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Triple S Pest Services
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The best way to prevent being infected by Rocky Mountain fever, Lyme disease, and other illnesses carried by ticks is through the avoidance of tick bites, of which there are numerous methods.
One of the most effective ways of avoiding tick bites is to stay away from wooded and high grass areas. Using a repellent with DEET, and wearing long-sleeve clothing, can be very effective in keeping skin free of tick bites.
As a way of protecting oneself from tick bites, it is recommended to take a break to perform a tick check. If a tick is found, stay calm and simply remove it. It is also a good idea to examine gear and pets after being in wooded areas.
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There are several ways to prevent being bitten by a mosquito. One of the more effective means is to avoid outdoor activities when mosquitos are most active, during the dawn to dusk period of the day.

Repairing tears in screen doors and camping equipment are common sense ways that help keep mosquitos at bay. The use of netting around a baby carriage, or when sleeping outdoors, are simple and easy ways to prevent mosquito bites.

Insect repellent, especially those containing DEET, goes a long way towards keeping mosquitos away. If applying sunscreen, it is best to first apply the sunscreen, then the insect repellent twenty minutes later.
For more tips, check out this handy Field Guide to Battle Mosquitos from Fairfax County:
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/your-field-guide-to-battle-mosquitoes/
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There are sixteen types of ticks throughout Virginia, but only three bite people: the lone star tick, the blacklegged tick, and the American dog tick.

People are most often bitten by the lone star tick. The majority of the time this occurs during the smallest stage of the tick’s life, when they are nymphs. It has been found to carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can cause severe damage to the heart and kidneys.

The blacklegged tick, also known as the deer tick, can carry Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis, a bacterial illness that causes flu-like symptoms. Ehrlichiosis can be managed if treated within a couple of days of being bitten.

The female American dog tick spreads Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia, which causes fevers up to 104 degrees and can be life threatening.

Be vigilant in checking for ticks after spending time outdoors, and call Triple S Services for professional preventative treatment for ticks at 1-800-457-3785.

American Dog Tick, photo by Jerry Kirkhart
Creative Commons license:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en
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While everyone probably feels as if they are equally prone to being bitten by mosquitos, it turns out the pesky disease-carrying insects have preferences as to who they bite. There are numerous interesting and unexpected reasons certain people end up getting bitten more than others. Find out why in the following article.

http://says.com/my/lifestyle/why-do-some-people-attract-and-get-bitten-by-mosquitoes-more-than-others
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As the dog days of summer come upon us and we are outdoors almost every day, we need to be vigilant in protecting ourselves from disease-carrying insects. Ticks, which begin their lives as larva, smaller than one-eighth of an inch, and can grow up to one-half of an inch, can be especially irritating, and a threat to your health.

Due to their size and agility they are difficult to see, and therefore protect against. In addition, they are tough to detect, especially on an animal. They subsist entirely on a diet of blood, which they extract from mammals and birds, but at times also reptiles and amphibians. Ticks can fast for a long period of time, but similar to almost all species, they will die if they do not find a host to satisfy their need for blood.

Check out this informative Field Guide to Battle Ticks from Fairfax County:
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/your-field-guide-to-battle-ticks/
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While ants can be pesky and cause damage, they happen to make a beneficial impact on our environment at times. For starters, ants do a better job than worms at improving soil. By digging tunnels and moving soil, they redistribute nutrients. In addition, the open spaces left behind in their tunnels improve air and water circulation in the soil.

The food ants store in and around their nests adds organic matter to the soil. The waste they excrete enriches the soil in which it is excreted into. Soil with lots of ant activity has an almost neutral ph., and is rich in nitrogen and phosphorous.
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Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) pose a threat to picnickers and people playing games in a park, as they tend to swarm and quickly sting people. They are aggressive when disturbed and impose a painful sting on their victims. A red fire ant attacks by inserting its stinger into the skin, and repeatedly stinging in a circle around the point of entry.

Livestock foraging in the field are at similar risk to red fire ants. RIFA have been found to attack the mouths of cows and horses as they graze for food, which can cause significant damage. Calves can be painfully stung, and in some cases blinded, before they are able to stand up and walk.

Photo by Sanford Porter. USDA
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One of the more pesky and destructive ants Virginia, DC and Maryland citizens should be on the lookout for this summer season are Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA). They range in size form 1/16” to 1/4”, and their colonies can be anywhere from hundreds to thousands of ants.

Their nest is a large dome-shaped mound, often found in soil, which at first glance resembles a pile of sand on a lawn. Described as the “ant from hell”, RIFA have been known to cause damage to over fifty types of vegetation by feeding on its seeds. Due to their desire for moisture, they can also cause significant issues during a drought.

Contact Triple ‘S’ Services at 800-457-3785 if you have a Red Imported Fire Ants problem.
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St. Louis encephalitis (SLEVE) is transmitted when mosquitoes bite humans. Most of the time people are unaware they have been infected by SLEVE, as the symptoms are fairly common to ordinary life. Many of the symptoms (fever, headache, nausea, and feeling more tired than usual), can be associated with being run down or busy with life.
If any of the above “normal” symptoms persist, it is recommended that a doctor be seen for a proper diagnosis. SLEVE can cause neuroinvasive disease. In older adults, inflammation of the brain can occur. As there is no known cure for SLEVE, insect repellent and protective clothing during mosquito season are considered effective preventative measures.
Contact Triple ‘S’ Services for a mosquito inspection and control. 800-457-3785
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Eastern equine encephalitis is a disease carried by mosquitos that affects mainly horses. Also known as sleeping sickness, it causes inflammation of the brain and the spinal cord. Signs of being infected, which don’t appear until three to ten days after a horse has been bitten, include staggering aimlessly, inability to swallow, paralysis, and at times, death.
Vaccinations every six months, and the elimination of water breeding sites for mosquitos, go a long way toward protecting horses from being infected. Similar to other mosquito-borne diseases, there is no known treatment. Pharmalogically preventive measures such as antipyretics and anticonvulsants have been found to be effective. Contact a veterinarian for treatment.
Triple ‘S’ Services recommends scheduling a visit to address cleaning up areas on a property that may attract mosquitos. Call us today at 800-457-3785.
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