Combat the Growing Tick Population in Southern New Hampshire

Despite a cold winter, the tick population is increasing.

Despite a cold winter, the tick population is increasing.

If you haven’t started thinking about tick prevention, now is a great time to do so. New Hampshire station WMUR Channel 9 reported this past week that tick populations may be on the rise. This conclusion is based on information from state entomologists and the CDC. Anytime the tick population increases, there is an increased risk for contractinga tick-borne disease. Such diseases include Lyme disease, babessiosis, and anaplasmosis. To many, an increase in the tick population may seem a little far-fetched since this past winter was so harsh, but it really isn’t.

 

Ticks are actually quite adept at surviving even brutal winter conditions. They can even remain active throughout winter if the ground is not frozen. Of course, our New Hampshire ground was plenty frozen this past winter, but that doesn’t necessarily kill them. Dr. Thomas Mather from the Department of Plant Sciences and Entomology at the University of Rhode Island illustrated on TickEncounter.org (an education project based at this university) that deer ticks can even survive underneath a blanket of snow. Typically, in very frigid conditions, ticks hibernate like bears. They may take shelter in rotten logs or underneath fallen trees to help them survive until spring.

 

Reduce your risk of tick-borne disease by eliminating ticks in your yard.

Reduce your risk of tick-borne disease by eliminating ticks in your yard.

With an even greater tick population in the forecast this season, it is time to start taking precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from tick bites and the diseases they carry. Vigilance is always the best defense against ticks. Be sure that you check yourself, your kids, and your pets regularly, especially after time spent in wooded or grassy areas. Remove any attached ticks promptly because the longer a tick is attached the more likely it is to transmit a disease if it is infected. Use tick repellents during outdoor activity, especially on your shoes. And be sure to treat your yard for ticks. Most of the time you and your family spend outdoor will be in your own yard, so reduce the number of ticks in that environment by calling Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire. Our two-step tick treatment program is extremely effective at eliminating ticks because it targets them two different ways – barrier spray and tick tubes.

 

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

It’s true that winter may not have affected the ticks in your yard, but Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire can. So don’t wait. Call us for a free quote today, and do something to reduce your risk of tick exposure. • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com
Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire

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Be Aware! It’s Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Lyme Disease is carried by the deer tick.

Lyme Disease is carried by the deer tick.

Backed by many of the top Lyme-focused non-profit groups, May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. It is an international initiative, and awareness events are occurring in other countries, as well as the USA. If you don’t know much about Lyme Disease, there is no better time to learn about it, especially for those of us living in Southern New Hampshire. Our state borders some of the most Lyme Disease dense states, and the number of cases reported in our state ranks within the top fifteen in the country. Because the disease is so prevalent in our area, it is important for you to know where it comes from, be able to identify its symptoms, and know how to protect yourself and your family.

 

Lyme Disease is caused by the Borrelia burgdorfer bacteria and is transmitted through the bite of the black-legged tick (commonly called the deer tick). In early stages, the symptoms of Lyme Disease mimic the flu – headache, fever, chills, muscle and joint aches, and disturbed sleep. A distinctive rash, Erythema migrans (EM) or “bull’s-eye” rash, also appears in many cases. In later stages, neurological symptoms including muscle twitches, tremors, and Bel’s palsy may present themselves. If untreated, arthritis can develop, and neurological symptoms may worsen. The disease typically responds well to antibiotic treatment.

 

The EM or "bulls eye" rash. Photo courtesy of cdc.gov.

The EM or “bulls eye” rash. Photo courtesy of cdc.gov.

As with any disease that is transmitted through an insect bite, the very best protection against Lyme Disease is to prevent being bitten by ticks. While not all ticks carry Lyme, it is impossible to know whether a tick does or not without scientific testing, so it’s best to just avoid them. Since ticks live in wooded and densely grassy areas, it is important to check for them regularly, especially after you have been traversing such an area. Tick repellents are also very effective at minimizing the number of ticks that may get on you. If you are concerned about chemicals, concentrating application on your shoes will help repel ticks living in the grass.

 

To help control ticks on your property, keep your grass cut regularly and treat your property. Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire utilizes barrier sprays and tick tubes to help eliminate ticks and control the population in your yard. Our two-step method effectively eliminates up to 90% of ticks within your treated property. By reducing your exposure to ticks, you can reduce your and your family’s chances of contracting Lyme Disease. Don’t wait. Do something positive during Lyme Disease Awareness Month to prevent the disease. Help reduce the Southern New Hampshire tick population by calling us today and starting with your property.

 

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

 

Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com
Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire

Lyme Disease in New Hampshire: No Immunity

Adult and Nymph Deer ticks

This side-by-side comparison shows an adult deer tick (left) , with a nymph deer tick (right). Both are very small.

Like many other serious diseases, Lyme disease is no respecter of persons. It strikes the young, old, male, female, overlooked, and famous. This past week, 80’s pop star Debbie Gibson revealed on her blog that she has been battling Lyme Disease. She details her struggles in this announcement, and she is not alone. Other celebrities to have been diagnosed include Jamie Lyn Sigler, star of The Sopranos TV series; Former President George W. Bush; and actor Alec Baldwin. While these cases have received notoriety because of the persons diagnosed are famous, many people contract the illness. According to the CDC, nearly 30,000 cases are reported each year, and many more cases are suspected.

 

The effects of Lyme Disease on the body are serious. The symptoms mimic flu symptoms in many respects (fever, chills, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes) but also include neurological problems. If left untreated, it can cause permanent nerve damage and arthritis. For these people, Lyme Disease truly changes their lives. Early detection and treatment can prevent many of the more severe complications. However, as with most diseases, the very best treatment is prevention. Since the illness can have such a profound impact, it is important to be educated about it and use that information.

 

Tick life cycle chart

Tick life cycle chart

Lyme Disease is a vector borne illness. It is carried by the black-legged tick, commonly known as the “deer tick”. While cold weather simply causes these ticks to hibernate, they proliferate during the summer months, especially in wooded or grassy areas. You are much more likely to contract Lyme during the summer months. People who contract the illness are often bitten by a tick in the nymph stage of development. This is not because more ticks in this stage carry the disease but rather because these ticks are less likely to be detected. The longer an infected tick is attached, the more likely it is to transmit Lyme to its host. Black-legged ticks in the nymph stage are only the size of a comma in newsprint, so often they remain attached until they let go.

 

The best way to prevent being bitten is to prevent exposure to ticks. This is where Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire can help. Our tick treatments are high effective at eliminating ticks on your property and keeping the population under control all season. Help protect your family, guests, and pets from Lyme Disease this season by contacting us today. (Yes, our furry friends can get it too.) Lyme disease can strike anyone, so don’t allow you or those you love to be a statistic.

 

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

 

 

Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com
Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire

Mosquito Squad of SONH reminds you that all sizes of tick carry disease

Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire Gives Ticks a Rude Spring Awakening

It is still winter here in Southern New Hampshire. Every couple days, we are getting snow showers, and with temperatures at or below freezing, we are still wearing coats. But it is late February, which means spring is just around the corner. We are all looking forward to milder days, flowers, and new leaves on the trees. The arrival of warm weather will bring cute bunnies and baby birds, but cute animals won’t be the only newbies out and about. Spring will wake a far creepier creature – the tick. Ticks have a life span of two years. In our terms, this is not very long, but it is plenty of time for the tick to be a nuisance and even cause damage by transmitting diseases to our families and pets.

Mosquito Squad of SONH reminds you that all sizes of tick carry diseaseWhile many different species of these insects are a nuisance, the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) is particularly dangerous because of its ability to carry and transmit Lyme disease to humans and animals. During the deer tick’s life cycle, it passes through four stages – egg, larvae, nymph, and adult. A tick is typically infected with Lyme disease when, in its larval stage, it feeds on an infected rodent or bird. During any feeding after infection, it can transmit Lyme disease to its new host. The tick’s nymph stage is actually the most dangerous to humans and pets. During this stage, the tick posses the disease, and it is extremely small, the size of a poppyseed or a comma in newsprint. While an adult tick is still capable of spreading Lyme disease, its size (though still small) makes it easier to discover and remove before infection occurs. The longer a tick is attached the more likely it is to pass Lyme to a host, so the incredibly small size of nymphs makes them the most likely to give humans or pets Lyme disease. Deer tick nymphs are active and feeding during the spring and summer months. Though they are dormant right now, all it takes is a few warm days to wake them.

ticks-warning-signLyme is a disease of concern here in our area. The CDC has reported that, in 2012, 95% of all reported Lyme disease cases occurred in 13 states. New Hampshire was one of these states. Since we are aware that the disease is a risk every year, it is important to act now in order to protect you and your family. Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire is ready to give the ticks from Windham to Candia and east from Seabrook Beach to Portsmouth a rude spring awakening. We combat the tick population with a combination of control methods and by interrupting their life cycle. Our barrier spray eradicates ticks in the adult stage, and tick traps effectively eliminate them in the nymph stage. By using both of these methods, we can reduce your risk of exposure to ticks by 97%, and by reducing the number of ticks in your yard, you reduce the risk of Lyme disease.

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

Don’t give ticks a chance to bite the people and animals you love, let alone infect them. Contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire  to discuss our tick control options. We can put them to sleep forever just as soon as they wake up. Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com

Mosquito Squad of SoNH has the answer to fighting the tiny terror known as the deer tick

Southern NH tick protection and control

Ticks that cause Lyme Disease are all around us, staying tick smart is key to staying healthy.

Even though you might not have seen a tick yet this season, that doesn’t mean they are not out there. Ticks are tiny disease-carrying creatures. Even when they are considered to be in the adult stage of their life cycle, they remain hard to identify. Since ticks do go through three different phases during their life, it is important to know what to expect when protecting yourself against them. The deer tick is probably the most well-known of all species of ticks. The deer tick is solely responsible for the spread of Lyme Disease here in the US, and is a known vector of other diseases such as Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis. Here in New Hampshire the deer tick is a primary threat to both people and pets in causing tick-borne illnesses. With this in mind, Mosquito Squad of Southern NH is helping to not only protect residents from the threat of this disease ridden invader, but to also make residents more aware of the tick itself.tick-life-cycle-chart

The deer tick can live up to two years and during that time will undergo three separate cycles. It takes about two years for the tick to hatch from the egg, go through all three stages, reproduce, and then die. The stages of a deer tick’s life cycle are larva, nymph and adult.  Like all species of ticks, deer ticks require a blood meal to progress to each successive stage in their life cycles. It is a little known fact that a newborn deer tick is actually born free of disease and only through feeding off of animals already infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease will they become a carrier. The irony here is that the when the larva initially become infected it is because their host is already infected from a previous bite from a tick which was infected with Lyme Disease; in most cases the initial host is a rodent.

Mosquito Squad of SONH reminds you that all sizes of tick carry disease

All sizes of ticks can carry and spread Lyme disease.

In our neck of the woods, most deer ticks are presently in the nymph stage of their life cycle. We begin to see nymphal activity beginning in May. According to The American Lyme Disease Foundation, “Host-seeking nymphs wait on vegetation near the ground for a small mammal or bird to approach. The nymph will then latch on to its host and feed for four or five days, engorging with blood and swelling to many times its original size. If previously infected during its larval stage, the nymph may transmit the Lyme disease spirochete to its host. If not previously infected, the nymph may become infected if its host carries the Lyme disease spirochete from previous infectious tick bites. In highly endemic areas of the northeast and upper Midwest, 25% of nymphs have been found to harbor the Lyme disease spirochete”.  The peak time for humans to come into contact with potentially infected nymph ticks is late May through July. This is the period where the most human infection occurs. Nymphs are about the size of a poppy seed, and often go unnoticed until fully engorged, and are therefore responsible for nearly all human Lyme Disease cases.

The important thing to remember is that even though the nymph deer tick is so tiny, it can really pack a punch in perpetuating Lyme Disease. Research indicates that a tick must remain attached from 24-36 hours in order to pass the bacteria responsible for causing Lyme onto us. A tiny tick is more likely to be completely overlooked than a more mature tick and therefore is likely to remain attached longer. The fact that the tick is so small at this time places the impetus on protecting your yard to reduce the risk of infection because it is difficult to protect yourself otherwise.

Outdoor living places us in the tick's habitat.

Outdoor living places us in the tick’s habitat.

The danger of the nymph stage of the tick  is not to underscore the potential of adult ticks to spread disease. All sizes of ticks carry the capability to spread disease and for this reason it is important to exercise common sense when venturing into unprotected areas. To stay fully protected at your home we recommend utilizing a tick intensive control and prevention program to reduce the risk of coming into contact with a potentially infected tick in the first place. Our barrier spray and tick trap program will eliminate most of the ticks in your yard for the entire season. Removing the source of the disease is the best way to stay healthy and happy this season. Your own yard is where you and your loved ones will spend the most time so the first step in tick protection is protecting your yard by creating a shield through our barrier spray program.

We combine effective barrier sprays that kill adult ticks with tick traps (for nymph ticks) to interrupt the life cycle of the tick eliminating it before it has a chance to spread infection to you. We’ve had great success with our tick trap program which can reduce the chance of coming into contact with a tick on your treated property by up to 97%. Statistics like this are hard to beat.

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

If you want to learn more about keeping the most important people in your life protected from the tick that could potentially give them Lyme disease, contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire today. Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com

Just in case your worst bug nightmare becomes a reality, Mosquito Squad of SoNH teaches you how to properly kill a tick

This lady is screaming with the thought of having to kill a tick she just found attached to her fancy french poodle!

This lady is screaming with the thought of having to remove and kill a tick she just found attached to her fancy french poodle!

We have covered the importance of  properly removing a tick to reduce the risk of disease and bacteria transmission in previous posts. The question is, once you remove the tick properly what do you do with it? It is highly recommended to keep the tick in a container for a period of time following removal in case you start to show signs of being ill from the bite. The tick may be needed for further testing to help diagnose a possible tick-borne illness. An empty pill bottle or plastic baggie stored in a cool, dry place will do. In many circumstances ticks are still alive following removal. So the question is… what is the proper way to kill a tick?

How to kill a tick

I recently found a tick attached to my dog and realized that even though I deal with ticks on a daily basis with Mosquito Squad of SoNH, when it came to removing the tick I was suddenly all thumbs.

Can you imagine having to kill this?

Can you imagine having to kill this?

The best way to kill a tick and keep it intact enough for testing is by applying rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball and placing it within the container or baggie with the tick. The tick will die within minutes, and will remain intact. Many sources also point out that mouthwash such as Listerine will also work to kill a tick if you do not have rubbing alcohol on hand. A tick should never be handled with bare fingers, to prevent picking up the germs it might carry. Dropping it into rubbing alcohol or a mouthwash like Listerine that contains alcohol should kill it quickly.

It is not advisable to kill a tick by squashing it. Squashing a tick will kill it but will also expose the blood contained by the tick, plus it is just downright gross!  The blood may contain diseases that can be spread by contact. Any surface that comes in contact with the blood may also be contaminated. If a tick is accidentally ruptured during removal from a host, the blood should be immediately wiped up and the area washed thoroughly.keep calm and call the squad

Over the years there have been a myriad of suggestions in regards to killing a tick. Some of these include burning the tick and even microwaving the tick in a plastic bag (can you say baked tick with extra butter and sour cream)?

Of course, the old fashioned way usually entails flushing the tick down the toilet, therein lies the basis of popular folklore which says the tick will proceed to crawl back up through the plumbing. As strange as this seems, according to the Tick Encounter Resource Center at the University of Rhode Island ticks cannot swim, but can be submerged in water for 2-3 days and seem to survive just fine. Since they cannot swim, wrapping them in a tissue and flushing them down the toilet should suffice.

Ticks don't swim from the Tick Encounter Resource Center

According to the Tick Encounter Resource Center at the University of RI – ticks cannot swim!

The ideal way to eliminate a tick is to do so before it has a chance to attach to you, a member of your family or your pet. Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire can reduce the chances of coming into contact with a tick while in your yard so you will never have to worry about removing ticks. When it comes to controlling and preventing ticks in your yard, out of sight is out of mind. Contact Mosquito Squad of SoNH today to learn more about our highly effective and safe tick control program. Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

Please visit our tick identification page to help identify a tick you may come into contact with while venturing into untreated areas this season.

Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire is waging war on Lyme disease and the ticks that carry the disease.

Dread Skeeter for MS of SONHThe dangers of tick borne illnesses such as Lyme disease are no laughing matter. Lyme disease is the sixth highest notable disease in North America and continues to rise. Lyme disease is only found in thirteen states in the U.S. This small concentration of confirmed cases  of the disease means the case load of Lyme within these 13 states is epidemic. Southern New Hampshire has become a hot bed for Lyme disease. Just a little over 20 years ago only three towns in New Hampshire had reported cases of Lyme disease occurrences. In 2012, 119 cities in New Hampshire had reports of confirmed cases of the disease. The problem of Lyme only continues to get worse as more than one thousand new cases of the disease are reported in New Hampshire each year.

These numbers reflect only the tip of the iceberg with many cases going  unreported or being misdiagnosed. Lyme disease is known as “the great pretender” and can mimic the symptoms of many other illnesses. Our goal at Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire is to heighten the awareness of Lyme disease through knowledge, control and prevention. It is crucial for residents to learn how you contract the disease, how to tell if you may have the disease and how to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting Lyme disease. We answer these important questions for you in simple terms.

Mosquito Squad of SONH reminds you that all sizes of tick carry disease

All sizes of ticks can carry and spread Lyme disease.

How do you get Lyme disease?

The bacterium that causes Lyme disease is called Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacterium lives within the gut of infected ticks and is passed on to humans and other mammals from being bitten by a tick carrying the bacterium. The deer tick or black-legged tick is the main vector of Lyme disease transmission. Although adult and nymph (baby) ticks are capable of spreading the disease, nymph ticks are harder to detect and have a better chance of transmitting the disease because they are tiny and are difficult to see. Studies have shown the tick must be attached for 36-48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted. Nymph ticks stand a greater chance of remaining undetected and thus have plenty of time to pass the bacterium onto us.

How do I know if I have Lyme disease?

Not every tick carries Lyme disease. If you find a tick on you or your pet, it is important to remove it following the CDC’s safe tick removal procedures. It is also important to keep the tick in a small vial or spent medicine bottle marked with the date the tick was found in the event you become ill. Proper diagnosis of the disease is easier when the tick can also be tested for the presence of the Lyme bacterium. If you have been bitten by a tick and start to feel ill it is important to contact your doctor immediately. Symptoms of Lyme disease vary from person to person but many people infected with the disease begin to show symptoms 3-30 days following being bitten. These symptoms can include the well-known bull’s-eye rash known as erythema migrans. This rash starts at the location of the bite and expands into a red circular pattern. Other signs include flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches. Swollen lymph nodes and a small raised bump at the site of the tick bite are also commonly reported as symptoms of the Lyme disease in the early localized stage.

cdc_photo_of_lyme_disease_bullseye_rash

Erythema migrans is the distinct bulls-eye rash that Lyme is best known for.

If Lyme disease goes untreated or undiagnosed the next stage of the disease is known as the early disseminated stage. Lyme disease during this stage can produce an array of symptoms that come and go.  Some of these symptoms may include erythema migrans rash, loss of muscle control on the face, dizziness, neck stiffness and severe headaches as a result of Meningitis, heart palpitations and pain and swelling throughout the body.

Late stages of the disease are referred to as late disseminated stage Lyme disease. This stage of Lyme disease can cause arthritis and neurological disorders. Prognosis for Lyme disease is good if the disease is diagnosed early. Patients treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. The longer the disease goes untreated the greater the risk of suffering from acute symptoms that can persist for years. In particular Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, also called chronic Lyme disease is a concern and can lead to continual aches and pains for years even following treatment with antibiotics.

Being diagnosed with Lyme disease can lead to many problems, and can change a person’s life immensely. When it comes to protecting yourself and your family from Lyme disease, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Reducing your exposure to ticks is the best defense against Lyme disease. Utilizing a tick control and prevention program along with staying tick smart will reduce your risk of coming into contact with a potentially infected tick.

ticks-warning-sign

Keep your family safe from Lyme disease by avoiding tick infested areas and using Mosquito Squad of SONH on the homefront.

 Live free or die

Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire is dedicated to keeping you safe from Lyme disease with our tick intensive control and prevention treatment. We combine safe and effective barrier sprays that kill adult ticks. Tick traps (for nymph ticks) interrupt the life cycle of the tick eliminating it before it has a chance to spread infection to you. We’ve had great success with our tick trap program which can reduce the chance of coming into contact with a tick on your treated property by up to 97%. Statistics like this are hard to beat.

If you want to learn more about keeping the most important people in your life protected from the tick that could potentially give them Lyme disease, contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire today. Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.comno ticks

Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire is a mosquito and tick control system that virtually eliminates mosquitoes, ticks and other flying pests from your yard when using our barrier spray. We also provide special event and commercial barrier control sprays. Mosquitoes and ticks are carriers of West Nile Virus and Lyme disease. Take back your yard by implementing the Mosquito Squad barrier control spray system throughout this spring and summer. At Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire, our motto is Live Mosquito Free or Die.

Ticks Are In Full Force

My five year old came in from riding her bike.  Yes she has the fancy puppy design bike (thanks Bubba).  She had 3 ticks crawling on her legs.  Over 60% of ticks in NH carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.  Mosquito Squad has an all natural solution, Harvard tested, that eliminates 95% of ticks in the area treated!  Visit our website for contact info.

Time to prepare for tick season

Those dreaded ticks will be out in full force this season.  The lack of substantial freezing temperatures allow the tick populations to increase.  We have an outstanding all natural product for the elimination of ticks.  For more info on the tick life cycle look here. Our first application for tick control is in May.  Contact Mosquito Squad to schedule this years applications.  Take back your yard!