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Category: Heartworm

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.

Getting Your Pet Ready for Spring


Warm spring weather is (hopefully) just around the corner. That means it’s time to move it outdoors and enjoy it! From hiking and walking to trips to the dog park, my furry friend, Wiley, and I spend as much time as we can outdoors when it is nice out. The warm weather doesn’t just bring green grass and flowers, however, it also means biting bugs that can harm people and dogs and cats, like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

Just like humans, our beloved pets are at risk for vector-borne disease.

Fleas are one of the easier pests when it comes to determining their presence. Both dogs and cats are allergic to flea saliva and will scratch and chew when they have fleas. And just one flea can bite nearly 350 times in one day! While it is uncommon, fleas can transmit disease to dogs, cats and humans alike.

When it comes to ticks, your pet isn’t going to let you know that it has one because it doesn’t make them itch as much as flea bites. They may not look like they are being harmed or bothered by anything, but that may not be the case. Ticks transmit Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis dogs. There is even an illnesses called tick paralysis that can harm our four-legged friends.

When it comes to protecting your pets from flea and ticks, it’s about controlling the pests and being vigilant. Talk to your veterinarian about topical medications or collars. Additionally, there are flea and tick treatments for your yard that will help. At Mosquito Squad, our traditional barrier spray eliminates adult ticks on contact. We also have additional applications we use to combat ticks more aggressively as well as fleas. Even when your pet is protected with medication or yard treatments, they should be checked after spending time in areas where ticks and fleas are known to be. For example, Wiley had topical treatments, but still had ticks last year after hiking. If your dog or cat has a tick, remove it using tweezers and place it in a plastic bag in case it is needed for testing. If they have fleas, they will need a flea bath and you will need to check to see if your home needs to be sprayed.

When it comes to mosquitoes, they transmit one of the most dangerous vector-borne diseases for some animals: heartworm. The roundworm travels to the heart where it matures and grows. If it isn’t treated, heartworm can be fatal. It is highly recommended that animals take a heartworm medication. It should be prescribed after a heartworm test has been done on the animal.

Symptoms of canine heartworm are coughing, not wanting to exercise, fainting and a rapid heartbeat. Feline heartworm symptoms include coughing, vomiting and depression.

Professional mosquito control will also help protect your pets from heartworm by cutting down on your property’s mosquito population. The mosquito spray that we utilize eliminates mosquitoes on contact and provides continued protection for up to 21 days.

If you have questions on how to protect your pets from vector-borne disease, please reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.

Education During Mosquito Control Awareness Week

Next week, June 23rd through June 29th, 2013 is Mosquito Control Awareness Week, sponsored by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA). According to the AMCA, the goal of the 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.”

Anyone who has been bitten by a mosquito knows they are annoying. The bites swell, can itch for days and, if you are like me, you’ll scratch them over and over again making them last longer. Knowing how bothersome they are is one thing, but understanding the dangers of mosquitoes is another.

Some people may not understand how dangerous mosquitoes can be. Mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on the planet due to the diseases they transmit through their bites. We may not have a problem with malaria here in the United States anymore, but that doesn’t mean we are safe from mosquito-borne disease.

Last week we discussed West Nile virus and what to expect from this sometimes deadly disease, but with Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Dengue Fever, mosquitoes can make a lot of people ill in numerous ways. And let’s not forget our canine friends. Every year, dogs are infected with heartworm through the bite of a mosquito.

At Mosquito Squad, we often talk about our professional mosquito control services, but it is important for people to understand the best ways to protect themselves against mosquitoes when they leave their protected yard. The first step is to understand mosquitoes.

While they are most active at dawn and dusk, they are out and about at all times of the day. They are usually found in areas with more mature vegetation as they feed mainly on plants (female mosquitoes need blood meals to lay their eggs).

If you are going to enjoy the sun around some water, make sure that water isn’t stagnant. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, but the eggs won’t survive in moving water. They don’t usually travel far from their breeding grounds, so if there is a lot of standing water in a certain area, there will be a lot of mosquitoes.

Cover up. If you are going to be in an area where you know there will be mosquitoes, consider wearing a loose long sleeve shirt and pants. Loose clothing is harder for mosquitoes to bite you through.

When it comes to your backyard, your best protection is mosquito treatments for your yard. Mosquito Squad’s mosquito barrier spray kills adult mosquitoes on contact and provides 21 days of protection thereafter. By spraying the areas that mosquitoes are known to feed and live, we are able to get rid of 85-90% of mosquitoes on your property. If you aren’t satisfied with the results, we’ll come back and spray your yard again.

If you have any questions on Mosquito Control Awareness Week or how you can protect yourself and your friends and family from these annoying (an dangerous) pests, contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

Heartworm Awareness Month – Protect those Pets!

Happy Earth Day everyone!

April, in case you didn’t know, is heartworm awareness month. Heartworm is a deadly disease that affects both dogs and cats and is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Here are some things you should know about heartworm and how to protect your beloved pets from this dangerous illness:

  • Heartworms enters the body in a larvae stage. They then make their way to the heart and lungs where they develop into mature worms
  • A heartworm can reach up to 12 inches in length (gross)
  • Heartworms do not affect humans
  • Symptoms of heartworm include coughing and not wanting to exercise
  • Monthly heartworm medication not only protects your pets against infected bites, but will kill any immature heartworms present in the body
  • Cats are less susceptible to heartworm than dogs
  • 25% of the feline heartworm cases occur in indoor cats
  • There is no heartworm treatment for cats, just prevention. Dogs can be treated for heartworm, but it is a costly and difficult treatment
  • Heartworm is present in all 50 states, but is most common on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts
  • Adult heartworms look like cooked spaghetti
  • A heartworm blood test looks for and detects a protein in the blood that is produced by female heartworms
  • Heartworms can live in the canine body for up to 7 years
  • The first article covering heartworm was written in 1847 and published in the Western Journal of Medicine.

Heartworm is a serious illness that is easily prevented. If you are a pet owner, make sure to have your furry friend regularly tested for heartworm (as recommended by your veterinarian) and is given its monthly heartworm medication.

Mosquito-borne illness, including heartworm, West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever, is a growing concern in the United States. At Mosquito Squad, we help protect families from these dangerous pests with our mosquito control for the yard. Our protective mosquito spray is applied to the areas of your yard where mosquitoes are most likely to feed, breed and harbor, ridding the areas of mosquitoes before they can bite you. Our barrier spray is available in both the standard and all natural formula. The standard formula lasts up to 21 days and reduces your mosquito population by up to 90%. The all natural option, in comparison, needs to be reapplied every 14 days and cuts the mosquito population by 85%.

If you have questions regarding Mosquito Squad and our mosquito control services, please reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.

Protect Your Pets from Tick-Borne Diseases


Saying I’m a dog lover is most likely an understatement. My wonderful dog, Wiley, is arguably the most spoiled dog in the greater Richmond area, maybe even Virginia. I mix his food with cut up hot dogs, he sleeps on the bed and can often be found on my lap, belly up getting a good scratch. Did I mention he’s 45 pounds and not the normal lap-dog size? What can I say? He’s my constant companion and I do my best to keep him both happy and healthy, including protecting him against and checking for ticks.

Ticks carry many diseases that can affect our pets, including Lyme disease, heartworm and ehrlichiosis. A colleague of mine sent me a great site a few weeks ago, DogsandTick.com, that teaches owners how to prevent tick bites, notice symptoms of illness and what treatments are available. I suggest every dog owner take a look.

Most dog owners apply monthly medications to prevent ticks or put a dog collar on them, unfortunately neither are 100% effective. Another way you can protect your pets and yourself from ticks (and at the same time enjoy the outdoors for longer) is with a barrier spray from Mosquito Squad.

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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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