Archive for category Mosquito-Borne Illnesses & Diseases

Chikungunya – What is it?

As mosquitoes are in their active season and homeowners are enjoying the last weeks of summer, no one wants to think about the nasty and dangerous diseases mosquitoes can transmit through their bites. Unfortunately, with hundreds of Americans testing positive for chikungunya this year, the threat of mosquito-borne disease is a concern. But, what is chikungunya?

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad

Dread Skeeter from Mosquito Squad fights mosquito and tick bites

Chikungunya was first described in 1955 along the border of Mozambique and Tanzania. It is believed, however, that the first outbreak happened in 1779. The name comes from a native language of that area and means “that which bends up” because of the position people take when suffering some of the disease’s painful symptoms.

Chikungunya is most commonly found in tropical areas of the world. Until this summer, all Americans that tested positive for chikungunya had been infected with it abroad (two Americans have been infected domestically this year). The CDC reported that the influx of cases this year is a result of an outbreak in the Carribean, a place where many Americans go for vacation.

The majority of chikungunya patients do display symptoms, typically 2-3 days after infection. Symptoms include, high fever, joint pain, rash, headache and nausea.

Doctors in the U.S. are aware of the influx of chikungunya this year and are warning people to be vigilant and protect yourself. “Prevention is key and experts say to protect yourself from the virus, simply limit your exposure to mosquitoes.” Source.

At Mosquito Squad, we’re happy to help homeowners protect themselves and their friends and family from the nuisance and dangers of mosquitoes. Our professional mosquito control services treat the areas of the property where mosquitoes are known to feed and harbor, so you don’t have to spray any repellent on your skin.

Our ongoing mosquito control services fall into three categories: our traditional barrier spray, all natural mosquito spray and our mosquito misting system. The traditional barrier spray reduces your mosquito population by up to 90% and needs to be reapplied every 3 weeks or so. The all natural mosquito control repels mosquitoes from the property with its scent (unnoticeable to humans) for up to 2 weeks. And for more control of your mosquito spray, we have our installed mosquito misting system that sends out short bursts of mosquito spray when they are known to be their most active. A remote is also available for those nights they are out in droves.

If you have any questions on how to protect yourself from mosquito-transmitted disease, please contact your local Mosquito Control office.

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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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Mosquito Borne Chikungunya Continues to Spread

We are in the midst of mosquito season and a new mosquito borne virus continues to be reported across many parts of the U.S. Chikungunya, which was first reported in Florida in May, has now been diagnosed in Texas, Massachusetts, Arizona, Ohio and 22 other states. The average number of cases in the U.S. has been around 28 per year, but there have been over 120 cases so far this year, and we are in the height of mosquito season!

A swarm of mosquitoesIt’s believed that all of the American chikungunya cases have been transmitted to the patients while traveling abroad and hasn’t been transmitted in the U.S, but that could change. As the Centers for Disease Control explains: “With the recent outbreaks in the Caribbean and the Pacific, the number of chikungunya cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States from affected areas will likely increase. These imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in the continental United States.” Source.

Chikungunya is most commonly found in Africa and Asia. This past fall, the Caribbean reported larger numbers of the disease, spreading throughout the area, illustrating how quickly it can spread.

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine or cure for chikungunya, but it is rarely fatal. Its symptoms include fever, severe joint pain and rashes. Symptoms occur in the first 12 days after transmission and, unlike West Nile, the majority of people with chikungunya will display symptoms.

When it comes to mosquito-borne disease, the best course of protection is an integrated pest management system, with both do-it-yourself and professional action. Reducing the amount of standing water is the first step in cutting down your property’s mosquito population. It takes just a little bit of water for female mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

No MosquitoesEven if you tip over outdoor objects or toss trash, it is incredibly difficult to get rid of all the standing water on your property, and even if you did, you will still have mosquitoes on site. A professional mosquito control company is the second step to protecting you and your family against mosquitoes and the illnesses they carry. By applying a mosquito spray to your property every 21 days, Mosquito Squad will greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard (usually by 85-90%)!

If you have questions on how to protect yourself from mosquito-borne disease, please reference the CDC website at cdc.gov or contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Keep your Pet Safe this Summer

For many of us pet lovers, our pets become true members of our family. It’s nice to have them around us in the summer when the weather is nice, however, summer does bring with it some safety concerns for pets. Here are some safety tips to keep Fido safe this summer.

pet-summer-safety

We at Mosquito Squad are happy to help keep this little pup safe in the summer (and give him a toy to play with).

Don’t forget the leash. If you are like me, you like to have your dog off leash as much as you can. In the summer, it’s always important to have a leash on hand, even if you are in a fenced in area. Dogs are naturally curious, which can be unsafe. They can easily fall into pools (not all dogs swim well) or get too close to the grill and food. Leashing your dog when he/she is beginning to wander into areas they shouldn’t is a great way to keep them safe.

Clean up. Make sure to put away outdoor supplies when they aren’t being used. The charcoal you cook with, for instance, may make your food taste great, but it can also make your pet ill if they get into it. Make sure items like charcoal, matches, sprays, and other supplies are out of your pet’s reach.

Keep them out of the heat. Dogs and cats can overheat easily when the weather is hot. Make sure your pet isn’t left alone outside (or worse, in a card) when the weather is warm. Even in shade, dogs can become dehydrated and overheat. Try getting up early to walk your dog in the morning before the heat begins.

Water up! Dogs and cats can become dehydrated easily. Check and fill their water dish more frequently in the summer months. If you are taking your dog to an outdoor event, make sure there is some fresh water available or pack some with you.

Groom them! Proper grooming can provide dogs and cats with some reprieve from hot weather. While you should never shave a dog or cat, animals with long hair can be trimmed, or at least brushed more often to get rid of unneeded fur.

Watch out for pests. It’s great to spend time outdoors with your pets in the summer, but it is also when outdoor pests are most active. Take to your veterinarian about how you can protect your pet from fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and the dangerous diseases they carry. At Mosquito Squad, we help protect your furry friends by reducing your yard’s pest population. If you have questions or are interested in protecting your pet with Mosquito Squad, please call your local office.

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Mosquito Control Awareness Week Aims to Educate Homeowners

Happy Mosquito Control Awareness week everyone!

This week marks Mosquito Control Awareness Week as declared by the American Mosquito Control Association. This annual awareness program aims to educate the public on the impact mosquitoes can have on their daily lives as well as how mosquito control companies can help with their mosquito population.

Female mosquitoes require a blood meal to produce eggs, but that small bite can leave some people itching for days! Humans are allergic to mosquito saliva which triggers the reaction. While mosquitoes are simply annoying for most people, they can be dangerous. It’s estimated that mosquitoes kill over 700,000 each year with the diseases they transmit.

Dread versions2During this Mosquito Control Awareness Week, Dread Skeeter and the rest of the Mosquito Squad are teaching homeowners how to reduce the mosquito population on their property.

TIP. Mosquitoes require standing water for their eggs to mature and hatch. By cutting down on the amount of standing water on the property, you are also cutting down the number of mosquitoes. Tip over objects that hold water including birdbaths and fire pits.

TOSS. Yard debris like grass clippings, leaves and firewood can be a haven for mosquitoes and ticks. If you aren’t intending to use it, throw it out.

TURN. Objects left out in the yard can hold enough water for a mosquito to lay her eggs. Make sure that children’s toys, dog bowls, plant saucers and other objects are turned over when they aren’t being used (or at least every few days).

REMOVE TARPS. Most tarps aren’t pulled tight enough over the items underneath, resulting in water pooling. Our mosquito control technicians often notice tarps over wood, grills or sports equipment that are the perfect place for mosquito eggs to mature.

TAKE CARE. Every home requires regular maintenance. You may clean your gutters, have your irrigation checked and cut your grass to make your home look better, but that will also help you to control your outdoor pests.

TEAM UP. If your property abuts another one, talk to your neighbors about removing the standing water from their property. You could remove all the water from your yard, but if your neighbor has a lot of standing water, you very well could continue to have a mosquito problem.

TREAT. Having a professional mosquito elimination spray applied to your property can reduce your mosquito population by up to 90%! At Mosquito Squad, we visit our clients’ homes every 2-3 weeks to protect them from the nuisance and dangers of mosquitoes and ticks and reduce the need to spray DEET on their skin.

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

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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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Vector-borne disease apparent early in 2014 season

At Mosquito Squad, we pride ourselves on protecting our clients from the annoyance and dangers of mosquitoes and ticks.  As the weather continues to warm up, we’ve seen an influx of requests for tick and mosquito control for the yard. And with news across the country of vector-borne disease, it is no surprise people are looking for ways to keep the bugs at bay.

kill mosquitos and ticks at commercial venuesJust last week, we discussed Chikungunya having been found in Florida and now new reports of dengue in the area have locals concerned over an outbreak. Dengue fever is a virus transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. Symptoms of dengue include rash, fever and muscle and joint pain. While there is no specific medication for dengue, patients that are able to stay hydrated are able to fight the disease successfully.

While Florida is being hit by these tropical mosquito-borne disease, early mosquito and bird tests in Illinois are positive for West Nile in the area. Many municipalities across the country catch and test mosquitoes. It not only helps them gauge how much municipal spraying is needed, but it also lets them know if mosquitoes carrying certain bacteria are present.

With an increase of ticks in many areas of the country, officials are concerned about the growing numbers of Lyme disease as well.  From Michigan to Virginia to Vermont, local health officials are warning residents to be vigilant and take precautionary measures when spending outside in areas where ticks are known to be active.

Reducing your exposure to mosquitoes and ticks is the best way prevent vector-borne disease. At Mosquito Squad, we use a combination of mosquito spraying and tick tubes to cut down on the pest population on the property. Having continuous outdoor pest control, normally applied every 2-3 weeks, during the busy mosquito and tick months will reduce your mosquito population by 85-90%!

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

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