A Warmer Winter Has Created a Climate for More Ticks in Greenville

One of the best things about living in the Upstate is you don’t really have to travel to take a vacation. The great outdoors is all around us. Maybe you’ve planned a day trip with your family hiking around the Swamp Rabbit trail and then headed to Travelers Rest for pizza and ice cream. Or is a long walk along the river in the shade of all the beautiful trees of Falls Park more your thing? Is one day not enough? It’s only a 10-minute drive from town to Paris Mountain State Park where you can camp for the weekend and feel like you’ve left civilization behind.

What Dangers do Ticks Bring to Greenville?

Outdoor living does not come without the need for precautions, however, and part of that means being aware of ticks. WIS reports health officials are warning of a larger tick population this year. There is no way around the fact that more ticks will mean more tick bites. More tick bites can lead to more tick-borne illness and in this part of the country that is most likely to be Rocky Mountain Spotted fever (RMSF). Tennessee has already experienced its first death due to this illness. The Macon County Times reports that a 20-year-old young woman recently died from Rocky Mountain Spotted fever after a five-week battle with it. They too make note of more ticks due to a mild winter.

What to Watch For

The good news is that no one is telling you to stay indoors. Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, RMSF, is treatable with antibiotics and Dr. Ann-Kathryn Burch, pediatric infectious disease physician with Palmetto Children’s Hospital tells us the sooner the better. Your first symptoms may be fever and a terrible headache and yes, most people will have a rash as well, but that can come later. Other symptoms may include nausea, abdominal pain, muscle pain, those similar to the flu. The combination of symptoms can be different for each individual. Watching for symptoms and reporting immediately is a major factor, even if you aren’t sure you’ve been bitten. Katie Underhill, the young woman from Tennessee, was first diagnosed with the flu. If you are sick and have spent time outdoors, ask your healthcare provider to test you for RMSF.

Preventative Measures

Mama always said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and that is definitely the case when it comes to Rocky Mountain Spotted fever or any other tick or mosquito-borne illness. You can’t get sick if you don’t get bit. Here are a few helpful hints:

  • Wear light colored clothing when outdoors that makes ticks easier to see.
  • Wear repellent, preferably containing DEET for best protection.
  • Check yourself immediately when you go indoors. Ticks like warm moist places such as the neck and behind the ear, scalp, pits, and groin area.
  • Throw clothes that were worn in a hot dryer for 10 minutes.
Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

You can prepare your yard as well by following the 6Cs of Tick prevention. Again… no ticks, no tick bites. Mosquito Squad of Greenville would like to be a part of keeping your family healthy by avoiding bites from ticks and mosquitoes. Our barrier spray can rid your yard of 85-90% of those little pests and our tick tubes can keep more ticks from becoming adults and returning next year. Call us today to learn more about our services. We can’t wait to hear from you! 864-277-4299

“It Won’t Kill You.” Or Will It?

If you grew up in the Upstate, the nuisance of little flying bugs that can begin about mid-April, depending on the temperature and humidity, is something you know well. If you were a child here 20-years ago when there were only three tv channels and definitely no tablets or computers to play on, you most likely spent a large part of the summer outdoors. Are you visualizing these days? Now imagine you and your friends try to go in the house, where your Mama just picked up the living room and vacuumed, and complain about getting bitten by mosquitoes. What would she say? Mine would say “they won’t eat much,” yours might say “one or two mosquito bites won’t kill ya.” Unfortunately, she didn’t really have all the facts.

Mosquitoes: the World’s Deadliest Animal

Every year the world’s top 24 deadliest animals are ranked, and this year is not the first time that mosquitoes have made the very top of the list. It is, however, the first year that the number of mosquito deaths has topped out at 1 million. In late 2016, a graphic on Bill Gate’s blog gatesnotes had the number at 830,000, so obviously, the problem is a growing one. The majority of these deaths from mosquito-borne illness are from Malaria in Africa and 3rd world countries. The Gates Foundation spends millions of dollars each year with the goal of eradicating this disease.

And while Malaria isn’t an issue for us on US soil, West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Chikungunya are dangerous diseases that do affect us here.

As you are planning your summer vacations, I’m sure you have discussed other animals on this deadliest list. Sharks always come to mind first. WCIV News reported the first shark bite on Folly Beach at the end of April this year. The news stated that “the woman was taken to the local hospital with minimal injuries and minimal blood loss.” The truth is that only five people in the world die each year from shark bites, but it’s all over the news when it happens. How often do you see a story on the news about the mosquito swarm at last night’s BBQ?

Another animal we warn our families about and the dangers they can cause: deer. “Watch out for deer on that curvy country road. It could come straight through your windshield!” And that too is a truth, but the number of deaths due to deer each year is only 130. There is just no way to get past the severity of 1 million deaths due to mosquito bites. It’s unfathomable.

Mosquito Prevention in and Around Greenville

There is much to be done globally about mosquito-borne illness and the suffering it brings around the world, such as our work with Malaria No More. And it is up to us to keep our little piece of the world as mosquito-free as possible as well. Mosquito Squad of Greenville would like to help you with your part of the world, whatever size it may be.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

Our barrier treatment can eliminate 85-90% of all mosquitoes on your property whether it’s a small downtown backyard or a large farm in the surrounding areas. Call us today so that we can create the plan that best suits your needs. 864-277-4299

Are Mosquitoes Chasing You Inside?

You’ve fired up the grill, kids are running around laughing, maybe you’ve got the music cranked up a little… but it’s not drowning out the buzzing. Was this you last night? While you’re so excited that it’s spring in Greenville the mosquitoes are just as excited it seems. Nothing can ruin your outdoor experience more than being eaten alive by bugs. And here in the heart of the southeast we know it and live it.

We Have the Solution

School is winding down and it’s getting close to the long Memorial Day weekend. What are your plans? We live in an outdoor area. There is just too much to do around us to stay inside, especially this time of year before the heat really kicks in. You might be planning a picnic at Falls Park or a bike ride up the Swamp Rabbit trail with the family, followed by a cookout in your own backyard. You simply don’t want to invite the mosquitoes. So what do you do?

At Mosquito Squad of Greenville, we’ve got some answers. Our mosquito barrier treatment is our most popular service. It’s time released system eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes in your yard on contact and we reapply every 2-3 weeks to keep you covered all summer. Planning a bigger event? We can handle that too. Our special event treatments give that extra barrier you need lasting deep into the night. Or maybe your living space needs a little extra all the time. Possibly out by the stables? Our automatic mosquito misting system gives continuous coverage in the areas where mosquitoes are most active. That’s the beauty of our amazing upstate area. We have our small quaint downtown backyards to our expansive farm homesteads all available in a 30-mile radius. And Mosquito Squad of Greenville adapts to the needs of all of them.

Your spring and summer days may start at any number of Upstate activities. The TD Saturday morning market and then Live Music at Art Crossing are great ways to spend a Saturday downtown. And of course, Downtown Alive or Main Street Fridays are hard to pass up. There are really too many activities going on to list, whether they are weekly or for special occasions like Memorial Day, Artisphere, or July 4th. But the likelihood is that lots of these events are going to take you back to your backyard to finish out the festivities. We want to help make that the most fun and comfortable space you can be in.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

Check out what people are saying about our services. We offer 100% guarantee of our mosquito and tick control services. Call Mosquito Squad of Greenville today and let us take over the worry of keeping your yard bug free and you can simply worry about planning for the fun! 864-277-4299

Is Zika Still a Threat in 2017?

From the 2016 Zika virus outbreak, fifty-one babies have been born with birth defects in the United States. While that number doesn’t seem terribly high relatively speaking, it is alarming considering the Zika virus has only been locally transmitted in Florida and Texas.

NPR recently reported the full extent of the affects of Zika in the Unites States in 2016 and the numbers are not at all comforting. Out of about 1,300 pregnant women infected with Zika virus, 77 pregnancies were lost, 43 babies were born with microcephaly or brain abnormalities and another 8 babies suffered either eye abnormalities or neural tube defects.

Overall the infected women faced a 5% risk of severe birth defects in their babies. But if infected during the first trimester, the risk increased to 15%.

2017 Zika Numbers & Predictions

In the United States right now the CDC reports that they are seeing 30-40 new cases of Zika virus in pregnant women per week! Simple math puts us at 1,560- 2,080 cases by the end of the year. (Not to mention an expected increase in that rate during vacation season this summer.) If the 5% rule applies we could be looking at over 100 babies with severe birth defects this year due to the Zika virus.

Despite the news not reporting much about Zika virus so far this year, it is still a dangerous threat, especially to pregnant women. It is vital that pregnant women continue to be vigilant in mosquito protection, especially when it comes to traveling. We recommend you keep a close eye on the CDC’s Zika Travel Guide for the latest affected locations. Currently, Texas, Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and parts of Central America, South America, the Pacific Islands, Africa, and Asia are included in these warnings.

Don’t forget: You can bring Zika virus back to the United States undetected and pass it to the local mosquito population. We recommend vigilance for all travelers to help avoid transfer of the virus locally.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

At Mosquito Squad of Greenville, we don’t anticipate the local transmission of Zika virus to be a problem this season. However, mosquitoes pass on other dangerous diseases such as West Nile Virus and heartworm to our dogs, making it important to avoid mosquito bites at home. We recommend a full season of mosquito control treatments for your yard to reduce mosquitoes by up to 90%. Call today for a free quote to lower the annoyance factor in your yard! 864-277-4299

Don’t Be An April Fool: Clean Your Yard to Limit Greenville Mosquito Population Growth for the Summer

The sound of mowers humming, children hooting & hollering, and bees buzzing filled our first summer-like weekend. If you weren’t among the many folks who spent this weekend completing spring landscape clean-up – you might want to put it on the schedule very soon. With a week of above freezing temperatures behind us, mosquitoes will begin multiplying anytime now. The more standing water, leaves, and debris in your yard, the more easily the mosquito population will multiply.

Greenville Mosquito Control

What Does Water Have to Do With It?

With three of the four stages of the mosquito life cycle happening in the water, it is a very important factor in the growth of new mosquitoes. A female mosquito requires a blood meal to produce a batch of 50-200 eggs. She will lay them on or near the surface of standing water. Most species will hatch in two or three days. Mosquito larvae feed on bits of organic matter in the water, hanging out at the surface to get air. Within about a week they will transform into pupae for a few days when they grow easily and quickly, emerging out of the water as flying, biting, annoying adults.

Spring Mosquito Yard Clean-up

With mosquito populations multiplying exponentially – early yard clean-up can set you up for a full season of pest-free outdoor living. At Mosquito Squad we always advocate the 5 T’s of mosquito control with our valuable clients and readers. But we are especially thrilled when influential institutions spread a similar message. Clemson University Entomology offers brilliant knowledge about the mosquito life-cycle including a specific checklist for eliminating standing water.

In case tipping, turning, and tossing doesn’t cover the gamut of mosquito population growth potential – there are a few additional things you should inspect. Check flat roofs for puddling water after rain, clean out gutters, drain stagnant pools or swampy areas and examine trees for holes and decayed areas that could hold water.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

For additional Greenville mosquito control, contact Mosquito Squad of Greenville to eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes from your yard all season. Our service is easy and worry-free, call us at  (864) 277-4299 or via email at greenville@mosquitosquad.com.

Does An Early Spring Mean An Early Greenville Mosquito Invasion?

Spring has come early to Greenville. With not much of a winter preceding it, we’ve enjoyed a February that feels and looks much like April. Warm weather, blooming buds and plenty of sunshine cures our winter blues and gives us that summer fun feeling. But have you experienced the downside of spring weather yet? Allergies, bugs waking up from a winter slumber, or maybe just maybe even spotted your first mosquito of the season? Don’t wait until the thick of real summer is upon us, call now to schedule yourself season-long mosquito treatment for your home.

Early Spring Mosquito Preparations Begin

If you’re worried about the possibility of a bad mosquito season this year, we have a few precautions you can take now to make sure your yard is not a breeding ground for the pests. Start by following the 5 Ts of mosquito control. Taking a few minutes to walk through your yard and eliminate mosquito breeding grounds is vital in the early spring. As water can accrue quickly from spring rain, you can be fostering a large mosquito egg population without even realizing it. This could set the stage for a lengthy battle against these quickly multiplying pests.

Your next step to ensure a comfortable pest-free outdoor lifestyle in early spring and all summer long is to call Mosquito Squad of Greenville. Our traditional barrier spray eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes on your property. We’ll come back every 2-3 weeks to keep your property free of mosquitoes for the season. If you call us now, we can keep mosquito populations to a minimum before they have a chance to reproduce. This makes that 85-90% reduction a great deal more effective when starting with smaller numbers in the first spray.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

Call us today for a free quote for your property. And keep enjoying this early spring while it lasts! 864-277-4299

 

Greenville Mosquito Squad: Spraying for Mosquitoes by Mosquito Squad vs. South Carolina Municipal Spraying

Greenville-mosquito-squad-avoids-spraying-blooms-and-beesAt Mosquito Squad of Greenville, we are very conscious of the bee population and the importance of preserving the life of pollinators and beneficial insects. We make every effort to ensure we are targeting mosquitoes and not bees. If you have special needs such as a bee hive on your property or you are a beekeeper, please let us know ahead of time.

Mosquito Squad’s Custom Mosquito Control Treatment

Some precautions we take in general with every barrier spray treatment:

  1. Avoid spraying barrier spray on open blooms.
  2. Avoid spraying bee hives or near beehives.
  3. Work with clients to protect bees on their property. For beekeepers, this might mean timing our spray on your property during a time when the bees are safe within their hives. Tell us your needs and we’ll work with you.

We also offer a natural mosquito barrier spray if you prefer using natural treatment.

Municipal Mosquito Control Treatment

It is a common practice in South Carolina for local municipalities to spray for mosquitoes. You may often see the trucks driving by in the evenings spraying treatment that will eliminate mosquitoes and mosquito larvae. With dangerous diseases such as West Nile Virus, EEE and Zika Virus threatening our state, this is a valuable service in regards to public health. While there is a great deal of benefit, there can also be some downsides, such as what occurred in Dorchester County this past week.

In a story about Zika Preparedness from June, DHEC vice chair Butch Kirven said municipalities must use caution to prevent the harming of bees and other pollinators by spot treating instead of blanket spraying large areas. The decision to use an airplane instead of the usual ground control efforts appears to be the cause of the demise of the bees at Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply in Summerville.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville
Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

Municipalities in South Carolina typically spray from trucks along ditches and wooded areas. The aerial spray is not an uncommon practice for areas that cannot be reached by trucks and is often used in Florida.

WARNING: Sometimes a few bees will inadvertently perish from our product. We take great care near areas with blooming flowers, trees, shrubs or vegetables. If we see a large number of bees flying about we take added precaution as well.

End of Summer Isn’t the End of Tick Season

American Dog Tick
American Dog Tick

Kids may have gone back to school, making summer seem officially over, but there is still plenty of warm weather expected in the Upstate. And even at summer’s end, our fantastic fall weather keeps us outside in full force. Mountain hikes, apple picking…it’s just the perfect time of year. But the bugs are still out. Ticks will be right there on the path with you, as you absorb the beginning of the Fall color change; ticks that might be carrying Rocky Mountain Spotted fever.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Know the Facts

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, RMSF, is transmitted to humans by an infected American Dog Tick, Rocky Mountain Wood Tick, or Brown Dog Tick. The Clemson University Entomology department contributes most cases in this part of the country to the American dog tick. Symptoms of RMSF usually set in 2-14 days after a tick bite. In the beginning, they are often nonspecific. Fever, rash, headache, stomach pain and vomiting, conjunctivitis, joint pain: an infected person may have any combination of these basic flu-like symptoms.

Rocky_Mountain_spotted_fever_RASHA spotty rash that usually starts at the wrists and ankles is a more specific symptom but often doesn’t appear until several days into the the illness, and about 10% of those infected will not get the rash at all. Most people can be successfully treated with antibiotics. For those not treated this illness can be very dangerous.  RMSF damages your smallest blood vessels. When it goes untreated, it can lead to encephalitis, inflammation of the heart and lungs, kidney failure, infection and amputation, even death. Untreated the death rate is nearly 75%.

It is imperative that if you know that you or a family member has been bitten by a tick, you keep very aware of the onset of any of the above symptoms. Especially for small children. The American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene say that “Children 5–9 years of age appeared at highest risk for fatal outcome.” The CDC also rates children under the age of 10 at the greatest risk for fatality.

North and South Carolina are High-Risk Zones: Protect Yourself

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is reported over most of the country, but some states have a much higher rate than others. North Carolina is one of the top 5, with an annual occurrence of 19-63 cases per million people. South Carolina has the second highest rate of 1.5-19 cases per million. And here in the Upstate that puts us right on the line. Keep yourself protected. Use the appropriate bug spray and clothing, especially on those trips that keep you near trees and wooded areas. Check for ticks and if you find one, carefully remove it and make note of it. Write down the date and watch for symptoms.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville
Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

At home, you can let us help. Mosquito Squad of Greenville has a comprehensive tick control program with a barrier spray that eliminates 85-90% of adult ticks in your yard. We can further your protection with our tick tube system by helping to eliminate ticks at the beginning of their lifecycle. Knowing that children have a higher risk factor, prevention is the best plan of defense. Call us today and let us create the best control program for your situation. 864-277-4299

Local Miami Mosquitoes Transmit Zika Virus: Is Greenville Next?

Asian-Tiger-Mosquito-Greenville-SCIn 2015, the Zika virus made its appearance in the United States. A mosquito-borne illness, it is transmitted by a bite from the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The virus can also be spread by sexual contact and from a mother to her unborn child in the womb. While for most healthy beings Zika symptoms don’t amount to much more than mild flu if there are any symptoms at all, for pregnant women the effects can be devastating. Children born to a woman that contracted Zika while pregnant are at risk of having severe birth defects, including microcephaly.

Miami Under Close Watch

Zika-Virus-GreenvilleWhen Zika was first discovered in the United States, it was clear that it had been brought here by travelers returning from already infected countries. There were no signs that anyone had been bitten by an infected mosquito here on American soil. However, it did seem only a matter of time for this to change. Mosquitoes that bite a human with Zika can become infected. Due to rising numbers of people with the virus, the risk of a mosquitoes contracting it becomes greater. At the end of July, it appears that is just what happened. On August 6th, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, reported in an interview with NPR that there are 13 people in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami Florida that have been infected by a Mosquito bite. The CDC urges women who are pregnant or considering starting a family not to travel near this area in Miami.

South Carolina is Likely To Be Next

The Post and Courier, a paper out of Charleston, spoke with local entomologist Dwight Williams, and he believes that it is “very likely” that mosquitoes in South Carolina will also begin to transmit Zika to humans. The virus will make its way into the state with travelers who are sick when they arrive; they will be bitten and transmit Zika to the local mosquitoes. It is just a matter of time. There are already 25 cases of Zika in SC, none yet from a local mosquito bite.

Prevention Prevention Prevention

If you are planning to travel to Miami, be cautious. Wear protective clothing and bug spray, but more importantly, if you are pregnant just don’t go. Mosquito Squad of Greenville is committed to keeping you informed here at home. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is a very aggressive daytime biter. Their eggs hatch in containers that hold water, but can also survive drought. The CDC believes these to be very adaptable organisms, making them harder to control, but certainly not impossible.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville
Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

We must be diligent in keeping our homes and neighborhoods protected. Follow the 5Ts of mosquito control and don’t allow your yard to be a breeding ground for this or any other disease carrying mosquito. And call us… Mosquito Squad of Greenville wants to help with your peace of mind. Our mosquito prevention systems will eliminate 85-90% of adult mosquitoes in your yard on contact so that all you have to do is relax and enjoy your outdoors. Keep your home, your family, and your possible growing family protected. Contact us at 864-277-4299 or email us greenville@mosquitosquad.com. We back our service with a 100% satisfaction guarantee!

The Olympic Games Cause a Zika Dilemma for Some Athletes

Rio-Olympics-ZikaThe 2016 Summer Olympic Games begin August 5th and for 17 days we will watch athletes from all over the world become their own hometown heroes. Every TV in every bar and restaurant downtown, from North Main to Falls Park, will be set to watch as one of our very own heroes competes in Brazil. Sandi Morris, a Greenville native, not only qualified for the Olympics on Saturday, July 23rd as a pole vaulter, she also broke an American record. Morris had to work her way back from an injury earlier in the year. However, she is considered to be one of the best pole vaulters in the world.

A Teensy Obstacle in a Life-Long Dream

What might these athletes be thinking about as they prepare for their trip to Brazil? The mental and physical challenges ahead are probably in the forefront of their minds. Unfortunately somewhere in there could be concerns about Zika Virus as well. American cyclist Tejay van Garderen and golf star Jordan Spieth are two of several athletes that have opted out of the Olympics completely due to these concerns, according to CNN.  

Zika in Brazil

Greenville_Aedes-Aegypti-Zika-carrierThe CDC calls the Zika outbreak in Brazil “dynamic.” They recommend that pregnant women not go to the Olympics at all, due to the severe birth defects that Zika can cause. They also remind travelers that as well as being mosquito-borne, Zika is sexually transmitted so if you contract it in Brazil, you can bring it home to your partner. If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, it is important to check and follow the CDC guidelines.

There do seem to be conflicting opinions of how much Zika will affect other travelers to the Olympics and if it really puts the U.S. at risk of an outbreak upon these travelers return. CNBC reports on a study from the Yale School of Public Health that suggests a traveler to the Olympics has a very small chance of contracting the illness and an even lower one of bringing it home. And on the opposing side Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at New York University, joined 149 other bioethicists, scientists, and doctors in calling for postponing the Olympics or moving them from Brazil due to the outbreak. This group is critical of the Yale report with Caplan saying “it makes the usual conservative assumptions.”

Prevention is Never Negative

So what does this conflicting Zika information do for us? It reminds us that this is an unpredictable situation, and all decisions are best considered with information and caution. As we at Mosquito Squad of Greenville cheer on the US Olympic teams, including our very own Sandi Morris, we remind all travelers of the risks. Not only is there a risk for pregnant women and the chance of infecting a partner through sexual contact, but the virus can also be transmitted to local mosquitoes if an infected human brings it into the states. It is vital to avoid mosquitoes 7-10 days upon return if you travel to Brazil or any other country with an outbreak.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville
Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville

With Mosquito Squad of Greenville’s time released barrier spray, avoiding mosquitoes at home is made simple. We eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes in your yard. Call us today so your travel planning is about fun and adventure, not mosquito concerns when you get home! 864-277-4299