Hurricane Florence increases Mosquitoes in Raleigh

Hurricane FlorenceAlthough the Research Triangle was spared the devastating winds of a Category 3 or Category 4 storm when Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday 9/14/2018, heavy rains have caused widespread flooding throughout southeastern North Carolina and has drenched the Raleigh area. Even though the main effects of the winds and rain have diminished in Raleigh, the saturation of the rain has left the area prone to mosquitoes that normally breed where water is prevalent and both heat and humidity are extreme. Raleigh is already listed at #6 in the top 20 worst mosquito cities in the United States, and with the current conditions left from Hurricane Florence, it’s predicted that there will be a major increase for mosquitoes not only in Raleigh, but in most North Carolina cities and towns.

Saturated Ground Makes Uncommon Locations Perfect for Mosquito Breeding

Most Raleigh based mosquito control companies will typically address mosquito breeding locations where water tends to collect naturally, such as ponds and streams that are within close proximity of a house or business where they are performing a mosquito control treatment. The problem with the flooding from Florence is that it has made areas that don’t normally experience cycles of mosquito breeding primed for mosquitoes to lay eggs. With this being the case mosquitoes don’t have to travel far to lay their eggs and rapidly reproduce.

Get Ahead of Mosquito Infestation with a Professional Exterminator

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The Mosquito Tek Exterminator
Most homeowners just don’t have the resources to combat heavy mosquito infestations such as what Raleigh is now facing from all the mosquitoes left from Hurricane Florence, and even the most effective mosquito repellents or store bought insecticides won’t prevent mosquitoes from turning yards into havens for mosquito larvae to flourish. Professional mosquito exterminators such as Mosquito Tek have not only the best commercial grade insecticides needed to eliminate the worst cases of mosquito infestations, but they also have the experience needed to make sure that the breeding cycles will be broken.

Neighborhoods Work Collectively to Control Mosquito Populations

When disasters strike, North Carolinian’s are known for their resolve in helping each other overcome whatever damage is done to their neighborhoods, and as the cities and towns of eastern North Carolina work toward clearing downed trees and restore lost power, the people in Raleigh are faced with helping each other reduce the impact of heavy mosquito populations not only on their own property, but on properties adjacent to their home which can still be havens for mosquitoes unless the barrier for preventing their return is as wide as possible. Mosquito Tek understands that the most effective mosquito control treatments involve treating the widest area possible, and to help the Raleigh residents they have a neighborhood discount where homeowners can get together and purchase a treatment plan as a group.

Protecting the Environment while Killing the Mosquito Infestations

Raleigh might be faced with trying to eliminate a large influx of mosquitoes, but it doesn’t have to come at the cost of damaging the delicate ecosystem within the area. As business owners and homeowners start the process of getting mosquito populations under control around their home or company property, areas that are sensitive to chemical based insecticides can be treated with all-natural mosquito insecticides that won’t harm organic gardens, wildlife, or add risk to families and pets. Ask about organic mosquito control if this is a concern when you call in to order the mosquito service.

Have Signs of the Deadly East Asian Tick Been Found in the Raleigh Durham Area?

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Image courtesy of John Tann via Flickr CC by 2.0

If you have listened to the news recently, you may have heard reports of the East Asian tick being found in the United States. This is a new species to the area, and it has been found in New Jersey. It is invasive and has not responded to efforts to eradicate it before it established itself.

Where Is the East Asian Tick in the United States?

Currently the tick is only in New Jersey in the United States. Experts are not sure how the tick made its way to the United States. It was first found by a new Jersey sheep farmer last fall. Currently, there are no known instances of the tick outside of New Jersey. However, this is considered a highly invasive species and eventually they will likely spread to other areas of the United States. It has proven to be a problem in Australia.

Why Is the East Asian Ticks Considered Deadly?

The East Asian tick is a known carrier of the STFS virus. At this time, this virus is only found in Asia. It begins as a fever with vomiting and diarrhea. It can affect the platelet count, white blood cell count and the level of liver enzymes in a patient. It can also lead to multiple organ failure. Since it is a virus, treatment focuses on managing systems. The mortality rate of the disease is twelve percent. The disease can be passed through bodily fluids too.

What Are the Chances of This Coming to the United States?

The concern is that since the ticks have reached the United States, that if the virus makes it way over to the United States, that it will have the chance to easily spread throughout the United States. The virus was first discovered in 2009, and more and more cases are reported each year. No one is certain when or how the virus will make it to the United States, but it is a possibility.

Is There a Way to Prevent Tick Bites?

There are steps to take to prevent tick bites. There are a number of ticks already established in North Carolina that can spread serious illnesses like Lyme disease. The issues are even worse this year because a record tick season is expected. You can prevent tick bites in your yard by having it treated for ticks. Wearing insect repellent with DEET when you go into areas with ticks can also help.

Can Fleas Make People Sick?

Can Fleas Make People Sick
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When you think about fleas, you likely think about your pets and how they can make your pets sick and miserable. However, fleas also pose a risk to people. They are known to spread a number of serious illnesses to people as well. Here are a few illnesses that people can catch from fleas.

Tapeworms

Fleas are known carriers of tapeworms. While these are often more common in animals, tapeworms can infect humans as well. In order for both pets and people to catch the tapeworm, an infected flea must be ingested. Pets will accidentally ingest them when grooming or trying to remove the flea. Children are more likely to accidentally ingest a flea than an adult.

Bubonic Plague

Most people know that the bubonic plague was also called the Black death and it wiped out upwards of 75 million people during the Middle ages. There are still cases of it every year. Modern medicine has effective treatments if the disease is caught early enough and the mortality rate is a lot lower than it used to be. However, there can still be outbreaks in parts of the world.

Murine Typhus

Murine typhus is spread through fleas. It starts with a fever, and possibly vomiting. A rash may appear on about day five of the illness. This needs to be treated with an antibiotic in order to clear up the illness. The earlier the treatment begins the more quickly the patient will recover from the illness

Tularemia

Tularemia is a disease that can affect both people and animals. The symptoms depend on how it is spread, but if you contract it through a flea bite, you will have an ulcer develop where the flea bit you. If this happens you should go to the doctor and get on antibiotics. If you do not treat it at this stage, it can spread and develop into more serious forms of the illness including typhoidal or pneumonic.

Protect Yourself from Fleas

The best way to protect yourself from these diseases is to prevent fleas. You can do this by having a preventative flea treatment for you yard. You can also use flea preventives such as a flea collar, flea drops or an oral medication. This should stop you from getting a flea infestation in your home. Most of these illnesses are no longer very common in the United States, but there is still the chance of catching them. Before you travel to other countries, be sure to check to make sure there is not an outbreak.

All About Dengue Fever

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Image courtesy of Alvesgaspar CC by 3.0 SA

Dengue fever is a serious illness that is spread by mosquitoes. It can have outbreaks and they are more common in certain parts of the world, where it is warmer throughout parts of Africa, Central and South American, India and Southern Asia. If you are traveling outside of the United States, you should be aware of any possible outbreaks and check with the state department’s website to see if there any precautions you need to take before traveling.

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

Dengue fever starts out as a fever that will last from two to seven days. You may also have joint pain, pain behind your eyes, as well as muscle or bone pain. There may be signs of easy bruising, bleeding gums or a bloody nose or petechiae (small pinprick bruises) and a possible rash. The real issues with the disease will happen after the fever drops. If you experience any of these symptoms, you need to go to the emergency room. There may be vomiting or severe abdominal pain, red spots, bleeding from the gums or nose, difficulty breathing, drowsiness, or clammy skin.

Treatment from Dengue Fever

There is no specific treatment for people with dengue fever. If you develop the complications, doctors will monitor you and try to treat symptoms. It is important to avoid taking ibuprofen or other medications that can make bleeding easier like aspirin. The best pain medication to take while fighting off dengue fever is acetaminophen. The key is to monitor the illness as it progresses so that you can seek emergency medical care if necessary.

Protecting Yourself from Dengue Fever

When traveling to parts of the world that are prone to dengue fever, you should protect yourself by wearing mosquito repellent. Be aware of any travel restrictions due to an active outbreak. If you a family member or friends ends up coming back to the United States with it, you should take precautions against being bitten to prevent a possible outbreak and to prevent the disease from spreading to your family member.

Controlling the Mosquito Population

It is important to take steps to control the mosquito population around the property. You can take the steps to do this by addressing standing water around your home. You can also have yard treatments done by a professional that will eliminate adult mosquitoes and stop new ones from breeding. These steps can protect you and your family from a number of different mosquito-borne illnesses.

4 Ways to Protect Your Children from Mosquitoes

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Image courtesy of John Tann via Flickr CC by 2.0

Mosquitoes carry a number of serious illnesses that can affect your children including West Nile virus, and St. Louis encephalitis. Mosquito bites can also make your children itchy and uncomfortable. One of the best ways to avoid the complications that come with mosquito bites is to help your children to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes completely.

Dress Your Children to Protect Them

Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, so you should dress your children in light colored clothes. Loose fitting clothing with long sleeves and pants can reduce the number of mosquito bites that your children receive. There is the option to treat the clothing with an insect repellent or to buy clothing that is already treated. This option is good if you know you are going into an area that is heavily populated with mosquitoes like on a camping trip, but it may not be practical for every day clothing and use.

Use Mosquito Repellent

An important step is to use an effective mosquito repellent on your children. There are a number of different options that you can use. DEET is very effective and will work against ticks as well. Picaridin is another very effective option. It is safe to begin using these repellents on your babies as soon as they are two months old. The dangers of mosquito borne illnesses can outweigh any worry you have about using the repellents on your children. For babies in strollers or baby carriers, you can use a mosquito net when you are outside to keep them outside of your home.

Avoid Peak Times

Mosquitoes tend to be more active in the early morning just after dawn and in the early evening at dusk. This is also a time when many people spend times outside because it is a bit cooler than during other times of the day. If you stay in during these hours you can reduce the number of mosquito bites. If you need to be outside during this time, you need to be sure to use insect repellent and to reapply it as needed for the protection.

Address Your Backyard

One of the most common areas to be bitten is in your backyard. You can address standing water in your backyard and set up a fan to reduce the number of mosquitoes that can land, but the most effective way to do that is to have your yard professionally treated for mosquitoes. This will protect your yard and home from mosquitoes and it means that you do not have to worry about constantly applying mosquito repellent every time you send your children out to play.