Scientists Discover New Tick Borne Virus

In 2009 two Missouri farmers became very sick with high fevers, diarrhea and nausea. Their platelet counts dropped dramatically, but doctors were baffled because they were not having any abnormal bleeding. They thought it was a bacterial infection but antibiotics didn’t respond. Thankfully one doctor thought to send their blood samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The report that came back was astounding.

It turns out both men had a virus that had never been seen before. Now, entomologists at the CDC have completed this puzzle that has been coming together for over three years. An article on NPR stated researchers have discovered a new virus appropriately named the Heartland virus in ticks near where the two farmers lived.

So, are you at risk even if you aren’t in Missouri? After testing many, many ticks, Harry Savage, Chief Research Entomologist for the CDC, and his team have narrowed it down to just one species that carries the virus: the Lone Star tick (see image above), recognizable for the white dot on its back. The lone star tick has a broad distribution in the U.S., occupying much of the Southeast.  “It’s the first time anyone has found it in the wild, in the environment,” says Savage. “It means the virus is yet another tick-borne disease in the U.S. — and another reason to prevent getting bit.”

We agree. Ticks are a nuisance and a carrier for more than one undesirable illness. Call Mosquito Joe today and let us treat your yard to make sure it stays tick-free.

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Mosquitoes Suck, But Can They Make You Sick?

Our blog has featured information about mosquito-borne diseases such as lyme disease and malaria, but with all the recent news about West Nile disease, you may be wondering if your family is at risk, or even what West Nile Virus is? West Nile Disease is a virus that is most commonly spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.  According to the CDC, so far in 2013 cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.

There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection. About 1 in 5 people who are bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile Virus will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Less than 1% of people who are infected with WNV will develop a serious, and sometimes fatal, neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues) but it is important to know the signs and symptoms if you think someone you know has contracted West Nile. The symptoms of neurologic illness can include:

  • headache
  • fever
  • neck stiffness
  • disorientation
  • coma
  • tremors
  • seizures
  • paralysis

2012 set new records for West Nile Virus with over 5,000 cases reported. The scary fact is that 80% of people infected never show any symptoms. That means the 5,000 cases reported were people who actually felt symptoms and were diagnosed, so there’s no telling how many people were infected and didn’t know. Since the most effective way of preventing West Nile Virus is to prevent mosquito bites, mosquito control in your yard is the best way to stay protected around your home. The most popular treatment option offered by Mosquito Joe is an ongoing barrier spray treatment applied in your yard every 21 days by our certified pest control technicians, targeting areas where mosquitoes are known to breed and congregate, such as shrubs, foliage and areas with standing water. Our goal is to not only get you outside enjoying your yard again, but to keep your family healthy and protected from any mosquito-borne illnesses. With the MoJo 100% guarantee, it is a phone call you don’t want to put off any longer this mosquito season. Call your local Mosquito Joe today for a free quote on keeping your yard not only mosquito free, but disease free!

photo credit: Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel via photopin cc


Meet a Joe: Meet Mosquito Joe of Howard County

**Occasionally we like to provide a blog post that will help you get to know Joe. From our technicians to our corporate staff to our hardworking franchisees – we think our company is full of people you ought to know!**

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kurt and Melissa Godwin, not only new Mosquito Joe franchisees but newlyweds as well.

Meet Kurt and Melissa Godwin of Mosquito Joe of Howard County, MD
This past year has certainly taken Kurt and Melissa Godwin on some new adventures – and we’re proud to be a part of that.  Married in late 2012, Kurt and Melissa wanted to find a way to consolidate their time and work together. In order to find a way to work together and for themselves, they naturally chose business ownership.

A Google search for franchising websites led them to explore Mosquito Joe’s home services franchise opportunity. “We came across Mosquito Joe and read the biographies of the management team and that’s what really sparked our interest,” says Kurt. “Their marketing techniques and their strong support was especially important to us.”  After their initial research they traveled to Virginia Beach, VA for a Discovery Day and I suppose you could say the rest is history. They opened their first Mosquito Joe location in May and plan to open more locations in the Columbia-Baltimore area over the next couple years.

Kurt and Melissa are already making headlines in the Baltimore area and they’ve dived right into bringing the outdoor fun back to their area. Their community advocacy has already included a partnership with the Howard County Public School System, to teach students about business skills and entrepreneurship, and a partnership with the American Red Cross of the Chesapeake Region as part of Mosquito Control Awareness Week initiatives in late June. We love watching our Mosquito Joe family give back in more ways than one!

If you have any friends in the Howard County, MD area, make sure you let them in on the secret to getting their yard back for the summer. Check out Mosquito Joe of Howard County on Facebook or the Mosquito Joe of Howard County website.