Archive for category Eastern equine encephalitis

Eastern Equine Encephalitis on the Rise

Horses from Kentucky to Maine are being infected and dying from Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Veterinarians across the country encourage all horses not only be vaccinated, but receive booster shots.

Is your horse at risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Is your horse at risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, is a mosquito-borne virus that was first found in the 1830s in Massachusetts when 75 horses died from the disease. EEE does not only affect horses. Humans can become sick from the disease as well. After a human is infected by a mosquito bite, he or she will begin to display symptoms within 10 days normally. Symptoms include fever, muscle pain, headaches and seizures to name a few. There is no vaccine or cure for humans and the fatality rate is 35%.

Those areas of the country, namely in New England, that have confirmed human cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, have started spraying for mosquitoes.

While the human fatality rate due to EEE is 35%, the equine fatality rate starts at 70% and can go as high as 90%. Horses begin to display symptoms between 7 to 21 days after infection. One nickname for EEE is the sleeping sickness due to the way horses behave when they have it. The first symptoms of the disease are usually a high fever and bursts of excitement or nerves. As it gets more serious and brain lesions begin, horses will look drowsy, their ears will droop and they will walk around aimlessly. Paralysis ultimately sets in and it can die within a few days of paralysis.

The most recent case to hit the news was of a horse in Maine that died from EEE despite having the vaccine. The sad story highlights the importance of six month booster shots for EEE. The initial inoculation consists of two vaccines 4 to 6 weeks apart. After the adult horse has been vaccinated, it will need booster shots before any mosquito season. In areas where EEE is a problem, it is suggested to administer the booster every six months.

The EEE virus can only be transmitted to humans and horses through the bite of an infected mosquito. Humans, for example, cannot get it from a horse that is battling EEE.

As municipalities take action and administer more public mosquito spray, we at Mosquito Squad encourage homeowners, and horse owners to consider professional mosquito control.

The majority of our residential clients use the mosquito control barrier spray to protect their property. Our trained technicians come out to the home every three weeks to spray the areas where mosquitoes are known to feed and harbor. The spray itself will kill adult mosquitoes on contact and then provide that protection for up to three weeks.

For properties with horse stables, we suggest an installed mosquito misting system instead of the barrier spray. Instead of having a technician come and spray every three weeks, a system is installed on your property. Two to three times a day, when the mosquitoes are known to be their most active, a short burst of mosquito spray will emit from the system, protecting the area. If they are particularly bad, there is a button you can press for another short spray. Mosquito systems are a great way to keep the mosquitoes away on larger properties. Mosquito Squad will not only install the system, but come back to fill your product when needed and winterize your system at the end of the season.

If you have any questions on how to protect yourself and your horses from mosquitoes and the dangerous disease they can transmit, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Massachusetts Evaluates Mosquito Larvicide Bill

2013 has been a wet year for many parts of the country and you know that that means: mosquitoes, swarms of them. In anticipation for another large year for mosquito-borne illnesses, Massachusetts legislation is looking at a new mosquito bill that can help fight the bite.

It's time to start thinking about controlling the mosquitoes in your area

It’s time to start thinking about controlling the mosquitoes in your area

From 2001 to 2009, municipal workers were allowed to administer non-toxic pesticides in storm drains. Storm drains are the perfect place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs because they not only hold water, but it’s also difficult to drain completely. Before 2009, municipal workers were allowed to drop pesticide pellets into the drains to cut down on the amount of mosquitoes hatching and they want that capability back after a year of widespread and fatal cases of West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in the area.

In 2012 several Massachusetts towns closed community parks at dusk due to high rate of mosquito-borne disease. There has been a  lot of spring rainfall that has led lawmakers to consider the bill again.

As State Representative Jason Lew explains, “it has never been clear to us why [the Department of Agriculture Resources] didn’t renew it” when the legislation expired in 2009. After the law relapsed only licensed pest control workers could apply the pesticide. Allowing municipal employees to administer the larvicide would ensure the catch basins were treated in a timely manner.

Larvicide is a pest control treatment that targets the culex species larvae. The non-toxic pesticide stops the larva from maturing into mosquitoes that can transmit disease.

At Mosquito Squad, we will administer species specific growth regulators in areas that hold standing water that you can’t get rid of. For example, a client may have a pond or drain that holds water that they can’t get rid of. If it goes untreated, even a Mosquito Squad treatment won’t stop the mosquitoes from maturing and biting. To ensure that our professional mosquito control is the most effective it can be, those areas are treated with a growth regulator that stops maturation.

As we’ve seen the numbers of reported mosquito-borne illnesses continue to rise, we are happy to see that local governments are taking mosquito control more seriously. While we help protect our clients and their families at home, it’s important they have protection in community areas like parks and local fields.

If you have questions on mosquito control and what you can do to fight the bite, please reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.

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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.”

A swarm of mosquitoesAnyone 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.

kill mosquitos and ticks at commercial venuesWhen 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.

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Springtime is the Right Time to Vaccinate Horses

It’s the first day of spring which means budding flowers and, unfortunately, mosquitoes are right around the corner. As 2012 brought an influx of mosquito-borne disease, for humans and animals alike, now is the perfect time to protect your pets from the dangerous diseases that they often carry.

Mosquito Squad protects horses from mosquitoes and ticks

Keep your horse from being at risk of contracting EEE

Horses are particularly vulnerable to West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). EEE, or Triple E, was first found in Massachusetts in the 1830s when 75 horses died. After an infected mosquito transmits the disease, the horse usually starts showing signs of a fever within one to three weeks and lasts for a couple days. The sick horses will then show more serious signs of drowsiness, drooping ears and wandering as the disease spreads to the brain. Between 70 and 90% of horses with Triple E will eventually die from it.

Horses are not only susceptible to Eastern Equine Encephalitis but also West Nile Virus, however most horses will recover from West Nile. Symptoms of West Nile include fever, convulsions and more.

There are currently no treatments for horses that have been in infected with mosquito-borne illnesses, however there are vaccinations to prevent them from becoming sick. Springtime is the perfect time to ask your veterinarian to vaccinate your horse. “Horse owners have made significant investments in their horses, financially, and emotionally,” says Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, Dipl. “Helping protect their health and well-being with an appropriate vaccination schedule is best decision when the alternative is to cope with losing a horse or treating a horse for a preventable disease.” Source.

At Mosquito Squad, we urge home and pet owners to protect themselves and their beloved animals from the dangers that mosquitoes and ticks can bring. Our mosquito control misting system is our most popular mosquito service for horse farms or stables. The automatic misting system is an installed mosquito system that sprays two to four times a day(for about 30 seconds) when mosquitoes are known to be the most active. The spray kills any adult mosquitoes and ticks on contact and continues to repel the pests in all treated areas.

mosquito-control-misting

The mosquito control misting system’s nozzles are installed in areas where mosquitoes are known to feed and harbor

The misting system is installed using environmentally friendly nylon tubing that connects to the stainless steel nozzles which are place sporadically around the perimeter of the property. They can be run and installed underground or along fences. The tubing connects to the drum and pump of the mosquito misting system that is most often placed near the home or stable. Mosquito Squad will come out and refill the drum any time more product is needed and to winterize it as the weather turns cool. If you have a particularly bad mosquito problem, the mosquito misting system can come with a remote that you can use for additional (or fewer) sprays.

If you have a large property, especially one that houses animals, and a mosquito problem you would like to address, contact your local Mosquito Squad office. They will walk you through your mosquito control options and what will work best for you and your property.

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Massachusetts Cities Cancel Outdoor Activities

2012 has been a record year for vector-borne diseases and now parts of Massachusetts have put a ban on all public organized events, including sporting events.

Outdoor activities like sporting events have been cancelled into parts of Massachusetts due to mosquitoes and the diseases they can transmit.

A Massachusetts man died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in early September this year which led to the state’s Department of Public Health to raise the threat level to moderate. The threat was raised yet again, this time to critical, this week when a horse tested positive for EEE. The cities of Hamilton and Wenham called emergency meetings for their boards of health where the bans were then put in place.

“Hamilton is at the highest risk for EEE. We’re just being really clear that it’s a really dangerous activity to be hanging around outside,” said Leslie Whelan, a health agent in Hamilton. “People are going to make their own decisions, but by using this language that we’ve chose (banning all activities), we’re underscoring the importance of avoiding mosquito bites.” Source.

The high threat of EEE will be in place until the season’s first frost lasting more than four hours.

Fall, for me, is a great time of year to go outside and enjoy the cooler weather. Walks, hikes, festivals, soccer and football games, you name it and I’m there when the weather is nice, but some of these activities can’t happen this year. Due to the EEE threat, one Wenham college had to reschedule soccer games to a time when mosquitoes are less active. It’s unfortunate to see that cities have had to place bans on some of the year’s best activities, but it’s their job to make sure that people are as safe as possible.

From temperature and water to foliage and mosquito population, all mosquito control cases are different. At Mosquito Squad, we offer effective mosquito control for municipalities as well as residential properties every day. By minimizing and treating standing water where mosquitoes are known to breed and then applying a mosquito elimination solution to the surrounding foliage, we eliminate up to 90% of mosquitoes in a given area.

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

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Protect your Horses from EEE

Horse owners are being advised to vaccinate all of their horses against Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) as the disease has appeared in several areas of the east coast. News this week has reported that mosquitoes, chicken and birds have been testing positive for EEE with one horse in New York dying from the disease.

Mosquito Squad protects horses from mosquitoes and ticks

Keep your horse from being at risk of contracting EEE

Encephalitis in general is a vector-borne (mosquito transmitted) disease that causes the brain to swell. Symptoms are common with other brain injuries including headache, confusion and drowsiness. Eastern Equine Encephalitis was first discovered in the US in Massachusetts after seventy-five horses died unexpectedly. Scientists were first able to isolate it in a horse brain in 1933 and were able to eventually create vaccinations for horses.

While human cases of EEE are rare, it can infect mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Mosquitoes contract the disease from birds and then infect other animals through future bites. Currently there is no cure for EEE.

Horses are very susceptible to EEE as they spend a lot of time outdoors in the presence of potentially dangerous mosquitoes. When bitten by an infected mosquito, a horse won’t show any signs of the disease until 3 weeks later, allowing the virus to do most of its damage. The first sign of EEE is a high fever that lasts for only a few days. After that, horses may appear drowsy, with bursts of excitement and restlessness. They will wander aimlessly and could become paralyzed. Unfortunately 70 to 90% of infected horses will die only a few days after they first displayed symptoms of the disease.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a preventable disease when the horses are properly vaccinated. Please visit the American Association of Equine Practitioners for vaccination recommendations. At Mosquito Squad, we have helped many barn and horse owners take the extra step of horse protection with our misting system which provides the area with continuous mosquito and tick control around a property.  If you’re interested in learning how a misting system can help protect your horses against mosquito bites, feel free to give your local Mosquito Squad a call.

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The Culiseta melanura mosquito is putting the elderly at risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Dread_versions2

Learn the 5 "T's" in mosquito prevention and tell those mosquitoes "bite me"

Most people think that EEE, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, is a disease that only strikes equine such as horses, ponies, mules and donkeys. Though in most cases humans are not at as great a risk of contracting EEE, those with compromised immune systems and health problems, especially among the elderly, are at a higher risk of contracting the illness. EEE is characterized by causing swelling of the brain, although some who  become infected will be asymptomatic. Those older individuals that become infected with the virus are more vulnerable to experiencing the more severe side of EEE than most. Early symptoms of EEE  are headache, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, cyanosis, convulsions and coma.

What is EEE?

EEE or Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a virus that is spread through the bite of a mosquito carrying the virus. The virus is maintained between a cycle of the mosquito and a bird, and some cases is passed onto what is called a dead-end host such as an equine or a human. Dead end hosts mean that the virus can not be passed any further once it has reached this host.  Although many mosquito species are known vectors of the virus the Culiseta melanura mosquito has raised the alarm among states with high reports of EEE, especially among elderly residents and those that are immune compromised. Approximately one-third of all human EEE infections prove fatal.

culista melanura

Culiseta melanura

Who is the Culiseta melanura mosquito?

This mosquito can be found from Canada all the way into Florida and is unique in the way in which it is able to reproduce. Culiseta melanura are cold adapted and  have the ability to over-winter their larva until the warm temperatures of spring cause them to awake and begin their vicious cycle of feeding and spreading disease. This mosquito lays its eggs in stagnated pools and wherever water accumulates in quantities of 30 to 300 eggs at one time. This mosquito can reside in a variety of places from old tires, rotting trees to wetlands. Just like other mosquito species the male primarily feeds off nectar, and the female’s feed off blood from unwitting hosts.

Mosquito_Squad_spraying_your_yard

Mosquito Squad spraying your yard to guard against mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses.

What can I do  to prevent getting EEE?

The most important way to avoid possible infection is to make sure you don’t get bitten, because the mosquito that bites you could possibly be carrying EEE. Avoid potential mosquito infested areas, make sure to inspect your yard and areas around you home on a regular basis to keep standing water from becoming a nursery for mosquitoes. This particular species of mosquito loves moist areas.  Mosquito Squad has developed a helpful way to keep your property safe from mosquitoes by using a system called the 5 T’s of mosquito control. These helpful hints will keep standing water and areas that are prone to accumulated moisture to a minimum, when inspecting your property don’t overlook areas like gutters, and the crevices in outdoor furniture for they make perfect breeding grounds  for mosquitoes if filled with debris or moisture. You can learn more about the 5 T’s and other helpful hints by visiting http://mosquito-control-blog.com/2011/06/13/the-five-ts-in-mosquito-prevention/

The 5 T’s of mosquito control are:

  • Tip
  • Top
  • Turn over
  • Tarps ( remove)
  • Toss

If you are unable to thoroughly inspect your property yourself, then ask a loved one or friend to check the areas surrounding your home for you.

No Mosquitoes

No Mosquitoes

Another way to aid in protecting yourself is to have your yard treated by a licensed professional to kill and prevent mosquitoes that may possibly be lurking. Mosquito Squad offers a full-service mosquito control program from automatic mosquito misting systems to our safe and effective barrier sprays, both of which protect you and your family all season long from the Culiseta melanura and other species of mosquitoes as well.

Contact Mosquito Squad to learn more 877-667-7823  http://www.mosquitosquad.com/

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