Posts Tagged tick borne disease

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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Can Ticks Transmit Disease in Just 10 Minutes?

Ticks, like mosquitoes, are vectors of disease. When feeding, they transmit saliva and bacteria into their host’s skin and bloodstream. While Lyme disease may have received the most news in recent years, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be extremely dangerous and is the most lethal rickettsial disease.

wood-ticks-spotted-fever

The wood tick is known to transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the United States.

When it comes to transmitting Rocky Mountain, a new study out of Brazil is reporting that ticks don’t need as much time as we thought. Current literature states that the disease can be transmitted in 2 to 10 hours, but there are cases when the transmission could take place in just 10 minutes!

Marcelo Labruna of the University of Sao Paulo led the study where ticks were observed feeding on different animals. They found that if ticks had recently fed and then went to feed on another animal, they were able to transmit disease quicker than when they were first feeding.

The study also found that dogs play a primary roll in the spread of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in Brazil (know there as Brazilian fever). The majority of cases in the area are diagnosed in children and women who have little contact with tick habitats. It’s most likely that dogs are carrying ticks into the home or yard where they are then attaching to family members, meaning that they have previously fed.

A different type of tick, the wood tick, transmits Rocky Mountain in the US than in Brazil. That could result in different findings when it comes to transmission of the disease. Patrick Leisch, entomologist at the University of Wisconsin, explains that the best way to protect yourself from all tick-borne diseases is to avoid tick habitats, protect yourself properly, and educate yourself on the pest.

At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients from the nuisance and dangers of ticks with our tick control services. We use a combination of our barrier spray and tick tubes to greatly reduce the tick population on a property. The barrier spray, applied by trained technicians every 2-3 weeks, eliminates adult ticks on contact. Tick tubes are placed on the property twice a year normally and use mice as a vehicle for the tick control product.

If you have questions on how to protect yourself from ticks and the diseases they transmit, please refer to the Centers for Disease control website or call 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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Kevin Bacon Releases PSA with the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance

Have you every played Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? Not sure how to play? Pick an actor or actress and try to connect them to Kevin Bacon in six steps or less. It’s a way to pass time, but I can tell you one thing that just got closer to the Following actor: Lyme disease.

Despite starring in a scary crime show, one of the things that scares Kevin Bacon the most is Lyme disease. He and his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, have a home in Connecticut where Lyme disease is prominent. When the kids were little they made it a nightly chore to check the kids each night for ticks after they had spent time outdoors.

This week, Bacon teamed up with the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance for this Public Service Announcement:

The Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA) works to raise awareness for tick-borne disease. They work with other groups around the nation to support initiatives looking to find cures for diseases like Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis and more.

One of the most difficult parts of tick-borne diseases is getting a proper diagnosis. The TBDA is working on improving both the diagnostics and treatment for these dangerous diseases.

At Mosquito Squad, we offer professional tick treatments for your yard through our barrier spray and tick tubes. Our traditional barrier spray treatment eliminates ticks on contact.

Tick tubes are a great product to use in your battle against ticks and tick-borne disease. They are placed in areas of your property where mice are known to travel like along fences and under decks. The tubes are filled with treated cotton that the mice take back to their nests. The tick control solution then gets on the mice’ skin and since the majority of ticks get their first blood meal from mice, it eliminates them.

If you have questions on how to protect yourself from ticks, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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VanLaanen to Compete in Sochi after Battling Lyme disease

Back in December, we talked about Sochi hopeful Angeli VanLaanen and her battle with Lyme disease. Well, she no longer is just a hopeful; she is now on the 2014 Winter Olympic team! Congratulations Angeli!

VanLaanen suffered with some of Lyme disease’s most debilitating symptoms, including fainting, dyslexia and fatigue, for 14 years before being properly diagnosed with the illness. The fact that she is from the Pacific Northwest where Lyme isn’t as prominent could have impacted her misdiagnosis.

Tick BiteOnce diagnosed, VanLaanen stopped competing for 3 years to focus on her health. During that time she and director John Roderick filmed her treatment of Lyme disease. The resulting documentary, LymeLight, is Angeli’s way of spreading awareness of what Lyme can do and how it is possible to fight back. The half hour video, can be viewed here.  As Roderick explains: “our goal with LymeLight is to educate people about Lyme disease, where it comes from, what the symptoms are and the challenges people face reclaiming their health.”

After taking 3 years off form skiing, VanLaanen dedicated herself to making the Sochi Olympics. She earned the last automatic position by winning the last of five qualifying competitions. 2014 is the first year that halfpipe skiing will be included  in the winter games. VanLaanen will be skiing the halfpipe on February 20th.

Lyme disease numbers have been growing over the last decade. Many patients, like Angeli, don’t remember ever being bitten by a tick bite so Lyme isn’t the first illness considered by their doctors. Black-legged ticks that transmit the disease can be as small as a poppy seed aren’t easily seen and They tend to attach to their host in hard to see areas so they can feed without being noticed.

At Mosquito Squad, we urge people to proactively check for ticks after any outdoor excursion. And when it comes to protecting your yard from ticks, considering professional tick control.

tick-tubes

This image shows tick tubes placed in the tick’s environment for optimum results.

Mosquito Squad uses a combination of our traditional barrier spray and tick tubes as a way to control ticks. The barrier spray eliminates ticks on contact while the tick tubes use field mice to eliminate ticks. Most ticks get their first blood meal from mice. Tick tubes are small tubes filled with treated cotton. We place them in areas of the property where mice would be likely to go. When they find the cotton, they take it back to their holes as nesting material. That cotton is treated with tick control product and will eliminate the ticks before they can bite you.

Please contact your local Mosquito Squad if you have any questions on protecting your property from ticks.

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Lyme disease bigger issue than reported

I love to hike. If it is nice outside, you can find me on the trails enjoying the day. That being said, I am VERY aware of my surroundings and the critters I’m sharing nature with, including ticks. Ticks, like mosquitoes, transmit diseases through their bite. The most common tick-borne illness is Lyme disease and it look as though it is a bigger issue than we thought.

In recent years, we’ve seen the number of confirmed cases rise in the US. With only 20,000 to 30,000 cases reported each year to the Centers of Disease Control, the CDC decided to do a more comprehensive study to get a better estimate of how many annual cases are actually diagnosed. Their findings show that there are closer to 300,000 people that are diagnosed with Lyme each year!

The majority of doctors don’t report confirmed cases to the CDC, resulting in numbers that were 10 times smaller than the most realistic numbers. To gauge how far off the reported cases were, national laboratories and patients were surveyed. Insurance information was also reviewed.

While 96 % of reported cases occur in just 13 states, the studied revealed that the disease affects a larger geographic reason than assumed.

Dr. Paul Mead of the CDC explains: “We know that routine surveillance only gives us part of the pictures, and that the true number of illnesses is much greater. This new preliminary estimate confirms that Lyme disease is a tremendous public health problem in the United States, and clearly highlights the urgent need for prevention.” Source.

Mosquito Squad kills ticks deadLyme disease is difficult to diagnose because the vast majority of its symptoms are similar to the flu, including fatigue, fever and headaches. Many people believe that the bull’s-eye rash that Lyme is known for displays in all cases, but that is just not true. Patients can have Lyme disease and never have a rash around the tick bite.

At Mosquito Squad, we help our clients fight Lyme by ridding their yards of ticks, but there are things that homeowners can do on their own property to minimize the risk of getting a tick bite. We call them the 6Cs.

Clear out lawn and tree debris. Ticks love shady, moist areas that debris can create.

Clean out your lawn of any litter or brush. Keep your grass mowed.

Choose plants that don’t attract deer. Deer often are the transportation system for ticks to enter onto your property.

Check hiding places. Ticks like to hide along fences, brick and retaining walls. Know where the hiding places are on your property and check them regularly.

Care for your pets. Our pets often venture into parts of the yard that we don’t and often those spaces are the perfect places for ticks. As tick-borne diseases, like Lyme, can affect animals as well, make sure you talk to your vet about mosquito and tick control for your dog

And lastly, call the professionals. At Mosquito Squad, we utilize our barrier spray treatment and tick tubes to rid properties of ticks.

If you have questions regarding tick control for your yard, please reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Two Vector-Borne Diseases at Once? Yup. It’s possible.

West Nile is back at it. Just this week there have been numerous articles posted about the mosquito-borne disease popping up across the country, but one New Hampshire resident has is doubly as bad. While he doesn’t have West Nile, he did test positive for not one, but two rare vector-borne diseases: Jamestown Canyon virus and Powassan virus.

Neither the Jamestown Canyon virus nor the Powassan virus had ever been reported in the state of New Hampshire before this case; “while this is our first announcement of Jamestown Canyon virus and Powassan virus in New Hampshire, these have been in the U.S. for a while, and Powassan was found in Maine and Vermont previously so this is not entirely unexpected,” explains Dr. Jose Montero, Director of Public Health at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Jamestown Canyon virus was first found in California in the 1940s. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, but human cases are very rare. It is more commonly passed between deer and mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever and headache.

The Powassan virus is a tick-borne encephalitis that was first found in Ontario and has been responsible for 39 US deaths since 2008. Symptoms don’t usually show until 1-3 weeks after infection. While it isn’t known how long it can take a tick to transmit Powassan to a human, it takes less than 15 minutes to transmit to a mouse (in comparison, it takes a tick over 24 hours to transmit Lyme to a human).

I’ll be honest and admit that I had never heard of Jamestown Canyon virus or Powassan virus before, but it doesn’t surprise me that these rare diseases are rearing their ugly heads. As mosquito and tick populations rise across many parts of the country, we may hear of more vector-borne diseases. As Dr. Montero explains “There are many mosquito and tick borne illnesses, and unfortunately, we are probably going to continue to see cases of them, which makes prevention steps all the more important.”

kill mosquitos and ticks at commercial venuesAt Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients and their families with our professional mosquito control. Our barrier spray program will cut down your property’s mosquito population by 85-90%, allowing you to once again enjoy your yard without bites. When visiting places that don’t have mosquito control, we suggest applying a DEET product to exposed areas of the skin.

If you have questions regarding mosquito or tick control for your yard, please contact your local Mosquito Squad.

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