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

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

Protection from Vector-Borne Canine Illness is Important to Mosquito Squad of Greenville!

Tillman.
Tillman.

Canine Lyme Disease and Canine Heartworms are the two vector-borne illnesses that can be spread to our pets though ticks and mosquitoes. As pet owners who consider Tillman (our Golden Retriever) to be a part of the family, we fully understand how important it is to you to protect your pets as actively as you protect your children.

If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, joint problems and a variety of other ailments that aren’t responding to treatment or therapy from your veterinarian, Canine Lyme Disease may be to blame. This arthropod-borne disease can wreak havoc on our health and the health of our pet as well as cause dangerous disorders such as Anemia in your pet. Symptoms indicating your dog may have a tick-borne illness can include a loss of appetite, lethargy and depression, pain, diarrhea, vomiting, edema in the extremities, hemorrhaging, neurological disorders such as seizures, and even death.

Greenville Canine Lyme Disease protectionWhen it comes to your dogs and cats, Heartworm is one of the most preventable illnesses and one of the most costly to treat. Only the bite of the mosquito can infect your dog or cat with Heartworm. Once bitten by an infected mosquito it takes about seven months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms. These worms can live for 5-7 years lodging into your pet’s heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels. If not caught in time it can even lead to death.

For both of these illnesses, there are steps you can take to protect your family, your home and your beloved pet. Please see our suggestions below:

  • Deer ticks in your backyard waiting for you to walk byProtect from ticks – Your veterinarian can advise you on the best tick protection for your dog, it is also a must to exercise tick safety during tick season. Even more important is to treat the areas where ticks thrive because even the best laid plans that include spot-on canine tick treatments can falter and put your dog at risk. The best way for pet owners and non-pet owners to keep their loved ones safe from the risks of tick-borne illnesses, such as Lyme Disease, is to take control of your property by keeping overgrowth, debris and brush to a minimum. In addition to mowing and landscape cleanup it is also important to have your property treated by a licensed tick control professional as another line of defense in reducing the risk of coming into contact with a potentially infected tick.
  • Mosquito Squad of GreenvilleDefend against mosquitoes – Keep your yard free of standing water and excessive brush piles to keep those pesky mosquitoes from multiplying and staying. A drop of water is enough to create a mosquito breeding ground. Mosquitoes also love cool dark places just as much as your pet does, except they don’t see them as a place to beat the heat of the day, but as a drive through for a quick meal. Allow your pets to enjoy their favorite parts of your yard with the help of Mosquito Squad’s barrier spray.
Tillman at the office.
Tillman working at the office.

Mosquito Squad of Greenville will break the Heartworm cycle by spraying your entire yard, starting at the perimeter and working inward. Our spray not only eliminates mosquitoes on contact but with our timed release formula it continues to work for up to 3 weeks, eliminating 85-90% of mosquitoes. While in our fight against Lyme Disease, we offer a dual defense program which includes tick tubes in conjunction with our seasonal barrier spray to keep you tick free all season. Our highly effective barrier spray eliminates adult ticks while tick tube implementation applied twice per season eliminates the nymph tick, snuffing out disease at its source! Our perfect pairing of tick control programs keeps tick out of sight and out of mind.

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

Keeping our Golden Retriever Tillman (so named in honor of fallen American soldier, Patrick Daniel “Pat” Tillman, who died serving his country), out of harm’s way is of great importance to us and we’re sure you feel the same way about your “four-legged” children. Contact Mosquito Squad of Greenville to learn more about preventing ticks that could potentially be harboring Lyme Disease and eliminating harmful mosquito bites on your property. We are scheduling tick tube implementation now. You can reach us by phone at (864) 277-4299 or via email at greenville@mosquitosquad.com.