Zika Virus Update: Where We Are Now

In 2016 it seemed as if Zika virus was front page news on a daily basis. It’s rapid spread across South and Central America followed by the first local transmissions in the U.S. put health experts and the public on high alert. Zika’s ability to cause serious birth defects when transmitted from mother to fetus was a major impetus in the global heath scare as well. But where is all the talk about Zika in 2017? From the lack of headlines about the virus this year, you might think that it’s no longer a concern. But that is far from true. Let’s take a look at the Zika virus situation, its health effects, and what’s being done about it.

Zika Numbers

As of August 16, 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there have been a total of 5,415 cases of Zika in the U.S.. 224 of those were acquired locally via mosquitoes, and another 49 were acquired through sexual transmission, laboratory transmission, and other person-to-person routes. 203 cases have been reported in 2017, all of them acquired via travel. So there has certainly been a decrease in case count from 2016, which reported over 5,000 cases alone.

In addition to the normal Zika monitoring, there is also a pregnancy surveillance system in place across the country to quickly identify those most at risk of the damaging consequences of Zika; pregnant women and their babies. Between 2016 and 2017, 2,112 cases of Zika were reported via the Pregnancy Registry in the U.S.. 93 of those cases resulted in birth defects such as microcephaly, hearing loss, and other brain abnormalities.

Transmission, Symptoms, Testing, and Treatment of Zika

Zika is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito of the Aedes species. However, it can also be transmitted from mother to child during birth if the mother is infected during pregnancy. Zika can also be sexually transmitted during unprotected sex. There is still a lot to study in terms of how long Zika remains in the system after infection, but organizations such as the CDC are trying to get to the bottom of it.

The symptoms for Zika have not changed much from last year, but our understanding of them and how they should be tested have improved. Most people infected with Zika will experience mild to no symptoms whatsoever. Those experiencing symptoms could see fever, rash, headache, joint pain, red eyes, and muscle pain. These can last for up to a week as the virus usually remains in your blood for that long.

If you exhibit these symptoms, and especially if you have recently travelled to an area with Zika, consult your doctor about getting tested. Zika can be detected via blood or urine tests. Unfortunately, there is no treatment or vaccine for Zika virus at this time. The only thing to do is prevent infection or treat the symptoms once infected. This includes rest, drinking fluids, taking acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain, and protecting yourself against mosquito bites.

Zika Protection

Since there is no treatment or vaccination for Zika, the best way to protect yourself against it is to avoid traveling to areas with a high risk of infection and to protect yourself against mosquito bites. The easiest ways to do the latter includes wearing long sleeves and pants outside, remove standing water from your property, removing debris or brush from your gutters, using effective mosquito repellants, and even using professional mosquito control services like Mosquito Joe.

There is plenty of other information about Zika, the ongoing research behind it, and ways to protect yourself against it on the CDC website. Zika may not be in the news as much this year, but it is still a dangerous disease without a cure. So why not take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family? Mosquito Joe offers barrier spray services applied to your property every 21 days that eliminate mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks so you can enjoy your outdoor space and add a layer of defense to your arsenal against diseases like Zika and West Nile. Call your local Mosquito Joe today for a free quote and more information.

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Sisters Day 2017

Sisters fill many roles in our lives. Growing up, they’re your partner in crime, someone you can go to for advice, and oftentimes, your best friend. But the love doesn’t stop once you move out of the house. Sisterhood is a bond that lasts forever! August 6th marked National Sisters Day, and although we are a little late to the game, we figured it’s never too late to celebrate some of the special ladies in our lives! We toured the office and asked some of our staff to tell us what they love most about their sisters.

Sisters Day 2017
Michael Wagner and sister

My sister Donna is pretty spectacular.  She is a personal trainer in Lexington, Kentucky.  She is the proud mother of a 17 year old boy and a 13 year old girl.  She is a prolific runner having run multiple marathons and many endurance races, and is just an overall great person. – Michael Wagner, President of Pool Scouts

My sister Roxanne!  She does job placement for special education students that are in high school. Super intelligent. Growing up she was always a good shoulder to cry on.  I could talk for hours and she wouldn’t say anything, she would just listen to me. She has one of the biggest hearts that I know of.  – Jake Vinluan, Franchise Business Coach

My sister is just the best person in the world.  She is the nicest person I’ve ever met and always tries to see the good in everyone she meets.  She is a terrific mother and has raised three incredible, strong, kind daughters who will grow up to be terrific mothers and role models just like her. My sister is a great listener and my favorite sounding board.  She always helps me to see situations from every angle and helps me to stay grounded when life throws me a wrinkle.  She’s always there for me and I can’t imagine my life without her in it. – Jodi Ramoino, Director of Franchise Development

Sisters Day 2017
Jayme Sabo and sisters

My favorite thing about my older sister is her confidence. She believes in who she is and what she does and I love that about her! My favorite thing about my little sister is her eagerness and willingness to grow and evolve. She faces challenges head-on, first looking inward. Both my sisters have impacted me in their own unique ways. Because of them, I’m ever-changing, evolving, and yet confident. – Jayme Sabo, Director of Marketing

Growing up with my sister, Caitlyn, meant growing up with the ultimate travel buddy. We grew up traveling every summer and winter, but when we both started working and attending college, it happened less and less. We always throw around ideas of places to go, but inevitably it never happened since we had a heavy workload. One summer day, around 10 pm at night, my sister called me out of the blue to ask if I wanted to go to Disney…aka the happiest place on earth…TOMORROW! The room and tickets were already paid for, I just had to figure out how to get there. By midnight we were booking our flights, and by noon we had met up in Sunshine State, Florida. So far, this was the most impulsive trip I have ever taken and I would not have asked to go with anyone else. I love my sister because no matter how crazy life gets, she is always reminding me to enjoy the little things and live life to the fullest. – Amanda Liddell, Search Engine Marketing Specialist

Sisters Day 2017
Bridget Cardillo and sister

So my little sister Emily is actually the funniest person ever. Her dry wit and quick zingers keep me laughing – so hard that I’m in tears I might add. Even though we sound and look alike, she’s way cooler than me and I just love her! – Bridget Cardillo, Digital Marketing Manager

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Beat the Bloodsuckers: Mosquito Control Awareness Week 2017

As you can imagine for an outdoor mosquito control company, summer is a very busy time around our office. However, for one week each year we take some time to step back and really focus on the reason we do what we do: the importance of mosquito control and educating the public.

This year National Mosquito Control Awareness Week (MCAW) was June 25-July 1. MCAW is a time to educate the general public about the significance of mosquitoes in daily life and the important services provided by mosquito control workers. Mosquito Control Awareness Week is close to our hearts here at Mosquito Joe for obvious reasons.

Our franchisees spend a lot of time out in their local communities, spreading awareness of the importance of mosquito control and the services Mosquito Joe provides. Not only are these bugs a nuisance that can ruin your summer fun, but they pose serious health risks such as Zika, West Nile, and EEE. While we work all year long towards these efforts, a designated week such as this really shines the spotlight on professional mosquito control and why we need it.

Giving Back

By far, the biggest part of the week, and the one we most look forward to, is giving back as a company. For the fifth year, Mosquito Joe locations across the country partnered with local blood donation centers for our Beat the Bloodsuckers campaign. For every new customer that signed up for mosquito control services during Mosquito Control Awareness Week, we donated 10% of the sale to those local blood banks.

This year we also offered a new partnership with Nothing But Nets alongside our traditional local blood bank partnerships. Since 2006, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $45 million, delivering more than 7 million bed nets to protect families in Sub-Saharan Africa from malaria. A mosquito net sent to someone in need is $10, so for each new customer who signed up during Mosquito Control Awareness Week, we contributed $10 to represent a net.

Our franchise owners were able to choose whether their philanthropic efforts that week went towards a local blood bank or to Nothing But Nets. This year we had the privilege of partnering with twenty two blood banks across the country. This money will go towards the amazing work these organizations do in saving lives and emergency assistance. Because of our amazing customers, we were also able to donate over $6,353 in just one week to the blood centers we partnered with. Franchisees who partnered with Nothing But Nets donated $13,774 to the organization, supplying 1,377 life-saving nets to those in need.

Mosquito Control Awareness Week 2017

Mosquito Joe Spreading the News

Our franchisees did an amazing job spreading our message in their communities during Mosquito Control Awareness Week. Between news articles and TV segments, the amount of people who received mosquito control information from Mosquito Joe was impressive. Check some of them out here:

We’re so grateful to everyone that made our 2017 Beat the Bloodsuckers campaign the best yet and a giant highlight for us as a company this year. Thanks to our participating franchisees, each blood bank that we partnered with, Nothing But Nets, and our AMAZING customers that helped make this year’s Beat the Bloodsuckers campaign the huge success that it was.

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Backyard Birthday Bash Ideas

If you have a kiddo with a summer birthday, it’s always fun to take advantage of the warm weather as you plan a celebration. Whether in your backyard or at a neighborhood park, there are plenty of ways to make it memorable. We’ve got some ideas to help you keep your birthday boy or girl and the whole party crew entertained (and out of your house!)

Backyard Pirate Party

Pirates are always a hit with kids (and even most adults!), so if you’re looking for an adventurous way to celebrate, consider a backyard pirate bash to include the following activities:

  • Pirate castleDecorate a favor: Get small treasure chests from the local craft or dollar store and have kids decorate them as favors.
  • Walk the plank: Set up a kiddie pool and lay a piece of wood across the top of the pool. Have the kids walk the plank!
  • Dig for treasure: If you have a shallow storage tub lying around, fill it with sand. Bury toys into the sand and let the kids dig for them!
  • Scavenger Hunt: Hide small toys or snacks around your backyard and create a scavenger hunt complete with a treasure map and x marks the spot! The kids will love finding their “treasure!”

Backyard Splash Party

Keeping everyone cool with a backyard water party is never a bad idea during the hot months of summer! The options listed below might actually incorporate items you already have in your garage, which is always a plus!

  • Water BalloonsWater balloon fight: Fill a big tub with water balloons, and let the kids go to town in the backyard! The fun will be worth the cleanup.
  • Sprinkler fun: Turn on all of your sprinklers, and tell the kids to suit up! This always makes for an endless amount of fun!
  • Homemade slip-n-slide: If you have a tarp, lay it out across the backyard. Spray it down with a hose, and don’t forget to leave the hose running for that constant slip-n-slide effect. The kids will have a blast slipping and sliding their way across the yard! If you don’t have a tarp, no need to worry. Plastic sheeting from the hardware store also works perfectly!

General Ideas for Any Backyard Bash

  • DIY ice cream bar: Set up a topping buffet, and let your little guests make their own sundaes!Ice Cream
  • Water gun painting: Fill water guns with paint, and set up easels with paper in the backyard. Let the kids make their own colorful creations by squirting paint from the water guns!
  • Bubbles: Let’s be real. What outdoor party is complete without bubbles?

Before we leave you to backyard bash preparation, it’s important for us to note that mosquitoes feed mainly at dawn and dusk. Unfortunately, dusk is also the perfect time-of-day to be outside manning the grill and getting splashed by water balloons. Consider clearing your yard of mosquitoes with a barrier spray treatment, so that your guests can leave your party with a big smile and not a bug bite in sight. Give your local Mosquito Joe a call today to ensure that you’re on the schedule in time to have an itch-free backyard birthday!

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Meet a Joe: Leigh Hurst

*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!*

This week we’d like to introduce you to a member of the Corporate staff, Leigh Hurst. A Norfolk native, Leigh joined Mosquito Joe in March as our Administrative Assistant. She brought with her years of customer service experience from the restaurant industry and even spent some time as a yoga instructor. Whether it’s coordinating events, keeping the kitchen stocked, helping our franchise partners across the country, or just managing the office in general, Leigh is integral to the success of Mosquito Joe.

Here are some fun facts about Leigh, so you can get to know her like we have!

What led you to work for Mosquito Joe?

I heard of a position that was available here, came in for an interview, and thoroughly enjoyed every one I met. Plus, the office is a pretty cool space.

What is your favorite part about your position at Mosquito Joe?

Every day there is some thing different. Some days it is about the snacks, but most days, it is the people I get to interact with.

What are the biggest strengths professionally that you bring to the Mosquito Joe team?

I’ve worked in customer service since day one at my first job. I thoroughly enjoy helping others and meeting people.

What’s your favorite Mosquito Joe tagline and why?

“Itching is so last season”…well isn’t it?!

If they made a movie about your life, who would you want to play you and why?

Natalie Portman, she can pull off a shaved head.

If you could plan your ultimate vacation, where would you go?

The list “where I wouldn’t go” is much shorter than the list “where I would go”. The ultimate vacation is when there is no end to exploring. Bouncing from country to country exploring sights, food and building friendships while submersed in different cultures is a dream.

How do you like to spend your time outdoors?

It depends on the season! Summer is my favorite time of the year, so any and every thing outdoors. Winter out West is beyond beautiful, especially while snowboarding. Fall and Spring in the East are beautiful times to watch the change in the seasons from Mother Nature.

How attracted are mosquitoes to you?

I was born and raised in Churchland/Portsmouth, VA…by mosquitoes.

If you were shipwrecked, what three items would you want to land on shore with you?

The ship, my water filter, and ice cream.

If you could invite three people to a party, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Dolly Parton, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Caitlin Cimini. Once you google who they are and watch about 30 seconds of them speaking, you would want them at the party too!

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