Archive for category Lyme disease

New Lyme disease and Tick Awareness Act Proposed to Congress

As America’s most trusted mosquito and tick eliminator, Mosquito Squad understands the dangers of vector-borne disease. Each year, thousands of Americans are infected with painful and dangerous diseases through the bite of a mosquito and tick. The most common vector-borne disease in the U.S. is Lyme disease that is carried by ticks.

Brown-Dog-TickOn June 4th the Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education and Research Act of 2015 was introduced in the Senate. With 9 co-sponsors, the Act aims to better educate citizens and doctors alike on Lyme and other tick-borne disease.

One difficulty in treating Lyme has always been that it can be difficult to diagnose. While the bulls eye rash that some patients get is a clear sign of the disease, many patients don’t get the rash and the other symptoms are synonymous with the flu. The proposed Act would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to “develop more accurate and time-sensitive diagnostic tools to strengthen surveillance and reporting of Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses.” (Source.)

With some patients receiving false negatives due to the cycle of the disease, better testing would be a great asset to prevent chronic Lyme.

The Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education and Research Act would also aim to educate more people on ticks and tick borne diseases including not only Lyme but also Powassan virus and Babesiosis. The community based education programs would teach people the signs and symptoms of the diseases allowing them to be more proactive with their health.

When Lyme is diagnosed early, antibiotics are a great source of treatment. However, research find that the longer it goes undiagnosed, the worst symptoms get and the more difficult it is to treat, referred to as chronic Lyme. This Act could decrease the number of Lyme and chronic Lyme patients.

All of us at The Squad will be following this bill via the Congress.gov tracker.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, it’s important to be tick-safe and perform thorough tick checks of your body when you come inside. Those pests can be as small as a poppy seed so really look for them! If you find one, promptly remove it.

For those homeowners that want to be more proactive with their tick control, the Squad recommends a combination of barrier sprays and tick tubes. The spray eliminates adult ticks on contact while the tick tubes target nymph ticks. When used together, it is a great way to treat your property for ticks.

To discuss your tick treatment options, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Practice Tick Safety this May

Did you know that Alec Baldwin, Avril Lavigne, and George W Bush have all battled Lyme disease at different stages? May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month so all of us at Mosquito Squad urge everyone to be tick safe.

Lyme disease is spread through the bite of an infected deer tick. While drawing blood from its host, the tick injects saliva that carries the Lyme bacteria. Lyme can display itself in many different ways including fatigue, fever, joint pain and more.

The best way to reduce your risk of Lyme is to reduce your exposure to ticks. We call our property tips the 6Cs:

Tick BiteClear out yard debris. Ticks thrive well in moist areas. Yard debris holds water and moisture, making it a tick haven.

Clean leaf litter. Leaves naturally hold water when left in piles. Take the time to pick it up (and check yourself for ticks when you’re done).

Choose plants that deer don’t like. Deer are ticks main source of transportation so where there are deer, there are ticks. Keep deer out of your yard by choosing plants that they don’t find tasty like phlox and marigolds for example.

Check tick hiding places. Ticks are known to hide along retaining walls, fences or foundations.

Care for pets with tick collars. Dogs and cats rub up against plants, bushes and trees where ticks can be found. It’s best to follow your veterinarians recommendations on how to protect your pets including tick collars or topical flea and tick medication.

Call the pros. Even when you do the rest of the Cs, you may need professional tick control services. At Mosquito Squad, we use a combination of barrier sprays and tick tubes for the best results. Barrier sprays eliminate adult ticks on contact while tick tubes eliminate them in the nymph stage.

Whenever you spend time outdoors, it’s a best practice to do a thorough tick check on the body. Ticks are small and can hide in hard to see places like in the armpits or behind the knee. If you find one, promptly remove it with tweezers and place it in a plastic bag in case it needs to be tested for Lyme.

If you have questions on tick treatments for your yard, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Avril Lavigne Announces She’s Suffering from Lyme disease

Avril Lavigne was once one of the top music acts in the U.S. With hit after hit she was playing in sold out stadiums with thousands of screaming fans. Then, last year she became ill with a debilitating sickness that she couldn’t explain. Just this week she revealed that she’s been suffering with Lyme disease for nearly a year.

Tick BiteThe pop singer first fell ill while on tour. When she felt feverish, Avril thought she had the flu and was treated for dehydration and exhaustion, but she kept feeling worse and worse. She explains: “I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk and I couldn’t move. I thought I was dying. There were definitely times I couldn’t shower for a full week because I could barely stand. It felt like having all your life sucked out of you.” Source.

After months of symptoms and visits to the doctor, Avril Lavigne was diagnosed with Lyme disease, the fastest growing vector-borne disease in the U.S. For the past 5 months she has been working to recover in the privacy of her home in Canada.

Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of deer ticks. Deer ticks will attach themselves to hosts and can feed for days if needed (it typically takes over 36 hours to transmit Lyme to a person). If diagnosed and treated in the early months, Lyme is usually cured with antibiotics. When it goes undiagnosed is when the long-lasting, more difficult cases occur. Because the initial symptoms of Lyme are the same as the flu, it can be difficult to diagnose.

At Mosquito Squad, we help protect our clients from the dangers of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases with our tick treatments for the yard. The most effective control system combines a mosquito and tick barrier spray and tick tubes. The spray eliminates adult ticks on contact while the tick tubes aim to control the pests earlier in their life cycle. We recommend the spray be applied every three weeks throughout the summer and tick tubes placed on the property twice a year when ticks are their most active.

As spring enters so does tick season. We at the Squad encourage anyone who spends time outdoors to check themselves for ticks thoroughly as the pests can be as small as a poppy seed.

If you would like more information on our tick control services, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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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.

IMG_4126My 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.

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Are the Tick Population and Weather Temperatures Related?

Ticks. They lurk in hidden places waiting for a potential host to walk by. In the spring and summer, it’s best to make a habit of checking yourself and your pets for ticks if you spent any time outdoors. A recent study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Centers for Disease Control evaluated how the tick population is related to weather temperatures.

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracksTicks thrive in warm weather and their activity rises as temperatures rise over 50 degrees. When there is an above average amount of days over 50 early in the year, the population becomes active earlier and the peak tick season, which typically begins in late May, starts earlier. If there is a lot more precipitation than normal, that will postpone the beginning of the tick season.

The changes in weather also impact ticks through their primary blood host, the field mouse. Mice feed on the vegetation in their habitat. When the summer is exceptionally dry it results in less food for the mice, which means less mouse activity and less ticks.

The study explains that a tick forecast could be created each March after looking at the weather in the first ten weeks of the year, but little can be done to forecast when the end of tick season will be.

Ticks are a common concern for many people. Not only are they a nuisance, but they are also dangerous. Thousands of cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year and it is impacting more of the county each and every year. If you ever go for walks or hikes in areas where ticks are known to be active, it’s important to protect yourself. Wear long loose clothing preferably in light colors so ticks can be spotted. After coming inside make sure to do a thorough tick check of your body to make sure that none are hiding out.

At Mosquito Squad we help our clients protect themselves from ticks and the dangerous illnesses they transmit by protecting their yard. We utilize a combination of our barrier spray treatment and tick tubes when appropriate.

Our traditional mosquito control spray is effective against ticks too. The spray will eliminate adult ticks on contact. We suggest having that spray reapplied every 2-3 weeks depending on your mosquito and tick problem to provide continuous tick control. Additionally, we use tick tubes to eliminate ticks in their earlier stages of development. Tick tubes are placed throughout the property in areas where mice would travel. When the mice find the tube, they take the treated cotton that’s inside back to their nests as bedding. Since many nymph ticks get their first blood meal from mice, they are thus eliminated.

If you have questions on how to reduce the tick population on your property, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Where are the Ticks on your Yard?

Just last fall, we at Mosquito Squad surveyed clients for a better understanding of their concerns with respect to mosquitoes and ticks. With more than 7,000 responses, we found that not only are homeowners worried about ticks and the diseases that they carry, but they also aren’t sure where they harbor. Here’s a snapshot of our findings:

mosquitoes and ticks

According to our poll, 72% of clients are concerned or very concerned about ticks and the concern is rising. 61% say that they are more concerned about tick-borne disease, like Lyme disease, this year than last. With rising Lyme numbers in many parts of the country, it isn’t surprising that people are troubled by their potential exposure to tick bites.

Although people are worried about ticks, it seems that less know where to look for the little buggers. 35% of our survey responded that they have no idea where ticks are found. Knowing where they are will raise your awareness of their presence and allow you to take some tick control measures.

Ticks are normally found in moist, shady areas and normally avoid areas that are dry and sunny. In simpler terms, they sometimes “hide” preferring high grasses and bushes. Along retaining walls and fences also tend to be good spots to find ticks.

When it comes to protecting yourself from ticks and tick-borne disease, there are steps that you can take on your property to decrease your exposure to ticks:

  • Keep your grass short. Ticks love long grasses, so keeping it short will move the ticks away from the open grass areas of your property.
  • Clean up your yard trash and debris. Instead of taking those large branches and sticks and putting them in a pile, take them to the dump. Grass clippings, leaves and other yard trash make the perfect place for ticks to hide.
  • Create a barrier around areas you know ticks are present. Ticks like to stay hiding, so create a “barrier” around fences, compost piles, etc. For example, lay a perimeter of gravel around your compost pile so ticks stay away from your outdoor living spaces.

At Mosquito Squad, we take tick protection seriously, offering services to our clients to reduce the number of ticks on their property. Our barrier spray, which we recommend be applied every 2-3 weeks, eliminates adult ticks on contact, while tick tubes target ticks in their nymph stage.

May is a month when more of us move our activities outside, but it is also Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Ticks are out and about, so please do a tick check after spending time outdoors.

If you have questions on tick control for your yard, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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May is Lyme Disease Awareness

Happy May everyone and happy Lyme disease Awareness Month! Lyme Disease Awareness Month aims to educate people on the numbers, signs and symptoms of the disease. It’s also an opportunity to reiterate the importance of protecting yourself from the ticks that transmit this dangerous disease.

Lyme disease Awareness 6x6_RibbonLyme disease, named after the Connecticut town in which it was found, has been growing in numbers and affects more parts of the country than it did just 7-10 years ago. The Centers of Disease Control state that is it the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States and some estimates say that with the rate of illnesses going unreported to the CDC, that Lyme cases could be as high as 300,000 a year!

Blacklegged ticks carry the Lyme bacteria and transmit it to humans. They can be found in any area of the country where there is a large population of deer. Deer are the vehicles for ticks, carrying them from one location to another. Ticks are most active during May, June and July, but will be out whenever the temperatures are warm enough.

Not all blacklegged ticks carry Lyme disease, so if you get a tick bite, it doesn’t mean that you definitely have Lyme. If you find a tick on you, promptly remove it and place it in a plastic bag in case it needs to be tested. Take any signs or symptoms of Lyme seriously and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns. The earlier Lyme disease is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.

Being observant and being aware of ticks (and using tick control if necessary) is the best way to protect yourself from Lyme. Here are some tips:

  • When walking or hiking outdoors, stay in the middle of paths and avoid tall grass
  • Where long-sleeved shirts and pants. Light colors will make it easier for you to see any ticks that have landed on your clothing
  • Wash clothing in hot water and use a high heat dryer to eliminate any ticks left on your clothing
  • Do a full-body tick check after coming inside, making sure to look at those hard to see areas like behind the knees and in the armpits.

At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients from ticks and Lyme with our tick control for the yard. The Mosquito Squad tick control service is two-fold, utilizing our tick eliminating barrier spray and strategically placed tick tubes.

If you have questions on any mosquito and tick services, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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