Archive for ‘Mosquitoes and Mosquito-borne Illness’

July 31, 2015

Outdoor Living in the Montgomery County area is a Dream

rainy_day_mosquito_sprayWith a wet beginning to the summer it looked like a wash out was inevitable. While it’s hard to complain about rain when so many parts of the country and the world are suffering immense droughts, it was getting to be quite depressing.

Alas, Summer is Here

Luckily, it can’t rain all the time and the weather has given us some breaks. Between the tropical heat and humidity that has become part of the Montgomery County summer climate and the complete down pours, there are some really lovely days that are important to get out and enjoy. The fleeting clear warm days accompanied by cool nights feel like autumn is coming and I even needed a light jacket one day last week. I’d hate to hear of anyone losing the opportunity to be outside enjoying those perfect days due to mosquitoes and ticks.

play_ball_with_the_kids_pest-Free-north_potomacTime to Get Outside

When a perfect day with low humidity and warm temperatures presents itself, now is the time to get outside. Go play ball in the yard with the kids. Invite your friends over for a barbecue. Take the dog for a nice long walk. Whatever you love doing, go do it outside, take full advantage of the weather as much as you can. With these gorgeous days being tucked in between rainy wet days and hot humid days it is vital that you have your yard treated for mosquitoes and ticks now, before these days arrive. If you wait until the weather is nice to call us, you’ll have already lost some outdoor time.

The Best Outdoor Living Is Pest Free

Outdoor living is best done with a bit of preparation. Being chased in by mosquitoes or having your dog come in covered in ticks is not something you want to worry about when your trying to make the most out of the beautiful weather. To really live outdoors without annoyance or dangerous bug bites, you need a mosquito control and tick control plan. Make your adventures outdoors spontaneous and without ridiculously smelly sprays, by eliminating the mosquitoes and ticks in your yard with Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery. With our traditional barrier spray eliminating 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your yard you can head outside any time day or night without having to spray yourself, light candles or torches or cover yourself from head to toe. When outdoor living can become this easy, you’re sure to take advantage of every moment of this beautiful Maryland summer.

wear_light_clothes_avoid_tickborne_diseaseDangers of Not Controlling Mosquitoes and Ticks at your Home

Mosquitoes are multiplying rapidly thanks to the wet weather that has just recently let up. They carry and transmit diseases that can really make you sick. West Nile Virus has already been discovered in mosquito pools all around the North East this summer and there has even been a human case of West Nile Virus in Delaware.

With the number of deer loitering in our backyards from Darnestown and North Potomac to Derwood and North Bethesda, deer ticks are at an all time high — making Lyme Disease more widespread than ever. With West Nile Virus hitting so close to home and the increase in Lyme Disease, spread by ticks being heavily reported – protecting yourself, your family and your pets is crucial to living a carefree outdoor life.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

Preventing your exposure to mosquitoes is your best weapons against West Nile Virus. At Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery we can eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes and ticks in your yard with our traditional barrier. 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

 

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July 3, 2015

Choices, choices: Did you know we offer an organic and traditional barrier spray program?

shutterstock_116298694It seems the word “Organic” is appearing more and more on the shelves of every grocery store.  Whether concern over GMO food, the antibiotics used in our meat or concern over the pesticides used to increase the production of food, the term organic is used on more products.  As popular TV shows on food and health teach us, buying organic is more important when buying some foods than it is for others.  We may choose to pay more for organic fruit when we are going to eat the outside skin of our fruit.  For other fruit, like bananas and oranges we have fewer health concerns eating ones sprayed with pesticides.  The more we know about the food we eat, the better choices we can make for our families and our self. When considering a mosquito barrier spray for your yard, you also have a traditional and organic option.  They each work differently, so we want to point out some of the things you may want to consider when making your choice between a traditional or organic barrier spray for mosquitoes.

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery MDTraditional Barrier Spray  Keeping mosquitoes away is the best way to prevent mosquito bites,and the further away they are, the better.  Our traditional barrier spray eliminates 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your yard.  Since most mosquitoes are poor fliers, most live their life within 300’ of where they are born.   Eliminating mosquitoes in your yard means fewer mosquitoes and fewer bites throughout the summer. The traditional mosquito control approach uses a very effective and proven insecticide.  The spray eliminates mosquitoes on contact and continues eliminating them for weeks, as they rest and feed on the treated vegetation.  When the spray dries, this take approximately an hour, it remains there.  It will need to be reapplied usually every 21 days.

Spring dayOrganic Barrier Spray Our  organic mosquito control spray is made from garlic.  It reduces the number of mosquitoes in your yard by repelling them rather than eliminating them.  When applied, the spray has a slight odor.  After it dries, you will no longer smell the odor.  However, mosquitoes will be able to smell it and continue to be repelled.  This spray will reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard by 70-75%. Just as any organic farmer knows, natural pesticide solutions don’t last as long as traditional pesticides.  They need to be reapplied more often.  The same is true when using our organic mosquito control treatment. Our organic treatments needs to be reapplied every 14 days in order to receive continuous protection in your yard.

Your Decision The decision on whether to use our traditional or organic spray is often decided on how you use your yard and whether you have infants or toddlers.  You should know that our technicians are trained to avoid spraying flowering plants or fishponds.  Fish ponds usually have moving water to support the fish.  Mosquitoes prefer standing water like that found in flowerpots and tires.  Focusing the spray on areas where mosquitoes are more likely to be resting will also help prevent harm to any beneficial insects.

Organic mosquito control Rockville MDIf you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees in your yard, or little ones who are still crawling, you may feel more comfortable using our organic barrier spray.  When spraying, we use foggers to mist vegetation.  Of course, some of the mist will come in contact with the lawn where toddlers may later be playing and crawling.  Until your children are walking and not on hands and knees, you may feel more comfortable using our organic spray.

Whether you choose our organic garlic, organic essential oil or traditional barrier spray each will typically dry on leaf foliage within an hour after treatment.  You can feel comfortable using your yard as you normally would after that time.  The difference noted in your yard will feel like night and day when it comes to mosquito bites.  Finally, you can enjoy working in your flower garden or grilling outside with friends and family no longer worried about mosquito bites. Preventing West Nile disease and other mosquito-borne infections begins and ends with reducing your exposure to mosquitoes and their bite.  Using either a traditional or organic barrier spray is an effective place to start with your mosquito control program.

Contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery  to learn more or sign up today • (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery organic mosquito control

 

 

September 13, 2014

First West Nile Virus case recently reported in Maryland

West Nile VirusAccording to an article published in The Washington Post, “Maryland’s health department reported the state’s first confirmed case of West Nile virus of 2014.  The state’s survey period for West Nile virus lasts from July 1 to Oct. 31. Last year, the first three cases of the year were reported by mid-August. By the end of the year, 16 people had been infected. In 2012, Maryland hit a nine-year high of 47 cases.”

Here at Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery, our goal is to keep residents protected from the dangers associated with mosquitoes and ticks. Though news of the recent report is concerning, we are keeping a positive outlook and are hopeful this will be the only confirmed case of the season. According to the state department of health, most people infected with the virus do not become sick. Those who do grow ill exhibit symptoms including fever, achiness, rash and swollen glands within two days to two weeks of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Less than 1 percent of people who are infected suffer more serious consequences.

standing water, forgotten behind your garden shed serves as the perfect breeding ground for thousands of mosquito eggs!

A wheelbarrow of standing water, forgotten behind your garden shed serves as the perfect breeding ground for thousands of mosquito eggs.

The Labor Day week heatwave accompanied by the massive rainfalls are causing mosquitoes to be more active now than they have been all summer! It is a known fact that Asian tiger mosquitoes peak late August through September and we are seeing this come to fruition in our area and continuing with the trend. Keep in mind, even as temperatures start to grow a bit cooler as we welcome the arrival of fall in the coming weeks, it is important that residents stay vigilant with their mosquito control practices. As the health department continues to monitor and test for the virus here in Montgomery County region, and all across the state, here is a quick checklist for keeping mosquitoes away for the remainder of the season:

Enjoy being outdoors knowing you and your family are protected!

Enjoy being outdoors knowing you and your family are protected!

Common sense practices to reduce mosquito populations include keeping  your lawn mowed and free of debris, this includes brush piles. Keep your landscape from becoming overgrown. Make sure all screened areas in and around your home are not damaged or torn to reduce the risk of mosquitoes becoming uninvited house guests. Clogged gutters are a refuge for mosquitoes as well as down spouts. Make certain these areas are kept free of debris. Other things to avoid are pooled water in sandboxes and swing sets or other outdoor kids play structures. Also avoid keeping tires outside.

In addition to removing the potential for mosquitoes to breed, it is also highly recommended to have your property treated by a licensed mosquito control professional to provide an invisible veil of protection from mosquitoes and the illnesses they carry. Since mosquito activity is still  in full force, now is the time to be vigilant in mosquito control practices in your own backyard.

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery offers an intensive mosquito control program that controls and prevents mosquitoes. 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 offer an organic mosquito control spray as well!

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Our goal is to keep you, your family and your pets completely protected 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 27, 2014

Don’t Let Mosquitoes and Ticks Rain on Your Labor Day Parade!

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery having fun at the 2011 Labor Day parade

Highlights from our participation in previous Kensington Labor Day parades… the dreaded mosquito has met its match!

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery will be at the 47th Annual Kensington Labor Day parade on Monday, September 1, 2014 and we cordially invite you to attend this fun-filled annual event!   The day starts off with the Parade traveling down Connecticut Avenue from St. Paul Park toward Town Hall, featuring local marching bands from area schools; equestrian show groups; dance groups; floats and ambassadors from local churches, schools, non-profits, and businesses; and local, state, and federally elected officials.

The crowd cheers as the mosquito begins to fall!

The crowd cheers as the mosquito begins to fall!

Kensington residents know they have a giant mosquito problem ( just look at the picture!) Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery will be participating in the annual parade again this year. Our participation in local and community events is an important part of teaching our neighbors the importance of mosquito and tick control in their own backyard as a way to reduce the risk of vector-borne illness and as a way to make the the time spent outdoors safer and more enjoyable for every member of the family, including pets.

Both mosquitoes and ticks are capable of infecting us with illnesses like West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease and can even infect our beloved pets with heartworms, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Canine Lyme Disease.  Our mission here at Mosquito Squad is simple: to educate you about the risks of vector-borne illness and how enjoy the outdoors without the worries! We can even keep those dreaded stink bugs away too!

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

We look forward to seeing at the Kensington Labor Day parade and festival — You can also contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery to inquire about our mosquito & tick control programs designed to keep you and your family happy and healthy • Call us today for a free quote •  (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

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

June 26, 2014

Chikungunya Is Spreading Like Wildfire!

ChikungunyaChikungunya isn’t a new Caribbean dish discovered this summer by vacationers to the Islands.  It IS being brought back to the US though.  Twenty-four states have so far reported 88 cases of this mosquito-borne disease.  The first case of Chikungunya in the Caribbean was reported in December 2013.  The CDC currently reports there are more than 183,000 cases in the Western Hemisphere.  It is spreading like a proverbial wildfire.

The disease had previously remained in Africa, the Pacific Islands and Asia until December when the Caribbean nation of St. Martin’s reported the first case.  Chikungunya comes from a language in Tanzania meaning “bent over”.  Symptoms of the disease include fever, headaches and joint pain.  Symptoms occur within 3-7 days of an infected mosquito bite.  After a week, the symptoms usually disappear; however, some victims are not so lucky.  The arthritic-like joint pain of the disease can linger for some for months or years.  Medication can be prescribed for the pain but there is no treatment for the illness.  Fortunately, the disease is rarely fatal.

chikungunya-transmission-cycleAlthough, no local transmissions from humans to mosquitoes have occurred in the US, CDC scientists believe it is only a matter of time before isolated outbreaks will occur here.  So far, all of the US victims of Chikungunya acquired the disease during visits to the Caribbean.

The two species of mosquitoes that transmit this disease have been in the US for a number of years.  With our increasingly warmer climate, both species can now be found as far north as Rhode Island.  These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime feeders.  They do not primarily look for a blood meal at dusk and dawn like other mosquito species.

Since this is summer traveling season, many US vacationers will plan to enjoy the sun and surf of the Caribbean.  You can’t know whether a returning neighbor or family member from a Caribbean vacation will be the next Chikungunya case in the US.  The best way anyone has of preventing mosquito-borne illnesses to themselves and loved ones is to prevent being bitten by a mosquito.  Since you likely spend most of your time outdoors in your yard, there is an effective way to reduce the number of bites you and your family may receive this summer.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery MD provides an effective and proven barrier spray that eliminates 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your yard throughout the season.  We will also help you mosquito-proof your yard by pointing out places mosquitoes like to breed and hide, like rain gutters clogged with organic debris, flowerpots with standing water, etc.  Prior to treating your yard, we will confirm that we are on our way.  We will also leave you a notice that your yard was treated.  For continued protection all summer long, we recommend you treat your yard every 3 weeks during mosquito season.  With 4th of July around the corner, this would be an excellent time for you to experience the effectiveness of our barrier spray and judge for yourself.

Contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery  to learn more or sign up today • (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

 

 

June 25, 2014

Mosquitoes put your loved ones at risk of catching more than the bouquet at your wedding!

The uninvited guest: the mosquito

The uninvited guest: the mosquito.

Most of us don’t like being unprepared when we leave our house.  Going into a movie or restaurant that’s freezing cold in the summer is an annoyance.  Who thinks of bringing a sweater or jacket with them in July to go grocery shopping?  These are unpleasant situations we can endure briefly and either get our food to-go or grab the essential groceries we need and leave as soon as possible.

Getting the family ready to visit their Grandfather on Father’s Day, attending a Little League cookout, visiting friends for a pool party, even attending a friend’s wedding are some of the activities we might be doing this summer.  If we’re the host of these events, we will plan the food and drinks, the activities we need to provide to entertain everyone, what we will wear and all the things to make the day fun and enjoyable.  We want everyone to take away good memories.

After being indoors most of the winter, we often don’t think about what happens as the weather moves from early spring to summer.  How often have you hosted an outdoor event only to forget about mosquitoes?  We often don’t remember how quickly a tiny insect became the most important memory we took away from an outdoor event we attended.  Planning how you will prevent mosquitoes from ruining your event is just one more thing to include on your event To-Do List.  It will be as if all of our hard work meant nothing if you allow mosquitoes to invade your festivities.

Let’s imagine a bride’s wedding day.  Everything has been planned for months.  The cake has arrived on time.  Guests have traveled from far and wide to attend this special event.  Photos have been taken on the beautiful white bridge with lush green trees in the background to show off the bride’s amazing gown.  The bride and groom can think of nothing other than their future together and the new chapter beginning in their lives.  Watch this short movie, and see how their special day unfolds.

After looking at this brief movie, you probably have a better feeling of how biting mosquitoes can turn a planned celebration into a survival event.  Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery MD wants you to know it doesn’t have to be that way.  We offer a one-time event barrier spray to eliminate mosquitoes at any of your special gatherings.  Weddings, Anniversaries, Family Reunions, Birthday Parties, Cookouts, any event you are planning outdoors.

Enjoy the outdoor living season mosquito and worry free!

Enjoy the outdoor living season mosquito and worry free!

How many times have you failed to think of bug spray, anti-itch cream, etc. while getting dressed for any of these events?  Most of us don’t think of them often and neither will your guests.  Last week, while attending a Boy Scout cookout with my sons, one of them began itching and scratching from mosquito bites.  We had to leave to get anti-itch spray.  By the time we returned, we missed half the banquet.  Even someone working in the mosquito business can forget about mosquitoes when focused on children and the celebration they are attending.  It’s easy for any of us to forget how bad mosquitoes can be, especially around lakes and areas with a lot of shade and cover.

the bloodthirsty asian tiger mosquito

The bloodthirsty asian tiger mosquito is just one of over 59 species of mosquito here in MD.

A mosquito barrier spray will make sure that whether your guests remember sprays or creams, they will enjoy their time at your special event.  Our mosquito barrier sprays are so effective many of our one-time event customers later become regular customers.  The effectiveness of our mosquito treatments are our best advertisement and a great way to be introduced to them.  Once applied, no one will know the spray was used.  What guests may eventually notice is that there are no mosquitoes bothering them.

From the time your guests leave their car until they return, our mosquito barrier spray can be protecting them.  Our technicians call before arriving at the event location and will spray a day or two before your event to begin eliminating mosquitoes in advance of your festivities.  Whether you are using your backyard, or a space you’ve rented, we can make sure the only memories your guests take home are the ones you want them to have.  In fact, many of your friends and guests may tell you after your event that they were surprised they didn’t see any mosquitoes.  Of course, if you want them to think you picked a bug-free location for their enjoyment, we won’t tell.  It’s up to you.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Now is the time to sign up for our season-long protection. We offer both organic and traditional programs.  If you prefer, sign up for a one-time spraying for your special event.  The benefits of our mosquito treatment will have you coming back for more because you will enjoy up to 3 weeks extended protection every week. You continue to invite family and friends over for cookouts and parties in your yard all summer long!

Our program will  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  to sign up today • (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

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

 

May 27, 2014

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery is your best choice for a mosquito-free season!

West Montgomery MD mosquito control and prevention

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery offers an intensive mosquito control program that controls and prevents mosquitoes all season.

There are a lot of old wives’ tales and gimmicks for getting rid of mosquitoes. Many of today’s homeowners rely on mosquito control products and remedies that just aren’t effective at keeping the mosquitoes away, or protecting you and your family from the risks associated with mosquito-borne illness. Being in the business of bugs, and a concerned mother of two, I have seen it all! From Tiki-torches filled with oil that promises a mosquito-free environment once you light them (which leads to the risk of fire), to gels, candles and cartridges filled with minute traces of Citronella which do very little to keep the problem at bay. In addition, many of us prefer to not to apply repellants on our bodies, and our children’s, every time we step outdoors.

 

Bill Gates Deadliest Animal Mosquito Graphic

Bill Gates Deadliest Animal Mosquito Graphic

 

One of the most powerful weapons in preventing mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illness is knowledge. Mosquitoes are one of the oldest species on the face of the earth, dating back more than 170 million years. Mosquitoes are known as the deadliest predators on earth. Don’t let their small stature or wispy presence fool you: they are known vectors of many devastating diseases. The worst of them being  Malaria, which kills more than 600,000 people every year; another 200 million cases incapacitate people for weeks and even months 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 West Nile Virus. Dengue fever, Yellow fever, Encephalitis and the recent debut of Chikungunya Disease. However, we still have the upper hand, and if we are diligent as homeowners in taking  control of our property then the incidences of mosquito-borne diseases would diminish, as well as the nuisance of having to deal with mosquitoes.

Taking control of your property means inspecting  it on a regular basis and especially following rainfall. It also means being aware of the areas of your property  that could serve well for a mosquito to reside or lay eggs. As we move into the warmer season, mosquitoes are gradually gaining momentum in your yard and will soon be out in full force. These mosquitoes will be hungry and in search of a  host to feed from and a good place to lay their eggs.

Here are a list of the 5 things to keep in mind while inspecting your property. Mosquito Squad calls these the 5T’s of mosquito  prevention:

The 5 T’s of mosquito prevention

  • Tip- tip over any item that collects moisture.
  • Top– top over any item or container where  moisture can collect.
  • Turn over– turn over containers such as planters, children’s toys, and other items when not in use can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Remove tarps– remove any tarp or cover to discourage mosquitoes from laying eggs in the folds of the tarp which are prone to collect moisture.
  • Toss– throw away debris and items that can collect water. This includes trash. Did you know a mere soda pop bottle top can serve as a nursery to over 300 mosquito eggs alone? When in doubt-toss it out.

 

standing water, forgotten behind your garden shed serves as the perfect breeding ground for thousands of mosquito eggs!

A wheelbarrow of standing water, forgotten behind your garden shed serves as the perfect breeding ground for thousands of mosquito eggs!

These 5 easy to remember mosquito prevention practices are vital to keeping you and your family safe from mosquitoes. Other common sense practices to reduce mosquito populations include keeping  your lawn mowed and free of debris, this includes brush piles. Keep your landscape from becoming overgrown. Make sure all screened areas in and around your home are not damaged or torn to reduce the risk of mosquitoes becoming uninvited house guests. Clogged gutters are a refuge for mosquitoes as well as down spouts. Make certain these areas are kept free of debris. Other things to avoid are pooled water in sandboxes and swing sets or other outdoor kids play structures. Also avoid keeping tires outside, keep old tires tossed out (after all, hitching a ride in a used tire shipment from Asia to Texas  is how the Asian Tiger mosquito made its way into the U.S. back in 1985.)

In addition to removing the potential for mosquitoes to breed, it is also highly recommended to have your property treated by a licensed mosquito control professional to provide an invisible veil of protection from mosquitoes and the illnesses they carry. Since mosquitoe activity is suddenly in full force, now is the time to be vigilant in mosquito control practices in your own backyard.

Enjoy the season mosquito free with Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery!

Enjoy the season mosquito free with Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery!

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!

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

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

 

April 25, 2014

Today is World Malaria Day: Learn how you can save a life.

World Malaria Day 2014Today is World Malaria Day which was initiated by WHO ( World Health Organization) Member States during the World Health Assembly of 2007. The day is set aside to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. People from across the globe will take part in a wide range of activities to mark World Malaria Day 2014.asian-tiger-mosquito

 Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery realizes the seriousness of mosquito-borne disease, in the U.S. and abroad. Mosquitoes are known as the deadliest creatures on earth despite their tiny stature. This is attributed to the wide range of disease and illnesses they can pass onto us. Despite recent progress, about half the world’s population still lives in Malaria ridden areas making it a leading cause of death amongst young children. Presently,104 countries are affected by the disease. Malaria No More, along with other campaigns targeted to provide timely diagnosis and treatment to stop the disease  in its tracks are also helping to raise awareness about this disease that is  too often forgotten through the passages of time and distance.

While Malaria was eradicated in the United States more than 50 years ago, it continues to thrive in countries like Africa where it takes the life of an innocent child every minute. Over 650,000 people worldwide die every year from Malaria, and 86% of those deaths occur in children. Malaria is preventable and treatable, just $1 can provide diagnostic testing and life-saving medication to save one child from perishing from this disease and the simplicity of having a $10 bed net to sleep under each night, up to two children can be spared from the deadly disease– it’s that simple. For the amount most of us spend on a cup of coffee each morning, we could save the life of 5 children!

Power of One

 

Mosquito Squad supports the Malaria No More campaign through their preventative bed net program, and other benefical programs that are helping to save lives. Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery, in particular collaborates with Malaria No More to  end Malaria deaths through the Power of One program. The Power of One program is targeted to halt Malaria  with one dollar and one child at a time. Malaria kills a child every minute, but Power of One lets you stop the clock by donating one dollar to provide a life-saving test and treatment for a child in Africa. So no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you’ve never been closer to saving a life.

One dollar given. One child saved. That’s the Power of One. Malaria is preventable and treatable and through donations and support we can help eradicate the disease once and for all.

To learn more about controlling mosquitoes at home and making an impact on mosquito-borne illness abroad, contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery today.  Call us today for a free quote •  (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

For more information on the fight against malaria, and to learn more about becoming involved in the fight against this deadly disease visit MalariaNoMore.org