Archive for the ‘West Nile Virus’ 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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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.

Researchers Work on Developing a Malaria Proof Mosquito

January 12, 2011

With more than one million people a year dying from malaria transmitted by mosquitoes, researchers at UC Davis and the University of Arizona have been trying to create a breed of mosquito that will not transmit malaria.  Of course, not every breed of mosquito is a vector (transmitter) of malaria.  In Maryland only one species of mosquito found in Maryland is known to transmit malaria.  Since most of the malaria deaths occur in Africa, it appears that efforts would be to introduce the “malaria proof” mosquito into Africa with the hopes that it will become dominant and will breed out the mosquitoes that breed malaria. 

The efforts to dominate the  malaria vectors would not have any impact on vectors of other diseases, such as West Nile Virus,Yellow Fever and various forms of encephalitis which have occurred in Maryland.  

The good news is that the UC Davis and University of Arizona researchers have received awards for the progress in their efforts.  The bad news is that even if they are successful in making this “malaria proof” mosquito dominant, it will take at least 10 years to do it. 

To read another blog about this development click here.

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.

West Nile Virus Found in Maryland Mosquito Pool

July 24, 2010

MSNBC and WBAL-TV recently reported that a mosquito pool in Linthicum, MD had tested positive for West Nile Virus.  The health officials said they were not surprised by this finding. 

“We know that West Nile virus may be present throughout Maryland,” said Secretary of Agriculture Buddy Hance. “It typically appears at this time in the summer, so we are not surprised with this positive finding.

“The confirmation of virus-positive mosquitoes serves as a reminder to all residents to continue protecting themselves against mosquito bites and to conduct backyard mosquito control activities, in addition to MDA’s (Maryland Department of Agriculture) routine surveillance and spray activities.” 

People most at risk for developing severe forms of West Nile Fever are those older than 50 and those with already compromised immune systems.  However, all people should take steps to avoid mosquito bites, say Maryland’s Public Health officials. 

West Nile Virus is typically found in Mosquitoes from July through August.  As reported in a previous post, mosquito activity often increases in hot weather.   The next rain fall in Frederick and Washington counties will likely bring many more mosquitoes out. 

If you use professional mosquito control, ask about the satisfaction guarantee.  Some companies offer mosquito control but do not guarantee your satisfaction.  Nobody can eliminate 100% of the mosquitoes, but drastic reductions are possible.