Archive for the ‘Asian Tiger Mosquito’ Category

Good morning and Happy World Mosquito Day!

August 20, 2014

What is World Mosquito Day?

 

  1. An annually observed day every August 20, that commemorates British doctor Sir Ronald Ross‘s discovery in 1897 that female mosquitoestransmit malaria between humans.
  2. A great reason to celebrate the Mosquito Squad business and spread our story.
  3. All of the above.

 

Correct Answer is: C. All of the above.

 

And to spread our Mosquito Squad story on this glorious day, I’m excited to introduce our newest video link and final edit from the “Daytime” lifestyle show that aired on July 29.

 

SPECIAL EDITION: How concerned should we be about the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus?

July 24, 2014

Chikungunya-Mosquito-Virus-Frederick-MDThis just in from Jenny Marder, PBS News Hour:

“Last Thursday On Thursday, federal officials announced that the tropical Chikungunya mosquito-borne disease had been transmitted for the first time within the United States, infecting two Florida residents.

“What’s notable about these cases is that the people affected reported no recent trips to the Caribbean, Africa or Asia, where the painful virus is widespread. Until last week, all cases reported in the continental United States were from people who had recently traveled to endemic areas. Read: Chikungunya-infected mosquitoes are now living, breeding and sucking human blood in the continental United States.

“’This is not good news,’ says Mike Raupp, professor of entomology at the University of Maryland.

“A few facts. The word Chikungunya derives from the Kimakonde language in Southeast Africa. (pronounced CHICKEN-GUY-YAH.) It means contorted, a nod to the stooped-up appearance of people with severe joint pain, one of the main symptoms of the virus, along with fever, muscle pain, headache, fatigue and rash, according to the World Health Organization.

“’Mainly, you’re going to get a fever,’ said Walter Tabachnick of University of Florida’s Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory. “You’re going to feel lousy. With Chikungunya, you’re going to ache. You do not want to get this disease.”

It is seldom fatal. But that fact shouldn’t deter anyone from aggressive mosquito control, stressed Tabachnick, who believes the media has downplayed the danger of the virus.

“No one wants to be a fear monger. No one is saying, ‘We’re all going to die.’ But on the other hand, it does take public awareness and public responsibility to protect themselves. We’ve been very frustrated by the inability to get this message out to the public and nothing seems to take.”

“The virus is primarily transmitted by two types of mosquitoes, the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, also known as the yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes, respectively. Both are invasive to the United States. The yellow fever mosquito arrived in the 1500s; the Asian Tiger more recently, in the 1980s.

“Unlike the West Nile virus, which is transmitted to mosquitoes mostly from birds and only occasionally to humans, Chikungunya is a mosquito-man virus. This means mosquitoes easily and efficiently transmit the virus to humans.

“Transmission of the virus goes like this: A female mosquito bites an infected person. For about seven days, the virus incubates inside the mosquito, multiplying. The warmer the weather, the shorter that incubation period. Eventually, it migrates into the insect’s salivary glands, and as the mosquito feeds on human blood, she spits, transmitting the virus. (Note: only female mosquitoes bite. They need the protein in the blood to grow eggs.)

“These mosquitoes prefer to breed in man-made storage containers: soda cans, birdbaths, rain barrels and garbage can lids. Standing water that collects on tarp-covered boats is a major breeding site in Florida, Tabachnick said. Yellow fever mosquitoes prefer these sites to natural water, like puddles.

“As of July 18, 2014, a total of 436,586 suspected and 5,724 laboratory-confirmed Chikungunya cases had been reported in the Caribbean, Central America, South America and the United States, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

“’This is not a trivial illness,’ Raupp said. “Even though it’s not often lethal. What’s disturbing is we know we have vector-competent mosquitoes who are able to feed off someone who has a virus circulating in their bloodstream and to transmit it to people who have not yet traveled.”

“To prevent breeding, he said, police and clean up your yard. Dump the birdbath twice a week. Dump or monitor other sources of water.

“’The public outcry should be to demand your neighbors to clean up,’ Tabachnick said. “All it takes is one property owner who doesn’t care, and he could be rearing enough mosquitoes to endanger the entire neighborhood.”

Mosquito Squad: 100% Customer Satisfaction and Dr. Prescribed?

July 22, 2014

doctor_frederick_mdRecently we had a customer call us after a visit with her physician. She stated she was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and her physician mentioned the negative impact RA has on the immune system. Her physician told her she needed to get extra protection from mosquitoes because the diseases they carry could more easily enter her system due to a compromised immune system. Now that chikungunya has made its way into our area, and in Florida mosquitoes are confirmed to have transmitted the disease to humans, protection from mosquitoes is as important as ever. West Nile virus and chikungunya are all related to the Asian tiger mosquito, which unfortunately resides in Maryland and is an all-day biter. When it comes to mosquito control we have heard a lot of complaining about the irritating bites and the protection of kids and pets, but it was definitely new to be Dr. prescribed, so to speak.

The Threat of West Nile Still Persists

July 17, 2014

blue_jay_inected_with_west_nile_frederick_mdIt seems every summer, from the middle of July to the end of August, there is a reported case of West Nile virus in Maryland. It is almost as predictable as the rising and setting of the sun. The timing of these infections is not purely coincidental and can be traced simply to the migratory patterns of birds in certain cases. It also has to do with the alarming number of birds that are vectors for the West Nile virus. Not all birds are considered vectors for transmission of the disease, but two well-known birds are (the Blue jay and hawks). A sign that birds are infected in your area, according to an article, is when you see crows flying as if they were drunk. They may take off 2 feet above the ground for a couple hundred yards then land again. Their wings droop in almost a drunken way, and they may flip over while landing. Unlike blue jays and hawks, crows are considered a “dead-end host”. This means they are not capable of passing West Nile any further. When you see signs that crows, whose once loud and robust caws could be heard without effort, now sound dim and weak you might be seeing the effects of West Nile. Where there are crows being infected, there are also blue jays and hawks to follow suit.

west_nile_virus_frederick_mdAccording to Maryland’s Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, from July 1-October 31, 2013 there were 16 cases of West Nile virus instances found in humans.  An additional 3 cases were found in animals from August to September, 2013. The surveillance report illustrated how important it is to rid areas of standing water. From July 16th through September 4th, 2013 there were 18 reported mosquito pools that tested positive for West Nile virus including one pool testing positive for both West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. This goes to show the importance of adhering to Mosquito Squad’s “5 T’s” in order to keep your surrounding property safer with regards to mosquito breeding and facilitation of West Nile.

west_nile_virus_prevention_frederick_md

mosquito_transmitting_west_nile_virus_to_humanIn a previous blog post we referred to an article illustrating the capacity for mosquito-to-human transmission of West Nile virus. The article gave great insight as to how the potential for being infected with West Nile virus rose so dramatically, stating, “The West Nile virus can be transmitted by mosquito species other than the Asian Tiger. However, the all-day feeding habits of the Asian Tiger mosquito may increase the risk of spreading West Nile virus. The Maryland mosquito spraying program is not the best against the Asian Tiger mosquito. Spraying is usually done at sunset or after dark for native mosquitoes. Asian Tiger mosquitoes are virtually absent during these hours.”  Mosquito Squad’s treatments use a different product than that used by the state and are more effective because we go into the backyards and spray areas where the state’s spray does not reach.  The product Mosquito Squad uses has a residual affect that will kill mosquitoes that come onto the treated area, while still being people and pet friendly.  This has resulted in much better control of the Asian Tiger mosquito in many yards around Frederick.

National Mosquito Control Awareness Week is in Full Swing

June 26, 2014

 

mosquito_control_awareness_week1The week of June 22-June 28, 2014 has been declared the eighteenth annual “National Mosquito Control Awareness Week” by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA). The purpose of “Mosquito Week” is to educate the general public about the significance of mosquitoes in their daily lives and the important service provided by mosquito control workers throughout the U.S.  The intention is not only to educate the general public about mosquitoes, but also the diseases which they are capable of transmitting.

asian_tiger_mosquito_frederick_mdThe activity of mosquitoes in our area is extremely high and due to the arrival of the invasive Asian tiger mosquito, the biting activity is all day long (contrary to common belief that mosquitoes feed only during the cooler evening hours).  The Asian tiger mosquito not only bites during the hot summer days, unlike native species, but is much more aggressive than its native counterparts. Click the link here to see a daily update of the current mosquito activity levels according to the Weather Channel.

Common-backyard-mosquito-sourcesThis year was predicted to be especially bad for mosquito activity, much worse than any on previous record. According to an article from last year, “We could have the biggest mosquito population since 1989, which was a really bad year for mosquitoes.” Additionally, there are several more mosquito-borne diseases currently than there were in 1989. We now are contending with West Nile Virus and potentially Chikungunya due to the Asian tiger mosquito’s presence. The article stated, “The Asian Tiger is more aggressive and effective in transmitting disease than native mosquitoes, which they are ‘out-competing’ in many places.”

The more educated the general public is about the dangers of mosquitoes and the methods of ridding yourself of said dangers is of the utmost importance. Following the 5 “T’s” is always effective and highly important to help aid you in ridding your yard of unwanted mosquito breeding areas.  Mosquitoes have the potential of ruining any event, whether it is a graduation party, wedding, cookout, etc. It is better to be well-informed and prepared than having guests literally itching to leave your outdoor event. For more information on how to take your yard back and gain awareness call Mosquito Squad of Frederick at (301) 263-7220 or email us today.

How Mosquito Control in Frederick MD Can Spare You and Your Family from the Chikungunya Virus

June 17, 2014

asian tiger mosquito control in frederick marylandThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring several states for the Chikungunya virus, including Maryland. Due to an above average rainfall (25% higher than average), the potential for the spread of the virus has dramatically increased. Accompanying this statistic is the fact that people travel more, and in turn are exposed to foreign vector-borne illnesses which they then bring back with them. It’s a perfect storm once someone infected with Chikungunya arrives back stateside; they are the carrier, and the Asian tiger mosquito is the transmitter. Neither Chikungunya nor the Asian mosquito are native, however, due to the rapid increases in industrial globalization and travel, they are now both present in the U.S.

mosquito control in frederick marylandMosquito control in Frederick MD is a serious issue, and Mosquito Squad is the first commercial service to tackle this issue for people who were previously unable to get help. According to the (CDC), “Two species of mosquitoes, aedes albopictus and aedes aegypti, carry the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the albopictus, commonly known as the Asian tiger mosquito, is more likely to play a larger role in transmission in the United States due to its wide distribution.” Unfortunately, we have the invasive bloodsucker known as the Asian tiger mosquito in Maryland and Mosquito Squad is fighting back. The sheer relief people experience after seeing the results of our barrier spray is astounding. People are actually able to enjoy their backyards without being constantly hounded by mosquitoes. Simply being able to walk into their own backyard without applying bug spray, or having to set up a perimeter of citronella candles is literally life-altering for our customers.

mosquito control frederick mdThere are several methods you can use to prevent mosquito breeding in your yard, one of the most simple and helpful methods is to follow the 5 “T’s”.

1. TIP
Tip anything around your home that can collect water from rain or your sprinkler system. Dog bowls, plant saucers, clogged gutters and kid’s toys left out in the yard can collect enough water to be a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

2. TOSS
Remove excess grass, weeds from gardens, leaves, firewood and other leftover clippings from yards.

3. TURN
Turn over larger yard items that could hold water like baby pools, children’s portable sandboxes or plastic toys.

4. REMOVE TARPS
If tarps stretched over firewood piles, grills or boats aren’t taut, they’re holding water.

5. TREAT
Call Mosquito Squad of Frederick. Our mosquito elimination barrier treatment eliminates up to 90% of the mosquitoes on your property. Remember that mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance; they can carry dangerous diseases such as West Nile virus and the Chikungunya virus.

The most important of all these is to Treat your yard. It’s been helping hundreds of people and will continue to do so. If you would like to take your yard back, give us a call today at (301) 263-7220 or email us at frederick@mosquitosquad.com.

Warm Winter Likely Will Mean More Mosquitoes This Spring

February 15, 2012

We have been experiencing a warm winter this year (2012).  In fact, we received a phone call from somebody asking about mosquito control on February 8, 2012.  The caller reported being bit by a mosquito in early February.  A recent news article out of Georgia predicts that a warm winter could cause mosquitoes to come out earlier than they normally do.

According to the article “As long as the temperatures are below 40 degrees most insects won’t grow and spawn, according to Paul Guillebeau, professor of entomology at the University of Georgia.

But with high temperatures expected to be in the 40s this weekend, entomologists say we’ll likely see insects emerging soon.”

Professor Guillebeau also says that each generation of a species of insects cause the population to grow tenfold.   In addition to the threat to humans, the article talks about the threat to dogs.  Another entomologist at the University of Georgia,  Nancy Hinkle, says “Mosquito bites are the only way they (pets) can get heartworm. There is never a day of the year where you don’t have to worry about your dog getting heartworms.”

One piece of advice from the professors is to reduce the standing water in your yard.  “A female mosquito lays eggs about every five days, so by cleaning things like bird baths once a week the eggs won’t have a chance to mature. ‘A lot of the nasty species develop in containers, just anything with standing water, trash, tires, etc., so it’s important to be dumping those kind of things out all year long,’ [Evan] Lampert (Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Gainesville State College) said.   We have found that it is impossible to drain all the standing water that mosquitoes breed in.  This is due to the fact that Asian Tiger Mosquitoes, a very prevalent species here in Frederick, lay their eggs in dry areas that they know will flood when it rains.  For that reason, our customers have found that our regular mosquito treatments will help them take back their yard and enjoy the outdoors again.

Fort Detrick Scientists Receive Award for Mosquito Trap

January 29, 2011

According to a January 29, 2011 article in the Frederick News Post,  two researchers in Fort Detrick (located here in Frederick, MD), developed a mosquito trap to help reduce Dengue Fever. 

Realizing that the Aedes Genus of mosquito is one of the biggest vectors of Dengue Fever, “The two combined their efforts behind the idea that female Aedes mosquitoes will lay eggs only in a container holding water.”  That is not true of all Aedes mosquitoes.  In fact, the Asian Tiger Mosquito found in many places in and around Frederick,and a potential vector (transmitter) of Dengue Fever and other diseases like West Nile Virus, are Aedes mosquitoes.  The Asian Tiger (Aedes Albopictus) are known as floodwater mosquitoes because they lay their eggs in containers, tree holes, or other places that the female mosquito knows will flood when it rains.  They often will lay their eggs, then, in places that do not contain water when they lay their eggs. 

The scientists at Fort Detrick created a pint-sized water container with a strip covered in pesticide to kill the female mosquitoes and the larvae.  According to the report it was successfully used in Key West, FL where they had a Dengue outbreak.  Dengue Fever had not been known to be transmitted in the continental United States for many years, but last year the disease was once again documented to be transmitted inside Florida’s boundaries. 

I doubt that the trap would be successful here against the Asian Tiger mosquito, whose latin name is Aedes Albopictus, as they can breed in a container the size of a bottle cap and consequently do not need a pint of water to lay eggs.  As I said before, the Aedes Albopictus does not need water to be present either when it lays eggs. 

Nonetheless, it is good to read about efforts to reduce the transmission of disease through mosquitoes.  As the article concludes, the World Health Organization recommends mosquito control to prevent the outbreak of mosquito borne disease.

West Nile Virus confirmed in Maryland

August 25, 2010

Recent news reports tell us that two Maryland residents have been diagnosed with West Nile Virus this year.  Check out the report on My Fox DC here.  Some reports have said that the Asian Tiger mosquito, perhaps the most prevalent mosquito in Frederick County, MD, is not a threat to transmit West Nile Virus.  However, the University of Maryland extension has reported that the Asian Tiger mosquito is a threat to transmit West Nile Virus to humans.  In a Gardeners’ Alert the University of Maryland explains that “The Virus is distributed by birds infected by Asian Tiger mosquito bites. Although mainly a bird disease, West Nile Virus afflicts birds, horses, and humans as well. Crows are particularly susceptible to West Nile Virus. However, the Virus has been detected in other wild birds, other mosquito species, humans, and horses.” 

Another interesting tidbit from the article: 

“The West Nile virus can be transmitted by mosquito species other than the Asian Tiger. However, the all-day feeding habits of the Asian Tiger mosquito may increase the risk of spreading West Nile virus. The Maryland mosquito spraying program is not the best against the Asian Tiger mosquito. Spraying is usually done at sunset or after dark for native mosquitoes. Asian Tiger mosquitoes are virtually absent during these hours.”  Mosquito Squad’s treatments use a different product than that used by the state.  The product Mosquito Squad uses has a residual affect that will kill mosquitoes that come onto the treated area, while still being people and pet friendly.  This has resulted in much better control of the Asian Tiger mosquito in many yards around Frederick. 

To read the University of Maryland article click here.

Mosquito Breeding Sites

August 19, 2010

After a recent rain storm, I treated two properties for the first time to help them reduce the Asian Tiger mosquitoes in their yards.  While in those yards, I observed several obvious breeding sites for the Asian Tiger mosquitoes.  In one yard, they had a small kiddie pool with standing water in it.  I looked in the pool and saw what must have been hundreds of moquito larva swimming in it.  I then found buckets full of landscaping rocks with more mosquito larva swimming in them.  Those were the obvious spots.  In that yard, there were probably many other breeding sites becuase the Asian Tiger mosquito can lay eggs in very small pools of water in tree holes, bottle caps and other locations. 

The other yard had a wheelbarrow with dirt and a tarp in it.  The tarp was full of mosquito larva. 

Removing those types of breeding sites would not completely eliminate the mosquito problem in those yards, but would certainly hellp reduce some mosquitoes. 

Asian Tiger mosquito larva breeding site

Asian Tiger Mosquito Breeding Site