Posts Tagged tick protection

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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Thankful to Named to Top Franchise Concepts List

The holiday season and end of the year is the best time to reflect on what’s passed and be thankful for what you have. At Mosquito Squad, we’re so happy to be named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2015 list of top franchise concepts and want to thank all those who helped us get here.

Mosquito Squad is the only pest control franchise named to this year’s list and our spot is due to both our clients and our franchisees. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you.

With nine years of mosquito and tick elimination under our belt and 90,000 yards protected, we’re so appreciative of where the business is. With over 160 locations across the U.S. we’re excited to finally be opening locations in Florida and Arkansas in 2015. As our president and founder of Mosquito Squad, Scott Zide, explains: “our ‘Squad’ concept has resonated with consumers and homeowners throughout North America who want to take a proactive stance against the nuisance and diseases that both mosquitoes and ticks bring.”

Again, thank you to all of our clients and franchisees for helping us grow the Mosquito Squad name.

If you are unfamiliar with Mosquito Squad, we’re America’s leading tick and mosquito elimination company. We protect families with our effective yard treatments. Our traditional barrier spray treatment is applied to the areas of the property where mosquitoes are known to feed and live, including around and in bushes and high grasses. The spray will eliminate mosquitoes on contact and provides continuous protection for up to 21 days.

For our tick control service, we combine our barrier spray and tick tube treatments. While the spray eliminates adult ticks on contact, the tick tubes help with nymph ticks before they bite you. Tubes that are filled with treated cotton are placed along fences and foundations and other areas where mice may pass. Most ticks get their first blood meal from mice. The mice take the cotton back to their nests for bedding material and the pesticide that’s on the cotton eliminates the ticks.

If you have questions or want to be more proactive with your mosquito and tick control in 2015, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

And because it’s the season; Happy Holidays from all of us at Mosquito Squad:

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Getting Your Pet Ready for Spring

It's not a post about pets without a picture of Wiley. This big-earred pup can't wait for spring!

It’s not a post about pets without a picture of Wiley. This big-earred pup can’t wait for spring!

Warm spring weather is (hopefully) just around the corner. That means it’s time to move it outdoors and enjoy it! From hiking and walking to trips to the dog park, my furry friend, Wiley, and I spend as much time as we can outdoors when it is nice out. The warm weather doesn’t just bring green grass and flowers, however, it also means biting bugs that can harm people and dogs and cats, like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

Just like humans, our beloved pets are at risk for vector-borne disease.

Fleas are one of the easier pests when it comes to determining their presence. Both dogs and cats are allergic to flea saliva and will scratch and chew when they have fleas. And just one flea can bite nearly 350 times in one day! While it is uncommon, fleas can transmit disease to dogs, cats and humans alike.

When it comes to ticks, your pet isn’t going to let you know that it has one because it doesn’t make them itch as much as flea bites. They may not look like they are being harmed or bothered by anything, but that may not be the case. Ticks transmit Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis dogs. There is even an illnesses called tick paralysis that can harm our four-legged friends.

When it comes to protecting your pets from flea and ticks, it’s about controlling the pests and being vigilant. Talk to your veterinarian about topical medications or collars. Additionally, there are flea and tick treatments for your yard that will help. At Mosquito Squad, our traditional barrier spray eliminates adult ticks on contact. We also have additional applications we use to combat ticks more aggressively as well as fleas. Even when your pet is protected with medication or yard treatments, they should be checked after spending time in areas where ticks and fleas are known to be. For example, Wiley had topical treatments, but still had ticks last year after hiking. If your dog or cat has a tick, remove it using tweezers and place it in a plastic bag in case it is needed for testing. If they have fleas, they will need a flea bath and you will need to check to see if your home needs to be sprayed.

When it comes to mosquitoes, they transmit one of the most dangerous vector-borne diseases for some animals: heartworm.  The roundworm travels to the heart where it matures and grows. If it isn’t treated, heartworm can be fatal. It is highly recommended that animals take a heartworm medication. It should be prescribed after a heartworm test has been done on the animal.

Symptoms of canine heartworm are coughing, not wanting to exercise, fainting and a rapid heartbeat. Feline heartworm symptoms include coughing, vomiting and depression.

Professional mosquito control will also help protect your pets from heartworm by cutting down on your property’s mosquito population. The mosquito spray that we utilize eliminates mosquitoes on contact and provides continued protection for up to 21 days.

If you have questions on how to protect your pets from vector-borne disease, please reach out to 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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Tick Killing Robot to Begin Trials Next Summer

I must admit that I am afraid of ticks (blame it on the job). The idea of a bug burrowing its head into my skin has always freaked me out. Naturally when I saw an article come across my computer screen that said “Tick Killing Robot,” I was intrigued.

Ticks Populations increaseWhen engineering professor, Jim Squire’s daughter was bitten by a tick, he began to look for ways to rid specific areas of the pest. He worked with his colleague David Livingston and tick expert Daniel Sonenshine to create a robot that can kill ticks. Sonenshine suggested that instead of having the robot seek out tick habitats it would be much easier to attract the ticks to the robot.

The idea behind the robot is pretty simple. Ticks are attracted to carbon dioxide. Sonenshine, Livingston and Squire laid tubing that emits carbon dioxide. After the tubing has been able to give off carbon dioxide for 15 minutes, the robot follows the tubing, dragging a piece of cloth behind it that has been treated with a pesticide. The ticks will attach to the cloth, killing them.

Honestly, the idea seemed so simple to me that I didn’t think that it could work, but very early studies look promising. In one lab test, the environment was seeded with 50 ticks. The robot was able to lure in and kill 45 of them on the first swipe. As Livingston says, “we were shocked. We didn’t expect it to be that efficient.”

Results continue to look positive, even after the studies move outdoors. The robot killed almost 100% of the seeded ticks within the designated test area and the area stayed clear of ticks for nearly 18 hours. The next step is to test the robot on residential properties, which will begin next summer. “We’re not eradicating ticks by any means,” says Livingston. “We’re just very surgically eliminating them from a particular area. Once we clean the yard, how long before they come back? If we can keep it clean for a number of days, then it’s going to be a viable product. If they come back overnight, not so much.” Source.

Because of the pesticide applied to the cloth behind the robot, it has to be handled by a licensed professional. We at Mosquito Squad will be paying close attention to the tick killing robot to see if it can outperform our current tick control treatments and if it makes sense to add to our service.

We shared the professors concern about ticks. There are too many species that transmit dangerous disease to humans. Currently, our professional tick control consists of a barrier spray and ticks tubes. Our mosquito barrier spray eliminates adult ticks on contact and will cut down on a property’s tick population greatly. Additionally, for those clients that are worried about ticks, we place tick tubes around their property. The tubes are filled with treated cotton. That cotton attracts mice that  use it for bedding material. Ticks usually get their first blood meal from mice, so by treating their bedding, we are treating their skin (much like a topical dog treatment), killing the ticks (it won’t kill the mice).

If you have questions on ways to get rid of the ticks on your property, please reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Ticks! They’re Everywhere!

I always thought that to have ticks in your yard you had to live in areas with large deer populations (as many deer ticks are carried by and bite deer, hence the name). Well, this year I have been proven wrong. You see, my husband, Drew, and I live in the city of Richmond. Although we have a yard, we are far away from the wooded areas I thought ticks lived and I had never seen a tick in our yard or on our dog. I thought we were safe…

Ticks Populations increase

Tick populations are on the rise, make sure you keep close attention when spending time outdoors

In an effort to help our grass grow and flowers bloom, Drew has been spending more time in our yard watering, trimming etc. (I could say I have been too, but that would be a lie). In our front yard, our hose is located in the shade behind some large azaleas that we have. It’s one of the few places of our yard that gets more shade than sun and holds moisture pretty well. After turning off the hose and before coming inside the other day, what do you think he found crawling up his leg? The dreaded tick! Drew was lucky he was wearing long pants and was able to see and remove the tick before it bit. Since then we’ve been extra careful to check ourselves and our dog when coming in from the outside.

Because of the mild winter that many areas of the country experienced this year, more ticks are expected this spring. And with the increase in the reported cases of Lyme disease, every family should be extra vigilant when spending time outdoors, whether in the woods or sitting on your deck. To help fight the bite, we at Mosquito Squad are happy to offer up our 6 Cs of tick control you can utilize in your yard.

  1. Clear out debris. Debris often accumulates in moist shady areas where ticks thrive (they usually die in sunny dry areas).
  2. Clean. Eliminate leaf litter, brush off sidewalks and mow tall grass to cut down on the places ticks can harbor.
  3. Choose plants that aren’t attractive to deer. In areas where deer are present this is very important because deer will carry ticks right into your yard.
  4. Check hiding places periodically. Ticks like to hide along the base of fences and brick walls.
  5. Care for family pets. Ticks can easy hide in the fur of your pets. If your animals (like our Wiley) spend time in areas where ticks may be present, make sure you apply a topical tick medication.
  6. Call the pros. Mosquito Squad’s tick control eliminates ticks before they can bit and danger your friends and family.

In a year when ticks are expected to be worse than normal, it’s important to be extra careful. Make sure you do a full body check when coming inside and, in the case that you are bitten, remove the ticks properly and place it in a plastic bag in case it needs to be tested for tick-transmitted diseases.

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