Posts Tagged tick treatments

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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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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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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Sochi Hopeful Returns to Skiing After Battle with Lyme disease

Washington native Angeli VanLaanen turned pro in 2005. A freeskiier, VanLaanen quickly got the reputation for not living up to the pressure of professional competition, mentally unprepared for the pressure. Even she believed it visiting sports psychologists to help with the problem. In reality, she was battling a disease that she was unaware she even had.

VanLaanen now knows that she’s had Lyme disease for the last 14 years, but wasn’t diagnosed until three years ago. Athletes train so hard that it isn’t surprising that she didn’t regard the fatigue and pain as a serious health issue. Through the years, VanLaanen experienced a number of symptoms including fatigue, muscle spasms, joint pain, vertigo, and back and neck pain.

When it came to skiing, Lyme disease wouldn’t affect VanLaanen’s runs one day, but be debilitating the next. She would sometimes develop vertigo, for instance, in the middle of a run down the hill.

Not sure what was wrong with her, Angeli’s aunt urged her to get tested for Lyme after watching “Under Our Skin,” a documentary covering the disease. She did, and the test came back positive.

While Lyme, if caught early, is easily treatable with antibiotics, the longer a person has it, the more difficult it can become to treat. Some people have lasting effects and will not recover completely. To return to skiing, VanLaanen had to change her very active lifestyle completely. She changed her diet and took antibiotics for two years before having an IV for treatment for six months, for four to six hours a day.

While she was unable to ski, VanLaanen created a documentary following her struggles, entitled “LymeLight.” The film has been featured at Harvard and Stanford.

Two years ago doctors told VanLaanen that she was in remission and could once again compete in the sport she loves so dearly. We at Mosquito Squad wish Angeli VanLaanen the best of luck as trains to qualify for team USA in the 2014 Olympics.

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracksLyme disease is often referred to as a silent killer because of its symptoms. In many cases the symptoms are the same as you would have with something like the flu and often goes undiagnosed as a result. Checking for ticks and being vigilant in the seasons when ticks are most active is the best way to fight Lyme disease.

When it comes to protecting yourself from Lyme at home, professional and effective tick control is one way to do it. At Mosquito Squad, we use a combination of a spray and tick tubes to decrease the tick population on your property. If you have questions regarding spraying for ticks, please contact your local Mosquito Squad location.

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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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