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PEST INFORMATION

Mosquitoes and Disease

West Nile Virus is the most common disease transmitted by mosquitoes within the US. The transmission of disease occurs as a mosquito bites you, dispensing saliva and anticoagulant into your bloodstream. 1 out of 500 mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus in areas where the virus is present. Other disease carried by mosquitoes include Malaria, Dengue Fever, Zika, and Yellow Fever. Animals such as dogs and horses are also at risk of contracting diseases like Heart-worm and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

A Deeper Look…

DISEASE SYMPTOMS EFFECTS
Heartworm (Animals)
  • Ask your veterinarian about heartworm prevention methods.
  • Veterinarians use a blood test to check for dog heartworm.
Mild and moderate symptoms may include tiredness, occasion cough. More severe symptoms include trouble breathing, sickly appearance, and signs of heart failure. Long lasting effects could include lung disease, caval syndrome, heart failure, other organ damage, and death in dogs, ferrets, cats, and other pets.
West Nile Virus
  • Can cause inflammation of the Brain (meningitis or encephalitis)
Most people do not show symptoms. However, some people (1 in 5) will experience fever. In extreme cases, people will experience high fever, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, vision loss, coma, tremors, numbness and paralysis. Those over the age of 60 are at greater risk. Long term effects can include memory and sleep disorders, movement disorders, difficulty with concentration and overwhelming fatigue.
EEE
  • EEE can be a life threatening illness in people and horses.
  • There is no specific medication to treat EEE.
Symptoms include high fever, lack of energy, headache and stiff neck in humans. In animals, symptoms may include fever, weakness, and loss of appetite. Long term effects can include paralysis, seizures, and minimal brain dysfunction.
Zika
  • This Aedes albopictus (also known as the Asian Tiger mosquito), may be able to transmit Zika virus. 
  • Zika is a serious concern for pregnant women, their partners and couples planning a pregnancy.
  • There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika 
  • Zika is a serious concern for pregnant women, their partners and couples planning a pregnancy. Zika can sometimes cause serious birth defects in babies, including microcephaly. Babies born with microcephaly have smaller than normal heads and less developed brains.
The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, muscle pain, red eyes and headache. Long lasting effects can include birth defects in those who are pregnant at time of infection, stillbirth, and miscarriage. Guillain-Barre syndrome has also been reported.
Dengue Fever
  • Dengue viruses are spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species (Ae. aegypti or Ae. albopictus) mosquito
  • There is no specific medicine to treat dengue
Symptoms include fever plus rash, vomiting/nausea, aches and pains. (typically behind the eyes.) Long lasting effects can include alopecia, joint and muscle pain.

Effective Mosquito Repellents

  • Mosquitoes have shown to be reactive to both natural and synthetic repellents.
  • When using repellent, make sure that it is EPA registered. The effectiveness of non-EPA registered insect repellents is unknown, including some natural repellents.
  • The concentration of DEET in a product indicates how long the product will be effective. A higher concentration does not mean that the product will work better; It means that it will be effective for a longer period of time.
  • Using insect repellents containing DEET should not be harmful if label directions are followed and the product is used safely
  • DEET may be used on adults, children, and infants older than 2 months of age.
  • Picaridin is colorless and nearly odorless product that provides adequate protection. Look for products that contain 5-20% of this active ingredient.
  • Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus have also been proven to provide protection to the skin.
  • Permethrin is different from other repellent active ingredients in that it kills ticks and insects that come into contact with it.
  • Permethrin is a repellent that is never to be applied to skin, but to fabrics like clothes, shoes, etc. instead. It’s protection can last even after many washes.
  • Please be advised to read all labels, never prolong your usage of repellent, and to keep repellent away from eyes, noses, or mouths.
  • Store repellents safely away from animals and children, and do not apply repellent to bruised or broken skin.
  • If you believe someone is having an adverse reaction, wash the affected area and contact a healthcare provider immediately.

Reduce Mosquitoes in your Home and Yard

In addition to using repellents, we can prevent mosquitoes from being drawn to our homes and yards by implementing the following measures.

  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water holding containers.
  • Remove leaf litter from gardens and yards.
  • Drain water from pool covers.
  • Change the water in any and all birdbaths weekly.
  • Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
  • Dispose of used tires. They are a mosquito breeding site.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate stagnant water that collects on the property.
  • Clean and chlorate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, hot tubs and other water.
  • Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds.
  • Make sure roof gutters are properly drained, and clean clogged gutters in the fall and spring.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.

Facts about Mosquitoes

  • There are 200 types of mosquitoes within the US.
  • There are about 70 different species of mosquito within New York State.
  • Mosquitoes have 4 life stages: egg, larvae, pupae and adult.
  • Some mosquito species actively breed in discarded tires.
  • Weeds, tall grass, and shrubbery provide an outdoor home for adult mosquitoes.
  • Only females bite to get a blood meal for their eggs.
  • Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in even the smallest amount of standing water within a home.
  • Eggs can develop in any standing water that remains more than 4 days.
  • Itching a mosquito bite can prolong the healing process.
  • Most mosquitoes are active between dusk and dawn, when the air is calm and females are most likely to bite. However, this is not the case for a variety of species, who will feed at anytime during the day.
  • Mosquitoes can enter houses and apartments through broken screens and unscreened windows or doors.
  • Mosquitoes use many methods to locate a blood-meal. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide humans and other animals emit. They also use their receptors and vision to pick up on other cues like body heat, perspiration and skin odor to find a potential host. Research further shows that mosquitoes are attracted to dark colored clothing.

Ticks and Disease

  • Ticks are active all year round, even during winter, whenever temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • They carry diseases like Lyme Disease, Tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, Powassan Virus, and Ehrlichiosis.
  • There are around 90 species of ticks within the US.
  • The three main species within New York are the lone star tick, dog tick and the black legged tick.
  • The black legged tick is the most common carrier of Lyme Disease, Powassan Virus, Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis.
  • All life stages bite humans, but nymphs and adult females are most commonly found on people.
  • The lone star tick is a common carrier Ehrlichiosis and Tularemia. The adult female and nymph most frequently bite humans.
  • Allergic reactions associated with consumption of red meat   have been reported among persons bitten by lone star ticks.
  • Adult females are distinguished by a white dot or “lone star” on the back
  • The dog tick is a common carrier for Tularemia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
  • Adult females are most likely to bite humans.

BLACKLEGGED TICK, also known as the Deer Tick

LONE STAR TICK

AMERICAN DOG TICK

A Deeper Look...

DISEASE SYMPTOMS EFFECTS
Lyme Disease Typical symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache a skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, Lyme Disease could give way to infections in the heart, joints, and nervous system.
Tularemia Symptoms include fever, chills, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, loss of appetite, and a general feeling of ill health. Long lasting effects can include enlargement of the heart, lung issues like pneumonia, bone infection, and meningitis.
Ehrlichiosis Symptoms include rash, chills and fever, severe headache, confusion, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite and vomiting. In those with weakened immune systems, Ehrlichiosis can lead to coma, confusion, and seizures, excess bleeding (hemorrhages) and heart failure.
Babesiosis Many people who are infected feel fine and do not have any symptoms. Some develop flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, or fatigue. Complications of babesiosis include acute respiratory failure, congestive heart failure, liver and renal failure.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Symptoms can include fever, headache, rash, nausea/vomiting, stomach pain/muscle pain, and lack of appetite. Complications include inflammation in the heart, lungs, and brain. As well as kidney failure, gangrene, enlargement of the liver, and death. Also reported has been hearing loss, partial paralysis, muscle weakness and neurological deficits.
Powassan Virus Symptoms can include headaches, fever, weakness, vomiting, seizures, meningitis and encephalitis. Roughly half of those who survive Powassan Virus have reported memory problems, recurring headaches, and loss of muscle mass and strength.

Preventative Measures to Take at Home

  • Wear light colored clothing.
  • Walk along the center of trails.
  • Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants.
  • Use repellents as directed.
  • Carefully inspect your body for ticks.
  • Conduct Frequent clothing checks.
  • Keep pets away from tick infested areas and check them before entering the home.
  • Once home, dry clothing on the highest temperature setting for 10 minutes to kill any ticks.
  • Use netting over strollers and playpens.

Repellent information

  • Ticks have shown to be reactive to both natural and synthetic repellents.
  • When using repellent, make sure that it is EPA registered. The effectiveness of non-EPA registered insect repellents is unknown, including some natural repellents.
  • The concentration of DEET in a product indicates how long the product will be effective. A higher concentration does not mean that the product will work better; It means that it will be effective for a longer period of time.
  • Using insect repellents containing DEET should not be harmful if label directions are followed and the product is used safely
  • DEET may be used on adults, children, and infants older than 2 months of age.
  • Picaridin is colorless and nearly odorless product that provides adequate protection. Look for products that contain 5-20% of this active ingredient.
  • Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus have also been proven to provide protection to the skin.
  • Permethrin is different from other repellent active ingredients in that it kills ticks and insects that come into contact with it.
  • Permethrin is a repellent that is never to be applied to skin, but to fabrics like clothes, shoes, etc. instead. It’s protection can last even after many washes.
  • Please be advised to read all labels, never prolong your usage of repellent, and to keep repellent away from eyes, noses, or mouths.
  • Store repellents safely away from animals and children, and do not apply repellent to bruised or broken skin.
  • If you believe someone is having an adverse reaction, wash the affected area and contact a healthcare provider immediately.