Posts tagged ‘MD tick & mosquito control’

August 7, 2014

Can those pesky house mice spread Lyme Disease?

Various types of mice.

Various types of mice.

You may have read stories before on this blog talking about the link between ticks, Lyme Disease and white-footed mice. These stories may have peaked your curiosity about other species of rodents, especially pesky house mice that like to take up residence in our homes. Since we are entering into the peak season for nymph ticks, and very soon,  into the fall when the weather will be growing cooler and house mice will be looking for places to stay warm, now is a great time to become familiar with tick/mouse activity!

White-footed mice do exceptionally well in the habitat of the Northeast US and other similar places because of the urbanization of old farmland.  Open woodlots and brushy areas make ideal living conditions for white-footed mice and ticks.

Although Lyme Disease is not as prevalent in some US states, other tick-borne diseases are.  Tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other infections are often prevalent in places Lyme Disease is not.  Shrews, voles, rabbits, chipmunks and other small rodents will fill a similar role as white-footed mice in these regions when available.

Notice this white-footed mouse is covered with nymph ticks

Notice this white-footed mouse is covered with nymph ticks.

When an adult female tick needs to lay her eggs, she looks for a location that will have a temperature warm enough in winter to allow her eggs to survive.  White-footed mice build nests in burrows, stumps, brush piles, buildings and in the abandoned nests of other small animals and birds.  These nests provide concealment for them from predators and warmth in the winter.

When an adult female tick lays her eggs in the nest of a white-footed mouse, she is providing both protection and a good start for the next generation.  When hatched into larvae in the spring and early summer, these ticks will take their first blood meal from the closest available small animal, which is usually the white-footed mouse.  Tick larvae are not infected with Lyme Disease when born.  Their first chance to be infected is when they take their first blood meal from the mice.  As these larvae ticks grow and need a second blood meal to grow into their third life stage as nymph ticks, the mice will often serve as hosts to that meal also.

Studies show that 80-90% of all white-footed mice are infected with the Lyme bacteria.  When you consider the number of larvae and nymph ticks that take their blood meal from white-footed mice, you can easily see why the infection rate is so high.  Ticks will often have to bite more than one host for a blood meal in order to get an adequate supply of blood, so they can grow into their next life cycle stage.  If one larvae or nymph tick is infected with Lyme Disease, the infection will usually be transmitted to any of the mice they bite.  Ticks that bite an infected mouse have a very high likelihood of becoming infected themselves and further transmitting the disease.  As ticks become larger, they need larger mammals and birds for their blood meal.  This is how Lyme Disease is transmitted to raccoons, foxes, opossums, birds, and other small mammals.  Deer serve as hosts for adult ticks because of their size allows them to have enough blood to provide many adult ticks their blood meal to lay eggs.

House Mice in a loaf of bread

House Mice nesting in a loaf of bread.

For mice that do not frequent open woodlots and brushy areas, there is little chance of them being exposed to ticks.  No contact with ticks means no Lyme infection.  This is the primary reason that Lyme Disease is rare or non-existent in mice that seek shelter and warmth in your home.  As these or any mice spend time in your yard and in tick habitat, it’s possible they can become infected, if bitten by an infected tick.  House mice have not been studied to determine if they contract Lyme Disease in certain situations; but there is no reason to think they would be immune.  It’s likely they are not a vector for Lyme Disease because they simply don’t spend as much time in tick habitat as other rodents.

As you can see, the circumstances that lead to Lyme Disease are diverse and complex.  With so many vectors, hosts and reservoirs responsible for the disease, researchers are a long way off from knowing how the disease continues to spread. Rather than wait for science to provide a solution, there are effective solutions now such as barrier sprays and tick tube implementation for your yard. Contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery now to discuss our tick barrier spray and tick tube program that will protect your yard all season long.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

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

Advertisements
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