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.


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. For example, 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 increase the risk of contracting Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. So, let’s take a look at how to remove a tick the right way.

The Importance of Using Safe Tick Removal Techniques

The proper way to remove 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, inserts a barbed feeding tube, and begins drinking blood. Ticks differ from most biting bugs in that they burrow into the skin and remain attached to the body even after biting. Because many ticks carry diseases, they can pass these diseases to their 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. This is just one reason why it’s essential to learn how to remove a tick safely.

What Are the Incorrect Tick Removal Methods?

As noted, removing a tick improperly can be even more damaging than leaving the tick to disengage on its own. In addition, it can increase your chance of contracting a tick-borne disease and infection. The following methods are NOT the proper way to remove a tick:

  • 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.

Now, let’s review how to remove a tick safely.

Proper Tick Removal Methods

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 the tick is removed.

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

  • Clean the area surrounding the tick bite with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  • Take your pointed tweezers and place the point down into the skin so you can grasp the insect as closely as possible to the tick’s head.
  • Use slow, firm motion and apply 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.
  • 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 to send away for testing. Or safely dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet.
  • Use rubbing alcohol or soap and water to clean the bite area once again.

When you use this proper way to remove a tick, you can limit the damage caused by the bite. But remain alert to possible symptoms so you know if and when you should seek medical attention. 

Control Ticks and Other Pests with Mosquito Joe

You can never be too cautious about tick bites and preventing tick-borne illnesses. Now that you know how to remove a tick safely, you can take steps to enjoy outdoor fun free from these biters. Reach out to your local Mosquito Joe for barrier treatments designed to eliminate ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. Call us at 1-855-275-2563 or contact us online to schedule professional tick control services. We’re making the outdoors fun again!

How do ticks transmit disease?

Because ticks drink the blood of their hosts, either human or animal, they can pick up any disease their host is infected with. The tick then transmits the disease through its saliva. When the tick bites, a small amount of saliva enters the new host’s skin. 

However, improper tick removal methods can stimulate the tick to salivate more heavily into the wound, increasing the transmission of pathogens. This is one reason it is essential to learn how to remove a tick safely. 

Do tick bites itch or hurt?

Typically, tick bites do not itch or even hurt. You are unlikely to even feel a tick bite, making regular checks for ticks essential. If you find a tick on you, a family member, or a pet, be sure you know how to remove a tick safely so you can limit the potential transmission of disease and infection.

How to check for ticks?

It’s critical to check for ticks thoroughly after returning indoors. Spotting ticks early can help reduce the risk of disease. Once a tick attaches to the skin of its host, the potential for transmission of a tick-borne disease increases significantly after 24 hours. Therefore a visual examination of your body and lightly skimming with your hands across your skin, especially in places you cannot see, is critical to early tick detection. 

A shower will wash off any crawling ticks. This is also a good time to search for ticks with your hands. Pay particular attention to underarms, behind ears and knees, under hair and on the scalp, inside the belly button, around the waist, and groin area. If you find an embedded tick on you or your pet, use the proper way to remove a tick, and discard it safely.

What are tick bite symptoms?

Several different tick-borne diseases have similar symptoms, like fever, chills, aches, pains, and a rash. If you get bitten by a tick, be sure to remove the tick safely and, if possible, save the specimen for examination should you, a loved one, or a pet develop any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms within a few weeks, seek medical attention and submit the tick you removed for testing.

For reference, a Lyme disease rash has a characteristic bull’s eye appearance. The bite location will be red and slightly swollen, with the area around it clear and surrounded by a ring of reddened skin.

Contact Mosquito Joe for Tick Control Services Near You

You can never be too cautious about tick bites and preventing tick-borne illnesses. While it’s great to know how to remove a tick safely, it’s so much better to prevent tick bites! So, add an extra layer of protection to your outdoor fun with Mosquito Joe’s tick barrier treatments. We can will help to protect your family and property from ticks and a variety of biters, including mosquitoes, fleas, and gnats.

You know your tick control service will be done right and on time because Mosquito Joe is a Neighborly company. Our services are backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise and the Mosquito Joe® Satisfaction Guarantee!

Contact Us

Secure your patio and property for bite-free fun! Just reach out to your local Mosquito Joe for barrier treatments to eliminate and prevent ticks.

Call us at 1-855-275-2563 or contact us online to schedule professional tick control services.