Michael Moorhouse here from Mosquito Shield with a round-up of pest-control news and franchise updates.
It’s been a long hot summer and now as we head into the shorter days and cooler temps, we’re seeing more activity from ticks. This is when the young ticks have moved from the larva stage to the nymph stage and they’re on the hunt for their next blood meal. A nymph will feed 4-5 days on its host if undetected and removed. They’ll be active until the temps drop below 45°F.
On a positive note, the CDC is reporting this summer’s tick-related ER visits were well below last summer’s–and even farther below the pre-pandemic numbers. However, as we’ll show below, ticks are still making headlines.
Rare Powassan Virus in Connecticut and Pennsylvania
A lethal case of Powassan virus, contracted from a tick bite, made headlines in May. However, it was a second case that generated lots of media attention in August. A 3-year-old in Pennsylvania was bitten by a tick and, two weeks later, hospitalized with a diagnosis of Meningoencephalitis, which Powassan had caused.
Rarer than Lyme but deadlier, Powassan has spread slowly but steadily over the last five years, with most cases reported in the Great Lakes and Northeast regions. While the number of cases is small, the symptoms can be severe, and around half of those who survive are burdened with long-term health problems.
Asian Longhorned Ticks in South Carolina
South Carolina has been fending off an infestation of the tenacious Asian Longhorned species this summer, with Rhode Island and Kentucky on their guard as well.
First spotted in North America in 2017, the Asian Longhorned tick can reproduce without mating . . . yes, you read that correctly. Thousands of ticks can infest a single area, or a single host. They’re keener for livestock and dogs than humans, but their sheer reproductive volume makes them a serious threat. And fearing that infestations will cross their borders, many states are on the alert.
A New Lyme Vaccine on the Horizon
A welcome dose of good news: Two biotech companies are recruiting volunteers to test a new vaccine for Lyme Disease. If the vaccine is successful and made available, it could be a big help in the fight against the disease, which has spread significantly in recent years.
But your best protection against tick-borne diseases is prevention. Keeping in mind that they’re more active in the fall and spring, take extra precautions when you’ll be where the ticks hang out including:
Wearing clothes that cover your arms and legs. Tuck in your shirt and tuck your pants into your socks to prevent ticks from getting on your skin.
Wear light-colored clothes. This isn’t about fashion, it’s about being able to see the ticks before they reach your skin.
Spray clothes and exposed skins with insect repellant. Ticks are technically arachnids rather than insects, but the spray still works to repel them.
Talk to your vet about tick prevention for your dogs and cats. They can get diseases like Lyme, so taking measures to keep the ticks at bay can help.
Protect the area around your home with a tick prevention treatment. Our service creates a barrier around your space to keep the ticks away so you can enjoy these fall days in your yard.
We’re excited to welcome several new franchisees to Mosquito Shield. If you’re in any of these areas or know of anyone nearby who could use mosquito or tick prevention, let us know and we’ll connect you with a friendly, dedicated prevention provider.
Cass Horton and Kevin Johnson, Greater Greensboro, NC
Servicing residents in Greensboro, High Point, Burlington, Summerfield, and the surrounding areas
Sal and Alexis Sias, El Paso TX
Servicing residents in and around El Paso, TX
Kecia and Pete Wolf, Texarkana, TX
Servicing residents in Texarkana as well as in and around Shreveport, LA