Archive for category CDC

First Domestic Case of Chikungunya Reported

For the last few months we’ve been following the newest mosquito-borne disease to hit the United States: chikungunya. Up until last week, all the diagnosed cases in the U.S. had been transmitted elsewhere. Travellers to the Caribbean were bitten by infected mosquitoes but didn’t display symptoms until back in the states. Last week, however, marked the first domestic case of chikungunya.

mosquito controlA Florida resident was recently diagnosed with chikungunya, but unlike other patients he had not recently travelled outside the United States. With the first domestic case, does that mean we are on the verge of an outbreak? The CDC says no.

The Centers for Disease Control is currently examining how the Florida man got the virus and keeping an eye on any other domestic cases. When chikungunya hit the Caribbean it spread very quickly, infecting thousands of locals and tourists alike, but the CDC doesn’t see that to be the case in the U.S. They “believe chikungunya will be have like dengue virus in the U.S., where imported cases have resulted in sporadic local transmission but have no caused widespread outbreaks.” Source.

With the outbreaks of West Nile Virus we’ve seen in recent years, we know how serious mosquito-borne disease can be, and how quickly it can spread. It’s very important to protect yourself from mosquitoes, especially at dawn and dusk when they are known to be most active.

At Mosquito Squad, we enhance our client’s outdoor living experience by protecting them from both the annoyance and dangers of mosquitoes. Our mosquito control services effectively cut down the property’s mosquito population. Our traditional, and most popular, mosquito treatment reduces the number of mosquitoes by 85-90%, while our all-natural treatment repels 80%.

Depending on the service that you chose, our trained technicians visit your property every 2-3 weeks to reapply the mosquito control product to the foliage where mosquitoes are known to feed and harbor. And, for even more control, we can install a permanent mosquito misting system that emits small bursts of mosquito spray when mosquitoes are their most active. If you are seeing more mosquitoes than normal, you will also have a remote to use.

If you have questions regarding mosquito control options, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.


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Chikungunya Confirmed in more States

The newest vector-borne disease in the news and spreading rapidly in the Caribbean, Chikungunya, has now been confirmed in Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. It’s believed that all patients contracted the disease while travelling abroad, but is a U.S. outbreak possible?

178503521The Centers for Disease Control has been vigilantly watching the disease and is concerned about the possibility of it spreading. Historically, around 25 Americans come back to the States each year after having been infected abroad. The current outbreak in Caribbean is what is cause for concern as it’s a haven for American tourists. If more travelers bring Chikungunya back to the U.S, the likelihood of an outbreak here increases.

West Nile was first brought into the United States by travellers before an outbreak occurred domestically.

Not all mosquito species can carry and transmit chikungunya. The Aedes mosquitoes are virus carrying and are known to transmit chikungunya, eastern equine encephalitis, West Nile, and dengue fever. They also happen to be present in all continents except Antarctica.

Chikungunya is typically not fatal, but symptoms can be uncomfortable and serious. Symptoms begin within 12 days of infection and include fever, joint pain and rashes. Recovery from the disease varies widely based on age, with elderly patients sometimes suffering for 2-3 months.

Protecting yourself from mosquitoes is the best way to protect yourself from mosquito-borne illness. At Mosquito Squad, we urge homeowners to remove any standing water on their properties to reduce the ability for mosquitoes to reproduce. Additionally, we protect our clients’ yards with professional mosquito control. Our trained technicians come to the property every 2-3 weeks to apply a mosquito spray that eliminates mosquitoes on contact and provides continuous protection. Clients can expect a 85-90% reduction in their property’s mosquito population.

If you have questions on how to protect yourself from mosquito and tick-borne diseases, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Chikungunya Continues to Spread in Caribbean

Not even a year ago, we at Mosquito Squad became aware of a mosquito-borne illness that was growing in numbers in the Caribbean called chikungunya. The Centers for Disease Control warned travelers of the illness in December and stated that is was “very likely” to end up in the United States and now a new report from Haiti is illustrating how serious this disease can be.

Haiti reported their first chikungunya cases last week with 14 confirmed cases. Just one week later, health officials have confirmed over 1,500 cases!

mosquito controlChikungunya is transmitted through the bite of an affected Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same mosquito that transmits dengue fever and yellow fever. The Aedes aegypti is most common in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Chikungunya causes a high fever that will last several days as well as headaches, joint pain and rashes. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for the disease at this time.

Chikungunya is most common in Africa and Asia. Like many other bugs and diseases, it was brought to the Caribbean through travel. Now that mosquitoes are entering their peak breeding months, it is imperative that locals and travelers protect themselves against mosquito bites as the number of cases could easily continue to rise.

We are often asked how a mosquito infects through their bite. Only female mosquitoes bite for blood as it is necessary to produce eggs. When she injects her proboscis into the skin, she releases saliva and anti-coagulants. The viruses or diseases that the mosquito carries are present in the saliva and are transmitted through the bite.

Not all mosquitoes transmit or carry disease, but it is smart to protect yourself from them when you can. At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients with our mosquito treatments for the yard. For our seasonal clients, we visit the property every 2-3 weeks and treat the foliage and areas of the yard where mosquitoes are known to harbor. That mosquito control spray will eliminate the mosquitoes on contact and provide continuous protection for up to 21 days.

While professional outdoor pest control can reduce your mosquito population by 85-90%, you still need to protect yourself when you leave a treated property. We suggest wearing long, loose fitting clothing or spraying exposed skin with a DEET product.

If you have questions on how to protect yourself from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Centers for Disease Control Warn Travelers of Chikungunya

Mosquito-borne diseases are present in any area of the country and world where mosquitoes are active. While the diseases they carry are different depending on the areas of the world, many of them are dangerous and debilitating. Earlier this week, the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) issued a warning against a painful mosquito-borne illness for any U.S. travelers to the Caribbean.

Ten people in the Caribbean have recently been diagnosed with Chikungunya virus. The CDC says it is “very likely” to end up in the United States. As CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden explains, “Microbes know no boundaries, and the appearance of chikungunya virus in the Western hemisphere represents another threat to health security. CDC experts have predicted and prepared for its arrival for several years and there are surveillance systems in place to help us track it.” Source.

Asian Tiger mosquito stripes on legs

Asian Tiger mosquito stripes on legs. These pests are carriers of the painful chikungunya virus.

The Asian tiger mosquito is a common carrier of Chikungunya. The tiger mosquito is easily recognizable by the black and white stripes on their legs.

Chikungunya symptoms can take days to display after being infected with the disease. Symptoms of the disease are very similar to those of dengue fever including a high fever, rash, headache, nausea and severe joint pain. The name Chikungunya comes from the Mankonde language and means, “that which bends up” because it can be very painful.

Chikungunya was first found in Africa but has been moving into Asia and Europe and now the Caribbean in recent years. So far there have been 109 travelers who have been diagnosed with Chikungunya in the United States and luckily it hasn’t spread since there.

With winter holidays and travel in full swing, the CDC issued a statement of warning: the “CDC estimated that about 9 million U.S. residents travel to the Caribbean each year. Given that volume of travelers, chikungunya could occur more frequently in returning U.S. mainland travelers if the virus expands in the region.” Source.

The CDC stated that it is possible for a single infected person to start an outbreak of the disease. While we aren’t in the height of mosquito season now, it will start again in just a few short months. At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients from mosquitoes and the dangerous diseases they carry with our mosquito control treatments. By treating your property for mosquitoes, your chances of being infected while spending time outside in your yard is decreased. If you have any questions, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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West Nile Numbers Continue to Grow

2012 is the worst year on file for West Nile virus and the numbers continue to grow. In the last week alone, the reported number of people infected with the mosquito-borne virus has increased 35%. According to the Centers for Disease Control, experts expect that number to grow until the end of September.

There have been 2,636 cases of confirmed cases of West Nile this year.

But history says that we are over the peak. Dr. Lyle Petersen from the CDC says that “based on historical data, health officials are hopeful that the nation has ‘turned the corner’ on the epidemic for this season.” Source.

He did however caution that those states that continue to have unusually warm weather may continue to see the number rise until temperatures start to drop. Mosquitoes become less aggressive in cooler temperatures and usually die when it turns freezing.

While 80% of those people bitten by an infected mosquito will never display any symptoms, the cases that have been diagnosed this year have been serious. 118 people have died and 53% of patients have developed “serious illness, such as meningitis or encephalitis.”

It’s important to make sure that you are protecting yourself from West Nile with effective mosquito control. Mosquito Squad offers a barrier spray that will cut your yard’s mosquito popular by 85-90%. It last for three weeks upon which another spray is needed.

As school and student sports seasons have started across most of the country, it’s important that kids protect themselves if they are in an untreated area, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are known to be most active. A topical mosquito spray can be used to repel the mosquitoes in those cases.

If you have questions about how to protect you and your family against West Nile, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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West Nile Cases on the Rise

Yesterday I received a call from one of our franchisees, Colleen, who provides mosquito control in Columbia. It had just been reported that West Nile was just confirmed in a popular part of town. We discussed ways for her to let her clients and the community know about the disease, what to look for and ways to protect themselves.

Mosquitoes transmit West NileUnfortunately, confirmed cases of West Nile are on the rise across the country. Each year, Vector Control programs catch and test mosquitoes for population variations and any diseases that may be present in the bugs. Just this week, there have been confirmed cases in Columbia, SC, Boston, MA, Naperville, IL, Fremont County, CO and many more areas. The Centers for Disease control track West Nile throughout the year and up-to-date information can be found on their website.

West Nile virus is a serious disease that is carried and transmitted by mosquitoes. While 80% of those humans bitten by infected mosquitoes never show any symptoms, it can become serious in others. Symptoms usually show between 3 and 14 days after the mosquito bite and can include high fever, neck stiffness, headache and nausea. The more mild cases of West Nile don’t require specific treatment and usually run its course much like the flu or a cold.

The best way to avoid West Nile virus continues to be effective and continuous mosquito control and getting rid of standing water than mosquitoes breed in. While many municipalities do this in public areas, homeowners need to take the necessary steps to protect themselves at home. At Mosquito Squad, we believe the key is the 5Ts of mosquito control: tip, toss, turn over, eliminate tarps and treat accordingly. By minimizing the amount of standing water on your property and an effective mosquito treatment plan, mosquito populations can be decreased up to 90%, greatly reducing your chance of mosquito bites.

If you are interested in learning more about protecting your property against mosquitoes, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Earliest Case of West Nile Detected in Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania recently reported that on May 3rd, it detected its first West Nile virus-carrying mosquito. The state started testing mosquitoes in 2000 and this year brought its earliest detection ever.

According to the Business Journals, “typically, the state’s first West Nile Virus-carrying mosquito is found in mid-June.” Adds the Department of Environmental Protect Secretary Mike Krancer “the unseasonably warm weather in March caused the virus cycle to begin early this year…our staff will continue to monitor mosquito populations and conduct spraying to reduce the threat to public health.”

Last year, the first West Nile Virus-carrying mosquito was found on May 17, 2011. From there it was found in 59 counties and six human infections were confirmed.

The West Nile Virus can cause fever and other flu-like symptoms

West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans via mosquito bites. It’s been reported that 100s of cases are diagnosed every year and according to the CDC, it’s estimated that 300,000 Americans have been ill due to West Nile Virus since it arrived in the United States 11 years ago. Symptoms, including high fever, headache, body aches and nausea, usually appear between 3 and 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Serious cases can lead to encephalitis or meningitis. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and if the virus is known to be present in the area. Older adults are more likely to become ill when infected with West Nile Virus.

There is no specific treatment for West Nile. Instead, the exhibited symptoms are treated. Unfortunately, there isn’t a vaccine to protect against West Nile in humans and domestic pets (there is one for horses). The best way to prevent infection is to prevent mosquito bites. At Mosquito Squad, we do that through our 5Ts of mosquito control.

Keep you and your family off the menu this season with Mosquito Squad

The mosquito is the culprit of many insect -borne illnesses and diseases and survived the ice age

Tip – Tip over small objects in your yard that hold standing water, including dog dishes and children’s toys. Mosquitoes breed in standing water; cutting down on the breeding grounds will reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard.

Toss – toss out excess grass, leaves and firewood from yards.

Turnover – Turn over larger items like bird baths and planter saucers periodically.

Remove Tarps – When tarps aren’t pulled tightly, they leave areas for small puddles where mosquitoes can breed.

Treat Accordingly – Getting rid of standing water won’t get rid of all the mosquitoes around your property. A mosquito control spray will protect your yard against mosquitoes for 21-days.

At Mosquito Squad, we are happy to help family enjoy their backyards without the threat of West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases. If you are interested in how mosquito control can help you, please visit us online at or call your local Mosquito Squad office.

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