Posts Tagged lyme disease prevention

Preparations to Battle West Nile Begin

Last summer the United States saw a spike in the number of West Nile Virus cases across the country. By the end of the year, 48 states reported confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne disease, resulting in 243 deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “eighty percent of the cases have been from 13 states (Texas, California, Louisiana, Illinois, Mississippi, South Dakota, Michigan, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, Ohio and New York) and a third of all cases have been reported from Texas.” Spring is now right around the corner and officials have started preparing for the battle against the mosquito and the diseases they transmit.

Public health employees in Tarrant County, Texas, where 11 people died of West Nile last year, have already begun trapping and testing mosquitoes. As Dr. Anita Kurtian, chief epidemiologist explains, the plan this year “is significantly more aggressive in terms of surveillance and response.” Source. They’ve increased the number of traps so safety communications to the public can be more proactive.

Dallas County, Texas is also increasing their mosquito trapping as a result of 19 deaths last year.

On the east coast, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in Virginia approved the “Disease Carrying Insect Program” to help measure and prevent not only the spread of West Nile Virus but also Lyme disease that has greatly affected the area in past years.

We at Mosquito Squad are thrilled to see that plans are already in place to be more proactive with respect to the spread of mosquito-borne disease!

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May is Lyme disease Awareness Month

As we’ve discussed here before, Lyme disease can be a devastating disease that unfortunately is on the rise in many parts of the United States. Cause by the bite of a deer tick, Lyme can cause nausea, fatigue and joint pain. Although treated with antibiotics, if left untreated, symptoms can become more serious.

May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month which we at Mosquito Squad are happy to participate in. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the country with over 30,000 Americans contracting the disease every year! Our vector expert and co-founder of Mosquito Squad, Boyd Huneycutt explains: “there is no doubt that ticks present a threat to the health of Americans, their families and even their pets, due to the movement and rise in the deer tick population. We urge everyone to control the factors that they can, and check themselves thoroughly when in areas that can house ticks.”

In recognition of Lyme Awareness Month, we want to reiterate Mosquito Squad 6 C for tick-proof yards:

  1. Clear out. Reduce your tick exposure by clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas. Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic. Separate them with wood chips or gravel. Don’t position playground equipment, decks and patios near treed areas.
  2. Clean. Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house and lawn edges, mow tall grasses and keep your lawn short.
  3. Choose plants. Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and/or install physical barriers to keep deer out of your yard. Check with your local nursery to determine the best choices for your area.
  4. Check hiding places. Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick walls and patio retaining walls are popular hiding places.
  5. Care for family pets. Family pets can suffer from tick-borne disease and also carry infected ticks into the home. Talk to your veterinarian about using tick collars and sprays. As with all pest control products, be sure to follow directions carefully.
  6. Call the pros. Professionals utilize both barrier sprays that can kill live ticks on the spot as well as “tick tubes.” Strategically placed, “tick tubes” prompt field mice to incorporate tick-killing material in their bedding, effectively eliminating hundreds of tick nymphs found in each mouse nest.

Even if you follow the 6Cs, it is important to take the necessary precautions when spending time outdoors. The CDC recommends wearing light, long-sleeved clothing when in areas where ticks may be present. Always make sure to do a thorough body check when coming inside. If you do find a tick on you that has attached, be sure to remove it properly and place in a plastic bag in case you need to take it in for testing. Be aware of any rashes that occur around the bite itself. One symptom of Lyme disease is a bulls eye rash around the bite mark. If you think you are showing any signs of Lyme, it is important to go see a doctor.

If you would like to learn more about tick control in your area, please visit us at MosquitoSquad.com or contact your local Squad.

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