Posts Tagged 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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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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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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Debbie Gibson Illustrates the Dark Side of Lyme disease

If you are familiar with Debbie Gibson and her music career, you know that she is, normally, a bundle of energy. She’s been performing on stage since the 1980s, but recently received some backlash after performing in South America. Critics blasted her online for her skeletal frame and said that she was unhealthily skinny. In response to the harsh words, she came out and said that yes, indeed she was unhealthy, but not because of eating issues. She has Lyme disease.

In a long blog post entitled When Life Hands you a Lemon…or Lyme she details her battle with this terrible tick-borne disease that went undiagnosed for too long.

Tick BiteDebbie didn’t have the bulls eye rash that some Lyme disease victims do. If she did, she may have more easily been able to find out what was ailing her. One of the main issues surrounding Lyme disease is how difficult it can be to diagnose. So many of its symptoms are similar to the flu or other illnesses.

One of the first symptoms that Debbie displayed was food sensitivity. Certain foods like caffeine, starch and sugars would trigger reactions in her system. She started to lose weight as a result and became more and more fatigued. Because of her hectic travel schedule, Debbie was unable to see her primary doctors so they were left to guess what was wrong. Never did Lyme occur to them.

When Lyme goes undiagnosed, the symptoms can become more and more severe, serious and scary. Debbie’s boyfriend noticed that she was mixing up her words and seemed confused often. When she couldn’t take it anymore, she decided to focus solely on her health. After several referrals to multiple specialists, she was tested positive for Lyme disease.

A year later, with vitamin drips and intense antibiotics, Debbie is now slowly feeling better.

We at Mosquito Squad, wish Debbie the best, but also want to thank her for bringing Lyme disease into the spotlight again. The more people know about Lyme, the better.

Tick control is not only important to enjoy your outdoor living spaces, but also to protect you from the growing cases of Lyme disease in growing areas of the country. Please contact your local Mosquito Squad office to discuss how you can protect yourself from ticks in your yard.

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