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Alert the Squad!
Blog | September 2014

Protecting your Dog from the Dangers of Ticks

When you think of ticks, what do you think? Gross? Definitely. Hard to see and detect? You bet. Lyme disease? Absolutely? Paralysis? Probably not. These little buggers can be very dangerous to our beloved pets, and it isn’t just Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis, they can cause paralysis too.

My mother and I are dog lovers. That’s my man, Wiley, to the right. I’m a sucker for his ears, but I digress. Recently my mom was telling me about a friend who has a dog. Their dog Buster had always been healthy and active, but in a matter of just 5 weeks had lost nearly 30 pounds and wouldn’t go on walks. After several tests and visits to the vet, they found the culprit. Ticks. The poor pup had 3 or 4 ticks under his armpit, a very difficult spot to see and check. They were causing the issues.

Ticks, when they aren’t noticed and removed quickly can cause paralysis in dogs, and sometimes even humans. Some ticks carry a toxin that is released into their host while feeding. That toxin affects movement control.

It’s important that dog owners thoroughly check their dogs for ticks after spending time in areas where ticks are known to live. The toxin may be released after 3 days of attachment. Luckily, when the tick is removed, the symptoms of paralysis will subside. Buster recovered quickly and is back to his normal self.

Ticks checks are an important piece of protecting your pet from tick-borne disease. To check your dog, pet it slowly while applying more pressure than normal. Many times, you will feel a bump that you can then look closely at. Make sure to check their elbows, inside of their legs and in between toes. Those are often ticks favorite hiding spot on a dog.

At Mosquito Squad, we protect pets with our effective tick control. Our tick services include a combination of our barrier spray treatment and tick tubes. The spray eliminates ticks on contact while the tubes get them earlier in their lifecycle.

If you’d like to discuss reducing the number of ticks on your property, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

New Mosquito Species Enters US

From time to time we see the news of a new animal or bug entering the U.S. Some don’t thrive well in our eco-system and habitat while others, like the stink bug, blossom in the new conditions. When it comes to mosquitoes, we’ve seen that a large number of species can thrive in the states and we’re now watching a new one: the Aussie Mozzie.

The Aedes notoscriptus is an Australian mosquito species with the nickname the Aussie Mozzie. It was found in the Los Angeles area of California in June, its first ever spotting in the United States. As the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District’s spokesman Jason Farned explains: “in Australia this mosquito is very widespread and capable of transmitting several viruses.” Source.

The Aussie Mozzie is described to have similar characteristics as the Asian tiger mosquito. The Asian tiger mosquito received notable attention a few years ago as its population boomed. Both the Asian tiger and Aussie Mozzie are most likely to bite during the day (most mosquitoes bite around dusk and dawn). They are known city dwellers that lay their eggs in containers.

Like many other mosquito species, the Aussie Mozzie infects humans and animals with disease including the Barmah Forest and Ross River viruses. Both viruses can be serious, but are non-lethal. Their symptoms include joint pain, rashes and fever.

In addition to transmitting mosquito-borne disease to humans, the Aussie Mozzie also infects dogs with heartworm. Heartworm is one of the most serious illnesses a dog can face. Heartworm is a parasite that settles and grows in the heart and lungs of its host, most commonly the dog. Dogs with heartworm may display symptoms through coughing, exhaustion, weight loss and fainting. Once diagnosed, dogs have to through a series of treatments to kill and get rid of the heartworm that could take several months.

Currently only a few Aussie Mozzies have been confirmed in California. Homeowners in the areas have been encouraged to report any day biting mosquitoes so they can be tested. As the mosquito control experts, we at Mosquito Squad will stay on top of the news and let you know everything there is to share.

Are you ready for Stink Bug season?

I vividly remember last year when I heard that all too familiar sound: a loud buzzing noise to be exact. What was it, you ask? It was a stink bug flying around my new apartment. I was lucky that only few made their way inside my apartment, but some people weren’t as lucky and we’re just weeks away from peak stink bug season.


The brown marmorated stink bug is a Japanese beetle that was accidentally introduced in the United States in 1998. With few natural predators in the US, their populations have grown and grown, with hundreds being noticed on some homes at one time. Last year was the first year the Agriculture Department researched the stink bug through an online survey title “The Great Stink Bug Count.” Home and business owners are invited to provide numbers and details of where stink bugs were sighted.

The Great Stink Bug Count started last year and has already provided some interesting facts. Stink bugs prefer to settle in brown and green homes (possibly because they blend in with the color) over light colored homes. They also like wood, cement and stone structures as opposed to those with aluminum siding.

The numbers associated with the stink bug count are astounding in some instances. One person who participated last year counted over 30,000 bugs!

With the gathered information, the Agriculture Department is looking at ways to kill the stink bug, including using US and Asian enemies (although vast studies have to be done before introducing another foreign pest to the U.S.).

Now is the prime time for stink bugs, with peak numbers expected around October 1. The pests are most noticeable now because they are moving indoors as the weather cools. They get into through small openings and look for dark areas like attics, basements and closets.

At Mosquito Squad, many of our clients, both residential and commercial, have been struggling with stink bugs for years. And when the beetle comes, they come in droves. We’ve been able to help them fight the pest with our stink bug control. Our eliminating product can be applied to the areas of the building where stink bugs are known to hide, like under eaves and gutters. Clients see a huge improvement on the number of bugs.

If you have questions regarding the stink bug, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Don't let pesky mosquitoes ruin your outdoor fun. Mosquito Squad is ready to serve you! Contact us today by filling out the brief form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

* Tick control not available in MI without a license

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