Posts tagged ‘Rockville MD mosquito control to reduce the risk of 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 7, 2015

Rain, Rain Go Away So We Can Spray for Mosquitoes Today

ms west montgomery tick controlWe have a love/hate relationship with the rain and we’ve had a LOT of rain lately here in Montgomery County. For mosquitoes to breed and business to be good we need the rain. To be able to spray, successfully eliminating those rain produced mosquitoes we need it to stop raining sometimes. When a summer like this one comes along it is a double-edged sword, but you might be surprised at how uneven that double-edged sword really is.

Our Sticky Time-Released Formula

Our traditional barrier spray has a timed-released formula that allows it to last for up to 3 weeks even if it rains later that very same day. Before buying this franchise location, I had a really good chance to test the effectiveness of this product, even in rain. My yard was being sprayed every three weeks for the summer and the results were amazing. Then came an extended wet period. One July day despite very heavy skies my yard was treated and within one hour we had the heaviest torrential rain of that summer. My first inclination was to call and request a respray. But because I was considering buying this franchise, I realized I had a great opportunity to really test the product.  Being the curious person I am, I decided not to ask for a respray. I am not kidding you, I had zero mosquitoes for the next three weeks. Given enough time to dry, our product really sticks.

rainy_day_mosquito_sprayIf you see a chance of rain in the forecast you can still get treated with the regular product. As long as the mosquito spray has time to dry you should be good to go. If it does rain after an application don’t fret, hold off and see, it really does stick as long as it has dried first. With our traditional barrier spray sticking to leaves, grass and other foliage, mosquitoes that come along after the fact will be eliminated or repelled for up to 3 weeks.

How Long Does it Take for Mosquito Spray to Dry?

There is not an exact answer for how long it takes for mosquito spray to dry. I can’t say with certainty that after 31 minutes and 28 seconds you can turn on the sprinklers and do the rain dance. There are many variables. On a hot sunny day with low humidity it can be very fast. On a cool cloud damp day it can take a bit longer. Generally an hour is enough time to dry in most conditions. As always we guarantee our product, so if it does indeed rain shortly after your yard is sprayed and you find the effectiveness to be diminished in some way – we will come out and respray, no questions asked.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

We are crossing our fingers that we get some great summer weather to enjoy in between these bursts of rain, but even if we don’t get our wish you can still protect your family from mosquito bites and mosquito-borne viruses such as West Nile Virus. Protect your family and friends today by contacting Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery to schedule mosquito and tick protection for your special outdoor occasion and all season long! You can reach us at (301) 444-5566 • email: westmontco@mosquitosquad.com.

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 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

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!

 

 

 

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