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

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.

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.

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.

 

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.