Pe(s)t Peeves

With October being Pet Wellness Month, Mosquito Joe wanted to share some of the biggest pe(s)t peeves that are in your furry friends’ life. Mosquitoes, ticks and fleas are no fun for your furry friends since they can ruin your pet’s outdoor playtime, cause itchy skin and pose serious health threats by transmitting disease. To protect your furry friends from these pesky pests, equip yourself with knowledge of mosquitoes, ticks and fleas and how you can keep your pets protected through the end of the season.

Mosquitoes bugging your pet?

For humans, mosquitoes can result in everything from itchy bites to more serious diseases like malaria or Zika virus. For pets, heartworm disease is the primary concern. The mosquito plays a vital role in the heartworm life cycle, which is why it is so important to keep your pet protected. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up baby worms, which develop and mature into larvae over a period of 10 to 14 days. Then, when the infected mosquito bites another dog or cat, the larvae are deposited onto the surface of the animal’s skin and enter the new host through the bite of that mosquito. You can learn more about heartworm disease and the symptoms involved here. The likelihood of your pet contracting this disease can be minimized by following the below preventatives:

  • Put your dog on a heartworm prevention program. Heartworm disease can be fatal if left untreated.
  • Keep your pets inside, especially in the early morning and early evening when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Avoid walking your dog in marshy areas where mosquito activity is high.
  • Change water bowls frequently – mosquitoes breed and thrive in standing water.

 

Don’t be ticked off this year.

Pet owners are especially concerned with tick prevention because a tick bite can cause serious implications for pets. Five of the ten diseases ticks transmit to humans can also be transmitted to pets. That is why keeping everyone (furry or not) around your household bite-free is so important. Ticks are the most efficient carriers of disease because they attach firmly when on your pet, feed slowly and may go unnoticed for a considerable amount of time while feeding.  Some of the diseases that can be transmitted to pets are Lyme disease, Rocky Mounted spotted fever and Ehrlichiosis. To ensure that your pets are safe from a tick bite and avoid getting any tick-borne illnesses, you can do the following:

  • Avoid wooded and tall grassy areas during walks and hikes where tick activity is high
  • Create a tick-safe zone to reduce ticks by cutting grass and brush short around your home
  • Stay current on your dog’s tick prevention medicine, like collars and sprays
  • Thoroughly check your dog for ticks daily

If you do find a tick on your pet, make sure you safely remove the tick from your pet by using fine-tipped tweezers or a specialized tick key. Pull upward with steady, even pressure while ensuring you are not twisting or jerking the tick. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol.

Give your pets flea-dom.

Fleas are practically invisible to the naked eye, measuring at a length of around 1/10 of an inch, which makes these little guys tricky to keep under control. They mostly feed on pets like cats and dogs but will occasionally feed on humans, as well. While they don’t fly, these impressive jumpers have strong hind legs that allow them to leap over 50 times their body length. Even your furry Golden Retriever can see the effects of fleas. Fleas bites are itchy, their saliva can be an allergen causing rashes and they cause skin problems when your cat or dog scratches incessantly. Not only can they make you or your pet uncomfortable, but they also carry diseases just like mosquitoes and ticks. There are many ways that you can prevent fleas from creating an infestation on your property:

  • Keep grass mowed and trees trimmed. This is the opposite of curb appeal for fleas – they have nowhere to hide!
  • Don’t leave pet food unattended in your yard that is meant for your pets. This encourages feral pets and wildlife into your yard to investigate and they’ll bring their fleas with them! Opossums, raccoons and stray cats are the worst offenders.
  • Make sure you cut back any tree branches or high scrubs that would allow animals to crawl into your attic. You should also seal off any openings to crawl spaces, garages, sheds or under decks, where wild animals could gain entrance to your home, bringing fleas with them.
  • If you do have pets, veterinarians recommend a monthly flea and tick preventative given once a month during all seasons.

Say goodbye to those dog-gone mosquitoes, ticks and fleas!

Let Mosquito Joe be your second line of defense against your furry friends pe(s)t peeves by applying a  barrier treatment to your property. A trained and certified technician will treat your yard with an effective solution that eliminates mosquitoes, ticks and fleas for 21 days. As an alternative to our longer-lasting synthetic treatment, our all-natural solution repels mosquitoes immediately. This less-adhesive yet effective option requires treatment on a 14-day cycle.

If you’re still not sure if Mosquito Joe is right for you, give your local MoJo a call or request a free quote online. We are dedicated to making outside fun again for you and your four-legged family and our job is not done until you are happy!

 

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Know the Facts | Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus

What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus?

Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV or Triple E) is a mosquito-borne disease that is spread through mosquitoes who have bitten an infected bird. The primary EEEV vector is a swamp mosquito called the black-tailed mosquito which transmits the virus to birds, or becomes infected by feeding on infected birds in their swampland habitat. When a mosquito that typically feeds on humans feeds on the infected bird instead, they then contract EEEV. That mosquito then transmits the illness to horses and humans through an additional bite.

What should I know about EEEV?

While the probability of getting EEEV is low, it is still important to be aware of the symptoms and importance of protecting yourself, however infrequent the cases are. Human EEEV cases occur so infrequently because the primary transmission cycle takes place in and around swampy areas where human populations tend to be limited. If you are someone who works outdoors or engages in recreational activities in endemic areas, it’s especially important to be aware of the virus. Although anyone can contract the disease, those under the age of 15 and over 50 are at a higher risk of a severe case of EEEV.

What should I know about Triple E in 2019?

In the United States, few human cases are reported each year. According to the CDC, in 2018, only 6 human cases were reported nationwide. However, 2019 has seen a rise in the number of human cases totaling to over 30 confirmed or suspected cases in seven states: Michigan, Tennessee, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey. The CDC has provided a comprehensive map of confirmed cases by state from 2010-2019, as well as updating the map whenever new cases are confirmed. You can also view confirmed cases for other mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus, Zika and Dengue fever.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC notes that there are two forms of EEEV: systemic or encephalitic. Systemic infection has an abrupt onset and can result in fever and chills. The illness lasts one to two weeks and recovery is complete when there is no central nervous system involvement. The encephalitic form starts as systemic but will manifest into more serious symptoms, such as fever, headache, irritability and in some cases brain damage. It usually takes between four and 10 days after being bitten to notice symptoms. If you or anyone you know starts to show any symptoms it is important to contact your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment.

How is EEEV treated?

While the disease can be prevented in horses with the use of vaccinations, there is no preventative or cure for EEEV available for humans. According to the CDC, “Patients with suspected EEE should be evaluated by a healthcare provider, appropriate serologic and other diagnostic tests ordered and supportive treatment provided.”

What can I do to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses?

technician sprayingThe best prevention against Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a reduction of mosquito populations and the avoidance of mosquito bites. Professional mosquito control services such as the barrier treatment offered by Mosquito Joe® provides the best defense against mosquito-borne illnesses like EEEV. Additionally, eliminating breeding areas on your property keeps mosquitoes from producing and reduces the risk of getting sick from a mosquito bite. To help reduce the population on your property, consider the following:

  • Unblock drains and gutters
  • Have fans in outdoor spaces to eliminate mosquitoes from flying close by
  • Avoid allowing standing water to accumulate in outdoor containers such as flowerpots, tires, dog bowls, etc.
  • Screen windows and doors
  • Use mosquito repellant and wear protective clothing (long  sleeves and long pants)
  • Let Mosquito Joe be your second line of defense by getting a barrier treatment that protects your yard from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas

At Mosquito Joe, we take our job of keeping your yard itch-free seriously.  With our licensed technicians and a passion for making outside fun again, our job is not done until you and your family are happy. To add an added layer of defense against mosquitoes in your outdoor spaces, contact your local Mosquito Joe today to enjoy a bite-free yard!

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Fun Activities for Fall

 

For many, fall means colder temperatures, pumpkin spiced treats, and of course, the changing of the leaves. Fall is the perfect time for you and your family to take advantage of various outdoor seasonal activities. Keep reading for different ways to enjoy one of the best times of the year. 

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Fall and pumpkins seem to go hand in hand. Take an opportunity to visit your local pumpkin patch! This is a great opportunity to learn how pumpkins are grown and to enjoy some locally-sourced pumpkin treats! You can also get an early start on your Halloween decorations by choosing pumpkins to carve with your family. Looking for ideas on how to carve your pumpkin? Check out Pinterest for fun and scary examples. If you think your pumpkin looks good enough to put on display, look for pumpkin carving contests in your area.

Take a hayride

During this time of year, hayrides are extremely popular as they’re a great way to enjoy the scenery in your area. Most hayrides take place on farms, giving you a first-hand view of the fall produce. If you’re a bit of a thrill seeker, there are many farms that offer haunted hayrides just in time for Halloween! 

Host a bonfire

Everyone can appreciate the slight chill that comes with fall weather. One of the best ways to enjoy it is to have a bonfire. There are a couple of steps to building a bonfire. First make sure bonfires are allowed in your local area. Next, select a safe area that is away from any buildings or structures. To build the bonfire, you’ll need stones or bricks to form the perimeter, sticks for kindling, and fuel. Once the fire has been built, you can set up blankets for seating, roast marshmallows, make s’mores, and sing your favorite campfire songs! Click here for more information on how to safely build bonfires!

Go hiking

 Another way to enjoy the fall colors is to see them up close. What better way than going on a hike? Not only is it an excuse to get out of the house, it’s also a great to stay active during the cooler months. Depending on your preferred level of difficulty, you can choose a trail with hills for a good workout, or one that allows for a more leisure walk. Before heading out, make sure to protect yourself and your family from ticks that can hide in wooded areas by wearing long sleeves and tick repellant.

Try out a fall recipe

With holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, fall is the perfect time to experiment with new recipes. Take advantage of fall produce such as cranberries, butternut squash and brussel sprouts. Your local farmer’s market will have a number of seasonal fruits and vegetables that you can incorporate into your fall menu. Impress your friends and family with this Harvest Pear-Blackberry Pie!

Fall can be a great time to enjoy the changes outdoors, but the cooler temperatures don’t mean that outdoor pests such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas are gone for good. Mosquitoes can thrive in temperatures above 50 degrees while ticks can continue to be active in temperatures above 45 degrees. Make sure to keep your outdoor spaces bite-free this fall by calling Mosquito Joe. Click here to find a location near you! 

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