How Is West Nile Virus Spread?

What You Need to Know About West Nile Virus Transmission

Is West Nile virus contagious? How is this mosquito-borne disease spread? With mosquito season in full swing, you may be thinking about the risk of West Nile virus and what you can do to keep your family protected. If you are concerned about West Nile virus transmission from person to person, you will be relieved to know that the World Health Organization (WHO) reports no known human-to-human transmissions of the virus through casual contact.

Still concerned? The experts at Mosquito Joe dig a little deeper into the facts about West Nile virus transmission and the steps you can take for virus prevention.

West Nile Virus Transmission Facts

Birds are the natural hosts of West Nile virus, and the virus proliferates in nature through a lifecycle that involves transmission between birds and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes pick up the virus when they feed on an infected bird and the virus is stored in the mosquito’s salivary glands. Infected mosquitoes can then pass the virus to mammals, including humans, when they bite, injecting the host with the virus.

People most at risk for contracting West Nile are those who work outside or participate in outdoor activities. . anyone who lives in an area where West Nile virus has been identified in mosquitoes is at risk.

West Nile Virus Symptoms

According to WHO, 80% of people who become infected with the virus do not experience symptoms. However, in the worst cases, it can lead to a fatal neurological disease. Approximately 20% of infected people develop West Nile fever, which can include the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Body Aches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Skin rash
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Symptoms typically begin to show two to six days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, although it can take up to two weeks. Most people who develop symptoms will make a complete recovery, but residual fatigue and weakness can last several weeks following the infection.

West Nile Virus Prevention

Because there are no medications or vaccines to treat West Nile virus, protecting against mosquito bites is the best plan for prevention.

Here are tips for limiting unwanted encounters with mosquitoes when you or your family members are outside:

  • Apply insect repellent anytime you plan to go outside. Repellent products containing DEET and picaridin are effective and provide longer-lasting protection from bites. Insect repellents containing coconut oil compounds are effective botanical alternatives.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants.
  • Avoid going outside during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most prevalent.
  • Decrease the number of mosquitoes around your property by emptying standing water from containers and ensuring the yard does not have piles of leaves or debris.
  • Consider the professional application of yard treatments specifically designed to keep mosquitoes and other pests off your property.

Achieve an Itch-Free Yard with Mosquito Joe

A highly effective way to protect your yard from mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus is to have outdoor pest control experts like Mosquito Joe apply recurring barrier treatments to your property. Regular treatments will eliminate mosquitoes and other pests like ticks and fleas for up to three weeks at a time. Your local Mosquito Joe team has the tools and solutions to make your outdoor space fun again so you and your family can enjoy bite-free time in your yard this year.

Let our professionals perform the customized mosquito control services to fit your property’s needs. Give us a call at 1-855-275-2563 for more information or request a free quote online now.

Worried about other viruses that might make their way into your life? Consider these tips from Molly Maid for how to stop spreading germs at work. Molly Maid is a fellow member of the Neighborly® family of home service brands.


Patio Design Ideas So You Spend More Time Outside

Explore Inspiring Patio Design Ideas

Do you love the thought of spending more time outside with your family or guests but feel like your outdoor living space is less than desirable? Get ready for some serious inspiration with these patio design ideas to transform your yard.

Whether you’re looking for patio ideas on a budget or you’re ready to make all your wildest patio dreams come true, we have tips to breathe new life into your patio.

Let’s make it your new favorite spot for relaxing and entertaining.

What’s Your Patio Budget?

When considering patio design ideas, it is a good idea to determine your budget upfront. Knowing how much money you want to spend on the project will guide you as you plan out the new area.

Keep in mind that upgrading your patio can be an investment that boosts the overall curb appeal and value of your home. By spending time and money to make the most of your living space, you’re also investing in family time, recreation, and the hours of personal enjoyment you will experience once your new patio is complete.

Small Patio Design Ideas on a Budget

If you wish to take a budget-friendly approach to your patio transformation, there are plenty of low-cost ways to upgrade. You can make a big change to your small patio by adding a pop of color, thoughtful décor, or a few pieces of stylish, comfy furniture.

Here are some of the best small patio design ideas to meet your goals and budget:

1. Plants make patios prettier.

Adding attractive potted plants gives your patio a focal point of interest. Flowering plants and greenery naturally add beauty and life. Plus, you can purchase several plants without blowing your budget. Consider incorporating a trellis with whimsical vines or add your favorite flowers to several small pots or a large planter. If you cook with fresh herbs, why not incorporate potted basil, rosemary, and thyme? The herbs add eye-appeal, bring nose-pleasing aromatherapy to the patio, and make it easy for you to grab a few sprigs while cooking.

2. Spruce up the patio with stylish furniture.

Investing in a few pieces of fashion-forward patio furniture can make a big impact on your patio vibe, functionality, and appearance. Choose a comfortable chair and table set so you can take dinner outside. Cozy lounge furniture will encourage long, leisurely hangout sessions enjoying nature’s ambiance. If you do not have shade on your patio, consider purchasing a table with a built-in or removable umbrella to create a shady place to chill, even on the warmest summer day.

3. String up some illumination.

Hanging up a string of white lights or lanterns, or using torch lamps is an easy way to turn your patio into an inviting space for evening fun and entertaining guests. The lights not only help with safety and vision—they turn a humdrum patio into a twinkling retreat.

Dream Big with Next-Level Patio Design Ideas

What if you don’t have to adhere to a strict budget for your patio project? Perhaps you’re ready to go big and make this space your personal backyard oasis that’s the talk of the neighborhood.

Let’s explore some of the dreamy additions and improvements you can make to create the patio environment you’ve always wanted:

1. Build an outdoor kitchen.

Fresh-air kitchens are all the rage. If you have the space available, turning part of your patio into an outdoor kitchen is an on-trend idea that will boost home value and make cooking more enjoyable than ever. Want to add a built-in grill with a smoker or a fantastic stone pizza oven? Or maybe your goals include convenient outdoor cabinetry and countertops with plenty of food prep space. You can have everything you need to whip up a feast for the family and entertain guests.

2. Install a gas fireplace or stone firepit.

There’s just something about a gas fireplace or firepit that takes an outdoor living space to the next level. Who doesn’t love lounging around a cozy fire on a crisp fall evening? There’s a fireplace to complement whatever style you prefer—from rustic to high-end luxury with all the bells and whistles.

3. Install a chandelier or unique light fixtures.

Illuminate your outdoor patio with light fixtures that are as beautiful as they are functional. A chandelier adds elegance to the space, while well-placed task lighting can be exactly what you need to create a masterpiece in your outdoor kitchen.

4. Incorporate a Jacuzzi for the ultimate relaxation.

Jacuzzi time, anyone? Imagine how much your family and guests would dig a Jacuzzi built-in to your patio. Surround it with a decorative pergola, enhance with ornate stone steps, or install it next to the fireplace to create a Jacuzzi experience you can enjoy year-round.

Is Your Backyard Ready for This?

While it’s fun to dream about incorporating some of these fabulous patio design ideas, it’s important to make sure your property is ready for the upgrade. Nobody wants to hang out in a Jacuzzi or cook in a glorious outdoor kitchen while the mosquitoes are swarming around family members or guests.

Give your property the treatment it deserves this season with a barrier spray application from your local Mosquito Joe. We provide effective mosquito, tick, and flea control solutions to help you enjoy your new and improved patio without the hassle and annoyance of biting pests. Contact our team today, and we will recommend the outdoor pest control treatment that is ideal for your property. Give us a call at 1-855-275-2563 for more information or request a free quote online.

The Grounds Guys offer quality hardscaping services designed to bring your dream patio to life. The Grounds Guys is a fellow member of the Neighborly® family of trusted home service brands.


West Nile Virus Prevention Basics

West Nile Virus Prevention for Your Family

Are you concerned about protecting your family from West Nile virus? The thought of anyone in your family contracting an illness from an infected mosquito may be enough to make your shelter inside, especially if the virus has been identified in your area. Don’t let worry about the West Nile virus keep you and your family members from spending quality time together outside.

To prevent West Nile virus transmission, Mosquito Joe has prepared some tips so you can combat the mosquitoes in your yard and take the proper steps to make your property an itch-free zone.

How to Prevent Getting West Nile Virus

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for West Nile virus, so the number-one way to prevent virus transmission is to stop mosquito bites in the first place.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones:

1. Use an effective mosquito repellent product.

Look for insect repellant products registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Products containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), and 2-undecanone have been proven to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects. These products are an effective solution for everyone, even women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. However, these repellents are not recommended for young children. Always read product labels and check the EPA site for product safety and effectiveness.

2. Wear long sleeves and pants.

Covering as much skin as possible is a good way to keep mosquito bites away. Neutral-colored, loose-fitting clothing is best. Avoid bright colors or flower patterns that can attract mosquito attention, as well as tight clothes, which can make it easier for the mosquito to penetrate through the clothing to the skin. Tuck pants into socks and consider wearing a hat for additional protection.

3. Treat clothing with permethrin.

Permethrin is a common mosquito control product that can be sprayed on clothing and shoes. The product is irritating to mosquitoes which keeps them from landing and biting, and can even kill them on contact. The product can be sprayed on all clothing, or you can purchase clothing that has been pre-treated with permethrin. However, do not apply the spray directly to the skin. Read the product label to determine how long the pesticide protection will last.

4. Avoid going outside at dusk and dawn.

Dusk and dawn are when mosquitoes are the most prevalent. If possible, avoid going outside during these times. Another time to stay inside is immediately following a rainfall, when mosquitoes may be hanging out near standing water in and around your yard.

5. Avoid and prevent mosquito high-traffic zones.

In addition to steering clear of stagnant pools of water like puddles, birdbaths, and clogged, water-filled gutters, it’s a good idea to avoid areas including garbage cans, flowerbeds, piles of leaves, shrubbery, orchards, and wooded areas—all tend to be high-traffic areas for mosquitoes.

You can also take these steps to make your property less attractive to the biting pests:

  • Empty standing or stagnant water around the property on a regular basis.
  • Keep your lawn and shrubbery trimmed and tidy so mosquitoes have fewer places to lurk and rest.
  • Stay on top of gutter maintenance to avoid dirty gutters with stagnant water accumulation.
  • Repair leaky outdoor faucets and store garden hoses properly.

6. Additional steps to protect children.

Not every insect repellent that’s approved for adults should be used for infants and young children. Always read product labels and check the EPA list for registered insect repellents to determine which products are right for your child. Do not use products that contain oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children younger than three years old.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), insect repellent use on infants under two months old is not recommended.

Whether your child is too young for insect repellants, or you would like to find alternatives, here are other and West Nile virus:

  • Cover baby carriers and strollers with protective netting.
  • Clothe baby head-to-toe in loose-fitting, neutral-colored clothing; include a hat to protect head and ears from bites and shoes or socks to protect feet.
  • Avoid the use of strongly scented soaps, lotions, hair products, and perfumes.
  • Keep the baby inside as much as possible if your yard does not have proper mosquito control.

West Nile Prevention for Your Property

Many homeowners find the most effective way to prevent West Nile virus transmission on their property is to eradicate mosquitoes. No mosquitoes mean no mosquito bites. And no mosquito bites means no West Nile virus.

Ready to reclaim your yard from the threat of biting mosquitoes and worries about mosquito-borne illnesses? Let your local Mosquito Joe team apply the effective barrier treatments that will keep mosquitoes away for up to three weeks. No more swatting, worrying and scratching. Your family can have peace of mind while you enjoy bite-free time together outside. Call the friendly, knowledgeable pros at Mosquito Joe today at 1-855-275-2563 or contact us online to take back control of your yard this season.

Keeping your window screens in great shape is a good way to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. Consider window screen repair or replacement services from Glass Doctor®, another member of the Neighborly® family of trusted home service brands.


How to Properly Remove A Tick

What Is the Proper Way to Remove a Tick?

Everyone and their Great Aunt Edith seem to have friendly advice on how to remove a tick. The trick is knowing how to sort the myths from the facts—getting tick removal wrong could be dangerous. Burning a tick with a match and painting over it with nail polish are not safe ways to remove ticks (no matter what Aunt Edith says). Methods such as these can result in an increased risk of diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Why It’s Important to Use Safe Methods for Tick Removal

Removing a tick is unlike removing any other type of insect from the body. While you can simply brush away most bugs, a tick attaches to the body, bites the skin, and begins drawing blood. Ticks differ from most biting bugs in that they tend to burrow into the skin and remain attached to the body even after biting.  Because many ticks carry diseases, they can pass these diseases to the human host while attached.

Certain unsafe removal methods can cause the tick to salivate and regurgitate into the bite site, which may increase the risk of disease transmission.

Improper removal techniques include:

  • Applying heat to the tick body with a hot nail or match
  • Covering the tick with petroleum jelly, alcohol, nail polish, or gasoline
  • Killing the tick while it’s still attached to the skin
  • Crushing, squeezing, twisting, or puncturing the tick
  • Handling the tick body with bare hands

How to Properly Remove a Tick

While you may be eager to remove a tick from your body or your child’s body as quickly as possible, it’s important to have the right supplies on hand first. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pointy tweezers – Choose tweezers with a pointed tip, not square. Your typical eyebrow tweezers likely aren’t pointy enough and might tear the tick’s body.
  • Rubbing alcohol or soap and water – You will use this to clean the site thoroughly.

Once you have these items ready to go, take these five steps to remove a tick correctly to minimize the risk of infection:

  1. Clean the area surrounding the tick bite with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  2. Take your pointed tweezers and place the point down into the skin so you can grab as closely as possible to the tick’s head.
  3. Use slow, firm motion, and steady pressure to pull the tick straight up and out of the skin; avoid jerking or twisting. If the tick breaks, make sure to go back to the bite site to remove the remaining head. If you are unable to remove the head, seek medical attention.
  4. Once removed, avoid handling the tick with bare hands. Use the tweezers to place the tick’s body into a container with a blade of grass if you wish to keep it alive and send away for testing. Or safely dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet.
  5. Use the rubbing alcohol or soap and water to clean the bite area once again.

Tick Bite Symptoms: What You Need to Know

After removing the tick, it’s important to inspect the surrounding area thoroughly for signs of infection. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice a bull’s-eye rash, characterized by a raised spot with a clear center at the bite location.

Continue to keep an eye on the bite site in the following days and contact your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of these potential signs of Lyme disease:

  • Body aches, muscle pain or a stiff neck
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Fainting spells
  • Headache
  • Light-headedness

If you saved the tick in a container, bring it along with you to the doctor’s appointment because it can help to diagnose disease.

Check for Ticks Regularly

The risk of Lyme disease transmission increases significantly after 24 hours of attachment, so it is a good idea to check yourself and any family members for ticks regularly. Checking at least daily for ticks is an ideal practice. However, if you, family members, or a pet are outside often, it’s wise to check each time you come indoors. Look under arms, behind ears and knees, under hair and on the scalp, inside the belly button, around the waist, and between legs.

Treat Your Yard for Ticks and Other Pests

You can never be too cautious when it comes to tick bites and preventing tick-borne illnesses. If you want to add an extra layer of protection to your outdoor fun, reach out to your local Mosquito Joe for barrier treatments designed to eliminate ticks. Call us at 1-855-275-2563 or contact us online to schedule professional tick control services.

Ticks gross a lot of people out. Check out these recommendations for cleaning gross things more painlessly from our friends at Molly Maid. Molly Maid is another member of the Neighborly® family of home service brands.