Posts tagged ‘Maryland Department of Health’

April 25, 2014

The importance of protecting against Lyme Disease in Montgomery County, MD.

Lyme Disease Risk in MD

CDC map indicating Lyme Disease risk in Maryland.

Lyme Disease is a multisystem illness caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a spirochete transmitted by certain species of Ixodes ticks, including the highly prevalent Deer tick. Approximately 30,000 confirmed and probable cases of Lyme Disease were reported in the US during 2012, primarily from high-incidence states in the Northeast which include: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Cases were also reported in the upper Midwest.

According to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Lyme Disease is the 3rd most notifiable disease in Maryland and the most common tick-borne illness reported in the state. This data suggests the importance of keeping you and your family safe from ticks in Montgomery County, MD in order to avoid Lyme Disease. For residents across Maryland, protecting yourself and your family from the dangers of Lyme Disease needs to encompass year-round awareness, not just during the typical tick-active periods during hot weather. Even in winter, ticks can bite on warm days, and climate change is lengthening the seasons when ticks are most active which makes reducing the risk of contracting a tick-borne illness a challenge. This regional epidemic has begun to trigger a broad public health response on target with prevention campaigns aimed at some other vector-borne illnesses, such as West Nile Virus which is spread by mosquitoes. Ticks are quite a devious foe, and require knowledge and awareness in order to overcome rising deer tick populations within our region.

  • How Lyme Disease Infects
All size deer ticks can spread Lyme Disease - nymph to adult.

All size deer ticks can spread Lyme Disease – nymph to adult.

Lyme Disease is caused by being bitten by a deer tick carrying Borrelia burgdorferi which causes the disease. All sizes of deer ticks are capable of transmission. People and animals, including pets, can become infected with Lyme Disease. The same deer tick that is responsible for Lyme Disease within is also responsible for the spread of other tick-borne illnesses such as Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis. It is also very possible for the deer tick to infect its host with more than one germ in a single bite, which is referred to as comorbidity.

The disease can affect the skin, joints, heart and nervous systems of its victims. In order to infect a host, the deer tick which carries the bacteria has to remain attached on its host for at least 24 hours in order to spread the disease. Lyme Disease displays symptoms in multiple phases of which the first, called the early stage, and is often, but not always, characterized by a rash on the location of the bite area that resembles bulls – eye or donut. The rash, medically referred to as erythema migrans,begins as a small red area that progresses outward hence the comparison to a bulls-eye. Early stage symptoms may also include fever, fatigue, lethargy, depression, stiff neck, muscle and joint soreness and headaches. In many cases the early stages of the disease are mistaken for the flu, and are unreported or misdiagnosed. These early stage symptoms usually appear 3 to 30 days after being bitten by an infected tick, and as with any occurrence of finding a tick attached to your body, your should remove the tick properly and keep the tick in a container and date it should any problems arise or if the tick is needed to further test for the presence of disease. Later stages of Lyme disease can become evident weeks and even years after being infected.

Bulls eye rash from Lyme Disease Erythma Migrans

The well-known bulls-eye rash associated with Lyme Disease.

When caught early, most people recover quickly from the disease with antibiotics, but up to 25% of people report feeling unwell after treatment — sometimes for months or years. There is enormous controversy among doctors and members of the public about why these patients are sick and how long symptoms can last. But there is no doubt that Lyme is a significant health threat. Untreated, the disease can cause a range of symptoms, from facial paralysis to arthritis and heart problems, to more common complaints of fatigue and headaches. Deer ticks are known vectors of transmission of  four other diseases to humans, and this past summer a new disease was added to that list. This new disease is not yet named, but closely resembles Lyme Disease and is spread by the deer tick by a newly discovered bacteria called Borrelia miyamotoi. This new illness might even explain cases of what looked like chronic Lyme Disease, but did not test positive for Lyme.

  • How To Stay Healthy
Deer ticks in your backyard waiting for you to walk by

Deer ticks in your backyard waiting for you to walk by.

The most effective way for Maryland residents to reduce the risk of becoming infected is to raise awareness of the factors that contribute to the disease and educating residents on how to avoid and prevent ticks. In order to avoid and prevent ticks, you are urged to take control of your property to make it less hospitable for ticks and to exercise good tick sense. Since ticks lurk and thrive in brushy wooded areas, and high grass, keeping your property trimmed, mowed and free of debris and deadfall  is a good starting point. Wood and brush piles, fences and rock piles are favorites among ticks and these areas should be kept tidy and  you should not allow your yard, or underlying areas to become overgrown or unkempt.

It is a wise choice to avoid areas where you know a tick infestation may be lurking and to contact a licensed professional to have these areas treated to eliminate the ticks. Whenever frequenting an area that might be a possible hot spot for ticks,  make sure you wear appropriate clothing and shoes and frequently check yourself for ticks. Lighter colored clothing makes detecting  a tick easier. Make sure to shower immediately upon returning home from any outside endeavor within a potentially tick infested areas. Conduct regular inspections on your  pets when venturing outdoors. With pets, even if your pets are on topical tick preventative this does not guarantee against a tick hitching a ride to on your dog or cats fur only to feed on you later. Small children should also be checked thoroughly after outdoor play.

how tick tubes work

How tick tubes work

Part of our highly effective tick prevention and control program here at Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery includes the use of tick tubes.  Tick tubes are small tubes filled with cotton that has been treated with an insecticide formulated to eradicate ticks. We place the tubes at random locations throughout your property where mice are likely to reside, such as the edges of wooded areas, and on the outskirts of tall grassy areas. The mice will use the treated cotton within the tick tubes to build their nests and in doing so will eradicate the deer tick that feeds off the mice during the ticks early stage of life. By eliminating the tick before it evolves to feed off other mammals, including humans, you decrease the chances of being bitten within your property. Tick tube implementation, when used in conjunction with our barrier spray program, can reduce the number of Lyme infected ticks on your property by up to 90%.

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery wants you to be aware of the dangers of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illness, the reality of the disease and to educate  residents on ways to avoid the disease. An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure, especially where tick-borne diseases and illnesses are concerned. To learn more about way to prevent ticks in your backyard contact us today for a free quote (301) 444-5566, email

Remember the key to a healthy, happy insect-free season starts in your own backyard!

April 18, 2014

Mosquito Squad raises Lyme awareness at Rockville Science Day 2014

Ribbon cutting at Science Day 2014

Ribbon cutting at Science Day 2014.

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery, MD participated in the annual Rockville Science Day 2014 at Montgomery College on April 6th. This year marked the 25th anniversary for the event which provided a wide variety of fun scientific displays and fun hands-on activities for all ages with a goal of sparking the imagination and creativity of participants. This year’s Science Day explored aspects of engineering, biology, rocket launches, chemistry, astronomy and much more!

Dignitaries participating in Rockville Science Day 2014

Dignitaries participating in Rockville Science Day 2014: Doug Duncan – former county executive,
Virginia Onley- council member,
Rockville Mayor -Bridgett Newton,
Jennie Forehand -MD State Senator.

The Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery team participated in the event in an effort to help educate and raise awareness within the community about mosquitoes, ticks and vector-borne illness. In conjunction with handing out informative brochures from the Maryland Department of Health, we also interacted with participants of the event to gain a better understanding about their knowledge of mosquito and tick-borne illness. With over 4,000 visitors attending the event, we were able to spread the word about raising awareness about the dangers of mosquitoes and ticks.  Some of the questions we asked included, ” Do you know where ticks get Lyme Disease?” Only two out of the many we asked this question to over the course of the afternoon knew the correct answer.
Do you know?

  • Here is a look at how ticks actually become infected with the pathogen that causes Lyme Disease…


Here is a letter we recently received from our participation in the event:

“Wow, what a great event and a beautiful day. Thank you for your participation. You are what made it a very successful day. We counted around 4,000 visitors, to over 90 exhibits, and over 50 volunteers. Our 25th celebration year was the best ever.”

“Again, thanks for a great day, and on to the USA Science and Engineering Festival, April 25-27, at the Washington Convention Center.”

Bob Ekman, Rockville, MD
Rockville Consortium for Science

In addition, Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery educated attendees of the Rockville Science Day about Malaria No More. We are a proud supporter of the Malaria No More campaign which is helping  raise awareness of  Malaria on a global level and helping to provide life-saving tools to help defeat this deadly mosquito-borne illness!

dread-and-kids-in-flowersWe look forward to participating in next year’s Science Day event, and many more upcoming  activities where we are given the opportunity to educate and heighten awareness about the dangers of mosquitoes and ticks here in Montgomery County and the surrounding areas. If you would like to learn more about keeping yourself and your family safe from mosquitoes and ticks this season contact us at (301) 444-5566 or email us at

Remember the key to a healthy, happy insect-free season starts in your own backyard!