Posts Tagged west nile

Do Mosquitoes Transmit Ebola?

Unless you’ve stayed away from all news for the last few weeks (and who really can do that), you’ve heard about the current Ebola epidemic in Africa and cases in the U.S. Ebola is a life threatening disease that currently doesn’t have a vaccine to fight it. One question we’ve been asked recently is can mosquitoes, who transmit numerous disease worldwide, infect people with Ebola?

In short, the answer is no.

2bMosquitoes aren’t born with malaria, yellow fever, chikungunya, dengue fever or other mosquito-borne disease. Female mosquitoes become carriers of those diseases after feeding on a person or animal already infected (only females suck blood). Because mosquitoes don’t go person to person biting, the disease has to survive a complicated digestion process to be passed on.

The reason female mosquitoes require blood is to create eggs. A female mosquito will take in enough blood to properly nourish her eggs and then go and digest. After laying her eggs, she will then require more blood. For her to infect a human with the disease, the viral strands need to stay in the gut and migrate into the mosquito’s saliva. The mosquito injects saliva into its victims as they bite. In the case of malaria, it evolves in the mosquito before getting into the saliva.

Right now, Ebola cannot make its way into the mosquito saliva. And until it can, mosquitoes cannot transmit Ebola.

Despite not playing an active role in the spread of Ebola, mosquitoes are still the most dangerous animal on the planet, killing over 700,000 people each year. They kill approximately 600,000 by infecting them with malaria. While malaria isn’t a threat in the United States, mosquitoes still transmit west nile, dengue fever and chikungunya domestically.

At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients by greatly reducing their property’s mosquito population with our mosquito control services. Our trained applicators visit our clients’ properties every 2-3 weeks and spray the areas where mosquitoes are most likely to feed and live, like bushes and trees. The spray eliminates mosquitoes on contact as well as settles on the vegetation. When a mosquito then goes to feed on a leaf, it will ingest the product.

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

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Chikungunya Confirmed in more States

The newest vector-borne disease in the news and spreading rapidly in the Caribbean, Chikungunya, has now been confirmed in Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. It’s believed that all patients contracted the disease while travelling abroad, but is a U.S. outbreak possible?

178503521The Centers for Disease Control has been vigilantly watching the disease and is concerned about the possibility of it spreading. Historically, around 25 Americans come back to the States each year after having been infected abroad. The current outbreak in Caribbean is what is cause for concern as it’s a haven for American tourists. If more travelers bring Chikungunya back to the U.S, the likelihood of an outbreak here increases.

West Nile was first brought into the United States by travellers before an outbreak occurred domestically.

Not all mosquito species can carry and transmit chikungunya. The Aedes mosquitoes are virus carrying and are known to transmit chikungunya, eastern equine encephalitis, West Nile, and dengue fever. They also happen to be present in all continents except Antarctica.

Chikungunya is typically not fatal, but symptoms can be uncomfortable and serious. Symptoms begin within 12 days of infection and include fever, joint pain and rashes. Recovery from the disease varies widely based on age, with elderly patients sometimes suffering for 2-3 months.

Protecting yourself from mosquitoes is the best way to protect yourself from mosquito-borne illness. At Mosquito Squad, we urge homeowners to remove any standing water on their properties to reduce the ability for mosquitoes to reproduce. Additionally, we protect our clients’ yards with professional mosquito control. Our trained technicians come to the property every 2-3 weeks to apply a mosquito spray that eliminates mosquitoes on contact and provides continuous protection. Clients can expect a 85-90% reduction in their property’s mosquito population.

If you have questions on how to protect yourself from mosquito and tick-borne diseases, 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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The vicious cycle of West Nile Virus from the beginning to the end

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Mosquito Squad wants you to learn the facts about West Nile Virus."

As many of you already know West Nile Virus is a virus spread to humans and animals through the bite of a mosquito that has become infected with the virus through feeding off an infected bird.  The question is how does the infected bird become infected with West Nile in the first place?

The cycle of West Nile begins with a mosquito which transmits  the virus to a bird by way of the mosquito feeding from the bird, once the bird has become infected it serves as an amplifying host by developing levels of the virus that are sufficient enough to promote infection to other biting mosquitoes and thus pass it on to us  and other birds and animals through the bite of the infected mosquito that fed from the bird, which was already initially infected by a mosquito to begin with. Although quite confusing, the cycle is also complex, naming the mosquito the guilty party where all aspects of infection from West Nile are concerned. This vicious cycle carries out over and over again and amplifies the disease in birds. The disease was first identified in Uganda in  1937 and  since then has been commonly identified in the Middle eastern regions of the world, Africa and Western Asia. The virus had not been identified in the U.S. until an outbreak in New York in September, 1999. Since the New York outbreak more than 30,000 people have been reported with the virus and out of those 1,200 have perished from the virus. As of 2011 46 states have reported outbreaks of West Nile.

Blue Jays and crows are more likely to die from West Nile Virus than other birds.

Blue Jays and crows are more likely to die from West Nile Virus than other birds.

Many types of birds are likely to be infected with the West Nile Virus, but studies have shown that crows and blue jays are more likely to perish from the infection. In the 1999 New York area West Nile epidemic there was a huge die off of crows from the disease. Since this occurrence more than 200 species of birds found dead in the United States have tested positive for the virus. There is a detailed species list available through the CDC website that identifies the infected birds mortality rate from 1999 to present. You may visit here to view the list  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/birdspecies.htm The identification of these species were reported thanks to the help of the public reporting cases of dead birds to their state and local health departments whom is responsible for collection and testing of dead birds all across the US.

Mosquito

The root of the West Nile epidemic lies in the mosquito.

Birds serve as vectors, or intermediate carriers for the disease from the minute the infected mosquito bites them. In many cases sick birds won’t show any sign of the virus and in other cases birds can just fall out of the sky dead from the virus. When a human becomes infected with the virus it can take on three forms, one of which is an asymptomatic  infection, the second is West Nile fever which is a mild febrile syndrome and the third is the most severe form of the virus which is called West Nile meningitis and West Nile encephalitis. Meningitis and encephalitis are neuroinvasive disorders which causes acute swelling of the membrane and lining of the brain and the brain itself.

Since there is no immunization for protecting us from West Nile the best way to lessen the chances of becoming infected with the virus is to minimize the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Taking control of your property is key to controlling mosquito populations.

Here are some helpful hints to keep mosquitoes away…

  • Keep your property mowed and free of debris and brush piles.
  • Keep your bushes and plantings trimmed, tidy and avoid letting them get overgrown
  • Make sure gutters and downspouts are free of debris that might cause moisture to collect
  • Tip, toss out and turn over outdoor items that are not in use or those that may serve as reservoirs for moisture
  • Check screened areas for rips or tears frequently and repair immediately to avoid mosquitoes from entering your home
  • Frequently dump and refill bird baths or other areas where water can stand and serve as a place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs
  • Have you property treated by a licensed professionall to kill and control mosquitoes
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Mosquito Squad can help you take control of your property and keep it mosquito free.

Mosquito Squad is dedicated to keeping you and your family safe from mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus. Our safe and effective barrier spray , as well as out mosquito misting systems offer you outstanding mosquito control. Contact us today to learn more at 877-667-7823

804.353.6999 • info@mosquitosquad.com

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Irene’s next punch will be mosquitoes breeding rapidly. Read more.

Dread Skeeter Mosquito Control

Dread Skeeter of Mosquito Squad

Most of the areas ravaged by  hurricane Irene are sunny and clear today with only the damage and aftermath leaving residents all the way up the East Coast left to pick up the pieces. This recent hurricane ravaged areas of the U.S. from North Carolina, traveling as far up the coast as New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. At the height of the hurricane’s fevered pitch it reached category 3 status leaving damage, flooding and swollen lakes and rivers in its wake. The Atlantic hurricane season,  according to the Hurricane Research Division of the U.S.  Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  runs from June 1st to November 30th each year. Hurricanes such as Irene that actually touch down in populated areas actually cause more danger than just that of damage to homes and businesses. With any hurricane of this magnitude areas affected will experience a tremendous amount of rain, which leads to flooding, and mass amounts of water left standing. This standing water left behind by the rains from Hurricane Irene, plus the fact that we are in the height of mosquito season all add up to a terrible recipe.

The waters left behind, including riverbeds, swollen creeks, road ditches, water filled remnants of storm debris, and damaged building materials can all become a perfect refuge for mosquitoes to populate. Mosquitoes can lay hundreds of eggs in tiny vessels and containers, soda bottle tops for example can contain hundreds of mosquito eggs. When you put this into the perspective of damage and debris left behind on the scale of a hurricane, this can mean big trouble for residents of areas hardest hit by Irene. Mosquito Squad asks homeowners to act now in preventing the inevitable scourge of mosquitoes from affecting your property and thus putting you and your family at risk for mosquito-borne illness and diseases such as West Nile Virus, encephalitis and meningitis.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Irene might only be the first major storm since hurricane season is in full swing. The National Weather Service is carefully watching tropical storm Katia at this very moment and is likely to become a hurricane sometime tonight.

South Florida Wary As Hurricane Irene Churns Towards U.S.

South Florida Wary As Hurricane Irene Churns Towards U.S.

In a recent story covered by CNN Money , Micheal Ritchie, owner of Mosquito Squad of the Crystal Coast headquartered in Swansboro, N.C. says he is expecting a spike in business due to Hurricane Irene. You can read the full article by going here http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/29/smallbusiness/hurricane_irene_small_business_recovery/index.htm.

The threat doesn’t end here, residents all along the East Coast should take preventative measures to make sure mosquitoes don’t take over their property.  The first step is getting any debris cleaned that may fall prey to breeding mosquitoes, this could be fallen trees, strewn shingles, and trash, just to name a few. Ensuring all areas of you home, even if they are damaged are boarded up, secured  or repaired  as soon as feasible to keep mosquitoes from entering the home. Have your property treated by a licensed professional to kill the mosquitoes which are present and prevents and controls any further infestation.

Mosquito Squad is Americas most trusted mosquito and tick control and prevention company. Chances are there is a Mosquito Squad franchise in your town. Our safe and effective barrier sprays kills mosquitoes and prevent further infestation for up to 21 days. We also offer other mosquito and tick control programs to help you win the fight against mosquitoes. Even amongst the fury of mother nature’s wrath Mosquito Squad can offer you safety from dangerous mosquitoes, as well as peach of mind.

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead Mosquito Squad is America's leading mosquito control company and offers safe and effective solutions for your mosquito problems. From just wanting a mosquito-free backyard for your family to enjoy and not worry about mosquitoes to protecting your yard from the onslaught of a mosquito population as a result of a hurricane. Our mosquito Barrier sprays are safe and effective, and each spray has a residual of up to 21 days. Contact Mosquito Squad to learn more about this and all the other mosquito and tick control programs we offer. Even in times of mother natures fury, Mosquito Squad can give you a little peace of mind.

Contact Mosquito Squad today to get your property in check for the wet weather that hurricane season can bring. 877-677-7823 or email us at  info@mosquitosquad.com

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West Nile Virus can turn into a dangerous neuroinvasive disease, with lasting effects.

Mosquito

This little mosquito is responsible for much disease and devastation worldwide than one could ever imagine.

The mosquito-borne illness West Nile virus is a serious concern again this summer all across the country. What you may not know is that according to the CDC ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) one out of 150 people infected with West Nile Virus will develop a more severe form of the disease. This includes development of West Nile Encephalitis, West Nile Meningitis and West Nile Fever.

West Nile Encephalitis and meningitis are closely related to St. Louis Encephalitis, which is also seen here in the US. West Nile Encephalitis is commonly seen in Western Asia, throughout the Middle East and in Africa. It can infect  mosquitoes, humans, horses, birds and other mammals. Scientists believe West Nile Virus which can lead to West Nile Encephalitis  has been in the US since approximately 1999.

West Nile Fever is an asymptomatic outcome to contracting West Nile Virus and can have symptoms that range from fever, chills, and sweats to a stiff neck, swollen lymph nodes and a rash. West Nile fever portrays symptoms that closely mimic those of the annual flu here within the US. For that very reason, many cases go unreported and misdiagnosed. Symptoms of West Nile fever usually resolve within 7-10 days ( much like the flu) but the fatigue and swollen lymph nodes can persist for up to two months.

Photo of West Nile Virus under a microscope

Photo of West Nile Virus under a microscope

The more serious  neuroinvasive diseases , like West Nile Encephalitis and Meningitis,  can attack the nervous system of those infected.  The typical incubation period of West Nile Virus is usually between 2 to 15 days. In cases where West Nile turns into a neuroinvasive disease such as West Nile Encephalitis or West Nile Meningitis symptoms can last for months and leave  permanent neurological damage.

Encephalides , such as West Nile Encephalitis cause an inflammation of the brain. Meningitis affects the membrane surrounding the brain as well as the spinal cord by causing both to swell. These two diseases can be life threatening in the elderly and those with compromised systems. Symptoms of West Nile Encephalitis and West Nile Meningitis include a high fever, severe headache, disorientation, tremors, convulsions and even coma. An individual that displays any of these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

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Mosquito Squad spraying your yard to guard against mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile.

Although there is no vaccine or specific treatment for West Nile Virus, precautions can be taken to minimize your risk of contracting West Nile or one of the neuroinvasive counterparts of the illness. The first and foremost step is protecting yourself from the source of the illness- the mosquito. Complete avoidance of areas where mosquitoes could be present is not realistic, but keeping the area you spend the most time in and around, which is usually your home and yard mosquito-free is within the grasp of reality. Taking control of your own property is by far the best defense against being bitten by a potential disease carrying mosquito. Keeping your property in your control, and not letting mosquitoes get the upper hand is easier than you may think.

The first weapon in taking control of your yard is to eliminate all areas where mosquitoes can breed and flourish, this includes any open containers which can harbor moisture, cleaning up debris piles, keeping your gutters clean and free of debris and keeping your lawn cut and trimmed. If your home contains screened areas, whether it is a porch or windows, regular inspections to make sure there are no rips, tears or separated screens is vital to ensure mosquitoes do not enter your living areas. Having your property treated by a licensed professional is also an important step to maintain a mosquito free residence and property.

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Mosquito Squad can also help you take control of your property by the convenience of their season-long mosquito control. We can apply our safe and effective barrier sprays to kill and prevent mosquitoes from entering the treated premises at regular scheduled intervals throughout the mosquito season. These scheduled sprayings ensure you are receiving the utmost mosquito control available. Mosquito Squad also offers an automatic mosquito misting system that is installed on your property and emits timed sprayings throughout the day. You can contact Mosquito Squad to learn more about their worry free and convenient mosquito preventives and deterrents  which ensure your safety and give you peace of mind.

Contact Mosquito Squad at 804.353.6999 • info@mosquitosquad.com and put an end to the battle each summer against mosquitoes, ticks and the diseases they carry.

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Scientists Study Sterile Mosquitoes to Fight Disease

We all know that mosquitoes are annoying. They bite for just a few seconds and we may itch for days. Not only are they irritating, but they can also be dangerous. Mosquitoes can carry many diseases, including Malaria, West Nile, and Dengue Fever and transmit them through bites. With insect-borne diseases on the rise around the world, scientists are looking for ways to decrease the number of bugs carrying the illnesses. I found a Wellcome Trust article on a unique method.

Scientists at Oxford based company Oxitect Ltd. are now sterilizing mosquitoes:

“These mosquitoes, which do not bite or spread disease, are then released to mate with wild females. No viable offspring can result from these matings and as a result, the mosquito population is reduced below the threshold level that is required to transmit the disease.” – Click here to see the entire article.

As odd as this first sounded to me, the potential is huge. If scientists could sterilize enough mosquitoes to release in largely impacted areas, it could help a ton of people. Until that day occurs though, I’m going to depend on good ole Dread Skeeter to protect me and my family.

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