Posts Tagged tick-borne illnesses

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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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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Chalk one up for mama mouse and preventing Lyme disease

Mice nesting in auto air filter

Mice nesting in auto air filter

Recently I took my car in for an oil change. The technician told me I needed a new air filter and proceeded to show me the reason why. It seems that a mama mouse had decided to use my car’s air filter for her nursery this year, my filter was full of tissues and other bedding materials that she was using to “feather” her warm, fall nest deep within my cars inner workings. No wonder every time I needed a Kleenex lately the box was empty?

Naturally I had the technician change the filter, but the point of the story is that mice are building their nests now for a warm spot to have their babies, this includes the  white footed mice that are responsible for facilitating the cycle for Lyme disease. These mice will need, and will find, by one means or another a material to fill their winter nests. Why not provide the mice with nesting material ( so they will leave my tissues alone) and kill the Lyme carrying ticks that harbor on the mice and within their nests?

Does this sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not, and it is happening more often with the use of tick tubes. Tick tubes are small tubes that contain  an insecticide treated cotton to provide a way to kill ticks that harbor Lyme disease by using the mice as couriers. The insecticide is safe for humans and animals, but kills the ticks quickly and efficiently. The insecticide used to treat the cotton is a mild, plant-derived insecticide.  Tick Tubes have been proven to reduce the chances of coming into contact with a tick infected with Lyme disease by up to 90%. This innovative tick abatement product presents a win/win answer for us and the mice. The mice get help building their nests and we reduce our chances of coming into contact with this tick-borne illness on our property.

tick-tubes

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

Here is a breakdown on how it works. Mosquito Squad places these tubes at random throughout the areas on your property where mice frequent. The mouse find the tick tube, and along with being a happy mouse for finding great bedding for her winter’s nest, she carries the treated cotton within the tube back and starts building. The young deer tick feed on the mice, this is part of the evolution of Lyme disease. The treated cotton in the nest and around the mouse breaks the chain of disease before it can infect a human because once exposed to the insecticide treated cotton, the tick perishes.

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracks

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracks

Mosquito Squad uses these innovative tick tubes within their tick abatement program. Contact Mosquito Squad to learn more. Using tick tubes will keep the mice happy, and will give you peace of mind against tick-borne illnesses and disease. 804.353.6999 • info@mosquitosquad.com

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Now you see them, then you won’t. Tick biting – a cautionary tale.

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Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad-waging the war on ticks and tick-borne illness and disease.

Chances are, in your neck of the woods, the ticks that are biting right now are the larger adult ticks which are easily detected because they are bigger, more visible, and we are more apt to feel their presence than that of a smaller tick. Just because the ticks are in their adult cycle of life among most areas of the country does not mean we are “out of the woods”, so to speak, when it comes to the dangers of tick-borne illnesses and disease.

Small tick on finger

The nymph tick is small and harder to detect than adult ticks.

The life cycle of the tick is quite complex. The female tick lays her eggs within her environment. A female tick can lay up to 22,000 eggs at a time. Then the eggs will hatch and the offspring will seek their first meal of blood. This is the larval stage.  Once a host for their “dinner party” has been found they will feed for several days then drop off the host to begin to digest its meal. After a few weeks the larva will  molt  and become nymphal ticks. These are the ticks that are highly prevalent during the spring. Small in size, and hard to detect on your body. These nymph ticks will continue to seek hosts to feed from and continue to molt until they reach adulthood, getting larger each time they molt, then as mother nature surely predicts they will also breed and lay eggs and the circle of life continues. Some species of ticks can live up to two years.

Ticks are less likely to be detected while in their nymph stage, which happens during the  spring. During the nymph stage of the tick’s life cycle, they are still able to feed and spread disease and can be as small as a pin dot, and quite difficult to detect.

In the unique and complex connection that is required for a deer tick to ultimately bite and infect a human with Lyme disease, it all begins with a mouse or rodent to facilitate the chain. A little known fact is that rodent nesting season is happening right now. This includes the white footed mouse, and other rodents that are responsible for aiding in the spread of ticks which carry Lyme disease.  The deer tick that is the vector for Lyme disease which feeds off the rodent and is carried  back to the rodent’s  nest, whereas this begins the cycle of tick to animal or human contact to feed and possibly spread dangerous and debilitating Lyme disease as well.

tick-tubes

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

Mosquito Squad is instituting the use of tick tubes to fight ticks at their source to prevent Lyme disease as well as cutting down on the tick population that will ultimately affect us during the upcoming spring that lies only months away. Tick Tubes are small tubes that are filled with cotton which has been treated with a tick-killing insecticide which is safe for humans and animals, including mice, but kills the tick. The mice transfer the cotton from these tick tubes to use as bedding material within their winter nest’s and the treated cotton will kill ticks within the nest and on the mouse itself. It is a win/win situation. The mice get a fluffy nest for their young, and the ticks are killed, which helps reduce the chances of a tick infecting us with Lyme disease. Tick tubes have been found to reduce the chances of being bitten by a tick that could be a potential carrier of Lyme disease by up to 90% according to a tick tube study conducted on Fire Island, N.Y.

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracks

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracks

The effective use of tick tubes as part of our tick abatement program which includes our safe and effective barrier sprays designed to kill ticks on contact, used in conjunction with tick tubes give you maximum tick protection and peace of mind in an uncertain world. Contact Mosquito Squad to learn more 804.353.6999 • info@mosquitosquad.com

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Even superb athletes like Christine Rampone can fall victim to Lyme disease

Dread Skeeter Mosquito Control

Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad

With more and more cases of Lyme disease being reported every day around the country your first assumption is that those becoming infected are among those who are vulnerable. We tend to view the vulnerable as the elderly, the very young and those whose immune and health have already been compromised by a past illness. When it comes to Lyme disease we are all vulnerable. The only prerequisite for becoming infected with Lyme disease is being bitten by the wrong tick, the tick that is carrying this disease. Lyme disease can affect healthy, vibrant and active individuals, even athletes, whom are regarding as some of the most physically fit and strong in our society.

Case in point, Christine Rampone is a healthy, vibrant, 36-year old mother of two who also happens to be the captain of the U.S. women’s soccer team. Did I mention Christine has Lyme disease? Christine is the teams oldest member but in spite of that she has the number one fitness level on her team of 21 players.  Some would say  she is the “poster girl” for physical fitness. Bearing that in mind, how could someone of Christine’s physique, stamina and health become infected with Lyme disease? Lyme disease doesn’t discriminate, because ticks choose their prey at random, sometimes it is as simple as being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Lyme disease is a sometimes debilitating inflammatory disease that is spread through the bite of a tick carrying the bacteria which causes the disease. Lyme disease can cause fever, fatigue, muscle pain, stiffness in the neck area, headaches and sometimes a bulls-eye rash at the site of the bite. These are the first line of symptoms that usually caus individuals to stand up and take notice that something is wrong. In Christine’s case she started to notice she was exhausted last year, and in December she decided to have it checked out. She underwent testing and was diagnosed with Lyme disease shortly thereafter. Christine still continued to train during this period, because she had to do what needed to be done, despite suffering from the disease. She has been on medication to treat the disease and despite her share of bad days, she forges on. She is starting to feel better, but her numbers are still the same. Anyone who follows soccer knows just what an unbelievable player Christine is. She is one tough cookie and inspiration to us all.

If Lyme disease is left untreated and undiagnosed for a significant amount of time it can affect the heart, brain and joints of the sufferer. If caught early Lyme disease responds to antibiotics in most cases very well. When the disease is left untreated for a period of time it can turn into Chronic Persistent Lyme disease and can affect the skin, muscles, cartilage, brain and nervous system of the sufferer. Patients who suffer from the disease in it’s Chronic form have suffered for years and many lives have been impacted by this horrible disease.

Small tick on finger

Even the tiniest ticks can be carrying a deadly tick-borne disease

Your first line of defense is to decrease the chances of being bitten by a tick. People with active lifestyles  often spend a great deal of time outdoors. Preventing the tick bite is key to avoiding infection. You can reduce the chances of coming into contact with a tick by wearing light-colored clothing when enjoying outdoor activities, this makes it easier to spot and remove the tick before it has a chance to bite. Frequent checks of yourself, your family and your pets. Keeping your yard and property free of debris, high grass or brush,having your property treated by a licensed professional and  making certain to shower in a timely fashion after any outdoor activities. The most important thing is to also report any changes in your health as soon as you notice them, time is of the essence when diagnosing and treating Lyme disease.

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Mosquito Squad spraying your yard to guard against ticks and tick-borne illness

Mosquito Squad offers tick control with our safe and effective barrier sprays which are applied at scheduled intervals throughout the tick season. Our barrier spray will kill ticks on contact. Mosquito Squad also uses tick-tubes to prevent deer ticks, which carry Lyme disease. These tick tubes kill the tick at its source before it has a chance to spread infection through its bite.

Take heed that ticks choose their prey at random. When Lyme disease moves into the world of our beloved sports celebrities, whom are at the peak of health, it is proof positive we are all at risk for this and other deadly tick-borne diseases. To find out more about tick control, abatement  and prevention contact Mosquito Squad today. 877-667-7823 or http://www.mosquitosquad.com/

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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.

Mosquito_Squad_spraying_your_yard

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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Lyme disease cases increased 77% over a recent two-year span

According to this article, Lyme disease is spreading rampantly and is now found in 49 US States.

Kill ticks“Dr. Harriet Kotsoris, neurologist and medical advisor for Time for Lyme, a research, education, and advocacy group based in Greenwich, CT. “It is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States and has been documented in 49 states.”

Dr. Kotsoris also notes that Lyme Disease is wildly under-reported for many reasons. First, only a couple of tests are recognized to report a case. These tests can have a large number of false positives. Another reason the cases are under-reported is that the symptoms for Lyme disease are so similar to the symptoms for other diseases. Also, because people are trained to look for the “bull’s eye” rash, many people miss a tick bite waiting for that rash that doesn’t happen in every case.

Dread Skeeter against Lyme Disease

Dread Skeeter against Lyme Disease

What are some of the ramifications of this? Since the disease is under-reported, it’s therefore under-funded. People should be trained to look for and recognize the symptoms in order to correctly and concretely diagnose and confirm a Lyme case. According to the CDC, the symptoms include fatigue, chills, fever, headache, and muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. This list does look very similar to the symptoms for the common flu. If you have these symptoms and they persist, you may want to ask your doctor about the possibility of Lyme disease.

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