Archive for category Lone Star tick

Lyme Disease App – helping to prevent and fight Lyme disease

I never thought that I would download a Lyme disease application on my phone, but the American Lyme Disease Foundation (ALDF) proved me wrong. At the end of last summer, the ALDF released an iPhone app title “Lyme Disease Tick Map” to educate people on the dangers of Lyme disease ways to prevent it. At Mosquito Squad, we have seen some crazy tick and mosquito control phone apps, but haven’t been very impressed, but I have to say this app has some pretty cool tools inside.

Here is the icon for the ALDF's iPhone app

Here is the icon for the ALDF’s iPhone app

When you open the Lyme Disease Tick Map application, it gives you a table of contents for an easy way to find information. Here’s what it offers:

Tick Map. It is just what it says. The application will read where you are currently located and tell you how likely you are to be bitten by an infected tick. For example, I am located in Richmond, VA and it tells me that right now it is rare that I would be bitten by a tick infected with Lyme. The scale goes from no ticks to an abundance of ticks.

How to Prevent Lyme Disease. This section provides the user with bullet points on how to avoid tick bites (and thus Lyme disease), including wearing the appropriate clothing and better areas to walk if you are spending time outdoors.

ALDF's app provides information through the table of contents

ALDF’s app provides information through the table of contents

How to Identify a Tick. For those people who live in areas with several species of ticks, this section of ALDF’s app is really helpful. It includes images of the most common types of ticks for quick comparisons. In the deer tick section (deer ticks are the only ticks that transmit Lyme disease), the images are clickable so you that you can see the differences between larva, nymph, male and female ticks and it will tell you which ones are most likely to bite and spread Lyme.

How to Remove a Tick. There are a ton of theories regarding the best way to remove an attached tick. Unfortunately, several of them not only don’t help, but may increase your chances of getting Lyme. This section of the app provides both a video and a step-by-step guide covering how to remove the tick properly.

Duration of Attachment. The longer a tick has been feeding, the more likely it is that Lyme disease has been transferred to you (if the tick is infected). It can be difficult to know, however, how long a tick has been attached (I don’t know about you, but I don’t look at the back of my knee all too often). The duration of attachment section show pictures of ticks at different stages of attachment so the user can compare the photos and decide if they need to see a doctor.

Lyme Disease Symptoms. This section is not for the squeamish! It shows pictures as well as describes different symptoms of Lyme.

Find a Physician. I’m not sure how doctors get listed on ALDF’s app, but when I pressed it, it provided me the name and contact information for a local infectious disease doctor.

Helpful Links. There are links to other helpful organizations that provide information on Lyme disease.

About the App. You guessed it, this section provides the background on the app.

The app as a whole is a pretty good reference tool for ticks and Lyme disease, especially if you have been bitten and aren’t sure what type of tick bit you, how long it has been there and how to remove it. At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients against tick bites and Lyme disease with a combination of our barrier spray and tick tubes. Professional tick control will help fight off ticks before they can bite and infect you.

If you have questions regarding tick control on your property, please call your local Mosquito Squad office.

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New Tick Borne Disease Discovered in the Heartland

In a summer that has brought us a record number of West Nile and Lyme disease cases, researchers have discovered a new tick-borne disease in Missouri, the Heartland virus.

Two farmers, whose properties are sixty miles apart in Missouri, independently sought treatment after experiencing fever, fatigue, headache and nausea. Blood tests showed very low platelet counts in both cases.

According to WebMD Health News “The first patient spent 10 days in the hospital. Two years later, he’s still feeling tired and often has headaches. At first he had memory problems and loss of appetite, both of which slowly got better.

‘The second patient was in the hospital for 12 days. Over the next four to six weeks he had memory problems, fatigue, and loss of appetite. All of these symptoms went away and did not come back over the next two years.”

Both men told doctors that they had been bitten by ticks prior to the symptoms starting. Dr. Scott Folk of Heartland (hence the name) Regional Medical Center sent samples from both patients, along with others, to the Centers for Disease Control for testing in 2009. “’Whenever he sends us a sample, we pay attention because we are likely to find something.’ Nicholson says.” Source.

And find something they did. Microscope analysis revealed the new Heartland virus. “We’re pretty excited about it,” says Nicholson. “It’s not every day you find something new.”

Lone-Star-Tick-Hearland-Virus

Lone Star ticks, defined by the white mark on its back, are believed to be transmitting the new Heartland Virus.

The new tick-borne disease is believed to be transmitted by the Lone Star tick as it’s the most common tick in the state of Missouri. No ticks carrying the virus have been found in tests yet more cases are expected.

At Mosquito Squad, we know that the best way to protect yourself against vector-borne diseases is to minimize the chances for those buggers to bite you. Our effective mosquito and tick control helps our clients do that without being forced indoors. If you have questions on how to get rid of mosquitoes and ticks on your property, please call your nearest Mosquito Squad office.

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Lone Star Ticks Causing Meat Allergies

Ticks have been a major player in the news this year. The media has been warning viewers and readers to protect themselves from ticks in a year that is bringing out more and more ticks. While we’ve known that ticks can cause Lyme disease and other diseases, a new study is showing that the Lone Star tick is causing meat allergies, turning those hamburger lovers into veggie burger eaters.

Lone-Star-Tick-Meat-Allergy

A Lone Star tick is defined by the white mark on its back

There are hundreds of species of ticks in the world, with three of the most common ticks in the United States being the blacklegged (deer) tick, American dog tick and the Lone Star tick. The Lone Star tick is named for its defining white spot on its back and in states from Texas to Maine. A recent study by the University Of Virginia (UVA) says that bites from the Lone Star tick is causing new meat allergies.

“’People will eat beef and then anywhere from three to six hours later start having a reaction,’ says Dr. Scott Commins, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.” (See full story from ABC News here). Many of the patients studied had such bad reactions that they stopped eating meat all together.

While Commins has worked with 400 patients, this allergy is very odd. It is uncommon for adults to develop food allergies later in life, yet 90% of the patients have a history of tick bites. Additionally, with normal food allergies, patients see effects of eating the food almost instantly. These tick bite patients aren’t developing hives or any other symptoms until four to six hours after eating. “It’s complicated, no doubt,” says Commins, “but we think it’s something in the saliva.”

When ticks bite a human they leave a small amount of saliva under the skin. Commins theory is that there is something in the saliva that reacts with meat.

The majority of meat allergy cases popping up have occurred along the east coast and Bible belt, mirroring the population of the Lone Star tick. As always, we at Mosquito Squad encourage everyone who spends time outdoors to do thorough body checks and remove the tick promptly if you find any on you. If you can, take note of what the tick looks like in case you start to show symptoms of tick borne disease.

If you live in an area with a large population of ticks, professional tick control may be necessary.

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The Lone Star tick moves into the spotlight

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Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad-kills mosquitoes and ticks dead!

In the pursuit of tick control and  helping homeowners avoid tick-borne illness and disease Mosquito Squad takes heed to another tick moving  into the spotlight. The Lone Star tick  (Amblyomma americanum), also known as the seed tick can be found as far north as Maine all the way down into Texas. The tick is found in wooded areas such as forests and other areas with dense vegetation. The population of the Lone Star tick is quickly rising along with the areas it is being found in. The CDC ( Centers for Disease Control and prevention) has reported an increase in the distribution, range and abundance of this tick over the past 20-30 years.

The Lone Star tick gets its name from the predominant white spot located on the back of the female, also known as a “lone star”. Even though the females are easily recognizable from this distinguishable characteristic, identification can prove difficult because the Lone Star tick feeds off humans and other animals such as pets during all three life cycles, larva, nymph and adult. During the nymph stage the Lone Star tick is comparable in size to a mite. The tiny size of the tick during this stage can result in victims not being aware they have been bitten at all until problems begin to arise.

Small tick on finger

Small ticks such as the Lone Star tick during nymph stage are hard to see and identify

Lone Star ticks are known carriers of diseases such as Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. A newer disease associated with the Lone Star has come into the forefront called STARI,( Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness), which mimics symptoms usually seen with the onset of early  Lyme Disease. These include a rash, or expanding red “bulls eye” lesion that develops around the site of the bite itself. This is accompanied by fatigue, headaches, fever, and joint and muscle pain. Even though STARI has not been linked to any arthritic, neurological or other chronic symptoms it is still an uncomfortable and scary undertaking to experience. STARI is easily treatable with oral antibiotics, and symptoms resolve promptly following treatment.

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Mosquito Squad can treat your property to kill and prevent ticks, even in dense and wooded areas

Avoidance of  wooded and densely brushy areas is key to prevention of tick-borne illness. Checking yourself and your pets after each encounter with  any wooded areas is a must. Keeping your property trimmed and free of brush piles or clippings is a good preventative measure as well as having your property treated for ticks by a licensed professional. A licensed professional can go over what tick control program is best to suited to the circumstances and individual traits of your property. Barrier sprays such as the ones used here at Mosquito Squad are an effective weapon in tick control as well our use of the Damminix tick tubes.

camoticktubes by Damminix

Damminix tick tubes

Damminix tick tubes are an innovative and effective solution to tick control. These tick tubes are filled with Permethrin treated cotton balls which are used by small animals such as mice as nesting materials.  Since the deer tick and other ticks feed off the mice in large numbers, the ticks are exposed to the Permethrin and are killed at the source. The Damminix tick tubes cause no harm to mice or other mammals during this process and have proved highly beneficial to tick control in areas all over the country.

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracks

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracks

Mosquito Squad uses Damminix tick tubes as well as a barrier spray which kills adult ticks on contact. Contact Mosquito Squad to find out more about tick control and ways to prevent ticks and tick-borne illness in your neck of the woods. Call us at 877-667-7823 or email us at info@mosquitosquad.com   to find out more.

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