Where Are Lone Star Ticks Found and Will I Get a Meat Allergy?

Understanding the Threat of Lone Star Tick Disease

Spring and summer typically bring more time spent enjoying the great outdoors but also increased concerns about potentially dangerous ticks. Lone star ticks, in particular, have become an intriguing species due to their ability to transmit ehrlichiosis—an illness that can create an allergy to red meat.

It almost sounds like a disease from a sci-fi movie, but this threat is not a figment of the imagination. Should you be concerned?

The experts at Mosquito Joe are here to answer your questions about lone star tick disease, including where these ticks are found and what is up with that dreadful meat allergy.

Where Are Lone Star Ticks Found?

Until recently, people outside of the southern parts of the United States didn’t have to worry about lone star tick disease. However, as the tick species has been spreading north, you now need to watch out for them in the entire eastern half of the United States—from Texas to Iowa and all the way east to the east coast. While the lone star ticks have shown up in areas as far north as Maine, they are still more common in southern states.

You will be able to identify a lone star tick by its silver-white dot—or “lone star”—located on the dorsal shield of females. Adult lone star ticks have a round, reddish-brown body and long, thin mouthparts.

Lone Star Tick Disease: Ehrlichiosis

Lone star ticks transmit bacteria that may lead to several different types of illnesses but the most well known and common is ehrlichiosis. This bacterial illness causes flu-like symptoms ranging from mild body aches and fatigue to high fever and vomiting. Perhaps the most notorious symptom is when the bitten individual develops an allergy to red meat (beef and pork).

While the meat allergy does not happen to every person who is bitten by a lone star tick, it is common enough to be cause for concern.

How does this bizarre allergic reaction develop? When the lone star tick bites a human after feeding on other mammals, the victim can experience an immune system response to the tick’s saliva molecules. Doctors say it can take anywhere from two weeks to three months after a lone star tick bite to experience this bizarre allergic reaction.

How Likely Are You to Contract Ehrlichiosis?

As the lone star tick species continues to expand its geographic footprint, many people living in the eastern half of the U.S. want to know what the risk is for contracting ehrlichiosis or developing the lone star tick meat allergy. Research reveals that a lone star tick is less likely to carry ehrlichiosis than a deer tick (also known as a blacklegged tick) is to carry Lyme disease. So not everyone who is bitten by a lone star tick will develop the red meat allergy.

The risk may not be high enough to warrant alarm. Still, it’s important to note that the lone star tick is the most aggressive tick species. It’s possible to experience multiple bites if you find yourself in their habitat.

Protect Yourself and Your Family with Tick Control Services

Checking for ticks regularly and being aware of the risk of tick-borne illnesses is important, but there’s more you can do to minimize exposure to the lone star tick disease

Let the team of experts at your local Mosquito Joe help you to combat any tick species in your area with our reliable tick control services.

We are dedicated to using the best prevention and barrier methods to serve as a strong line of defense against tick-borne illnesses. Call us at 1-855-275-2563 or contact us online to schedule professional tick control services.


Whether you’re cooking red meat or veggies, cleaning and maintaining your grill is important. Learn more about grill cleaning and maintenance from Mr. Appliance®, another member of the Neighborly® family of trusted home service brands.

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Will Giant Asian Hornets Take a Sting Out of Your Outside Fun?

 

If you’ve heard about The Murder Hornet, you probably are wondering what this insect is and if it could establish itself in the United States. As the experts in outdoor pest control, Mosquito Joe is here to answer all of the important questions you might have.

What is a Murder Hornet?

The Murder Hornet, commonly known as the Giant Asian Hornet, is one of the largest hornets in the world. With a body length of 1.98 inches and a stinger that is one-fourth of an inch, their stinger injects a large amount of venom into an insect.

Giant Asian Hornets are found in temperate to tropical regions in East Asia, South Asia and mainland Southeast Asia. They primarily feed on tree sap, larger insects and social insects such as honeybees and the honey they produce.

The Giant Asian Hornet in the United States

In September 2019, a colony was confirmed in Vancouver, Canada and was eradicated. Recently, there was a sighting of two Giant Asian Hornets in Washington state, one of them being dead. After further investigation of the other insect, it was determined that there was no evidence of an established colony here in the United States.

The biggest threat that the Giant Asian Hornet could impose is the destruction of honeybee hives. Floyd Shockley, the entomology collections manager at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, stated, “It’s important to focus on the facts, and the facts don’t support that this is an established invasive that’s going to destroy the North American honeybee industry.”

When it comes to Giant Asian Hornets and their threat to humans, Shockley also stated that there is nothing to worry about. While their sting is more painful than that of a honeybee, they tend to keep to themselves and are only dangerous when they feel provoked.

Mosquito Joe’s Pollinator Protection Management Program

Mosquito Joe understands that pollinators are a valuable part of the ecosystem, which is why we created the Pollinator Protection Program. Our Pollinator Protection Program is our conscious effort to minimize the harm done to our buzzing friend, the bee, while knocking out our pesky foe, the mosquito. The program is designed around three key areas:

  1. Familiarity with customer property: A trained and certified technician will identify any flowering bushes, gardens and plants that attract pollinators and treat accordingly.
  2. Application procedures: Technicians are trained to not spray within ten feet of plants that attract pollinators. Wind direction is also considered when spraying and may necessitate a greater standoff distance than ten feet.
  3. Products: While pesticides are a potential factor to the pollinators, the concern is largely with neonicotinoids, a family of pesticides which we do not use. We also closely follow the manufacturer’s application instructions on the product label.

We pride ourselves on our communication with our customers, starting with education and then working together when we customize our treatment plan for each individual property.

Need To Treat That Sting?

Mosquito Joe has a treatment program to eradicate non-pollinator stinging insects such as wasps, hornets and ground-nesting yellow jackets. Wearing Personal Protection equipment, our technicians use an insecticidal dust formulation that is injected into the nest with a controlled device to eradicate the nest.

Are you ready to take back your yard? Reach out to your local Mosquito Joe to find a treatment plan that works best for your property.

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Do Mosquitoes Spread Coronavirus?

This answer is…absolutely not.

While there are a lot of diseases spread by mosquitoes, according to World Health Organization has stated, “There has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes.”

How Does COVID-19 Spread?

COVID-19

The outbreak of COVID-19 is being spread from person to person. Based on what we know, its spread occurs between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Respiratory droplets are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and those droplets carry the virus from one person to another.

How Do I Protect Myself and My Family?

This pandemic is moving quickly, and the best practices can change from day-to-day. Follow the preventative steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and your local health department, as some information will change based on how serious the outbreak is in your area.

To help you stay healthy and safe, we’ve outlined some of the most effective preventative measures below.

Social Distancing

Limiting contact with people outside your home is an important step in protecting yourself and your family. Social distancing means taking measures to maintain distance from other humans, therefore limiting the chances of them infecting you with COVID-19. The easiest way to distance yourself is to stay at home as much as possible.

If you must leave the house, take the following steps to distance yourself while outside the home:

  • Stay at least six feet away from other people as much as possible.
  • Replace handshakes or hugs with elbow bumps.
  • If you touch door handles or handrails, do not touch your face; wash your hands as soon as possible.
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • If you are healthy, avoid contact with people who are sick.

Personal Hygiene

It cannot be said enough that handwashing and keeping your hands away from your face are vital steps in protecting yourself and others. Consider the following recommendations from the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often. Use soap and hot water and wash for at least 20 seconds, especially after being out in public, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Use hand sanitizer only when soap and water are not accessible and ensure it contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face. If your hands are dirty, keep them away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Contain coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw used tissues in the trash immediately. If you’re not able to use a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick. Healthy individuals who are not caring for sick people do not need to wear masks. It’s important to make sure masks are available for those who need them.
  • Clean and disinfect. Both clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched regularly every day. This includes things like tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.

While COVID-19 is already impacting life in America on a significant level, taking the necessary precautions to limit its spread is the best thing we can do to protect both ourselves and our communities.

Mosquitoes Do Carry Many Diseases

While mosquitoes are not of concern with the outbreak of COVID-19, they are carriers of many diseases that can have serious impacts on those who contract the diseases. If you’re concerned about mosquitoes in your yard, Mosquito Joe provides treatments to help eliminate mosquitoes from your property. Give us a call at 1-855-275-2563 or request a quote online.

Learn how to reduce spreading of germs in your office with these tips from Molly Maid, another member of the Neighborly® family of home service brands.

The information provided herein is interim guidance for general education purposes only and should not be construed as or substituted for medical advice or emergency response plans. For additional information, please contact your local health department or visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. All Mosquito Joe services are performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

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How Many Mosquitoes Are There in the World?

How Many Mosquitoes Are in the World?

It’s impossible to accurately tabulate the number of mosquitoes in the world. The adult lives of mosquitoes are brief, rarely lasting more than 15 days. And female mosquitoes lay a clutch of 100-200 eggs every three days, laying as many as three sets of eggs before dying. With such a rapid reproduction cycle, the number of mosquitoes in our world is changing every second.
However, across the globe there are 3,500 different species of mosquito. These species are subdivided into 112 genus-species with the main distinction being preferred breeding habitat

How Many Species of Mosquitoes Are There in the World?

There are approximately 3,500 species of mosquitoes worldwide with around 175 residing in the United States. Most of the mosquitoes found within the United States fall into three genera: Aedes, Anopheles, or Culex genus.

Aedes
These mosquitoes can be identified by their narrow black bodies and legs with alternating bands of light and dark. They were originally found in the tropics but have spread throughout the world and are now found on all continents except Antarctica. Aedes mosquitoes are responsible for the spread of dengue fever.

Anopheles
Mosquitoes in this genus are the main transmitters of malaria throughout the world, though the species that live in the United States do not transmit malaria. 460 different species of mosquitoes have been identified within this genus, but not all of them are able to transmit disease.

Culex
Culex are often thought of as the common house mosquito, but are responsible for transmitting a number of diseases including West Nile Virus and encephalitis. In the United States, this mosquito can be found throughout the Southeast states.

While the total number of mosquitoes there are in the world is impossible to quantify, we do have an idea of the number of types and species. With 3,500 species worldwide, that’s certainly a lot of mosquitoes.

How Many Mosquitoes Are in Your Backyard?

To give you an idea of how hard it would be to determine a world population of mosquitoes, have you ever tried to count the mosquitoes flitting around your backyard? We’re willing to bet you haven’t. We’re also willing to bet that the thought of doing so is daunting. To get close enough to count them would surely requite sacrificing yourself to an uncomfortable excess of bites.

If it starts to feel like every mosquito is targeting your backyard, give your local Mosquito Joe a call or request a free quote and make the first step toward a mosquito-free yard!

Homes can have a variety of pests inside, learn how to eliminate indoor pests, too, from the clean home professionals at Molly Maid, a trusted fellow Neighborly® brand.

 

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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.

mosquito joe eeev in the us map

What should I know about Triple E in 2020?

In the United States, few human cases are reported each year. According to the CDC, seven cases have been identified in 2020. These EEE cases were reported in Massachusetts, Michigan and Wisconsin.

In 2018, only 6 human cases were reported nationwide. However, in 2019 there was 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. They also update as well as updating the site 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 repellent 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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