths and fish ponds

• Wait for pesticides to dry before walking on

• Apply a pesticide to your yard in early spring and another during the heat of summer to reduce mosquito populations

• Apply a pesticide to your yard during the heat of summer to reduce populations

July 9, 2010

The Business Gazette features Mosquito Squad

The folks at the Business Gazette based in Montgomery County, MD were wondering how the heat wave was affecting businesses in the area. So they called us! Larry Johnson of the Frederick and Washington Counties Mosquito Squad explained that the Asian tiger mosquito populations increase more quickly as temps rise. I have seen more mosquitoes even in the middle of the day when I am out inspecting new accounts. Fortunately, I know what we do can have an impact on that rising population either with our traditional product or our all natural option.

See The Business Gazette article  http://bit.ly/9YM2yY

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.