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

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Carolinas

More dangerous than you think, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a real threat in the Greenville area. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) has been reported in almost all of the United States. The CDC reports that 60% of those cases occur in 5 states – North Carolina being one of them. The disease is dangerous can even be deadly if not treated on time.

American_dog_tick-carries_Rocky_mountain-Spotted-feverWhat is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

RMSF is a tick-borne disease that is caused by a bacteria called Rickettsia rickettsii. The main vectors of this bacteria are ticks. In the Carolinas, the bite of an infected American Dog Tick is how humans become infected.

What are the Symptoms of RMSF?

Within 2-14 days of being bitten by an infected American Dog Tick, you may experience a variety of symptoms. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize they’ve been bitten. Symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, muscle pain, lack of appetite, conjunctivitis, and rash. The rash is the namesake of RMSF, but only about 90% of patients will get the rash and some don’t get it until after treatment should have already begun. Some patients may experience long-term health problems caused by the disease due to damage to blood vessels. The illness can cause blood clots, blood circulation loss in extremities and severe complication related to these issues.

RMSF Treatment & Diagnosis

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is tricky because diagnosing the non-specific symptoms is tricky when the patient does not know they have been bitten. When RMSF is suspected, treatment with Doxycycline is important to start during the first 5 days of symptoms. If caught early and treated, patients can recover fully and completely.

While we don’t want to scare anyone into worrying about RMSF, it is important that we inform you what to look for. This will help you if you become sick in assisting your doctor in diagnosis. If you may have been exposed to ticks and you do become ill, you should see your doctor right away.

Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville.
Billy & Michele Scales, owners of Mosquito Squad of Greenville, with Tillman.

To lower your risk for tick bites in your own yard, sign up for our Intensive Tick Treatment. With our traditional barrier spray eliminating ticks on contact combined with tick tubes, you can enjoy up to a 90% reduction of ticks in your yard. Call today 864-277-4299 or visit our website.

Raising awareness of Lyme Disease starts in your Greenville backyard!

May is Lyme Disease Awareness MonthMay is Lyme Disease Awareness month. This important annual event is supported by the Lyme Disease Foundation and is used to raise awareness and support of preventative measures which can be taken against Lyme disease. Just like mosquitoes, ticks are vectors, or transmitters, of disease. Though extremely serious, mosquito-borne disease affects only a few thousand individuals in the US each year, while tick-borne disease afflicts tens of thousands.

Deer tick or blacklegged tick on leaf waiting for you to pass byLyme Disease is an acute inflammatory disease caused by the bite of a tick infected with the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. In the US, Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne illness and since there is presently no vaccine for Lyme Disease in humans, prevention is the best method for thwarting the illness.

In America there are two main species of tick which carry and spread Lyme Disease. These are the  deer tick or black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis) in the North central and Eastern parts of the country and the Western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacifus) on the West (Pacific) coast. The Deer tick is  found in wooded areas throughout the Carolinas. Mosquito Squad of Greenville aims to raise awareness of the disease, and the ticks who carry it, in order educate Greenville and Western NC residents about Lyme Disease and how they can take steps to prevent it.

Raising awareness of Lyme Disease starts in your own backyard!

The impetus of our service is to eliminate and prevent the ticks on your property that could be potential carriers of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses, no ticks = no risk for disease. Knowing how to properly eradicate and control the tick within its natural environment is the first step in staying healthy by reducing the chance of coming into contact with a tick that could potentially harbor the bacteria that causes the disease. Mosquito Squad recommends the following steps for tick-proof yard:

The 6 C’s to Tick-Proof Your Yard

Deer ticks in your backyard waiting for you to walk by1. Clear out. Reduce your tick exposure by clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas. Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic. Separate them with wood chips or gravel. Don’t position playground equipment, decks and patios near treed areas.

2. Clean. Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house and lawn edges, mow tall grasses and keep your lawn short.

Daylilies3. Choose plants. Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and/or install physical barriers to keep deer out of your yard. Check with your local nursery to determine the best choices for your area.

4. Check hiding places. Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick and rock walls and patio retaining walls are popular hiding places.

5. Check your petsCare for family pets. Family pets can suffer from tick-borne disease and also carry infected ticks into the home. Talk to your veterinarian about using tick collars, topicals and sprays. As with all pest control products, be sure to follow directions carefully.

6. Call the pros. Professionals utilize both barrier sprays that can kill “adult” ticks on the spot as well as “tick tubes.” Strategically placed, “tick tubes” prompt field mice to incorporate tick-killing material in their bedding, effectively eliminating hundreds of tick nymphs found in each mouse nest.

how tick tubes work
How tick tubes work.

We specialize in a dual tick prevention and control program that targets ticks during each stage of development. Our barrier spray will eliminate adult ticks on contact while tick tubes are placed in key areas on your property, twice per season, to eliminate ticks during nymph stage. Tick tubes can dramatically decrease the chances of encountering a Lyme infected tick on your property.

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

Contact Mosquito Squad of Greenville to learn more about preventing ticks that could potentially be harboring Lyme Disease. We are scheduling tick tube implementation now. You can reach us by phone at (864) 277-4299 or via email at greenville@mosquitosquad.com.

 

Mosquito Squad of Greenville Reminds You the Month of May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

The month of May is full of special holidays and celebrations.  May is National Barbeque month, Date Your Mate month, National Blood Pressure month, and of course Lyme Disease Awareness Month.  While the first three monthly celebrations may give you a

Mosquito Squad of Greenville can eliminate ticks from your yard
Mosquito Squad of Greenville can eliminate ticks from your yard

chuckle, Lyme Disease Awareness should instead serve as a stoic reminder about the potentially debilitating disease and side effects that can have a life long effect.

Lyme Disease is growing in numbers across the United States.  The last published report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show South Carolina’s confirmed cases of Lyme in 2012 were higher than in previous years.  Lyme Disease is carried by the blacklegged tick, commonly known as the deer tick, and most easily contracted during the months of May, June and July.  The disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans, as well as our dogs and cats, through the bite of an infected tick.

Mosquito Squad of Greenville wants to remind you to take the potential risk of Lyme Disease seriously.  There is no way to know if a tick is infected unless it is tested but with any tick bite, proper and prompt removal is important.  Although the red “bulls-eye” rash is

The large red circle could be an indicator of Lyme Disease
The large red circle could be an indicator of Lyme Disease

the most common and noticeable symptom of Lyme Disease, other symptoms may surface within a few hours to a few days of a bite and include fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes.  If left untreated, additional neurological symptoms may present themselves.

The best way to avoid contracting Lyme Disease is by avoiding ticks.  Mosquito Squad of Greenville can help keep you and your family away from ticks with our two-step tick control and prevention treatment.  The first line of defense comes from our barrier spray treatment that is applied to the vegetation in your yard.  The barrier spray eliminates ticks (and mosquitoes) on contact.  The spray binds to the vegetation for up to 21 days thereby eliminating future ticks and mosquitoes that land on the leaves.  It also creates a virtual barrier around your property to keep additional ticks and mosquitoes from entering.  We then follow up with our Mosquito Squad tick tubes.

Mosquito Squads tick tubes contain treated cotton to eliminate ticks
Mosquito Squads tick tubes contain treated cotton to eliminate ticks

The tick tubes contain treated cotton that effectively targets the younger nymph ticks that are residing in rodent’s dens when the cotton is taken back to the nest. This two-step process will effectively eliminate up to 90% of ticks on your treated property.

Mosquito Squad of Greenville is your Greenville tick control and prevention company.  We are dedicated to keeping you, your family and pets safe from ticks and the diseases they can transmit.  If you’d like to begin your season long protection, give us a call at (864) 277 – 4299 or visit our Mosquito Squad of Greenville website.

Keith Drew, Mosquito Squad of Greenville
Keith Drew, Mosquito Squad of Greenville

 

Mosquito Squad of Greenville Now Protecting Residents Against Spiders and Fleas

Mosquito Squad of Greenville, the proven leader in mosquito and tick control, has expanded our services to protect our area residents from spiders and fleas this season.  So, you may be asking, what makes Mosquito Squad of Greenville’s services better than other companies out there?  We’re glad you asked.

Mosquito free life

You may already know how effective our barrier spray treatment is at eliminating mosquitoes and ticks.  We come out every 21 days to apply the barrier spray to the vegetation in your yard; where mosquitoes and ticks reside and feed.  This effectively eliminates them on contact once they touch the leaves.  But the barrier spray does more that just eliminate on contact.  It also contains a bonding agent that keeps the treatment from washing away in the rain.  The residual remains effective up to 21-days, eradicating those additional mosquitoes and fleas that have found their way to the vegetation.  In addition, it creates a protective barrier around your yard so other mosquitoes and ticks do not enter.

 

Our barrier spray eliminates ticks and mosquitoes on contact.
Our barrier spray eliminates ticks and mosquitoes on contact.

New this season is an additional service that can be combined with our mosquito and tick spray to control spiders and fleas on your property. In addition to spraying your vegetation, we will also spray around the structure of your home, the eaves, windows and doors to keep spiders and fleas from invading these areas.  What makes our service superior is that it is applied every 21 days for the most effective control, not every 90 days like most pest control services.  You will continue to receive the added bonding benefit, keeping the treatment where it needs to be, working efficiently, even through rainstorms.  In addition, we apply one treatment in January to the structure of your home to keep protecting throughout the winter, until our services start up again in the spring.  It’s a total year protection against fleas and spiders so you don’t have to worry.

 

As with all our services, once you sign up for the season, you are automatically scheduled for your treatments.  No additional phone calls are needed to book your follow-up appointments and you don’t have to be home when we treat your yard.  Mosquito Squad of Greenville will do all the work for you so you can spend your time enjoying your yard, Keith-Drew,-Ownermosquito, tick, flea and spider free!  Give us a call today to start your season long protection before these pests start disturbing you.

6-Year-Old North Carolina Girl Has Died From Tick Bite Infection

Tragically, 6-year-old Emilee Russell of Black Mountain, North Carolina has died after being bitten by a tick over Memorial Day weekend, ABC affiliate WLOS reported. Not long ago, Emilee finished Kindergarten and had so much to look forward to; however, after an unexpected tick bite, a tick borne sudden illness known as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever took control of the young girl’s body and caused her untimely death.

The tick borne illness, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), is a potentially fatal illness caused by the bite of an infected American dog tick, brown dog tick, and Rocky Mountain wood tick. RMSF is the most common tick-borne illness in the Carolinas. Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever include lethargy, fever, headache, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dark circles around the eyes and muscle pain. A spotted rash on the extremities may also develop but is often absent in the first few days, and in some patients, may never develop. A scab may also develop at the site of the tick bite. Antibiotics are most effective if started before the fifth day of symptoms. The illness is diagnosed in the early stages through clinical signs and symptoms. Blood tests can be conducted to diagnose the illness as well. Early detection and treatment is the key to halting the progression of RMSF. If left untreated the illness can cause complications such as damage to multiple organ systems, profound neurological deficit issues, amputation of limbs due to the damage caused in the process of the disease and even death.

The young girl’s father, Battalion Chief at Black Mountain Fire Department, Chief Steve Jones describes the young 6-year-old as, “Just… that pretty little smile… she could just look at you with that smile and break your heart.” While the Carolinas will certainly feel the loss of a precious life lost way too soon, it is the hope of the Emilee’s Primary School teacher that her life is not lost in vain; Ashley Styles states “I definitely want people to be more aware of what a small tick bite can do.”

Tick-Control

Unfortunately for the Upstate, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is just one of the many tick borne illnesses that homeowners must watch out for. In addition to RMSF, ticks can also cause Lyme Disease and Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. Mosquito Squad of Greenville wants to remind residents that there is no magic immunization available to prevent becoming infected with a tick-borne illness. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from coming into contact with a potentially infected tick is through knowledge, tick control and prevention.

Currently, Mosquito Squad of Greenville offers a tick intensive treatment that is designed to eradicate all life cycles of the tick. We combine tick tubes along with our safe and effective barrier spray to keep you, your family and pets protected from potentially infected ticks on your treated property. To learn more about tick eradication contact Mosquito Squad of Greenville today. Call us today for a free quote • (864) 277 – 4299 • email: greenville@mosquitosquad.com

You can also read more about Emilee and the fundraisers set to raise money for her medical bills at: http://www.wlos.com/shared/news/features/top-stories/stories/wlos_6yearold-dies-rocky-mtn-spotted-fever-12073.shtml and http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/06/14/girl-dies-after-tick-bite-infection/

Tick ID

Mosquito Squad of Greenville gives you a crash course in tick-borne illnesses which are prevalent in our area

The very nature of ticks is enough to make anyone squeamish. The thought of an insect or parasite that feasts on the blood of humans and domesticated animals is proof that real life can be stranger than fiction. Along with making our skin crawl with repulsion at the thought of being the featured item on the tick’s blood buffet these nasty creatures are quite dangerous. Ticks carry a myriad of bacteria and disease which is easily transferred to

Engorged ticks like this one can carry disease to you and your family
Engorged ticks like this one can carry disease to you and your family

humans with just one bite. With the warmer season finally upon us ticks will be making their debut all over the Greenville area. Ticks in our neck of the woods are known vectors of several illnesses. Here is a rundown of those transmitted by ticks here in the Carolinas:

  • Ehrlichiosis – Ehrlichiosis is a general name for several bacterial diseases affecting both people and animals. Transmission of Ehrlichiosis is linked to the lone star tick which is found in the southeastern and south-central United States, including North and South Carolina. The symptoms of this illness are generally apparent within one to two weeks of being bitten by a tick carrying the bacteria that causes Ehrlichiosis. Symptoms are usually flu-like in nature and include fever, headache, fatigue and muscle aches. Other signs and symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, joint pains, confusion, and occasionally a rash, particularly in children. The disease is usually diagnosed through clinical signs and symptoms and when caught early will respond well to antibiotic therapy. If left untreated Ehrlichiosis can become a severe or even fatal illness. As much as half of those diagnosed with the disease require hospitalization.

 

  • Lyme disease – Lyme disease is probably the most well-known of all the tick-borne illnesses and cases have been reported in North Carolina. Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of a deer tick which is also known as the black legged tick. The tick becomes infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease by feeding from rodents and birds infected with the bacteria. These same hosts are also the basis of ticks becoming infected with Babesiosis and human Anaplasmosis. Research indicates that even a female tick that is infected with the Lyme bacteria will spawn healthy disease free larvae.

 

Lyme disease presents symptoms that are similar in nature to the flu such as fever, headache and fatigue.  Lyme disease symptoms may also include the well-known bull’s eye rash called erythema migraine which expands in red circles around the site of a bite

The large red circle could be an indicator of Lyme Disease
The large red circle could be an indicator of Lyme Disease

from a tick infected with the bacteria. It is a misconception that this rash is the tell-tale sign of Lyme disease in because in some cases the infected show no rash at all. When Lyme disease is diagnosed early it is usually easily treatable with antibiotics. If Lyme is left untreated it too can become severe and can lead to neurological or cardiac disorders and even death. In extreme cases patients can develop what is called Chronic Lyme disease or Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome even following  prompt treatment. This disorder occurs in approximately 10-20% of Lyme disease patients and can lead to extended discomfort and “flare ups” of symptoms which include fatigue, pain, or joint and muscle aches. The source of Chronic Lyme disease is thought to be caused by residual damage to tissues and the immune system that occurred during the infection.

 

  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever – Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), is a potentially fatal illness caused by the bite of an infected American dog tick, brown dog tick, and Rocky Mountain wood tick. RMSF is the most common tick-borne illness in the Carolinas. Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever include lethargy, fever, headache, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dark circles around the eyes and muscle pain. A spotted rash on the extremities may also develop but is often absent in the first few days, and in some patients, may never develop. A scab may also develop at the site of the tick bite. Antibiotics are most effective if started before the fifth day of symptoms. The illness is diagnosed in the early stages through clinical signs and symptoms. Blood tests can be conducted to diagnose the illness as well. Early detection and treatment is the key to halting the progression of RMSF. If left untreated the illness can cause complications such as damage to multiple organ systems, profound neurological deficit issues, amputation of limbs due to the damage caused in the process of the disease and even death.

 

  • Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI) – With a name like STARI this illness makes you think of a pleasant starry Southern sky on a summer night. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. This illness is characterized by a rash which includes a red, expanding “bull’s eye” lesion that develops around the site of a lone star tick bite. The rash may be accompanied by fatigue, fever, headache, muscle and joint pains. STARI is easily treated through antibiotic therapy and unlike Lyme disease; STARI has not been linked to any arthritic, neurological or chronic symptoms.

 

Eliminating ticks is your best protection
Eliminating ticks is the only way to keep from contracting these diseases

Mosquito Squad of Greenville wants to remind residents that there is no magic pill, specific treatment or immunization available to prevent becoming infected with a tick-borne illness. The best way to protect yourself from coming into contact with a potentially infected tick is through knowledge, tick control and prevention. Our tick intensive treatment is designed to eradicate all life cycles of the tick. We combine tick tubes along with our safe and effective barrier spray to keep you, your family and pets protected from potentially infected ticks on your treated property.

Our service delivers peace of mind and the power to take control of your backyard and enjoy the warmer seasons ahead with confidence.  Contact Mosquito Squad of Greenville today to learn more. Call us today for a free quote • (864) 277 – 4299 • email: greenville@mosquitosquad.com

 

Keith-Drew,-Owner

 

Keith Drew, Owner
Mosquito Squad of Greenville
864-277-4999

 

 

To read more about our EPA-registered mosquito and tick control treatments, visit our Greenville Mosquito Squad webpage.