Every year the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns Americans about potential dangers of tick borne diseases including notable diseases such as anaplasmosis, babeiosos, ehrlichiosis and Lyme Disease. If you haven’t heard of these diseases, consider yourself lucky. Tick borne illnesses are caused by infections with a variety of pathogens, including rickettsia and other types of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. One tick bite can give people more than one tick-borne disease; this is called a co-infection.
The National Institute for Health and the Centers for Disease Control study and keep statistics on vector borne diseases such as tick and mosquito diseases. They have reported some new trends in this grouping of diseases over the past few decades. Some of their findings include the following statistics and research findings.
- Over the past 20 years there has been a steady increase in the report and transmissions of the four main tick borne diseases mentioned above.
- Lyme Disease continues to be the most prevalent of the four with over 33 thousand cases reported annually. Anaplasmosis ranks second at almost 3 thousand cases while babeiosos and ehrlichiosis come in third and fourth with just over a thousand cases annually.
- Ninety-five percent of the cases of Lyme disease are reported in the northeastern portion of the United States with a cluster in the north central region.
- All four of the main tick borne diseases are geographically expanding from the point of origination. The frequency of tick borne diseases has increased 35 percent in many vectors and has spread from there.
- Most infections of diseases are occurring during the nymphal stage of the life cycle of ticks. The reported cases are corresponding with the nymph feeding time and therefore extreme precautions should be taken during that time. The nymph stage in the life cycle of a tick is extremely small so hosts may not even know they have been bitten.
Did you have a successful garden last year? Were your squash huge and your tomatoes juicy? Or were you plagued by pests throughout the growing season? If garden pests stopped you from reaping a bountiful harvest this year, don’t wait to relive the nightmare again. Plan ahead now so that your pests will have seen their last growing season. As they say in the sports world, the best defense is a good offense, and that means starting in fall and winter to plan against your garden pests.
- Before the first snow make sure you get rid of all the weeds. That may mean getting rid of some of your soil as well. So plan ahead on the amount of new planting soil you will need for the spring. You may want to start an indoor garden in your kitchen or room where you get the most sunlight. Starting early can mean the plantings are strong and mature once they go into the ground and that means they are better able to fight against pests.
- Get soil test done over the winter to find out the health of your soil. The test can tell you your pH level as well as diseases that may be hiding in your soil. If you haven’t done one in a while, take a soil sample and have it tested at your local extension service.
- Contact a pest control company like Pro-Tech Lawn Care who can help you plan in advance for your garden and lawn.
- Design and start putting together a garden fence or surround so that wild animals such as deer, groundhogs, skunks and other creatures can not use your garden as a one-stop-food-store.
- Take inventory of what seeds you will need and plan a calendar of when you will begin planting and harvesting your crop. Sometimes just thinking about your spring crop can fight away those winter blues.
The end of the mowing, trimming and planting season signals the end of weekend chores in the yard. It should also signal a time to carefully clean, organize and safely store lawn equipment for the winter. This may include mowers, trimmers, shovels, hoes, blowers, and garden tools of all types. Caring for lawn equipment now will save you time, energy and, possibly, costly repairs come the spring season. Here are our suggestions to caring for your lawn equipment.
Lawn Mowers –
- Mowers, whether they ride on or push, should be cleaned and serviced before they are stored for the season.
- A mower used at the end of the season needs to be emptied of fuel. If you don’t know how to drain the fuel, see a technician who can help you drain and clean the mower. Allowing it to sit over the winter will cause the ethanol in the gasoline to separate and its other chemical components to degrade.
- Spark plugs should be replaced, air filter cleaned, and mower deck cleaned.
- While the mower is out of commission for the season, take this opportunity to sharpen the blade.
- Store the mower in a dry, safe place such as a shed or garage.
- Use a bucket of warm water and soap to clean each of the tools and dry them thoroughly.
- Store tools in a dry, safe place for the winter.
- Be sure to examine the tools as you clean them to be sure that they are rust free and have no damage.
- Edgers and trimmers should be cleaned, oiled and drained of any fluids.
- Many trimmers have removable blades that should be replaced annually.
- Store trimmers and other hand-held tools in a dry, safe place.
Zika, the mosquito-borne virus, has made the news weekly since mid-2015, when it became a known threat in Brazil. As of mid-2016 the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have declared it an epidemic that threatens South and Central America. Throughout the course of 2016, the outbreak spread to North America when it was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. This concern grew as the virus was linked to birth defects, as well as neurological problems.
Prior to the outbreak this past year, Zika was considered a mild infection, as most Zika virus infections are asymptomatic, making it difficult to determine precise estimates of the number of cases. Zika was known to cause a fever and rash that seemed to go away on its own. It wasn’t until the virus was connected to severe brain deformities, called microcephaly, and other birth defects that it became an alarming disease. Researches indicated that the cause was the bite of an infected mosquito called the Aedes species mosquito. It was also discovered to be spread through sexual contact between an infected partner and a non-infected partner. Zika was also found to be passed through sex, even if the infected person did not have symptoms at the time.
During the course of the last year, travelers, especially pregnant women, were warned about traveling to an area where Zika virus was found. By mid-2016 these areas encompassed almost all of the Northern Central and Southern Americas. Areas of greatest concern were the countries in the northern South America continent such as Brazil.
The CDC put out several warnings that included preventing mosquito bites, avoiding travel in infected areas and having protected sex with a partner who may have been exposed to the virus. By the end of 2016, the WHO announced the end of the Zika epidemic. While both the CDC and WHO have lowered the risk of the epidemic, they also warn that the virus could reemerge. Due to this and continued findings of local transmission in the southern states of the United States, prevention and spraying techniques are suggested.
Winter is here. Unfortunately, there is no avoiding what Mother Nature has in store for all of us here in the snow capital of the northeast. Commercial property owners need to be sure that driveways, walkways, and parking lots are safe during these long, cold winter months in New England. Keeping those surfaces free from snow, ice and black ice can be a never ending task that could take up your precious time. Slips and falls are common on walkways and driveways that have not been cleared completely and treated with ice melt. Let Pro-Tech Lawn Care take care of your plowing needs this snowy season. Here are a few reasons why hiring our team is the smart way to go.
- No More Worry – During a snowstorm you don’t have to worry about clearing the snow in front of your property. Now, no matter how much Mother Nature has to throw at us your business can be safe.
- Risks of Accidents Decreases – Hiring a professional to remove the snow and salt when appropriate can greatly reduce the risk of any slips or falls that you may be held liable for.
- No Equipment Cost – By hiring a professional snow plow removal company, you no longer need to buy and service a snow blower, shovel, salter and other pricey equipment. We have everything to quickly take care of your snow piles.
- Fast, Reliable Service – Our plow drivers are up with the storm staying ahead of the needs of our clients. You don’t have to think about making time to shovel and plow during the night or during the operation hours of your business – that’s what we are there for!
- Keep Your Business Running – No one wants to chance visiting a business if they have to wade through snow or traverse slippery walkways. We can keep your business running no matter how “wicked” the weather gets.
Call Pro-Tech to make arrangements for your business to be plowed this winter.