Archive for the ‘Mosquito Breeding Sites’ 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.

 

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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.

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.

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