Category Archives: Mosquito illnesses

The Dangers of Biting Insects

Spending time out in nature is one of the best things about the spring, summer, and fall months. For New Englanders who must endure long, sometimes brutally cold, winter weather, these months come as a gift from Mother Nature. There is nothing like enjoying the salty sea air along the coast, or the cool air of one of the hiking trails in the many conservation lands in our area. Unfortunately, being outdoors means the possibility of being bitten by one of the many biting insects that make their habitat in our region. What are the potential dangers of these biting insects and what can you do to prevent bites as you enjoy the great outdoors?

 

  • Mosquitoes – These annoying buggers can ruin any day when you are being swarmed and bitten. The dangers of mosquitoes lie not in the bite itself but, rather, in the diseases that can be spread in saliva of the insect. Mosquitoes can transmit Eastern Equine Encephalitis or, most well known, West Nile Virus. West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness that is carried from infected birds to humans via mosquitoes. Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare illness in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the United States each year. EEE can progress from flu-like symptoms to seizures, coma, and even death.

 

  • Ticks – Ticks in our area are known to carry Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is a multisystem inflammatory disease that affects the skin (a bullseye rash) in its early, localized stage, and then may spread to the joints, nervous system and, to a lesser extent, other organ systems in its later, disseminated stages.

Want more information about the dangers of biting insects and how to protect yourself? Visit our website or call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733.

Mosquito-Proof Your Yard

Nothing can ruin a day of gardening, playing, or entertaining quite like the annoyance of mosquitoes. They buzz in your ear, bite your ankles and cause welts that itch like crazy! Not only are these little pests a nuisance, but they can also be dangerous as they can carry and transmit diseases. Zika, West Nile Virus, and a list of other mosquito-borne diseases carried by these pests can make humans very ill and, in some cases, can be fatal. Here are a few tips to mosquito-proof your yard this year so you can enjoy it for what it was intended.

 

  • Remove Breeding Sites – For a typical yard this means removing all sources of standing water around your yard, whether it is a pet bowl, an upside down frisbee, a kiddie pool, or a spare tire hidden behind the shed. Fix leaky hoses, properly store pool covers, and clean out gutters that may harbor a hidden breeding location.
  • Keep your Lawn Well-Manicured – Long grass is a great place for mosquitoes to get out of the sun. Keeping your grass short and yard well-maintained is essential to mosquito control.
  • Treat your Yard – Many homeowners are turning to mosquito treatments, especially along fence/property lines and along foundations. Talk to our experts at Pro-Tech Lawn Care to see how this could benefit your family.
  • Avoid Peak Hours – Mosquitoes tend to be most active at dawn and dusk. The lack of wind, sunlight, and heat makes this an ideal time for feeding. If you must be out during this time, wear lightweight long sleeved/pant clothing and protect yourself with Permethrin on clothing and DEET on skin.
  • Encourage Neighbors to Get Onboard – If your yard is mosquito-proofed and your close neighbor is not then your efforts may not work. So get your neighbors on board and help them create a mosquito-free zone as much as possible.

 

Need help making your yard mosquito-proof? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

When to Worry About Ticks and Mosquitoes

Every summer we hear the warnings about disease-spreading pests like ticks and mosquitoes. If you are like most people, you probably don’t start worrying about these pests until you find a tick crawling on you or you get bit by a mosquito. We are here to remind you that these pests are not just annoying, but can carry disease and should be taken seriously. While most of us equate these pests with the heat of summer, they can, and do, emerge in the early spring months.

When to Worry About Ticks and Mosquitoes

Don’t be lulled into complacency when it comes to protecting yourself from these pests. Early May is usually when New Englanders begin noticing mosquitoes exposing themselves at dawn and dusk, and then eventually all day long. As for ticks, April to September are the most active time for them to emerge and become problematic. However, many ticks emerge as early as March when a quick warm up occurs.

What To Do

Just as you would during the peak of tick and mosquito months, take some simple precautions to avoid these biting pests.

  • Apply proper insect repellant to clothes and skin when necessary. Just because it is spring doesn’t mean that they are not carrying disease.
  • Take precautions like wearing long sleeves, long pants, and socks when heading into the woods.
  • Avoid being out during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are at their worst.
  • Keep standing water away from your property where mosquitoes reproduce.
  • Check everyone for ticks after spending time outside. Take a shower to attempt to wash away ticks that have not bitten you yet.
  • Put dry clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks.

Visit our blog again in the coming months as we will keep you updated on tick- and mosquito-borne disease and how you can prevent them. Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

Mosquito-borne Diseases – A Year in Review

Now that mosquito season is over and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has collected the data, it is time for a review of 2017 and the latest on diseases spread via mosquitoes. According to the World Health Organization, “Of all disease-transmitting insects, the mosquito is the greatest menace, spreading malaria, dengue and yellow fevers, which together are responsible for several million deaths and hundreds of millions of cases every year.” Different regions are impacted by different mosquito-borne diseases depending on climate, the types of mosquitoes common in the region, and access to preventative measures and medicine. In our region of the United States there are specific mosquito-borne diseases to be concerned with including West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

 

West Nile Virus – The CDC reports that the most common way the West Nile virus is transmitted is by mosquito bite. Most people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. About 1-in-5 people who are infected will develop a fever and other symptoms. Fewer than 1% of those infected develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness. To see an interactive map of the areas most hit by West Nile click here. The CDC has compiled data for the past several decades to compare the spread and statistical data associated with the disease.

 

Eastern Equine Encephalitis – is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare illness in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the United States each year. Most cases occur in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states (see map).

 

Check back with our blog in the spring as we will continue to cover outbreaks and locations. Our blog will also have the latest on treatment and prevention techniques. As always, if you have any questions call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

Protection from Mosquitoes

Last month we discussed the many mosquito-born illnesses that pose a threat to humans during the warm summer months and well into the fall. This month, we are discussing some common sense methods to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquitoes in order to not only avoid the itchy bumps of their bite, but also to protect yourself from diseases and viruses. Here are a few methods that you should make a regular part of your family’s routine to protect yourselves from mosquito bites.

 

  • Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care about yard treatment plans to reduce and in some cases eliminate mosquitoes from your area.
  • Wear mosquito repellent.  We recommend repellents containing 30% to 50% DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) for adults and children over 2 months of age. We also recommend repellents containing up to 15% picaridin, which must be applied often.
  • Dress for protection. Clothing that are light colored and cover all parts of your skin is preferred. Many people choose, even in the heat of the summer, to wear lightweight long sleeves and long pants to avoid bites. Repellents or insecticides, such as permethrin, can be applied to clothing and gear for added protection. The more skin that is exposed to a bite, the greater the possibility of getting a bite.
  • Be aware of time. According to the Centers for Disease Control, mosquitoes may bite at any time of day, peak biting activity for vectors of some diseases (such as dengue and chikungunya) is during daylight hours. Vectors of other diseases (such as malaria) are most active in twilight periods (dawn and dusk) or in the evening after dark.

 

If you want more information about mosquitoes in your area, call Pro-Tech Lawn Care to discuss treatment methods.

Mosquito Born Illnesses

Mosquito born illnesses have been highlighted in the news prominently over the past year since the fear of the Zika Virus last year brought the issue to the forefront. The New England region sees its fair share of mosquito illnesses with two in particular that are concerning.

Mosquitoes in our region can spread to both the West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). People can get WNV or EEE when an infected mosquito bites them. Mosquitoes get these diseases by biting infected birds, but people cannot get WNV or EEE from birds. Most people bitten by infected mosquitoes experience no symptoms or mild symptoms, but some can develop serious disease.

 

  • West Nile Virus – Most people (70-80%) who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).The symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis. (Source: Centers for Disease Control)
  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis – Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare illness in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the United States each year. Systemic infection has an abrupt onset and is characterized by chills, fever, malaise, arthralgia, and myalgia. The illness lasts 1 to 2 weeks, and recovery is complete when there is no central nervous system involvement. Unfortunately, approximately a third of all people with EEE die from the disease.

 

In our past blogs we have discusses taking precautions against being bitten including: using repellent, dressing in light clothing that covers your arms and legs, and avoiding being outdoors during the peak times of of dawn and dusk. Pro-Tech Lawn Care also recommends having your yard treated for mosquitoes that could carry these illnesses.

 

Are Mosquitoes Feasting on you?

Every year, a memo has gone out to the mosquitoes that I am outside and  ready to be eaten alive! It is like I am an “all you can eat buffet” for these pests.  Do you feel the same way? If you are also a feast for mosquitoes, here are a few tips to stop the madness and avoid those itchy bites this mosquito season.

 

  • Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care to discuss treatment options for your backyard and surrounding property. This program includes monthly treatments throughout the active season for ticks, mosquitoes and other flying insects. This comprehensive program is designed to provide your property with maximum protection.
  • Dress for Protection – Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors so wear light tones and cover arms and legs when possible. Long loose fitting shirts and pants can be helpful in deterring a mosquito from landing on our skin.
  • Evaluate your Yard – If you have standing water do whatever you can to rid your yard of it including children’s toy pails, pools and other items. This is where mosquitoes breed so do yourself a favor and prevent the breeding from occurring on your property.
  • Avoid Peak Times – Dawn and dusk are peak mosquito times, so avoid being outside at those times if at all possible.
  • Avoid Sweat and CO2 – Obviously we all have to breath out to survive, but try to stay indoors immediately after exercising for two reasons. One is that expulsion of CO2 attracts mosquitoes and heat and sweat also can be a magnet for these pests.
  • Personal Protection – If you choose to use a repellant spray to protect yourself and your family choose one that has deet or picaridin.

 

If you are interested in stopping the mosquito feast call Pro-Tech Lawn Care today for treatment options.

Will Zika be a Problem this Spring and Summer?

Last year when Zika, (the virus associated with birth defects and microcephaly), became a clear threat to humans in South America and Central America, scientists used computer models along with the assistance of meteorologists and entomologists to predict where local transmission of Zika in the continental United States was most likely to occur. As of today, the only documented cases of viral transmission from a mosquito to a human in the continental United States have taken place in southern Florida and Brownsville, Texas. That’s precisely what the best models indicated.

 

According to Science Insider, “If history repeats itself, as winter approaches and cold weather reduces populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito—Zika’s main vector—this transmission likely will stop and resurface late next spring.”

 

Does that mean that there will be fewer mosquitoes with the zika virus in the spring or emerge stronger than ever? Tropical mosquito varies, such as the ones carrying the dreaded Zika virus, perish in cold temperatures. Unfortunately, the strains inhabiting the Mid-Columbia are made of sterner stuff. We will all have to wait until the spring weather begins in earnest to see what the results will be. Spring weather plays a bigger role in determining if mosquito eggs hatch and become breeding adults. Mosquito eggs hatch when the temperatures rise. But a warm up followed by another freeze could kill the larvae before they can mature and mate. Or the weather could simply warm up enough to produce hatching and stay that way.

 

The Center for Disease Control still maintains recommendations if traveling into a zika prone area including:

  • Travel information from the CDC including maps and strategies
  • Talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider first, if you must travel to an area with Zika.
  • Prevent mosquito bites, including covering up arms and legs and using EPA-registered insect repellent, which is safe to use during pregnancy.
  • Use latex condoms, the right way, every time or choose not to have any type of sex if the male partner has been in an area with Zika during the pregnancy.

CDC Update on Mosquito-borne Diseases

Mosquitoes are much more than an itchy annoyance while entertaining outdoors. Mosquitoes have the potential to make you really sick. The Centers for Disease Control has instituted the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD) which strives to protect the nation from bacterial and viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) monitor the mosquito-borne diseases by location, transmission and mortality rate.

 

The WHO reports that out of all the disease-transmitting insects, the mosquito is the greatest menace, spreading malaria, dengue and yellow fever, which together are responsible for several million deaths and hundreds of millions of cases every year. One of the most startling statistics is that over 1 million people die from mosquito-borne diseases every year, and hundreds of millions more experience pain and suffering from illnesses transmitted by mosquitoes. Malaria, the most widespread mosquito-borne disease, affects 350-500 million people each year.

 

The CDC reports that there are three main diseases specific to the United States. These include: West Nile Virus (WNV), Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and chikungunya.

 

  • West Nile Virus (WNV): WNV is the most common virus transmitted by mosquitoes to humans in the United States. While most infected people will have no symptoms, roughly one in five will develop symptoms that may include a combination of fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, or swollen lymph nodes. Other symptoms may include a stiff neck, sleepiness, disorientation, or even paralysis. In 2015, 48 out of 50 states reported WNV infections in people, mosquitoes, or birds. In those states, 2,060 cases of WNV were reported in humans, and there were 119 confirmed deaths (5.8%) in 2015.
  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE): EEE is also transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito, but is, fortunately, a rare illness for humans, with only a few cases reported in the United States each year. Although some people infected with EEE have no apparent illness, severe cases of EEE lead to inflammation of the brain, often beginning with a high fever, headaches, and vomiting. The illness will often progress into disorientation, seizures, or coma. EEE is a severe mosquito-transmitted disease, with about a 33% mortality rate.
  • Chikungunya: Traditionally, chikungunya outbreaks have occurred in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Since 2013, chikungunya has been found in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean. Since then, about 1.5 million cases have been reported in the Americas. Symptoms are most often a high fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include muscle pain, joint swelling, and headaches.

Why This is the Year for Mosquito Control

We all know how annoying mosquitoes can be, especially when trying to entertain outdoors or enjoy the patio or garden. But did you know that mosquitoes are not just a nuisance but, also a potential threat to your family’s health and well-being? This year, more than most, mosquitoes have been making headlines in the news and all over the internet.

Mosquito-borne diseases have been under intense scrutiny this year due to a rise in the transmission of the Zika virus in the southern and central Americas.The World Health Organization reports that the virus is an international public health emergency. In addition to Zika, there are other mosquito-borne illnesses closer to home that also pose a threat to your family. The West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE or “Triple E”) are viruses that can cause illness ranging from a mild fever to more serious disease like encephalitis or meningitis. These diseases can be transmitted to your family and pets through a single bite!

In light of these potential illnesses, isn’t it time you consider mounting a counter attack and reclaiming your yard from mosquitoes? Using a canister of insect repellant is a good start but, wouldn’t you like to have peace of mind by hiring a professional to get the job done right?

Why use Pro-Tech?

  • Experts take the guesswork out of when and where to treat the yard. Pro-Tech technicians can put your property on a monthly treatment plan. This will provide maximum protection throughout the active mosquito season from the first buzz till they are gone for the winter.
  • Professionals use the right amount of product and treat in a way that keeps your family safe. Homeowners that try to do-it-themselves tend to go with the “more is better” solution, which may use too much product and cause chemical issues.
  • Experienced technicians may make recommendations on ways to further reduce the pest populations at your property, including eliminating standing water. With decades of education and experience in this area, we can help you understand about the common ways to prevent mosquitoes from being attracted specifically to your yard.
  • The cost savings for your time and effort can be amazing if you truly value your time spent outdoors this spring and summer season.