Difficult Diagnosis Can Lead to Chronic Lyme in Greenville

Deer_Tick_StagesWhile it is true that Lyme disease is not as prevalent in the Greenville area as it is in some other parts of the United States, it can be just as devastating for those afflicted with it. Knowing the cause and symptoms of Lyme disease is an important part of fast diagnosis and treatment which can lower the risk for it developing into Chronic Lyme disease.

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) spread to humans from the bite of an infected black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick. Deer ticks are tiny, nymphs being as small as a poppy seed can bite you without you ever knowing it. The symptoms of Lyme are similar to the flu, making diagnosis difficult if you are not part of the 70-80% with a “bulls-eye” rash. Other symptoms can include fever, headache, fatigue, muscle pain and joint pain.

Chronic Lyme disease in Greenville

cdc_photo_of_lyme_disease_bullseye_rashThe CDC calls it Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), but most of the population just refers to it as Chronic Lyme. The cause of Chronic Lyme disease is not fully known, but most experts think the months-long symptoms occur from residual infection damage to tissues and the immune system. The symptoms can be moderate to severe, can last for more than 6 months and in some instances can be debilitating. Symptoms of Chronic Lyme can include severe headaches, arthritis, Bell’s palsy, tendon, muscle, joint and bone pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, nerve pain, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, inflammation of the brain or spinal cord, short-term memory problems, and in rare cases an irregular heartbeat.

Chronic Lyme will pass with time. There is no cure and no specific treatment. It is recommended you work with your doctor to manage the symptoms as best you can while you wait for it to pass.

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

Lyme disease prevention is always the best medicine. Avoiding ticks and tick bites is the best method. With Mosquito Squad of Greenville, you can lower the tick population in your yard by 85-90%. Call today. 864-277-4299

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 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.

What does a mild winter mean for Greenville, SC mosquito and tick populations?

Here in the South we love mild winters. Being able to go out in short sleeves in dead winter, opening your windows to let in fresh air when other parts of the country are under freeze advisories and even the arrival of an Indian summer add to the benefits of living in the Greenville area. I often have homeowner’s ask me if having a mild winter will make the mosquito and tick populations greater. The answer to this question is as complex as it is simple. A mild winter in itself will not impact the insect population, however the mild winter combined with the absence of freezing temperatures for an extended period of time will. Winter temperatures have to be extremely cold for a long time to affect mosquitoes and ticks. So our mild winter does not mean that there will be more of mosquitoes and ticks out there. This only means the early arrival of spring-like temperatures will cause mosquitoes and ticks to become active earlier.

Take for example the Asian tiger mosquito whose presence is becoming more and more prevalent in the Carolina’s. The Asian tiger mosquito overwinters as an egg.  The eggs lie

The Asian Tiger mosquito
The Asian Tiger mosquito eggs quickly hatch as the weather warms.

dormant until the weather warms up enough to cause them to hatch. Much like a chicken egg, but Mother Nature is in charge of keeping the nest warm. A mild winter can cause the Asian’s eggs to hatch sooner than usual.  If the eggs hatch earlier this can perpetuate early breeding and in turn can lead to larger mosquito populations by mid-late summer.

Another factor that increases mosquito populations is rainfall. During a spring with above average rainfall mosquito populations will boom out of control. Anytime the mosquito population increases the risk of becoming sick from a mosquito-borne illness such as West Nile virus, and Encephalitis increases.  In a perfect scenario a drier spring would mean a smaller mosquito population, right?  The caveat is the fact that a drier spring will cause homeowners to water their lawns and gardens more frequently. This increase in watering on the human end can increase standing water around your home and yard. Mosquitoes will then begin breeding

Small caps can become the home of hundreds of mosquito eggs quickly.
Small caps can become the home of hundreds of mosquito eggs quickly.

in the bases of your flower pots, birdbaths, and other areas within your landscape where remnants of recent watering remain. It is indeed a vicious cycle; this is why it is important to inspect the area around your home frequently to ensure there are no forgotten areas where water could pool and serve as a mosquito breeding ground. To put this into perspective; the top off of a single 12 ounce soda bottle can serve as a nursery for hundreds of mosquito eggs.

Tick populations are influenced by the availability of a blood host to feed on.  Believe it or not, an abundant acorn population can bump up the tick population. More acorns mean that more rodents will come to feed on the acorns that cover the ground. Ticks will thrive in these conditions because of the abundance of mice to feed from. In areas where Lyme

Acorns attract rodents who are the host for many ticks
Acorns attract rodents who are the host for many ticks

disease is common this influx of mice playing host to deer ticks will also increase the risk of coming into contact with a tick carrying the disease.

You may ask what can I do to prevent being overthrown by mosquitoes and ticks in my own yard? The answer is simple. When it comes to mosquitoes, keeping your property free of standing water that could serve as a breeding ground is essential. Also, as with all insects, keeping your property free of debris and mowed will serve as a deterrent. Having your property treated by a licensed professional is crucial to eradicating an insect problem before it becomes out of control.

Mosquito Squad of Greenville makes it easy to control both mosquitoes and ticks. Our safe and effective barrier spray program kills mosquitoes and adult ticks and prevents against more mosquitoes entering into your treated area. We also offer a tick tube program that will reduce the chance of you coming into contact with a potential disease carrying tick by up to 90%. Call us today for a free quote • (864) 277 – 4299

Keith-Drew,-Owner

 

Keith Drew, Owner
email: greenville@mosquitosquad.com