Posts tagged ‘CDC Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’

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!

 

 

 

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July 7, 2014

Can Lyme Disease Be Transmitted Sexually?

Male and female symbolYou may have heard some discussion lately on the sexual transmission of Lyme Disease.  If you haven’t heard it, you will.  Combine sex with the word disease and you immediately have two subjects in which nearly 100% of the people on earth will be interested.  If advertisers love any news, it is news about subjects that touch people personally.  Sex and disease both fit that criterion.

So what’s the latest information on this subject?  Much of the news is old news.  At the 14th International Scientific Conference on Lyme Disease in April 2001, Dr. Gregory Back presented a paper on “Recovery of Lyme Spirochetes by PCR in Semen Samples of Previously Diagnosed Lyme Disease Patients”.  The first thing to understand about this paper is that 40% of the 132 partners studied (66 couples) were both found to be infected with Lyme Disease.  Lyme Disease, Science and Society looked at this research and after examining the evidence of this early study stated:

There are unanswered questions about this study based on the abstract: We don’t know what kind of microscopic confirmation was conducted and why it was mostly conducted on semen.  We don’t know if patients had other possible routes of exposure to spirochetes.  We don’t know if the DNA sequences recovered matched between sexual partners.  We don’t know whether any of the patients who were sampled had recently taken antibiotics and if the spirochetal DNA that was detected was the result of their bodies trying to purge a massive die-off of spirochetes.  What kind of treatment patients in the study had received so far is an unknown.

Deer tick awaiting a host in Rockville MDAs you can see, the individuals in the study were not tested prior to finding a Lyme infection, in order to establish when the infection occurred.  There was also no evidence of actual transmission or research into the exact origin of the partner’s infection, only evidence that both partners had Lyme Disease.  Since partners live in the same environment, it’s very possible that one partner didn’t remember being bitten by a tick.  Nymph ticks are the size of a poppy-seed and difficult to detect.  Due to their small size, they are often not found by their human host unless seen fully engorged with blood.  Simply stated, it’s a leap to identify two related patients and make a leap that one gave the other any disease.  For example, if a husband has the flu, his wife may think he gave it to her.  In fact, she may have gotten it from someone at work.  Infectious diseases in the real world don’t always neatly move in the direction we expect.

Other studies claim that the spirochetes of syphilis and those of Lyme Disease are similar.  While it’s true they are similar, they do not share the same environmental preferences.  Lyme spirochetes don’t survive very long on the surface of the skin.  However, syphilis spirochetes do very well in moist superficial skin lesions.

If detected during pregnancy, Lyme Disease can be easily treated in the mother with antibiotics that do not harm the fetus.  The CDC says, “Untreated Lyme disease during pregnancy may lead to infection of the placenta and possible stillbirth.”  Lymediseaseassociation.org says, “The bacteria can also be passed through the placenta of a pregnant woman to the fetus—congenital transmission.”  Since a Lyme infection occurs through the blood, it makes sense a fetus can become infected.

When considering breast milk in mothers, the DNA of Lyme Disease has been found.  This does not mean it has been proven that a newborn can get Lyme Disease through breast milk, only that evidence of the disease is present in the milk.  There have not been any cases linking breast milk in the transmission of Lyme Disease.

Researchers know that the Lyme bacteria can survive blood bank storage conditions.  Once again, there have been no suspected cases of Lyme transmission through blood transfusions.  However, animal studies do show that Lyme bacteria can be transmitted through blood transfusions in mice.

EngorgedFemaleDeerTicks

The CDC does not consider the transmission of Lyme Disease through sexual intimacy very likely.  As mentioned earlier, there is anecdotal evidence of possible sexual transmission but much more research needs to be done.  There are already enough sexually transmitted diseases for everyone to be concerned about transmitting to their sexual partners, without knowing if Lyme Disease is one of them.  Taking precautions regarding any infection someone may have, on behalf of sexual partners, should be common sense behavior.

tick_habitatScientists 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.

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