Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lyme Disease Threat in Maryland

Deer ticks are most commonly known for transmitting Lyme disease, but did you know that they can also be responsible for the transmission of other tick borne viruses too?  Here's an article that has further information about 6 other potential diseases that you could be at risk of, from an infected tick bite.

A single tick bite could put you at risk for at least 6 different diseases

The deer tick, also known as the blacklegged tick, is a fascinating but nasty little creature, and it's spreading. The tiny arthropods carry Lyme disease — the serious illness that we most associate them with — but that's not the only pathogen they spread.

With the winter being warmer than usual this year, ticks have thrived in the warmer weather, which means it could be the worst season in years when it come to the threat of Lyme disease. This report shares how Maryland could have a troublesome time with ticks.

Scientists Predict Worst Lyme Disease Season In Md. In Years

The impact of an above-average tick season is hitting Maryland families hard this summer. As Maryland approaches peak tick season, doctors are reminding Marylander to cover up. Scientists predict this could be the worst lyme disease season in years. More than 1,200 cases of lyme were reported in Maryland in 2015 and this year is expected to be even worse.

You can take some simple steps to help protect your family from Lyme disease.

Lyme disease

They may be tiny, but ticks have the potential to cause serious health issues to many of us. None of us are safe or immune, so we need to take protective measures.

Lyme Disease Threat in Maryland first appeared on:

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Mixed Opinion on Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Wouldn't it be nothing short of a miracle if mosquito borne diseases could be eradicated for good? That we no longer lived in fear that one bite from an mosquito that could be infected with a myriad of diseases could cause a potential threat to our health or indeed, our life! Here's an article about some scientific research that has been focusing on genetically modifying mosquitoes to lower their fertility rate and perhaps "knock out" certain types of species.

Mosquito-Borne Diseases Could Be Wiped Out For Good With Gene-Editing

Using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technique, scientists have discovered a new way to limit the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes, which has the potential to block the transmission of diseases like Zika and malaria across whole continents. The team's model shows that by modifying the gene coding of mosquitoes to lower fertility rates, and controlling the way those genes are passed on through generations, we could have a targeted and inexpensive way of knocking out certain species.

Of course, it is highly debatable as to whether getting rid of an entire species is ethical. There are mixed opinions and concerns about 'playing with nature'.


Tackling the Zika virus last year, residents of South Florida were not happy about being the 'lab rats' for the test of releasing genetically modified mosquitoes. Their concerns were understandable.

Genetically modified mosquitoes the way forward: Dr Bart Knols, vector biologist

You are releasing only genetically modified male mosquitoes. It's only the female mosquitoes that take blood. These male mosquitoes do not take blood and do not get in contact with people. If you release these males in the wild, they will look for females of the same species, and they do not affect other organisms in the environment.

We can all help contribute to the threat of mosquitoes by making sure our mosquito control is up to date. If each of us took steps to protect our own homes, many neighborhoods would become safer places from these pests.

 

The Mixed Opinion on Genetically Modified Mosquitoes first appeared on:

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Meat Lovers Beware! Ticks Can Cause Red Meat Allergy

If you've been venturing out into areas well known for their tick habitat, then you might want to read on a little further. The Lone Star tick is just one of many species of tiny arachnids that feed on our blood and have the potential of spreading disease and causing allergic reactions. In particular we've been looking at the damage this little critter is causing when it comes to an allergy to red meat, so if you think you may have been bitten, here's what you need to look out for.

7 Lone Star Tick Symptoms To Look Out For If You Think You've Been Bitten

Planning to take a hike in the woods this summer? Be on the lookout for a new threat in the form of a tiny tick that seems to have supernatural powers. If you get bitten, Lone Star tick symptoms can mimic food poisoning, or a severe allergic reaction. And, the Lone Star tick could force you to become a vegetarian, because one result of getting bitten by this insect is developing an allergy to red meat.

Are you identifying with any of these symptoms and could have potentially been bitten by a tick?


Meat lovers beware! If you don't want to run the risk of being bitten by an infected tick and developing this allergy, you may want to take extra steps to protect yourself from ticks.

What You Need to Know About the Lone Star Tick, Which Is Giving People Red Meat Allergies

You already know that ticks pose a threat your health; these bugs, which thrive in the summer, can transmit Lyme disease, Powassan disease, and even a rare condition called tick paralysis.  If those illnesses aren't enough to worry about, experts are sounding the alarm about another tick-borne condition that appears to be on the rise. A bite from the lone star tick has been leaving victims with a potentially dangerous allergy to red meat and sometimes even dairy products.

This particular tick is no longer just 'hanging out' in south eastern U.S. It is making its way north, so beware, be alert and be protected at all times.

Meat Lovers Beware! Ticks Can Cause Red Meat Allergy first appeared on:

Backyard Bug Patrol
901 Cantle Ln
Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 621-7116
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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mosquitoes: Don’t Trust an Old Wives’ Tale

Would you trust an old wives' tale when it comes to protecting yourself from mosquitoes and the diseases they spread? The sad thing is that many of us do, and therefore don't take the proper precautions when looking for ways to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe outdoors.

Many mosquito repelling methods may be myths

We're likely facing a buggier-than-normal summer for mosquitoes, due to our mild winter and warm, wet spring. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do, other than get rid of standing water, to mosquito-proof your yard.

There is a way that you could make your back yard safer from these tiny pests and that is to invest in mosquito control by a professional. A backpack spray can get deep into the foliage in your yard and coat leaves, bushes and grass leaving a protective barrier that repels these pests.

Of course, you still need to keep on top of getting rid of any standing water, because mosquitoes will multiply in numbers if you don't!


You're looking at a really big problem if these suckers start breeding in your back yard. Not only are they annoying, buzzy, biting creatures, they carry a myriad of diseases too.

Heavy rains elevate concerns for mosquito-borne illnesses

While not all mosquitoes carry illness or disease, rising populations alone can be a nuisance and distract from the ability to enjoy the outdoors. In addition to their critical role in public health, mosquito control personnel help maintains a comfortable outdoor environment for all by reducing rising mosquito populations.

Don't rely on those mosquito myths to protect you from harm. Get in touch with your local mosquito control for more information that won't just be an old wives' tale.

Mosquitoes: Don't Trust an Old Wives' Tale first appeared on:

Backyard Bug Patrol
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Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 621-7116
https://goo.gl/maps/H4QoAjULFBJ2

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What Do We Know About Ticks?

We know that ticks are responsible for the spread of diseases such as Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and that these diseases can potentially be a severe threat to our health. We know they are tiny, we know they like to hang out in woodland areas, but do we know much about their background? Here's an interesting article that shares a little more of the science when it comes to these pesky arachnids.

The Science of Ticks

Lots of people love to enjoy the outdoors in the summer—picnicking, chilling out on the lawn, hikes in the woods. Unfortunately, in many areas, a mild winter and abundant mice have led to a bumper crop of ticks this year, and with them tick-transmitted diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, the infamous Lyme disease, and more. Given that we're likely to meet them in person, here's some background on ticks and tick bites.

We don't want these little hazards to our health ruining our enjoyment of time outside in the warmer months, so what can you do to protect yourself from ticks?

If you find a tick has attached itself to you, do you know how to remove it safely? Remember, that the longer it has been on your body, the greater the chance of any potential disease being transmitted. Therefore, it's so important that you check yourself and your kids AND your pets, for any ticks if you've been spending time outdoors.

How to remove a tick … the right way

There is a right way and a wrong way to removing a tick from one's body or pet and choosing incorrectly can result in exposure to tick-borne disease. The Centers for Disease Control warns us to avoid "folklore remedies," such as "painting" the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. The goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible and without irritating the tick.

If you are concerned that you may have been bitten by a tick and are worried that you are experiencing symptoms that could be a result of a bite, then it's important you seek medical advice as soon as possible.

What Do We Know About Ticks? first appeared on:

Backyard Bug Patrol
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Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 621-7116
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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Flash Floods Could Mean More Mosquitoes

For those of you in Northern Virginia and the DC areas, you may already know that there's been warnings of potential flash flooding tonight.  Not only are flash floods dangerous for obvious reasons, they also bring with them the aftermath of left over water, which is an enticing breading ground for mosquitoes.

Weather Alert: Flash Flood Warning Issued For Northern Virginia, DC

MCLEAN, VA—A flash flood warning has been issued for the Northern Virginia and DC areas by the National Weather Service. The warning is in effect through 7 p.m on Thursday, July 6. The weather service expects multiple rounds of rain with a chance of torrential rain. Thunderstorms are expected in the late morning, in the afternoon and early evening. The strongest storms are expected to produce one to three inches of rain.

Make sure you are prepared for torrential weather and take the action recommended in the above article.


Flooding causes devastating damage to property just like mosquitoes can cause devastating damage to our health, so take these warnings seriously. We don't mean to state the obvious, but more water, means more mosquitoes and the possibility of mosquito borne disease outbreaks.

Do outbreaks of mosquito-borne disease always follow floods?

The flooding has come at a time when the weather in warming up and there are already reports of mosquito numbers increasing. The biggest concern is that once the flood water recede, how long will pools of water remain, have mosquitoes got a "jump start"on the season?

We hope you're prepared. Stay safe everyone!

Flash Floods Could Mean More Mosquitoes first appeared on:

Backyard Bug Patrol
901 Cantle Ln
Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 621-7116
https://goo.gl/maps/H4QoAjULFBJ2

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fighting Insects with Arachnids

As we fight against mosquitoes and their deadly diseases, we may have formed a surprised alliance with creatures of a smaller size that can pack a punch. Researchers have recently been working on a fungus that can kill mosquitoes, that is packed with toxins from spiders and scorpions. Here's an article with more information about the discovery.

A Fungus Is the Newest Weapon in the War on Mosquitoes

HUMANS HAVE TRIED A LOT of things to kill or repel mosquitoes. Pesticides, citronella candles, smelly DEET spray, and, most recently, gene drives have all been used on the pesky, disease-carrying insects. Scientists have now developed a promising new weapon in the war on mosquitoes, a fungus armed with spider and scorpion venom.

This is a genetically modified fungus that only has an impact on mosquitoes.


It sounds concerning to be releasing such toxins into the wild, however, other insects are unaffected by the fungus, and further tests are being carried out.

Mosquito-killing fungus enhanced with toxins

To ensure that the genes couldn't be released in the environment or in other animals, a highly specific promoter sequence was inserted so the toxins would only be activated in insect blood. Tests were carried out on local bees by exposing them to the spores. After two weeks, no local bees died as a result of spore exposure.

We will bring you more on this discovery as it evolves, but for now keep up to date with your mosquito control, clear standing water and don't let these pests take residency around your home.

Fighting Insects with Arachnids first appeared on:

Backyard Bug Patrol
901 Cantle Ln
Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 621-7116
https://goo.gl/maps/H4QoAjULFBJ2