Since May is Lyme disease Awareness Month it is fitting that just last week news of a clinical trial for a Lyme disease vaccine is going well was released. Lyme disease numbers have grown over the last several years here in the U.S and what was once considered a New England-based disease has, unfortunately, expanded its reach.
The Lyme disease vaccine is being developed and tested at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine and Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. The initial findings have been published by The Lancet Infectious Diseases’ website.
The vaccine triggers the body to create antibodies against Borrelia, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. While there are hundreds of Borrelia variations, this vaccine is said to fight against all those that are carried in the Northern hemisphere. In early trials consisted of 300 volunteers that each received three immunizations and one booster. The researchers are happy with the results so far and excited to see it advance to the next stages of testing. As Dr. Luft, a co-author of the paper explains:
“The results of the clinical trial conducted by Baxter are promising because the vaccine generated a potent human immune reaction, covered the complete range of Borrelia active in the Northern hemisphere, and produced no major side effects. We hope that a larger-scale, Phase 3 trial will demonstrate not only a strong immune response but true efficacy in a large population that illustrates protection against Lyme disease” (Source).
A common frustration with Lyme disease is that it isn’t easily diagnosed. While many people relate Lyme to the bulls-eye rash, many patients never develop it. Most of the symptoms related to Lyme are unfortunately the same as those related to the flu and arthritis, like joint paint, fever, fatigue, headaches and more. The longer a patient goes without a proper diagnosis, the worse some symptoms can become. A vaccine would be a great first step in being more proactive in fighting the battle against Lyme.
At Mosquito Squad, we help combat Lyme with our tick treatments for the yard. Our barrier spray knocks down any adult ticks it sprays during application. Further protection includes tick tubes that are placed in parts of the yard where mice are most active. Tick tubes hold treated cotton that the mice will bring back to their nests. Most ticks actually get their first blood meal from mice, so when they come in contact with the treated cotton, they’ll die. The number of tick tubes your yard needs will depend upon the size of your yard. Contact your local Mosquito Squad office to learn more about our tick control services.
If you live in an area that is known to have Lyme and you spend any time outdoors, make sure you do a thorough tick check after coming inside, including behind your knees and under your arms. These hard-to-reach places are tick favorites. If you do find an attached tick, make sure to remove it properly with tweezers and put it in a plastic bag if you can, that way you can have it tested if you do indeed start to show symptoms of Lyme.
We at Mosquito Squad are excited to see the news of the Lyme disease vaccine and will be keeping all of you posted!
With 51,000 dairy farms in the U.S. and 97% of those being family owned and operated, the importance of ensuring the highest possible level of health and regulatory practices is necessary to maintain the integrity of the industry and its products.
Dairy farms, due to the inherent nature of the business, are susceptible to a number of environmental threats. One particular threat that can be incredibly detrimental to the livestock found on a dairy farm are ticks. Ticks are not only a nuisance; they also carry a high level of risk for cows in certain circumstances. For example, blacklegged ticks carry a dangerous bacteria that can lead to a reduction in the amount of milk produced by cows. If a cow is affected by a tick carrying harmful bacteria, it can have a detrimental impact on the small dairy farmers of America. It’s important dairy farm operators utilize tick control services to minimize the risks associated with ticks and keep their farm operating at a peak level of productivity.
There are a number of valuable measures dairy farmers can take on their own to prevent tick-related problems from occurring, for example keeping facilities clean and free of waste and tall grass, which are potential breeding grounds for ticks. While these measures may offer some protection from ticks, the most advisable course of action to avoid sick and infected cattle is to use the services of a professional mosquito control company, such as Mosquito Squad. In addition to providing mosquito-related services, a professional service provider like Mosquito Squad will often be able to offer all-natural solutions that pose no risk to the animals or the humans working on the farm and will eliminate ticks from the premises.
By keeping animals safe and healthy, not only is a dairy farmer able to reduce the extra costs associated with caring for sick animals, but the farmer can also rest assured that he or she is providing only the best milk to customers.
In the United States, West Nile Virus continues to become an increasingly worrisome problem. Last year there were a record number of instances of sickness and death as a result of West Nile Virus, yet despite the startling statistics, many people still fail to employ adequate mosquito protection measures.
West Nile Virus was initially something that was seen primarily in temperate, tropical locations, but in recent years the disease has become more prominent in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 48 states reported cases of West Nile, with the total number of cases reaching nearly 5400. Of these, 243 deaths were reported.
While West Nile made numerous headlines during the past year, many people still report that they don’t take steps to prevent mosquito infestations. Aside from wearing bug repellants, it’s also important that individuals, regardless of their location or climate, consider the utilization of a mosquito treatment for the yard. This is particularly important for families with children and pets who may spend a great deal of time outdoors.
Often, despite the enormous benefits, people are cautious to use mosquito protection services because of the perceived health risks associated with pesticides. For example, in some circumstances, exposure to DEET has led to allergic reactions and other harmful side effects. Luckily, services provided by a mosquito control company, such as Mosquito Squad, use only the most effective methods for treating mosquitos.
In addition to taking advantage of services provided by professional companies, it’s also possible for individuals to take other preventative measures, such as eliminating stagnant water from areas around the home. This is especially important during the warm months of spring and summer, which are the time when mosquitoes are most prevalent.
There are numerous options to avoid the risks associated with mosquitoes, perhaps the most dreaded of which is West Nile. It’s never too late to take steps to protect your family from the threat that can occur with a mosquito infestation.
May not only brings spring flowers, but also Lyme Disease Awareness Month, a month that is near and dear to Dread Skeeter and the rest of the Mosquito Squad team.
Lyme disease is an illness that affects a large portion of the east coast. Take the quiz below to test your knowledge of Lyme disease (the answers are the bottom of the post).
1) What is Lyme disease?
- A disease that can affect the heart
- A topical rash that appears on the body
- A disease that can affect the body’s neurological functions
- A flu-like virus that can cause fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and join aches as well as swollen lymph nodes.
- All of the above
2) How is Lyme disease contracted?
- By drinking contaminated water
- Via improperly cooked food
- Through spiders carrying the disease
- Via the bite of an infected tick
- Via the saliva of an infected dog
3) In what parts of the country is Lyme disease most prevalent?
- East Coast
- West Coast
4) Approximately how many Americans have been diagnosed with Lyme disease since the CDC because tracking cases in 2002?
5) How can homeowners reduce exposure to Lyme disease?
- Utilize plants and shrubs that don’t attract deer
- Keep tall grasses away from the home entrance and edges of the lawn
- Create a barrier between wooded areas and entertainment/play areas
- Keep the yard clean and free of debris
- Perform a daily tick check
- Treat with a barrier spray
- All of the above
6) Which of the following notable Americans has been treated for Lyme disease?
- George W. Bush
- Lady Gaga
- Tiger Woods
- Hilary Clinton
- Rosie O’Donnell
7) In what season is one more likely to contract Lyme disease?
Answers: 1-5, all of the above
2- 4, via the bite of an infected tick
3 – 2 & 3 Midwest and Northeast
4 – 2, more than 275,000 Americans have been diagnosed with the disease since 2002
5 – 7, all of the above
6 – 1, George W. Bush (treated in 2006)
7 – 1 & 2, infected ticks can bite at any time, but late spring and early summer is considered the most likely time to contract the disease
Happy Arbor Day and Mosquito Squad Service Day everyone! Today, Mosquito Squad’s across the country gave back to their local communities. Each location decided the best way to help in their area, but I was lucky enough to be part of the effort here in Richmond, VA. Together with Mosquito Squad of North Richmond and Mosquito Squad of South Richmond, we were able to plant 15 trees on a street block in Richmond.
This morning, 30 people gathered in Richmond’s Union Hill neighborhood to plant the trees on a city block that hadn’t had trees since the 1950s. It was great! We had members from the city showing us the best way to plant to ensure the trees grow properly. And just when the digging was getting tough and the weather was getting warm, a neighborhood mom and her two kids came by with lemonade and snacks to thank us for our service.
We at Mosquito Squad are happy to provide our clients with mosquito control for their yard, but we also understand the importance of giving back. Mosquito Squad Service Day was a success here in Richmond! Take a look at the pictures below from today and more information from other Mosquito Squad locations will be coming soon!
Spring is a great time for families and children throughout the country. It brings the start of warmer weather and the opportunity to participate in outdoor activities after the end of the bitter winter months. However, just as spring brings renewal, it also means an increase in insects, including ticks. A tick bite can potentially lead to a number of diseases and health concerns, making it important to utilize methods of tick control in your yard. Read the rest of this entry »