Thursday, February 15, 2018

David Beckham Gets Serious About Malaria

Sporting legend David Beckham has joined the fight against mosquitoes with a video that just might make your skin crawl. By raising awareness of the mosquito borne disease malaria, we can all ensure we are taking action in protecting ourselves against mosquitoes. It is about educating one another and making sure that the subject is heard by the people that need to hear it. The people that can do something. The people that can help to make a change.  Here's an article, which includes the video if you've not already seen it.

Watch David Beckham Stare Down a Swarm of Mosquitoes to Make an Important Point About Malaria

Don't worry, he's fine—Beckham recently posted this video on Instagram as part of the Malaria Must Die campaign. Beckham, a spokesperson for the campaign, shared the hair-raising short film alongside the caption: "Join me in raising awareness and show your support for the Malaria Must Die campaign. Let's end malaria, for everyone, for good."

Mosquitoes are the biggest killers on the planet. They may be tiny in size but their ability to spread disease is phenomenal, which is why mosquito control is such an important part of being a homeowner. You may not live in an area susceptible to malaria, but there are many more life threatening mosquito borne illnesses that are closer to home than you think.

All it takes is one bite from an infected mosquito and a life is changed forever. So if you 'think' mosquitoes don't like the taste of you and you're safe, then you're wrong. Of course, it's been reported that they prefer the taste of some of us to others, but would you really want to take the risk of not protecting yourself?

What Exactly Attracts Mosquitoes To Bite Humans?

You've probably heard that parasites like mosquitoes are attracted to, or like to bite some humans over others. This was long considered to be just a rumor, but in practice, it turns out to have some validity. Mosquitoes actually are attracted to the carbon dioxide that humans and other animals exhaled when they breathe. This is one way mosquitoes can find their prey, as they can use their other senses including vision, and thermal sensor information to determine if a potential host is nearby.

Listen to those that have the power to raise awareness, listen to those that don't. Anyone that can give you valuable information that can help spread awareness of these killer pests needs to be heard.

David Beckham Gets Serious About Malaria first appeared on:

Backyard Bug Patrol
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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lyme Disease On The Rise In The United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom the number of Lyme disease cases is on the rise. The castor bean tick, ixodes ricinus is another species of this disease spreading pest that is responsible for the spread of Lyme and it has been found in twice as many areas of the UK as it has been in previous decades. Here's an article with more information.

Lyme disease risk doubles in UK in a decade as ticks found in twice as many areas

A TICK that carries Lyme disease has been found in twice as many areas in the country as a decade ago, new figures reveal. A study from Public Health England (PHE) found that numbers of the castor bean tick Ixodes ricinus, the main carrier of the infection, were up thanks to warmer weather that helped the bug thrive.

Warmer temperatures than usual, appear to be aiding these disease spreading pests to survive longer. This means that the tick population is thriving in parts of the globe that previously did not feel such a concern.

Ticks can be difficult to remove, so you need to make sure you know how to remove a tick correctly, if you discover you've been bitten and the tick is still attached. There are also many myths that circulate on the internet, so make sure you know the do's and don'ts.

 This Is the Only Thing You Should Do If a Tick Lands on You

Scientists already predict Lyme disease to surge this year, but a viral tick "trick" could put people even more at risk. The only problem? The "tip" directly contradicts experts' advice and actually increases the likelihood of contracting tickborne illnesses, like Lyme and Powassan virus. "Ticks carry all sorts of diseases," entomologist Dr. Neeta Connally recently told KFGO. "Those are actually salivated into the body when the tick attaches, and so we don't want to agitate the tick in any way that is going to make it salivate more and thereby be more likely to transmit anything."

Wherever you are in the world, these tiny ticks are a huge risk to your health, so be vigilant and 'in the know' when it comes to being in contact with a tick.

Lyme Disease On The Rise In The United Kingdom first appeared on:

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Mosquitoes: Let’s Scare Them To Near Death

Mosquitoes are clever little suckers! They learn fast, they react fast and they bite…fast! So let's take this knowledge to our advantage by continuing to swat these disease spreading pests every time they come near us because new evidence has arisen that even if you miss your target, there's a pretty good chance the mosquito won't target you next time.

First-Ever Evidence That Mosquitoes Can Be Trained

Disease-carrying mosquitoes can learn to associate near-death experiences with scent and will stay away after an attempted swat. It turns out that by slapping at a mosquito about to bite, the insect learns to associate that near-death encounter with your personal scent and avoid you in the future.

So continue to wave your arms about, grab that swatter and generally defend yourselves against these critters because the more you 'scare them' the chances of them returning to you again and again decline. You become the smell that they associate with danger.

Our own actions and odor could be our personal defense mechanism, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't protect ourselves with already proven mosquito control.

A New Study Shows Mosquitoes Can Be Trained Not to Bite Specific Humans

According to a study published in Current Biology, when you slap at a mosquito that is about to bite you, it learns to associate your personal scent with that life-threatening experience and will avoid you in the future. This is the first demonstration showing that mosquitoes are able to both learn and remember.

It's a promising discovery, with findings that can continue to contribute to the constant battle we have against mosquitoes. Let's scare them to near death!

Mosquitoes: Let's Scare Them To Near Death first appeared on:

Backyard Bug Patrol
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(703) 621-7116

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Lone Star Tick Does Not Spread Lyme Disease

The Lone Star tick, for many years has been guilty by association of spreading the tick borne illness, Lyme disease. However, this tiny critter has recently been put in the clear and a verdict of 'not guilty' has been reached when it comes to being the cause in transmission of this debilitating illness. Here's an article with more information:-

Lone star ticks not guilty in spread of Lyme disease

The bacteria that cause Lyme disease are transmitted to humans primarily by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis). Often presumed guilty by association is the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). However, a new review of three decades' worth of research concludes the latter should be exonerated: While lone star ticks are guilty of transmitting bacteria that cause several human illnesses, the scientific evidence says Lyme disease is not one of them.

This discovery does not mean that we can be complacent when it comes to protecting ourselves against this particular species of tick. They still carry a myriad of bacteria and are still a huge threat to our health. Also, if you're a meat lover, here's another reason to be aware.

Ticks, although tiny, can make a huge impact. The bacteria that they can spread to not only human beings but animals too, can cause misery for many and alarmingly can also be life threatening. What is also frightening is that the disease can go undetected.

BUGBEAR Woman, 25, 'facing a death sentence' after bug bite '20 years ago' leaves her battling Lyme disease

A WOMAN has been left wheelchair-bound and fears she is facing a death sentence after a tick bite left her battling Lyme disease. Juliet Rose, 25, was diagnosed with the debilitating condition last year but believes she has suffered with the condition since she was four years old after being bitten while playing outside.

You can be anywhere in the world and these critters will always be a threat, so wherever you are, please make sure you are protected from ticks at all times.

Lone Star Tick Does Not Spread Lyme Disease first appeared on:

Backyard Bug Patrol
901 Cantle Ln
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(703) 621-7116

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Can You Turn A Mosquito Into A Vegetarian?

You may think that all mosquitoes like the taste of flesh. That these tiny bugs that spread deadly diseases are only satisfied when they are chomping on their latest blood supply. However, did you know that there are actually some mosquitoes that prefer the herbivore approach? The species known by their scientific name Wyeomyia smithii, have evolved from YeahHi itheir blood sucking ancestors to prefer the sweetness of the nectar. Here's an article with more information:-

Unlocking the secrets of why some mosquitoes have a taste for flowers over flesh

When blood and syrupy nectar are both on the menu, pitcher plant mosquitoes tend to go for the vegetarian option. But not all of them do. A new Ohio State study uses the species' dietary variety to explore why those mosquitoes, whose scientific name is Wyeomyia smithii, have evolved from an ancestral, blood-based regimen to one that favors blossom-based meals.

Are these pests conscious of a healthier, plant based life style? Could we possibly turn the deadly mosquito into a vegetarian? We know that the other disease spreading pest, the tick can cause us humans to turn to vegetarianism…

Let's flip the scenario a little. What about a plant that actually eats mosquitoes!!

A plant in your garden that eats mosquitoes?

Having a moneyplant or a cactus in your verandah is so predictable. More and more plant lovers are waking up to a more exciting — if bizarre — gardening option. Welcome to the world of carnivorous plants, which you've probably read about in school. Now, nurseries are selling them by the dozen to enthusiastic gardeners. They need little care, have to be watered from time to time and can catch their own prey for food. So, how's that for a hassle-free pet?

It's a good idea to fill your yard with plants that repel these little critters, but for further protection make sure you've got mosquito control in place too. You can never be too careful which species wants to enjoy your outdoor area. Those that prefer their flesh and blood or the ones who like to graze their way through a nice tasty plant.

Can You Turn A Mosquito Into A Vegetarian? first appeared on:

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(703) 621-7116

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Dracula Ticks Survive Dinosaur Extinction

When we hear the name Dracula, we think of Gothic horror, blood sucking, vampire bats, Transylvanian Castles and the spread of the undead curse. Halloween costumes, scary movies and things that go bump in the night. Can we just stop you there though? Do you ever relate the name to ticks?


If not, then you will going forward because scientists have discovered a prehistoric tick found in a chunk of 99 million year old amber and they've called it Dracula's terrible tick. Here's an article with more information:-

Meet Dracula, the bloodsucking tick which feasted on dinosaurs 99m years ago

As if the dinosaurs didn't have enough to look out for with volcanic eruptions, fearsome predators stalking the land and a huge, unstoppable asteroid hurtling across space to ruin their day. Now scientists have found that the prehistoric beasts also had blood-sucking ticks to contend with, having spotted carcasses of the parasites lodged in 99million-year-old lumps of Burmese amber along with material left over from dinosaurs and their nests.

So could these troublesome ticks still have spread diseases such as Lyme disease in prehistoric times just like they do today?

Ancient Lyme Disease Bacteria Found in 15-Million-Year-Old Tick Fossils

The oldest known evidence of Lyme disease may lie in ticks that were entombed in amber at least 15 million years ago, scientists announced. The researchers investigated four fossilized ticks that had been trapped in chunks of amber found in the Dominican Republic. Inside the ticks' bodies, the scientists saw a large population of cells that looked like the squiggly shaped spirochete cells of the Borrelia genus — a type of bacteria that causes Lyme disease today.

Ticks have been found in fossils before, but this particularly recent discovery reveals a tick with a feather which could show a relationship between the two.

Ticks drank dinosaur blood before they drank ours, amber fossils show

"When we get isolated feathers or isolated ticks, it's very hard to say what the relationship is there," says Ryan McKellar, curator of invertebrate paleontology at the Royal Sasketchewan Museum in Canada, who was not involved in the study. "But with these specimens, they're able to point and provide fairly concrete evidence for the first time."

Evidence that these pesky bugs are not going to go away. If they survived the extinction of the dinosaurs, then we need to be fully protected from them at all times, because they are certainly here to stay.

Dracula Ticks Survive Dinosaur Extinction first appeared on:

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Japanese Barberry. An Ideal Habitat for Ticks

Home owners in Connecticut might want to inspect their yards for a plant many of us have… It's known as Japanese Barberry. This invasive bush is contributing to the rise of the tick population as it can help to create the perfect, humid environment for ticks to hide out. Here's an article with some further information:-

Invasive Shrub Linked To Rising Rates Of Ticks, Lyme Disease In Connecticut

The shrub, which is considered an invasive plant in Connecticut, is being blamed for a rise in the tick population in the state, which in turn is causing an increase in cases of Lyme disease here. That's according to a recent report from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, which linked the increased abundance of infected deer ticks to the shrub.

Japanese Barberry has been used for many years to help landscape gardens. It grows in a variety of colors and has a high drought tolerance and with its dense branches this plant has been ideal at keeping out the pests, like deer for example.  However, it's proving to have quite the reverse effect.

If your back yard has this type of plant featured in its landscaping then you may want to look at the best way to manage it. Ticks are the main carriers of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, so keeping your yard as safe as possible for your family and your four legged friends is something to seriously consider. If fact, it's not a consideration, it's a necessity!

 Manage Japanese Barberry to Keep Tick Levels Low, Reduce Lyme Risk

The study tracked levels of Japanese barberry and blacklegged ticks in six locations in Connecticut. At each, three separate plots were monitored: one with barberry left intact; one with barberry cleared with a combination of mechanical removal, herbicide treatment, and flame treatment; and one where no barberry was present at all. They found that clearing the barberry reduced tick abundance—and abundance of ticks infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease—in the managed plots nearly equal to the levels of the no-barberry plots.

So while these bushes might make your outside areas look more desirable, if you look a little closer you may find that what's lurking beneath the surface is far from pretty!

Japanese Barberry. An Ideal Habitat for Ticks first appeared on:

Backyard Bug Patrol
901 Cantle Ln
Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 621-7116