Posts Tagged current events

Mosquito breeding season maybe over, but West Nile Virus is still a reality for many states in the US

Dread Skeeter Mosquito Control

Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad

It is the time of year when most people think that mosquitoes are a distant memory of summer past. West Nile Virus as well as other mosquito-borne illnesses and diseases don’t rear their ugly heads until the latter part of the mosquito season. The duration of the mosquito season varies from  state to state, but typically mosquitoes are active from April until October. As 2011 draws closer to an end the CDC ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) released it’s findings for West Nile Virus for the present year-to-date  on November 29th, 2011.

The findings show that for 2011, there have been a total number of 658 reported cases of West Nile Virus in the United States so far. This number reflects both neuroinvasive as well as non-neuroinvasive cases reported. Out of the 658 reported cases of West Nile Virus, 452 of those cases were diagnosed as neuroinvasive.  Neuroinvasive West Nile Virus means that the disease affects the nervous system. This can include encephalitis which is inflammation of the brain and meningitis which is an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord. Meningitis can also lead to acute flaccid paralysis which is an inflammation of the spinal cord. Non-neuroinvasive cases reflect those patients that display less acute signs of West Nile Virus.  In many instances the true number of those affected by non-neuroinvasive aspects of the disease can differ greatly from the actual number of reported non-neuroinvasive cases because a great deal of those infected do not seek medical attention when the disease is mild. In some of the mildest cases the patient many times does not even know they are infected. All of these numbers reflect both mild and severe cases confirmed as well as probable human disease cases occurring between January 1st, to November 29th, 2011.

Photo of West Nile Virus under a microscope

Photo of West Nile Virus under a microscope

Some of the states that show the highest level of reported cases include California with 151 confirmed West Nile cases and 8 deaths as a result of the disease. Next in line are Arizona with 58 confirmed cases, Mississippi with 51, New York with 43 and Illinois and Michigan tie with 33 confirmed cases. Nationwide the total number of deaths attributed to the disease totals 40.  Only five states show non-human activity and those are Washington, Maine, Oklahoma, Oregon, and South Carolina.  There is only one state which has reported no West Nile Virus activity  either human or non-human for the year so far, and that is Maine.

This very important data  reminds us of the importance of reporting any symptoms of the disease early. The CDC’s  data also includes non-human infections and deaths reported by way of birds and other animals. If a high number of dead birds are reported in a specific geographical region it alerts the CDC and local health departments in that area to be on the alert for human cases that may present themselves.

Mosquito

The mosquito is responsible for this years current West Nile numbers

In all our efforts to prevent and control mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illness, including nationwide, statewide and down to our own backyards we all hope each year that the impact of West Nile is less. These finding remind us that before we know long mosquitoes will begin breeding again and now is the time to plan for the upcoming season. The winter months give us a great opportunity to inspect our own surroundings and devise a mosquito control plan for the upcoming season to keep our families safe from mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile. Take time to inspect your property for areas that are prone to hold water such as lawn and patio furniture, children’s play areas, bird baths, planters left from spring blooms and even gutters to ensure they are free of debris. Check any screened areas or windows for damage or tears and have them repaired before spring arrives. Getting your property in tip-top shape before the arrival of the mosquito season will start a good habit and help keep you safe and bite free. Hiring a professional mosquito control company to ensure you are on schedule prior to the invasion of mosquitoes in April is also a great way to keep mosquitoes and the diseases they harbor out of your property and out of your life.

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Mosquito Squad has a safe and effective way to keep mosquitoes and the risk of mosquito-borne illness out of your property. Our mosquito programs will begin at the dawn of the 2012 mosquito season. We offer a worry free mosquito control program that entails Mosquito Squad’s barrier spray service scheduled at regular intervals to kill and prevent mosquitoes all season long. Contact Mosquito Squad to learn more. You can contact a Mosquito Squad location close to home by visiting our website at http://www.mosquitosquad.com/ContactUs.html

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Reports show a malaria vaccine is currently in the works to wipe out this killer forever and offer hope to millions.

malaria_parasites and red blood cells

Malaria parasites and red blood cells

Malaria is a disease that most widely affects residents of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Approximately 1,500 cases of Malaria are diagnosed each year here in the US, most of which are among those who travel to these locations or those returning from countries where Malaria transmission occurs. In most cases those travelers return home unaware that they are harboring Malaria until the symptoms start to appear.

Malaria is spread through the bite of a mosquito that is carrying  the parasite Plasmodium falciparum which causes. Up until recently, efforts to develop a vaccine against Malaria have been fruitless due to the inability to prevent the parasite from entering the red blood cells. Findings recently published in Nature reveal that a single receptor that allows for the parasite to enter and infect the human body has now been identified. These findings could put an end to Malaria pills, insect repellents and bed nets for residents of Malaria ridden areas for good.

Zambia4.large insecticde treated bed nets arrive to much anticipation in Zambia

Insecticide treated bed nets arrive to much anticipation in Zambia to aid in the fight against Malaria

The vaccine singles out the receptor that is responsible for the Malaria parasites to invade the human body. The vaccine will change entire cultures and ways of life in areas where Malaria is responsible for millions of deaths. These areas include sub-Saharan Africa where in 2008 and estimated 83,000 people, most of which were young children, died from the disease.

Mosquito Squad is a proud supporter of Malaria no More which promotes expanded knowledge and prevention of the disease through education and access to tools needed to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria.  Mosquito Squad is also excited about the anticipated development of this malaria vaccine that is scheduled to be ready in approximately two years.

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad helping Malaria No More

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad helping Malaria No More

Contact Mosquito Squad to learn more about the Malaria No More program we support and to find out about safe and effective mosquito and tick control in your environment as well. To find a Mosquito Squad location close to home visit our locations list located on our website.

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The vicious cycle of West Nile Virus from the beginning to the end

Dread_versions2

Mosquito Squad wants you to learn the facts about West Nile Virus."

As many of you already know West Nile Virus is a virus spread to humans and animals through the bite of a mosquito that has become infected with the virus through feeding off an infected bird.  The question is how does the infected bird become infected with West Nile in the first place?

The cycle of West Nile begins with a mosquito which transmits  the virus to a bird by way of the mosquito feeding from the bird, once the bird has become infected it serves as an amplifying host by developing levels of the virus that are sufficient enough to promote infection to other biting mosquitoes and thus pass it on to us  and other birds and animals through the bite of the infected mosquito that fed from the bird, which was already initially infected by a mosquito to begin with. Although quite confusing, the cycle is also complex, naming the mosquito the guilty party where all aspects of infection from West Nile are concerned. This vicious cycle carries out over and over again and amplifies the disease in birds. The disease was first identified in Uganda in  1937 and  since then has been commonly identified in the Middle eastern regions of the world, Africa and Western Asia. The virus had not been identified in the U.S. until an outbreak in New York in September, 1999. Since the New York outbreak more than 30,000 people have been reported with the virus and out of those 1,200 have perished from the virus. As of 2011 46 states have reported outbreaks of West Nile.

Blue Jays and crows are more likely to die from West Nile Virus than other birds.

Blue Jays and crows are more likely to die from West Nile Virus than other birds.

Many types of birds are likely to be infected with the West Nile Virus, but studies have shown that crows and blue jays are more likely to perish from the infection. In the 1999 New York area West Nile epidemic there was a huge die off of crows from the disease. Since this occurrence more than 200 species of birds found dead in the United States have tested positive for the virus. There is a detailed species list available through the CDC website that identifies the infected birds mortality rate from 1999 to present. You may visit here to view the list  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/birdspecies.htm The identification of these species were reported thanks to the help of the public reporting cases of dead birds to their state and local health departments whom is responsible for collection and testing of dead birds all across the US.

Mosquito

The root of the West Nile epidemic lies in the mosquito.

Birds serve as vectors, or intermediate carriers for the disease from the minute the infected mosquito bites them. In many cases sick birds won’t show any sign of the virus and in other cases birds can just fall out of the sky dead from the virus. When a human becomes infected with the virus it can take on three forms, one of which is an asymptomatic  infection, the second is West Nile fever which is a mild febrile syndrome and the third is the most severe form of the virus which is called West Nile meningitis and West Nile encephalitis. Meningitis and encephalitis are neuroinvasive disorders which causes acute swelling of the membrane and lining of the brain and the brain itself.

Since there is no immunization for protecting us from West Nile the best way to lessen the chances of becoming infected with the virus is to minimize the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Taking control of your property is key to controlling mosquito populations.

Here are some helpful hints to keep mosquitoes away…

  • Keep your property mowed and free of debris and brush piles.
  • Keep your bushes and plantings trimmed, tidy and avoid letting them get overgrown
  • Make sure gutters and downspouts are free of debris that might cause moisture to collect
  • Tip, toss out and turn over outdoor items that are not in use or those that may serve as reservoirs for moisture
  • Check screened areas for rips or tears frequently and repair immediately to avoid mosquitoes from entering your home
  • Frequently dump and refill bird baths or other areas where water can stand and serve as a place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs
  • Have you property treated by a licensed professionall to kill and control mosquitoes
Mosquito_Squad_spraying_your_yard

Mosquito Squad can help you take control of your property and keep it mosquito free.

Mosquito Squad is dedicated to keeping you and your family safe from mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus. Our safe and effective barrier spray , as well as out mosquito misting systems offer you outstanding mosquito control. Contact us today to learn more at 877-667-7823

804.353.6999 • info@mosquitosquad.com

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Irene’s next punch will be mosquitoes breeding rapidly. Read more.

Dread Skeeter Mosquito Control

Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad

Most of the areas ravaged by  hurricane Irene are sunny and clear today with only the damage and aftermath leaving residents all the way up the East Coast left to pick up the pieces. This recent hurricane ravaged areas of the U.S. from North Carolina, traveling as far up the coast as New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. At the height of the hurricane’s fevered pitch it reached category 3 status leaving damage, flooding and swollen lakes and rivers in its wake. The Atlantic hurricane season,  according to the Hurricane Research Division of the U.S.  Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  runs from June 1st to November 30th each year. Hurricanes such as Irene that actually touch down in populated areas actually cause more danger than just that of damage to homes and businesses. With any hurricane of this magnitude areas affected will experience a tremendous amount of rain, which leads to flooding, and mass amounts of water left standing. This standing water left behind by the rains from Hurricane Irene, plus the fact that we are in the height of mosquito season all add up to a terrible recipe.

The waters left behind, including riverbeds, swollen creeks, road ditches, water filled remnants of storm debris, and damaged building materials can all become a perfect refuge for mosquitoes to populate. Mosquitoes can lay hundreds of eggs in tiny vessels and containers, soda bottle tops for example can contain hundreds of mosquito eggs. When you put this into the perspective of damage and debris left behind on the scale of a hurricane, this can mean big trouble for residents of areas hardest hit by Irene. Mosquito Squad asks homeowners to act now in preventing the inevitable scourge of mosquitoes from affecting your property and thus putting you and your family at risk for mosquito-borne illness and diseases such as West Nile Virus, encephalitis and meningitis.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Irene might only be the first major storm since hurricane season is in full swing. The National Weather Service is carefully watching tropical storm Katia at this very moment and is likely to become a hurricane sometime tonight.

South Florida Wary As Hurricane Irene Churns Towards U.S.

South Florida Wary As Hurricane Irene Churns Towards U.S.

In a recent story covered by CNN Money , Micheal Ritchie, owner of Mosquito Squad of the Crystal Coast headquartered in Swansboro, N.C. says he is expecting a spike in business due to Hurricane Irene. You can read the full article by going here http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/29/smallbusiness/hurricane_irene_small_business_recovery/index.htm.

The threat doesn’t end here, residents all along the East Coast should take preventative measures to make sure mosquitoes don’t take over their property.  The first step is getting any debris cleaned that may fall prey to breeding mosquitoes, this could be fallen trees, strewn shingles, and trash, just to name a few. Ensuring all areas of you home, even if they are damaged are boarded up, secured  or repaired  as soon as feasible to keep mosquitoes from entering the home. Have your property treated by a licensed professional to kill the mosquitoes which are present and prevents and controls any further infestation.

Mosquito Squad is Americas most trusted mosquito and tick control and prevention company. Chances are there is a Mosquito Squad franchise in your town. Our safe and effective barrier sprays kills mosquitoes and prevent further infestation for up to 21 days. We also offer other mosquito and tick control programs to help you win the fight against mosquitoes. Even amongst the fury of mother nature’s wrath Mosquito Squad can offer you safety from dangerous mosquitoes, as well as peach of mind.

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead Mosquito Squad is America's leading mosquito control company and offers safe and effective solutions for your mosquito problems. From just wanting a mosquito-free backyard for your family to enjoy and not worry about mosquitoes to protecting your yard from the onslaught of a mosquito population as a result of a hurricane. Our mosquito Barrier sprays are safe and effective, and each spray has a residual of up to 21 days. Contact Mosquito Squad to learn more about this and all the other mosquito and tick control programs we offer. Even in times of mother natures fury, Mosquito Squad can give you a little peace of mind.

Contact Mosquito Squad today to get your property in check for the wet weather that hurricane season can bring. 877-677-7823 or email us at  info@mosquitosquad.com

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City dwellers feel the wrath of the Asian tiger mosquito.

summer camp memories

Do your summer camp memories include mosquitoes?

Where does your memory bank take you when you think of being bitten by a mosquito? Is is that summer you went to camp and brought home the knowledge of how to tie 5 different knots, and a body covered in itchy welts? Maybe, just maybe, it was last week’s backyard barbecue when your husband outdid himself with his BBQ chicken and the mosquitoes outdid themselves as well, running all your friends home early.

When most of think about the type of setting mosquitoes prefer we picture a backyard, or the woods. We rarely ever picture a metropolis sprawling with tall buildings and alive with honking taxis, but that is exactly where officials are reporting scourges of mosquitoes, and even worse, the dreaded Asian tiger mosquito is taking up residence. It is like reading that cherished old children’s tale about the city mouse and the country mouse, the only difference is the mice are actually mosquitoes and this story is not bound for a happy ending.

On July 20th, 2011 The Wall Street Journal confirmed the presence of the Asian tiger mosquito in New York City. This mosquito loves urban areas. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) is developing a cost-effective way to control these mosquitoes. The Asian tiger is showing up in urban areas such as NY city for the simple reason that urban areas stay 5-10 degrees warmer than rural areas. These mosquitoes love the heat and humidity, as they are daytime feeders as well as evening feeders, unlike other species of mosquitoes who only feed during the evening hours. The conditions are perfect for Asian tiger mosquitoes to hang out longer, and with the nationwide heat wave, we are seeing them earlier into the season as well.  The Wall Street Journal cites that the Asian tiger mosquitoes arrived three months earlier this year than they did last year, this year they made their appearance in June. To read the entire WSJ  article visit http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303795304576454312427933764.html

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito

The Asian tiger mosquito is an invasive species with its roots traced back to Southeast Asia. It showed up in America in 1985  when it hitched a ride in a shipment of used  tires bound for the port of Houston, Texas. Since that fated shipment in 1985 the rest is history. These mosquitoes have spread like wildfire all the way up the East coast as far as Maine. The Asian tiger gets its name from its distinct black and white striped markings that mimic those of a tiger.

Not only do Asian tiger mosquitoes feed during the day, they are also aggressive feeders sometimes attacking their victim several times until they are satisfied. These mosquitoes also require very little water to lay their eggs in to multiply the species and thus, they multiply quickly and in large numbers. They can lay their eggs in the holes of a tree, wet leaves, ditches and very miniscule amounts of water to be efficient breeders. It is important to keep all containers turned over and thrown away to discourage infestations from beginning in your own backyard. These mosquitoes can lay hundreds of eggs in a container no larger that a soda bottle lid. Keeping your gutters clean and free of debris also a good way to discourage these pests from multiplying as well. Mosquito Squad outlines the important “5 T’s” to mosquito control in this informative piece http://mosquito-control-blog.com/2011/06/13/the-five-ts-in-mosquito-prevention/

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Common sense precautions are key to preventing experiencing this mosquitoes wrath. Having a licensed professional treat your property is a great way to prevent mosquitoes from your living areas as well. Mosquito Squad has a proven, safe and effective barrier spray program that kills mosquitoes that are in your yard and prevents further infestation from the residual left from the spray. These sprays are scheduled in intervals throughout the mosquito season to give you season-long mosquito control. Mosquito Squad can also install a super effective mosquito misting system on your property that is highly effective in giving you continuous control. After all, out of sight and out of mind is the best solution to dealing with mosquitoes.

Contact Mosquito Squad today to learn more and put an end to the scourge of mosquitoes on your property. Contact us at 877-667-7823 or email us at info@mosquitosquad.com we can put an end to your mosquito ( and tick) woes.

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West Nile Virus Explodes Across U.S.

2009 has been a major year for pests. Mosquitoes have spread the West Nile Virus through over 35 states in America already, with new cases springing up in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Wyoming within the past month.

WNV_0408_09_a

With the majority of U.S. states having cases of West Nile Viruses, chances are you live in one of these areas. Since West Nile Virus is spread through mosquitoes, the best thing you can do is avoid mosquito bites. To help you do just that, try these easy tips from the CDC:

  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
  • Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.
  • All of those tips can help fend away mosquitoes, but if you want a surefire way to get rid of the threat is by using Mosquito Squad. The eco-friendly spray will protect you and your family from mosquitoes, and more importantly, West Nile Virus.

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    Mosquito Population Explodes in Washington DC area

    I saw an article in The Examiner recently about the recent increase in mosquitoes in the Washington DC metro area. Their population has grown exponentially during this year’s unseasonably cool, soggy spring, much to local citizens’ dismay.

    mosquito_bite

    “It was the worst early season in 20 or more years,” said Mike Cantwell, chief of the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s mosquito control devision. In April, rainfall reached 4.22 inches, almost double the normal rate of 2.77 inches. In May, the rain had more than doubled the normal rate with 8.05 inches (the normal rate being 3.82).

    The increase in mosquitoes has lead to a raised awareness about West Nile Virus. In fact, three mosquito pools in the area have already tested positive for the virus. West Nile has become a threat throughout the US, with the ability to cause fever, fatigue, and, in extreme cases, seizures and paralysis.

    Mosquitoes aren’t the only blood-suckers to profit from the weather. Ticks, which can carry Lyme disease, have been expanding in population as well. The tick season lasts all summer, and peaks in June.

    In this sort of extreme weather, it’s best to use an effective system, such as Mosquito Squad, to take care of your pest problem. Once you’re protected from these pests, you can relax and enjoy your summer the way you’ve always wanted to.

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