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.

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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

 

 

 

 

May 19, 2015

How to protect yourself and your family from the risk of Lyme Disease:

May is Lyme Disease Awareness MonthMay is Lyme Disease awareness month. This event, supported by the Lyme Disease Foundation, is a campaign which promotes preventative measures which can be taken against Lyme disease. Lyme Disease is an acute inflammatory disease caused by the bite of a tick infected with the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi; which can result in Lyme Disease being spread through the bite of ticks which carry the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium.

Our ultimate goal at Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery is to help keep you and your family safe from the threat of vector-borne illness and disease. On a local level Maryland makes the list as one of the 14 most prevalent states that make up 95% of all Lyme Disease cases nationwide. Lyme Disease is an all too familiar occurrence. Every resident either knows someone within their circle of family and friends, or knows of someone just outside that circle that has had a brush with the disease. Before I had got Lyme myself (which you can read about in my blog “Montgomery County MD Tick Control and Lyme Disease: My Personal Story“) Lyme Disease is the driving force behind my decision to open this franchise in this location.  That is due to experiences still mounting in my family and my neighborhood.

Deer ticks thrive in wooded areas.

Deer ticks thrive in wooded areas.

In the US there are two main species of tick which carry and spread Lyme Disease. These are the deer tick or black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis) in the North central and Eastern parts of the country and the Western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacifus) on the West (Pacific) coast. Both species of ticks are found in wooded areas and here in Maryland Lyme Disease is the most common of all the tick-borne diseases.  Here in Maryland there has been a steady increase in the number of reported cases of Lyme Disease. With this in mind, we want to raise awareness of the disease in order educate both young and old about Lyme Disease and how Marylanders can take steps to prevent it.

deer tick or black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis)

Deer tick or black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis).

Educating and raising awareness of Lyme Disease starts in your own backyard! Proper protocol to deter and control the tick within its natural environment is the first step in staying healthy by reducing the chance of coming into contact with a tick that could potentially harbor the bacteria which causes the disease. Mosquito Squad  recommends the following steps for tick-proof yard:

The 6 C’s to Tick-Proof Your Yard

1.Choose plants Clear out. Reduce your tick exposure by clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas. Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic. Separate them with wood chips or gravel. Don’t position playground equipment, decks and patios near treed areas.

2. Clean. Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house and lawn edges, mow tall grasses and keep your lawn short.

3. Choose plants. Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and/or install physical barriers to keep deer out of your yard. Check with your local nursery to determine the best choices for your area.

4. Check hiding places. Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick walls, under rocks and patio retaining walls are popular hiding places.

5. Protect your pets with Mosquito Squad of the North ShoreCare for family pets. Family pets can suffer from tick-borne disease and also carry infected ticks into the home. Talk to your veterinarian about using tick collars and sprays. As with all pest control products, be sure to follow directions carefully.

6. Call the pros. Professionals utilize both barrier sprays that can kill “adult” ticks on the spot as well as “tick tubes.” Strategically placed, “tick tubes” prompt field mice to incorporate tick-killing material in their bedding, effectively eliminating hundreds of tick nymphs found in each mouse nest.

How tick tube implementation works:

How tick tube implementation works:

Our method entails a dual tick prevention and control program that targets ticks during each stage of development. Our barrier spray will eliminate adult ticks on contact while tick tubes are placed in key areas on your property, twice a season, to eliminate ticks at their nymph stage. Tick tubes can dramatically decrease the chances of encountering a Lyme infected tick on your property.

Contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery today to learn more about preventing Lyme Disease. We are currently taking appointments for our tick tube program. 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.

April 17, 2015

Montgomery County MD Tick Control and Lyme Disease: My Personal Story

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Lyme Disease Affects Us All

If it had not been for the “bulls eye” rash, I wouldn’t have even known that I had been bitten by a tick. The infected tick had fallen off days or possibly weeks before, but there it was. Seeing that expanding rash, I then knew that the achy, blah feeling was not just some summer bug I had caught: actually a bug, in the form of a deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) had caught me! I had contracted Lyme Disease. This was in the summer of 2012, and am happy to report that I have since made a full and complete recovery. For me, since I help treat yards to prevent ticks and mosquitoes from injuring families, it was easy to pinpoint where I picked up the infected tick– a property inspection.

Rash from Lyme Disease

My rash from Lyme Disease.

Lyme Disease’s Mystery

Lyme Disease is a mystery in many ways. Because I had the tell-tale rash, it was also easy to diagnose and positively treat. Not everyone is as fortunate. It is important to understand though, that the rash is not present over 20% of the time. Combine this with the fact that Lyme Disease can many times mimic other illnesses with its symptom list of fever/chills, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, a vastly larger segment of society may actually be suffering from Lyme Disease, without even realizing it.

tick_habitatOur Best Defense

Prevention becomes the number one way to protect yourself from contracting Lyme Disease. It is widely acknowledged are our best defense. There are some easy, important, and simple steps that you can take to decrease your risks. We here at Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery County truly care about our community. Like you, we also, want to be able to use and enjoy our yards without fear. Here are some helpful tick prevention tips we recommend:

  1. Keep compost and debris piles clear from play and dining spaces. Adult ticks natural habitat consists of damp, cluttered spaces. Ticks thrive in moisture and do not do well in dry heat.
  2. By having a well-trimmed yard versus a wilderness wonderland, you eliminate the “questing” point for ticks. Ticks will perch with their back legs on long grass or branches and hold up their front legs, ready to grab on and scurry up the leg or arm of any creature, be it dog, cat, deer, or human. Their favorite latching places are armpits and the groin. No long grass means no place to quest from.
  3. Ticks have known hideouts. Some of their favorite places are fences, brick walls, retaining walls, including walls that are also used as seating areas on your deck or patio. Check these spots regularly for ticks and “clutches.” A clutch is a mass of up to 2,000 tick eggs.
  4. Pets can not give you Lyme Disease, but they can bring ticks into contact with your family. It is important to use preventative care with your pets as well, especially dogs, since they can contract Lyme Disease.
  5. Call the pros for a barrier treatment spray. An effective spray will eliminate live adult ticks on contact.

ms west montgomery tick controlThe Mosquito Squad Solution

Thankfully, we offer effective Montgomery County MD tick control. It’s a personal commitment, for me and my wonderful team of trained professionals to protect your landscape from these predatory invaders. Ticks can live somewhere else other than our yards. Myself and many of our friends and neighbors, including college-aged kids and vibrantly healthy individuals, have also suffered from the debilitating effects of Lyme Disease. To eradicate up to 85% – 90% of the adult ticks on your property, we use an EPA-approved barrier spray that we apply every three weeks to offer continuous protection all season long. Combined with our tick tube program, which takes care of larval and nymph ticks in rodent dens, this offers a very strong defense against ticks which carry harmful illnesses. Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery leaves you with peace of mind to enjoy your yard throughout the spring and summer and well into fall.

Mosquito Squad logo squareTo learn more, we look forward to your call for a free quote at 301-444-5566 or email us at westmontco@mosquitosquad.com.

April 9, 2015

Celebrate Without a Hitch: No Pesky Bugs To Spoil Your Special Outdoor Event

Special Events and mosquitoes and ticks are not a winning combination!

Special Events and mosquitoes and ticks are not a winning combination!

Planning an outdoor wedding, reception, graduation, anniversary, or even a children’s birthday celebration requires a lot of work! You want the day to go off without any disasters or complications. So you carefully line up the perfect foods and drinks, seating arrangements, decorations, and party favors. We’d like to remind you of another thing to put on your to do list: set up a Special Event Barrier Spray session with Mosquito Squad. You don’t want biting bugs like mosquitoes to swarm your guests, and ticks are probably the most unwelcome party crasher around. For Montgomery County, MD outdoor pest control, no one does special event tick and mosquito protection like we do!

Being One With Nature

Part of the joy of having an event outside is the pleasure of being surrounded by nature. The beauty and movement of the fields and flowers are a delight to the eye. The sounds of birds, crickets, and even the wind rustling in the branches add breadth to the space. According to the National Wildlife Federation, being out in Nature has many added benefits including:

  • increased Vitamin D is not only good for your bones, but good for your heart
  • people are nicer when in nature: more caring socially and as a community
  • stress levels fall within minutes of simply seeing green spaces

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery County Dread-TuxSo, hooray for throwing an outdoor party: it’s a great idea! With Mosquito Squad of Montgomery County’s barrier spray protection, mosquitoes and ticks will not be joining in the fun. Montgomery Co MD outdoor pest control, we are your answer. Our EPA-approved barrier spray treatment lasts for up to three weeks, even between rain showers. It also is guaranteed to remove 85% – 90% of the biting bugs in the treated area. No mosquitoes. No ticks. No kidding.

Whether at your home or another outdoor venue, we are very cognizant of all the factors that go on behind the scenes to ensure that your special event goes off without a hitch.  As an added bonus, we’d love to offer another great resource for any outdoor lighting of your special event. Call our friend, Kerry Wheeler, of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives to ask about his beautiful lighting options for your event venue or your home.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

We welcome your call for a free quote 301-444-5566 or email us at 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.

 

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

 

 

September 11, 2014

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery knows now is the time to think about controlling stink bugs

Stink bug infestation on exterior of home.

Stink bug infestation on exterior of home.

If you live here in Montgomery County, I am sure you have experienced the “skunks” of the insect world first hand. Whether it was inside your home, in your beloved vegetable garden, or by accidentally invading the stink bug’s personal space and getting a whiff of how these nuisance pests got their name!  What you may not know is that these little stinkers can invade the interior of your homes as well as destroy your seasonal vegetable gardens. When it comes to dealing with the wrath of the stink bug, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and Mosquito Squad is the area’s expert at dealing with these little stinkers!

  • What are stink bugs and where did they come from?

The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, is native to China, Japan and surrounding countries. They were first discovered in the United States in Pennsylvania during the late 1990’s, but no one knows for certain how they were introduced to North America. Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) populations are exploding in the absence of their natural predators, and they are quickly becoming a nuisance to residents as they invade our homes, and to the agriculture industry.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. Photo courtesy of the  National Wildlife Federation.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. Photo courtesy of the National Wildlife Federation.

An article published by the National Wildlife Federation makes identification of the BMSB easy; “BMSBs have a “shield” like shape and reach approximately 17mm in length as adults. They have various shades of brown on the top of their body and white (sometimes with grey or black markings) underneath. North America has about 250 native stink bugs which are usually under control by native predators. The invasive stink bugs look very similar to our native species.” There are some visible key differences in BMSBs: These include Alternating dark and light bands on the antennae and alternating dark and light banding on the exposed side edges of the abdomen.

  • What’s the big stink about?

If you have never dealt with stink bugs in the past, you may be asking what the big “stink” is all about. The biggest  problem with BMSBs is their ability to infest our homes. As temperatures start to become cooler heading into fall the stink bug begins to search for a warm, dry space. Even though they do not reproduce inside the home or cause any major structural damage, their name-sake odor, spent shells from those that perish,  noisy flying, and overflowing populations can make the stink bug an extreme nuisance throughout the fall and winter, especially on warmer days when they are prone to be more active. These pests will readily take up residence within the closets of our homes, in attics, behind pictures hanging on our walls and many other places where they can remain out of view.

brown_marmorated_stink_bug_house

In addition, stink bugs can also cause severe damage to our landscapes and gardens. BMSBs feed on plants by piercing the skin and consuming the juices within. One of  the  tell-tale signs of stink bug feeding appear as “necrotic” or dead spots on the surface. Along with being a huge agricultural pest in the Mid-Atlantic region, stink bugs can also damage ornamental trees and shrubs around your home. They can also ravage that veggie garden you have labored on all season, and decimate an orchard full of fruit trees and even our grapevines.

  • The best course of action for stink bugs?

BMSB’s will  hide in curtains, your bedding, behind hanging pictures, along windows, in the attic and walls. They gain entry from cracks and crevices found around the exterior of your home. Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery can prevent their entrance into your home with our exterior stink bug control service. Our high-quality, thorough service stops the stink bugs before they have a chance to enter, and continues to provide protection for up to three weeks per application. We recommend a preventative spray now,  we then follow-up with a second exterior  perimeter application to ensure extended protection as we move into the fall.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Contact us to learn more today • (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

 

 

September 4, 2014

Our service enables you to renew your love of the outdoors and being at one with nature!

There are many benefits associated with spending time outdoors!

There are many benefits associated with spending time outdoors!

One of the most beneficial aspects of being able to enjoy your backyard mosquito and tick free is freedom; the  freedom of placing yourself at one with nature anytime. Being “in” nature has proven positive effects including an increase in health, happiness, wealth, a better sense of community, an improved state of mind and even increases a child’s ability to learn!

According to an article published by the Harvard Health Letter through the Harvard Medical School titled “A prescription for better health: go alfresco”, the simple act of spending time outdoors is loaded with mental and physical benefits. One of the listed benefits includes an increase in your level of Vitamin D.  Being exposed to sunlight  begins a process that leads to the creation and activation of vitamin D. Studies suggest that this vitamin D helps fight certain conditions,  including Osteoporosis, Cancer, depression and heart attacks. A lack of vitamin D, and not getting outdoors often is a driving force for what we refer to as “cabin fever”, and even the “rainy day blues.”

It is human nature to become more active when outside because there is so much to see, and experience in nature.

It is human nature to become more active when outside because there is so much to see, and experience in nature.

Another benefit of getting outdoors is it gets you up and at em’! Outdoor living increases physical activity. It is human nature to become more active when outside because there is so much to see, and experience in nature. It is true that many adults exercise “within” the settings of a gym or on the treadmill at home but children are the ones who generally miss out on the many benefits of being outdoors. Indoor living has long been associated with being sedentary, particularly for children, while being outdoors is associated with activity. According to some surveys, American children spend an average of 6+ hours a day with electronic media (video games, television, and so on), time that is spent mainly indoors and sitting down. British researchers used Global Positioning System devices and accelerometers, which sense movement, to track the activity of 1,000 children. They found that the children were more than doubly active when they were outside. By encouraging children to get outside, especially though setting an example, this will mean less time spent in front of the television and computer and more time walking, biking, gardening, cleaning up the yard, and doing other things that get kids moving — plus, the time spent outdoors with your child are the times they will cherish!

Did you know that light can help elevate your mood? It’s true, and getting outside and enjoying the sun is one of the best ways to treat conditions like Seasonal Affective Disorder. Physical activity has been shown to relax and cheer people up too, so if being outside replaces inactive pursuits with active ones, it might also mean more smiles and laughter.

Mother Nature holds the power of healing.

Mother Nature holds the power of healing.

Not only will experiencing the outdoors increase concentration, but a recent  story discusses how outdoor play in children is increasingly linked scientifically to stronger mental muscle. The article, titled “Does outdoor play make kids smarter?” was featured on the Children and Nature Network website and points out that “Parents have long thought of outdoor play as the icing on the cognitive cake: Finish your homework, attend to all of the after-school lessons and clubs intended to gain you admission to Stanford or Cal, and then, and only then, can you go out and play. A growing body of research, however, suggests that outdoor play offers such a positive bump in brain power, it should perhaps be a priority. One school of thought about why nature has such an effect is the attention restoration theory: If you want to gain strength by lifting weights, you need to take a break between sessions for your muscles to recover; nature provides a similar break in attention for your brain. The other theory, “is biophilia: This is what my brain was built for. Our brains evolved in nature. Now that we have light bulbs and iPads, nature has a calming effect. MRI tests confirm that nature produces chemical shifts in the brain.”

And last , but certainly not least, fresh air, nature and exposure to natural sunlight has been proven to help us heal faster from injuries, illness and surgery. University of Pittsburgh researchers reported in 2005 that spinal surgery patients experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications during their recoveries if they were exposed to natural light. An older study showed that the view out the window (trees vs. a brick wall) had an effect on patient recovery. Of course, windows and views are different than actually being outside, but we’re betting that adding a little fresh air to the equation couldn’t hurt and might help.

Mosquito free life

The desire to spend time outdoors is natural to us. It puts things in perspective. Even after a long, hard week at work or school, stepping into nature gives us solace and is as good for our soul as it is for our health, and mood. At Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery, our goal is to create a space that enables you the freedom to be outdoors spontaneously. We create backyards that allow you and your family the endless benefits of Mother Nature without the worry of mosquitoes or ticks.

Contact us to learn more today • (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.