Will the East Asian Tick Spread to the Arlington Area This Year?

east asian tick exterminationThe East Asian tick has made the news in the last few days because it is a new tick species that was identified as being in the United States this year. It was first identified last fall, but efforts were made to eradicate it. Unfortunately, scientists have determined that those efforts did not work, and the species has been established in New Jersey.

Why Are People Concerned About the East Asian Tick?

It is an extremely invasive species that originated in Asia. When it first spread to Australia it caused significant problems for farmers there. The ticks are often found around farms animals, but they can also be found on large animals like deer. The East Asian tick does carry the SFTS virus, which is a new virus that was first discovered in 2009. It has potential for serious complications and scientists worry about a potential outbreak.

How Does the East Asian Tick Spread?

The experts are not sure how the East Asian tick made its way to the United States. However, once it is in the United States, it moves from area to area by attaching itself to an animal that travels from one area to another. As the animals move out, the ticks will spread out across the country. It can also move on farm animals as they are shipped from state to state. With all of these factors, it is difficult to determine just when the East Asian tick will reach the Arlington area.

Are Other Ticks an Issue?

The experts have predicted a record tick season for the state of Virginia. The winter weather was especially conducive to ticks, which means that you need to be sure to take steps to protect yourself from ticks. One of the things that you can do is to be sure to wear insect repellent with DEET in it whenever you visit an area that is prone to ticks. You can also protect yourself by wearing long sleeves and pants. You add additional protection when you tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks. Another step that you can take to protect your family is to treat your yard for ticks.

What Do I Do If I Find a Tick on Me?

You will need to remove the tick right away by using tweezers. Ticks can spread a number of serious illnesses including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This is spread when the tick regurgitates after feeding. The sooner you remove the ticks the less likely you are to catch an illness.

 

What Are the Signs of SFTS?

east Asian tick extermination
Image courtesy of Borislav Dopudja CC by-S.A. 3.0

There are have been reports that the East Asian tick has spread to the United States. This tick is one of the only known carriers of the deadly SFTS virus. This virus was first discovered in China in 2009. Each year there are more people that contract it. While there are no known cases of the virus in the United States, scientists are worried that it could spread now that the East Asian tick has established itself here.

What Are the Symptoms of the STFS Virus?

The SFTS virus starts out with a fever. The patient may also experience nausea and diarrhea. The virus can affect the liver making the enzyme levels off. It can also lower both the platelet and white blood cell count, which can make people more vulnerable to complications. Some people will suffer multiple organ failure as a result. The mortality rate is currently about twelve percent, but it was higher when the disease was first discovered. Early identification of the disease seems to increase the chances of survival. Treatment is focused on treating and managing the symptoms since it is a viral illness.

Is the STFS in the Manassas Area?

The STFS virus has not been identified in the United States. The East Asian tick has only been found in New Jersey at this point, but it is expected to spread across the United States as it is an extremely invasive species. Officials worry that the SRTS virus will be able to spread quickly once the East Asian tick is firmly established throughout the United States.

Should I Be Worried About Other Ticks?

Scientists have predicted a very active tick season in the Virginia area this year. This means that you should take care to protect yourself and your family from the ticks that are already in Virginia and that can make you sick by spreading tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease. You should always wear insect repellent with DEET in it if you are going into an area that has a lot of ticks. You should check yourself, your family members and your pets for ticks regularly. You can give your pets a tick preventative. You can also treat your yard for ticks to decrease the chances of being bitten. If you do find a tick, you should remove it with tweezers and dispose of it properly. This will help reduce the chances of you contracting an illness and stop the tick from biting anyone else.

Useful Tips to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Basement

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Fleas can be one of the most annoying insects that we have to deal with in our homes. It can be difficult to completely eradicate them once they have a foothold in your basement. In this article, I would like to detail several easy steps to help you end your flea infestation. They are based on information from knowledgeable friends and veterinarians.

First of all, it is necessary to emphasise that a flea infestation in your basement is a serious problem that cannot be ignored. This would be easy to do as most home owners seldom even go down to the basement. Left unchecked, the problem could easily spread to your pets and the rest of the house and garden. You may wonder how fleas even get down there if you hardly ever open it and no pets are ever down there. Well, fleas multiply easily. It just takes one rat or mouse with fleas, or a stray cat who got into the basement, to start the whole cycle off. If you are an unwilling victim of this, you need to make it a priority to eradicate the pests as soon as possible.

Quarantine    

Firstly, you must quarantine the basement immediately. Fleas are amazingly fertile, and by the time a home owner becomes aware of the problem, it is likely that the  fleas have already dominated the entire space. However, the basement is usually is a closed room that is separate from the rest of the house, so it must be quarantined right from the start to prevent them spreading. Remember to tell everyone in the house not to go in there until the problem has been dealt with. Keep your pets out of there too.

Remove

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Secondly, you will need to clean everything in the basement. If your basement is not being used for a specific purpose, it is probably just a place for storing old things, and it will probably not be clean and tidy. Basements are generally darker and more damp compared with other parts of the house, which is exactly what fleas like. Humidity, dim light and a stable warm temperature are the three ideal living conditions for fleas. Therefore, first vacuum, then clean everything you can down there with soapy water.

Fleas have four different life stages: egg, larvae, pupa and adult. These four can easily be banished by vacuuming and by using hot soapy water. It’s cheap, effective, and easy to use. After that, there are also other solutions you can use to remove any remaining fleas,  such as flea bombs, aerosol sprays, and natural methods. Check this website for more details on these flea control methods.

Check

Last but not least, remember to check regularly to ensure that the flea infestation has not returned. Several days after treating the problem, spend a little time checking the situation in the basement and report to your veterinarian or a pest control company if you continue to have a problem.

In brief, to fight against flea infestation is never easy or effortless. I hope the above tips are helpful. The main thing to remember is that “prevention is better than cure” so remember to keep even your basement clean and pest free. Thanks for reading!

5 Reasons You Should be Talking about Ticks

tick controlMany people never think about ticks. It is not a common that is commonly discussed. However, it is important to raise awareness about ticks and the dangers that they can cause to you and your family. Here are five reasons that you should be talking about ticks.

Ticks Carry Serious Illnesses

Likely the most well-known illness caused by ticks is Lyme disease. However, ticks can spread a number of serious illnesses including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, STARI, and Ehrlichiosis. Generally, these illnesses need to be treated with antibiotics and they can have long lasting effects if not treated soon enough. You can protect your family from these illnesses if you know how to safely prevent getting ticks.

Ticks and Old Wives’ Tales

Another reason to discuss ticks is because there are a number of old wives’ tales that talk about the different ways to remove ticks, but they are not actually safe to do. If you burn the tick with a match or rub gasoline or Vaseline on it, you may cause the tick to regurgitate into you, which increases the changes of you getting a tick-borne illness. Always remove the tick with tweezers by grasping it firmly and pulling straight back. Be sure that you do not leave any of the tick behind in your skin.

Ticks Can Make Your Pets Sick

Animals can become sick from the same diseases that plague people. They also need to be treated with antibiotics to help them recover from things like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The vet can test for these illnesses and prescribe medicine to help them. You should regularly check your pets for ticks and remove any that you find.

Ticks Can Cause Food Allergies

The Lone Star tick can cause some people to develop a severe allergy to meat, primarily red meat, although some people have also developed an allergy to chicken. This allergy will slowly worsen over time and first symptoms may be weeks or months after the initial tick bite. A doctor can test for this. The firs symptoms are feeling extremely sick a few hours after eating meat. It is easy to identify the adult female Lone Star tick because there is a dot on the back of the tick.

Ticks Can Be Prevented

There are things that you can do to prevent being bitten by a tick and to save you from the complications of these illnesses. The first is wear insect repellent when going to tick prone areas. You can also treat your yard for ticks. You should also check yourself after a camping trip or a hike. As you leave the woods, brush off your clothing to make sure you do not bring any ticks home with you.

5 Commonly Asked Questions About Ticks

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Image Courtesy of Fairfax County via Flickr CC by ND 2.0

Ticks can spread serious illnesses. They can make you and your family quite sick. People can get ticks when they spend time outside. They are more common in wooded areas, but they can also be found in the suburbs and in the city in parks or yards. They will feed on animals that run through the yard and they can put your family at risk.

How Do I Remove a Tick?

The best way to remove a tick is to grasp it with tweezers and to pull straight back to remove it. You do not want to twist as this may leave the head embedded in the skin. You can also use a tick key to remove the tick. You should never try to remove it by burning it, or applying gasoline, rubbing alcohol or Vaseline to it, as this may cause it to regurgitate and increase the chance of being infected.

How Do I Tell that a Tick Has Attached to Me?

Tick bites are painless, at least while the tick is attached. It is possible to have a tick attach and detach without you realizing that you have a tick. It is important to check yourself after you are in an area that has a lot of ticks. You need to check under your arms, along your hairline, in your ears, behind your knees and between your legs for ticks.

What Do I Do Once I’ve Removed the Tick?

Once you remove the tick you should put it on a cotton ball that has alcohol on it and seal it in a zipper bag. You can dispose of it this way. You should not just let it go because it can attach to someone else. You should not crush it with your hand or fingers because you may end up contracting the illness.

How Soon Will Tick Symptoms Appear?

Tick-borne illnesses can have symptoms start about three days after the bite, but they can take up to thirty days to appear. Many of the symptoms are similar with the start of a fever, and aches and pains. Some illnesses will have a rash, but the rash does not always present. The doctor can run tests to confirm the type of illnesses and determine the correct course of treatment. Most illnesses need to be treated with antibiotics or they will continue to get worse and can have serious complications that can even be fatal.

Do Ticks Detach by Themselves?

Once ticks have finished feeding, they will detach and then wander around until they are ready to feed again. This means that they may live in your home and be waiting until they are ready to feed again. If you see a tick in your home you need to take care of it right away by having the exterminators at Mosquito Tek treat your yard with an effective commercial strength tick control treatment that will completely eliminate ticks around your home.

Why Do My Pets Keep Getting Fleas Again and Again?

flea controlOnce your pets have fleas, you may treat your pets, only to have your pets show symptoms of fleas again in just a few weeks. Fleas can be difficult to deal with, and it is not enough just to treat your pets. You will need to address your home. When fleas lay eggs, they fall of your pets and land in your carpet. The eggs and larvae will live in your carpet. The eggs and the pupae are difficult to treat with flea powders which is why your pet may become infected again. Here are things you can do to stop your pets from dealing with fleas again and again.

Treat Your Pets

First, you will need to treat your pet with a medicated shampoo. The shampoo will state how frequently you can use it. If not enough time has passed, you will need to do your best to comb the fleas out of your pet’s fur. You should check your pets to make sure they are not developing sores or hot spots. If your pets seem overly tired or miserable, it is a good idea to have the vet check them for complications or other illnesses.

Treat Your Home

If you have had your pets get fleas multiple times in the last few months, chances are that the flea treatments you are doing to your home are not effective. You should contact a professional to come in and perform a treatment for you. In addition, you need to wash your bedding and vacuum your furniture thoroughly. You should not neglect washing your pet’s bedding. You will need to vacuum, and you may also want to have your carpets professionally cleaned to be sure that all the eggs and larvae are removed from your home.

Put Your Pet on a Flea Preventative

There are a few things you can do to stop your pets from developing fleas in the future. The most important is to put your pet on a preventative medication. This can be a flea collar, drops that you apply to the back of your pet or an oral medication. Your vet can help you determine the best option for your pet. If you have been using this type of medication, and your pet is still getting fleas, it is likely time to switch the medications to a different medication or method. Be sure to check with your vet before you make change to make sure it is safe.

Where Can Fleas Live in My Home?

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When you notice that your pet has fleas, you may be worried about how to get rid of the fleas. Fleas may not stay on your pet. They will hop off in search of other hosts. This means that they can spread throughout your home. Considering that a single flea can lay more than fifty eggs a day and that those eggs will fall off your pet, you do have reason to worry about fleas living in your bed and in other areas of the home.

Unfortunately, fleas can live in a bed. They may also live in your sofa or in your carpet. They are most likely infesting your pet’s bed as well. It will take a series of specific steps to deal with fleas that have decided to make your home theirs. You may already have treated your pet, which is the first step. These steps will help you rid your home of fleas.

Wash Your Bedding: Gather up your bedding and wash it in hot water and then dry it on high heat. In order to deal with it effectively, it is best to wash everything all at once, and you may need to go to a laundry mat. To avoid spreading fleas to your car or other people, double bag your items and throw the bags away after you are at the laundry mat.

Vacuum Your Furniture: Vacuuming your bed and your furniture can help clear up any fleas because it will vacuum up the adults and the eggs. After vacuuming, you will need to talk the vacuum bag out to the trash. If you have a bag less vacuum, empty it into a trash bag outside and immediately dispose of it.

Vacuum Your Carpets: Flea eggs will drop off your pet, and a large portion land in the carpet. Fortunately, they are not sticky and a vacuuming carefully can pick up a lot of them. You should vacuum on a daily basis until your home is flea free.

Schedule a Flea Treatment: A professional flea treatment will get rid of any remaining fleas that may be in your home. The treatments are more effective than flea powders and are not as messy. You can also have a preventive applied to your yard.

If you are primarily being bitten in your bed, and you do not notice that your pet scratching more often, you may have a problem other than fleas. Bed bugs are becoming much more common. Check to see if you have blood stains in your sheets or that your bites appear in a row. If you see these signs, you may have bed bugs, and you should schedule a bed bug inspection and treatment for that instead. Bed bugs are very difficult to treat on your own. They are also difficult to spot and nocturnal. A flea exterminator is trained on how to find them and treat them effectively.

Three Ticks in Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia is a part of the country where there a large number of ticks that can spread serious illnesses. Fairfax county reports an increase in rare tick-borne illnesses throughout the country.  There are three basic types of ticks in Fairfax county. Here is a list and a basic description of the ticks.

tick control in Northern VirginiaLone Star Tick

The Lone Star tick is identified by the distinct white mark in the center of the female’s back. Adult male ticks have a dark back with patterns around the edge of the back. The seed ticks are small and brown. The Lone Star tick carries a number of serious illnesses like Tularemia, and STARI. The Lone Star tick can also cause people to develop an allergy to meat. This can be a life-threatening allergy. Many people who develop this allergy must drastically change their diets. The Lone Star tick is considered very aggressive.

 

 

Three Ticks in Northern VirginiaBlacklegged Tick

The blacklegged tick has black legs. The adult male is mostly black. The adult female has a black head and brown body. The legs are black. This tick will transmit Lyme disease, Powassan disease, babesiosis and anaplasmosis. This tick is active throughout the spring, summer and fall. It can also come out of hibernation in the winter to look for a host to feed on.

 

 

Flea and Tick PreventionAmerican Dog Tick

The American Dog tick is brown with a patterned shell.  The American Dog tick is known to spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. This tick is most active in the spring and summer. Some people may refer to it as the wood tick.

Steps to Take If You Are Bitten by a Tick

If you find that you are a bitten by a tick, you will need to remove it using a pair of tweezer. You should pull straight back until the tick detaches. Do not twist because the head may detach from the tick. You will need to kill the tick by putting it on a cotton swab with alcohol on it and then putting it in zipper bag.

If you are bitten, you should watch for signs of a tick-borne illness. Many of them start out the same way with body aches and pains, a fever and a headache. It is similar to a cold, but you will not start feeling better on your own. For several illnesses, a distinct rash will appear on the third day of symptoms. Rocky Mountain spotted fever has a spotted rash that appear on your ankles and wrists. Lyme’s disease will develop a bull’s eye rash, but only about 80% of patients develop the rash. The bull’s eye does not have to be around where you were bitten. STARI will have a rash that develops around the bite and it will expand out in a bull’s eye type pattern.

It is also important to be aware of the possibly of developing an allergy to meat. This can take a few months to develop, and the symptoms usually begin about six hours after you have eaten as your body breaks down the proteins in the meat. It can be a severe stomach ache and body pains, but it can also lead to breathing issues. If you have these symptoms you should ask to be tested.

How Can I Tell if I Have a Tick?

tick exterminationTicks are small and many people do not realize that they have bitten by a tick until they begin to have symptoms of a tick-borne disease such as the bull’s eye rash or a fever and a headache. The shorter the time the tick is attached to you, the lower your chances of contracting an illness. This means it is important to check for ticks regularly.

Can I Feel a Tick Bite?

Generally, you will not feel the tick attach to you and bite you. While it is attached, you will not be able to tell that it is there. However, after the tick detaches it might itch. It may also be red.

Will I See a Tick?

You can see a tick when it is attached to you. However, seed ticks can be difficult to spot since they are very small. Seed ticks tend to bite in the spring, and it is important to pay close attention when looking for ticks during that time. A tick can look like a mole or a freckle, but on closer examination it will have legs.

How Do I Check for Ticks?

It is a good idea to check for ticks on a regular basis. You can start by checking under your arms, around your waist, between your legs, inside your belly button and the back of your knees. Ticks also like to hide in the ears and around the hairline. You should have someone check that area for you. After you are in an area that is prone to ticks, you should also check your clothing to make sure there are not ticks crawling on you looking for a place to attach.

What Do I Do If Find a Tick?

If you find a tick on you, you will need to remove it. You should never smother it in oil or lotion or burn it, since this can cause it to regurgitate into you and increase the chance of getting a disease. Simply take a pair of tweezers and pull straight back until the entire tick detaches. Do not leave the head in your skin. Be sure to take note if you begin to feel sick within the next month and mention to your doctor that you were bitten by a tick.

Although most dangerous ticks are those who a carrying a disease, you might want to read about which ticks are the most dangerous overall.

Do Fleas Live on People?

flea close upFlea bites can be quite easy, and when you spot them on your pet, you may be worried about all of the work that you will need to do to get rid of the fleas. You may be worried about needing to clean and treat your pets and your home. The most common flea to affect your pets is the cat flea. If you have any flea bites, you may also be wondering if you need to treat yourself or your family for fleas.

While cat fleas do feed on humans, they do not live on them. After feeding they will jump off of you to look for a new victim. This means you do not need to worry about treating yourself or family members when you begin dealing with a flea infestation. Clearing up the infestation on your pets and in your home will solve the flea problem.

Treating Your Pets

The first step is treat your pets for fleas. You can give them a bath in flea shampoo and then use a flea comb to remove the rest of the fleas from their fur. This treatment will kill any adult fleas that are on your pets. In order to prevent future flea infestations or from them picking up any fleas that are currently eggs or larvae, you should start using a flea preventative, which can be a flea collar, oral medication or drops you apply to the back your pet. Your vet can help you choose the best treatment.

Treating Your Home

The next step in clearing up the flea infestation is treating your home. It is important to wash bedding and clothes where fleas like to hide. You need to vacuum carefully both the floor and the upholstery. Even with the careful cleaning, it may be difficult to get rid of fleas without a treatment. There are a number of treatments you can purchase at a store, but they can be messy and time consuming. The best option is to contact a professional who understands the life cycles of fleas, and can effectively eliminate the adult fleas and prevent them from reproducing.