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Backyard Bug Patrol
Ensuring that children don't get Lyme Disease in their own backyard
Ensuring that children don't get Lyme Disease in their own backyard


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Mosquito Saliva Vaccine Could Kill Two Bugs With One Stone

When a mosquito bites us, it injects the saliva it produces into our blood stream, which helps this disease spreading pest to feast on us with ease. It keeps your blood vessels dilated, which means that a mosquito can drink your blood, as easily as we can drink water! However, this ‘spit’ also primes us to be susceptible to a whole other bunch of nastiness. Here’s an article with more information.

 Mosquito spit primes your body for disease—so scientists want to make an anti-saliva vaccine

It’s concerning that mosquito spit has such a strong effect on the immune system. But there is a way we can fight back. Scientists are developing vaccines that will combat mosquito saliva itself rather than a single virus, bacteria, or parasite. To make such a weapon possible, we’ll need to learn more about how our immune systems react to mosquito saliva.

This vaccine is not only for mosquito saliva, but also for the spit from ticks! If this method of prevention is successful, then we could be killing ‘two bugs’ with one stone!

The vaccine doesn’t actually target the diseases that are spread by mosquitoes, but their saliva. An approach from a different angle, in our constant fight against these killer bugs. Read more in this next article about the idea behind it, and how it works.

How mosquito saliva could help scientists make a vaccine

It’s not just the mosquito bite that’s a problem. When a mosquito bites you, it also drools on you. Silke Paust is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. “During this poking around phase, basically, and during the feeding, it automatically secretes saliva proteins,” she says. She says there are more than 100 proteins in mosquito saliva. Paust and her team found those proteins trigger a complex immune response.

At the moment, the best way to stop a mosquito from slobbering all over you, is to protect yourself. The best way to do this is of course with mosquito repellent, and to make sure that your home and yard is protected if you planning on spending time outdoors.

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Learn To Live Safely With Ticks And Mosquitoes

The different types of tick and mosquito borne disease are constantly on the rise, and with many people travelling the globe more frequently, us humans can also be taking the risk of transmitting these diseases even further afield.  So what can we do about it?

Ticks and mosquitoes bringing more diseases – what can we do?

Cases of vector-borne disease have more than doubled in the U.S. since 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported, with mosquitoes and ticks bearing most of the blame. Mosquitoes, long spreaders of malaria and yellow fever, have more recently spread dengue, Zika and Chikungunya viruses, and caused epidemic outbreaks, mainly in U.S. territories. The insects are also largely responsible for making West Nile virus endemic in the continental U.S.

There are a few good pointers in that article that each and every one of us should be acting on, to ensure our own safety from these disease spreading pests.

“300,000 Lyme disease cases every year” in the United States, is a very concerning number. And what is surprising, is that many people still aren’t protecting themselves from ticks as best they can.

Don’t let ticks pester you this season

Prevention should be on everyone’s mind, particularly during the spring, summer and early fall when ticks are most active. From May through July, people will get more tick bites and tickborne diseases than any other time of year in the United States. It’s especially important to take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones (including pets) from ticks during this season, as well as any time during warmer months when you’re outside.

Again, this is another article with some very useful information on how to protect yourself from ticks. Next time you step outside, think about the threat these insects and arachnids are to your health. Mosquitoes and ticks are unfortunately here to stay, so we need to learn to live safely with them.

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Top U.S Cities Under Threat Of Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are a problem all over the United States, however, there are some locations that suffer from these disease spreading pests more than others. Here’s an article which lists the top 10 U.S cities that are under the threat of a high mosquito population. If you fall within any of these areas, then you may want to make sure your mosquito control is up to date. In fact, even if you’re not, then it’s wise to make sure you are protected.

The top 10 cities for mosquitoes in the US

Mosquito season starts when spring temperatures arrive, and the insects can be most active in temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  While it may not be possible to shield your yard and home from mosquitoes completely, there are several techniques that help deter them. Mosquitoes are able to breed in an inch of standing water, so it is best to remove any object that has the potential to hold water. For containers such as pet water bowls, vases and bird baths, you should replace the water every few days.

Our own back yards are an enticing breeding ground for these bugs. Just the smallest amount of standing water could be the perfect habitat for a mosquito.


2016 was the height of the Zika threat, but that doesn’t mean that it has gone away. With temperatures on the rise, this mosquito borne disease is still very much a risk to health. Florida was significantly effected and so it’s no surprise that Florida counties are taking preventative action.

Florida County to Battle Mosquitoes Through Federal Drone Program

Lee County’s mosquito control operations will be able to incorporate drone technology under more relaxed standards than they would otherwise be required to adhere to under current law. Lee County’s mosquito control efforts – which span an area that Jackson says includes “a lot of mangrove habitat” – already involve helicopters and small aircraft that monitor and in some cases treat areas with particularly high pest activity.

Your own contribution to mosquito control, no matter how small, will considerably assist in the battle we are constantly facing with these killer bugs. No action is too small to take. Let’s bring those mosquito populations down as best we can.

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We’re A Long Way off A Vaccination For Lyme Disease

At this moment in time, there is still no vaccine to defend us humans against the debilitating impact that Lyme disease can have on our health. The disease can be treated with antibiotics, but wouldn’t it be great if we could be immunized from this tick borne virus in the first instance. Unfortunately, there’s an incredibly frustrating reason as to why there is no vaccine available, and you can read more about it in the following article:-

The incredibly frustrating reason there’s no Lyme disease vaccine

Lyme has quickly become one of the most common infectious diseases in America, with many as 300,000 people infected every year. And public health officials fear the bacterial infection, which jumps from ticks to humans, will only spread farther and faster as climate change makes more parts of the US habitable for ticks. Lyme can be treated with antibiotics. And there are many ways to prevent tick bites. But there’s no vaccine available if you want extra protection against the disease (unless you’re a dog).

It could be many, many years before a safe vaccination is available to humans. Therefore, we need to make sure we are taking all measures of tick protection available to us.

It’s not just Lyme disease that these bugs can carry. With the rise in the tick population due to climate increase, we are all at a higher risk than ever before of contracting a tick borne virus if we don’t correctly protect ourselves.

Lyme, the tick-borne disease that’s spreading fast, explained

If you’re spending time outdoors in America during the warmer months, there’s an increasing risk you’ll be infected with a disease spread by insects or ticks. That’s the major finding of a new report by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When they looked at the number of illnesses spread by mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas between 2004 and 2016, they found that cases had more than tripled.

As ticks are surviving longer, the risk of Lyme is higher.  As climates rise in other parts of the United States, it means that ticks can also spread geographically. So wherever you may be located, please be on the lookout for ticks, because although prevention via vaccine would be a significant breakthrough, it’s not looking likely. So the best prevention is to take your own steps in the fight against ticks with knowledge and action.

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Keep Covered And Keep Safe From Ticks And Mosquitoes

Even when it’s warm outside, it’s sensible to keep yourself covered up as much as possible. Not just to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun, but also from disease spreading pests, like ticks and mosquitoes.  It is still quite surprising how many people are still not taking steps to keep themselves protected from these tiny critters. If you’re in doubt, then here’s an article with some tips on just what to do to keep yourself safe.

How to Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes and Ticks

Just when you thought it was warm enough to venture outdoors again, health officials are warning that the number of Americans infected by mosquito, tick and flea bits has more than tripled in recent years. Tick-borne diseases like Lyme and Rocky Mountain spotted fever have been increasing in the Northeast, Upper Midwest and California, and mosquitoes may be carrying West Nile virus and in some parts of the United States, Zika.

The rise of reported cases of tick and mosquito borne disease in humans has significantly increased, and many think that this has something to do with the weather.

Tick And Mosquito Illnesses Tripled Since 2004 – Is Weather To Blame?

Ticks and mosquitoes are more than just annoying to your cookout or hike in the woods. They can actually cause serious illnesses and in some cases, death. In early May 2018 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a report noting that sickness from ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas have tripled since 2004 with over 640,000 cases reported in the past 12 years or so. In first of its kind reporting, the CDC catalogued illnesses associated with Lyme, dengue, Zika, West Nile, chikungunya, and others.

Health officials have every right to be concerned, and so does everyone else. We all need to do what we can to keep protected from ticks and mosquitoes. Each and every contribution means our defense increases from these pests.

As a responsible homeowner, are you up to date with your tick and mosquito control? If you’ve let it slip, then now is the time to take action. The bug season is already upon us, and it means business!

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Yellow Fever: Travelers Beware!

The Aedes aegypti and the Aedes alpobictus breed of mosquito, are the  guilty culprits of transmitting the Zika virus, and they could now be threatening us with an outbreak of yellow fever. A large outbreak in Brazil recently, has health officials concerned that infected travelers could bring the disease into the United States. Here’s an article with more information.

Mosquitoes that carry Zika could bring deadlier yellow fever this year 

he Zika scare of 2016 could morph into a yellow fever panic this year if South Florida residents let down their guard when it comes to protecting themselves from disease-carrying mosquitoes. There hasn’t been a yellow fever outbreak in the United States in more than 100 years, but state health officials are concerned that a large outbreak in Brazil — and other outbreaks in South and Central America — could lead to infected travelers bringing the disease to South Florida, which has the right mosquitoes and climate for it to spread.

Yellow fever is rare in the U.S. However, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be taking preventative measures to protect ourselves from mosquitoes. Here’s some worrying statistics that will make you want to reach for the repellent.

A huge percent of the United States could be impacted by these deadly pests! It’s quite a terrifying and thought provoking situation.

What is Yellow Fever ? Symptoms, Vaccines for Mosquito-Borne Disease

Mosquitoes are more than pesky insects that cause itchy bites—they can also carry dangerous and deadly infections. The same type of mosquito that carries the Zika virus that caused concern after an outbreak in Brazil from 2015 to 2016 also carries the yellow fever virus. Yellow fever is more dangerous. In March, a travel notice was issued for people traveling to Brazil: “There is a large, ongoing outbreak of yellow fever in multiple states,” according to the CDC. The travel notice ranked Brazil at level 2, meaning travelers should take “enhanced precautions” due to a higher than desirable risk of contracting the virus.

If you are thinking about travelling to any of these areas in South America, then please do consider the precautions that you must take for not just your own health, but also for the sake of others. You may not know that you have been bitten by an infected mosquito, and it is quite possible to be carrying a mosquito transmitted disease back from your travels to your home country.

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Mosquito Service Reston VA

Read Mike B.‘s review of Backyard Bug Patrol on Yelp

For tick and mosquito control service in Reston, Virginia, contact:
Backyard Bug Patrol
901 Cantle Ln
Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 621-7116

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We’ve Got To Learn To Live With Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are making us sick! It’s a fact that we just can’t ignore. However, there are still far too many people out there who are not quite taking the threat of these disease spreading pests seriously enough.  The following article reports on a significant increase in the number of Americans that have become sick from the bite of a mosquito, and as climates continue to rise, so does the threat that these pests have on our health.

Mosquito, tick and flea bites are sickening Americans in far greater numbers

The number of Americans sickened by bites from infected mosquitoes, ticks or fleas tripled from 2004 to 2016 — a result of rising global temperatures and increased international travel, U.S. health officials said Tuesday. More than 642,000 cases of the illnesses were reported during the 13 years studied in the Vital Signs report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That is a staggering number of reported cases. And… those are just the ones that have been reported. Many people don’t know that they could perhaps be infected by one of the many diseases that are transmitted by mosquitoes. They are the world’s most dangerous creature, and this is why..

A very informative video, that will hopefully bring more awareness, and influence more people to take action when it comes to protection against mosquitoes.

Why mosquitoes are considered the world’s deadliest animal

The bloodthirsty creature arguably considered to be the deadliest animal on Earth might not be what you’d expect. A blog from philanthropist Bill Gates noted mosquitoes as the animal capable of taking the most lives, killing more people in one day than sharks do in a century. What the pesky flies lack in size has more than made up for in the number of potentially fatal diseases they’re able to carry and spread rapidly.

Not all species of mosquitoes are a threat to humans, but it’s just not worth taking the risk and exposing yourself to what could be a very serious impact on your health, should you be bitten by one of the many that might be infected.  Be sensible and be safe. Mosquitoes are here to stay and we’ve got to learn to live with them safely.

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Tick Season Arrives In Cities Too!

From April through to October, the tick population is in its prime. These tiny critters become their most active during the warmer months and with this increased activity, the rise of risk of tick borne diseases. Here’s a great article on how you can protect yourself from ticks throughout this particular bug season.

How to stay safe from ticks and the diseases they carry

With warmer weather in spring comes the start of tick season. Ticks are most active in the months of April through October and peak in the summer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bloodsucking insects aren’t just creepy — they can be dangerous, transmitting pathogens that cause a number of serious illnesses. Tick-borne diseases are on the rise and that means prevention should be on everyone’s mind, experts say.

You don’t need to live out in the countryside to be at risk. Even if you are a city dweller, you can still be susceptible to ticks and their diseases.

Ticks: unwanted urban dwellers moving into cities

There are movies about snakes on airplanes and tornadoes carrying killer sharks. These are fiction, of course, but there is a factual oddity that is becoming more and more common: ticks are moving to the cities. Recent trends of tick-borne diseases sneaking into more urban areas has led researchers in Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources to investigate.

If you’re a city resident, then you may want to seek out what preventative tick measures are available to you. If you’re heading out of the city for an adventure outdoors, then you need to know what to be aware of when it comes to ticks.

Wear the right clothing, perform thorough body checks when you return from being outside. Know what you need to do should you find a tick on your skin and how to remove it. Stay safe during tick season everyone.

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Mosquitoes And Heartworm. Is Your Pet Protected?

We write a lot of articles warning pet owners to be on the look out for ticks, when it comes to outside adventures with their four-legged friends, but what about mosquitoes? Of course, it goes without saying that mosquitoes are a threat to man’s best friend too, so what precautions should be taken to protect your pet from these pests. This doesn’t apply just to dogs either, as feline friends can also be subject to mosquito borne diseases.

Officials warn pet owners to take mosquito precautions

The western treehole mosquito is a primary cause of heartworm in cats and dogs. They’re fairly small and like to bite mammals, and a day biter which makes them different than most mosquitoes. Preventive treatments include monthly topicals, usually placed between the pet’s shoulder blades so it can’t lick it off. For dogs, additional treatments and preventions are available.

There are many different species of mosquito that carry the bacteria that can transmit heartworm to your pet, so they need to be protected at all times. Here’s a short video with some more information.

Protect your dog or cat with specially formulated mosquito repellents, but also, protect your own back yard. After all, if your home is less likely a favorable habitat for mosquitoes, then the reduction of opportunity for these critters to bite you or your pet, significantly reduces too.

Paws for thought: Heartworm is a constant threat

Heartworm is a life-threatening disease spread by mosquitoes to pets. One bite is all it takes to infect your pet. Warmer temperatures mean mosquitoes are around all year, especially here in the Valley. Mosquitoes can transfer heartworm to your pet from infected pets, coyotes and foxes. Since mosquitoes enter homes, indoor pets are vulnerable as well.

Our pets don’t have a choice, they rely on responsible owners to take care of them. Be educated, take action, and be safe in the knowledge that your furry sidekick is safe from the harm that mosquitoes can cause.

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