SPECIAL EDITION: How concerned should we be about the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus?

July 24, 2014

Chikungunya-Mosquito-Virus-Frederick-MDThis just in from Jenny Marder, PBS News Hour:

“Last Thursday On Thursday, federal officials announced that the tropical Chikungunya mosquito-borne disease had been transmitted for the first time within the United States, infecting two Florida residents.

“What’s notable about these cases is that the people affected reported no recent trips to the Caribbean, Africa or Asia, where the painful virus is widespread. Until last week, all cases reported in the continental United States were from people who had recently traveled to endemic areas. Read: Chikungunya-infected mosquitoes are now living, breeding and sucking human blood in the continental United States.

“’This is not good news,’ says Mike Raupp, professor of entomology at the University of Maryland.

“A few facts. The word Chikungunya derives from the Kimakonde language in Southeast Africa. (pronounced CHICKEN-GUY-YAH.) It means contorted, a nod to the stooped-up appearance of people with severe joint pain, one of the main symptoms of the virus, along with fever, muscle pain, headache, fatigue and rash, according to the World Health Organization.

“’Mainly, you’re going to get a fever,’ said Walter Tabachnick of University of Florida’s Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory. “You’re going to feel lousy. With Chikungunya, you’re going to ache. You do not want to get this disease.”

It is seldom fatal. But that fact shouldn’t deter anyone from aggressive mosquito control, stressed Tabachnick, who believes the media has downplayed the danger of the virus.

“No one wants to be a fear monger. No one is saying, ‘We’re all going to die.’ But on the other hand, it does take public awareness and public responsibility to protect themselves. We’ve been very frustrated by the inability to get this message out to the public and nothing seems to take.”

“The virus is primarily transmitted by two types of mosquitoes, the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, also known as the yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes, respectively. Both are invasive to the United States. The yellow fever mosquito arrived in the 1500s; the Asian Tiger more recently, in the 1980s.

“Unlike the West Nile virus, which is transmitted to mosquitoes mostly from birds and only occasionally to humans, Chikungunya is a mosquito-man virus. This means mosquitoes easily and efficiently transmit the virus to humans.

“Transmission of the virus goes like this: A female mosquito bites an infected person. For about seven days, the virus incubates inside the mosquito, multiplying. The warmer the weather, the shorter that incubation period. Eventually, it migrates into the insect’s salivary glands, and as the mosquito feeds on human blood, she spits, transmitting the virus. (Note: only female mosquitoes bite. They need the protein in the blood to grow eggs.)

“These mosquitoes prefer to breed in man-made storage containers: soda cans, birdbaths, rain barrels and garbage can lids. Standing water that collects on tarp-covered boats is a major breeding site in Florida, Tabachnick said. Yellow fever mosquitoes prefer these sites to natural water, like puddles.

“As of July 18, 2014, a total of 436,586 suspected and 5,724 laboratory-confirmed Chikungunya cases had been reported in the Caribbean, Central America, South America and the United States, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

“’This is not a trivial illness,’ Raupp said. “Even though it’s not often lethal. What’s disturbing is we know we have vector-competent mosquitoes who are able to feed off someone who has a virus circulating in their bloodstream and to transmit it to people who have not yet traveled.”

“To prevent breeding, he said, police and clean up your yard. Dump the birdbath twice a week. Dump or monitor other sources of water.

“’The public outcry should be to demand your neighbors to clean up,’ Tabachnick said. “All it takes is one property owner who doesn’t care, and he could be rearing enough mosquitoes to endanger the entire neighborhood.”

Frederick Local Elet Hall Finally at 100% After Battle With Lyme Disease

July 23, 2014

It does not come as a surprise to us that the contestant on American Ninja Warrior who had Lyme disease for two years (undiagnosed), comes from Smithsburg, MD (just 30 minutes from Frederick). That’s right, Elet Hall, who had the second fastest time, completing the course in 4 minutes 21 seconds, in the St. Louis finals on American Ninja Warrior (aired on July 21, 2014) is a Frederick local. He competed in the extreme obstacle course competition in prior years without knowing that he was being hampered by undiagnosed Lyme disease. The anchors for the show informed the viewers that Elet Hall was competing for the first time this year at 100% because he finally got his Lyme disease treated. He was amazing. It appears that he did a lot of his training in and around Baker Park and Frederick, MD and the mountains around Smithsburg, Frederick, and Hagerstown. We researched his background and learned that he is into Parkour (I never heard of this), which apparently helped him earn his nickname “the natural” on American Ninja Warrior. Hats off to our Elet Hall.

It is simply amazing that Elet was able to compete at a high level, or compete at all in such a strenuous and testing athletic event. One of the major symptoms of Lyme disese that would have effected Elet was the intense joint pain. This seemingly would have made parkour an absolute nightmare, as the fluidity of all your joints is at the very core of parkour. Nonetheless, Elet went on to do more than just parkour, he competed in some of the most grueling physical competitions on American Ninja Warrior and did extremely well even while suffering from Lyme disease. During the time Elet ran the course, he made it to the Las Vegas finals each of the last two years. After last year’s finals, he woke up one day with half of his face paralyzed, and felt overall weak. To see the full breakdown of this local supreme athlete’s battle with Lyme disease, watch the video below.

His training in Frederick is something indescribable. His athleticism and toughness are beyond question, as is shown in his extreme parkour training. We also loved Baker Park. Funny though, I wouldn’t have thought to use it as a training ground for American Ninja Warrior.

Mosquito Squad: 100% Customer Satisfaction and Dr. Prescribed?

July 22, 2014

doctor_frederick_mdRecently we had a customer call us after a visit with her physician. She stated she was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and her physician mentioned the negative impact RA has on the immune system. Her physician told her she needed to get extra protection from mosquitoes because the diseases they carry could more easily enter her system due to a compromised immune system. Now that chikungunya has made its way into our area, and in Florida mosquitoes are confirmed to have transmitted the disease to humans, protection from mosquitoes is as important as ever. West Nile virus and chikungunya are all related to the Asian tiger mosquito, which unfortunately resides in Maryland and is an all-day biter. When it comes to mosquito control we have heard a lot of complaining about the irritating bites and the protection of kids and pets, but it was definitely new to be Dr. prescribed, so to speak.

The Threat of West Nile Still Persists

July 17, 2014

blue_jay_inected_with_west_nile_frederick_mdIt seems every summer, from the middle of July to the end of August, there is a reported case of West Nile virus in Maryland. It is almost as predictable as the rising and setting of the sun. The timing of these infections is not purely coincidental and can be traced simply to the migratory patterns of birds in certain cases. It also has to do with the alarming number of birds that are vectors for the West Nile virus. Not all birds are considered vectors for transmission of the disease, but two well-known birds are (the Blue jay and hawks). A sign that birds are infected in your area, according to an article, is when you see crows flying as if they were drunk. They may take off 2 feet above the ground for a couple hundred yards then land again. Their wings droop in almost a drunken way, and they may flip over while landing. Unlike blue jays and hawks, crows are considered a “dead-end host”. This means they are not capable of passing West Nile any further. When you see signs that crows, whose once loud and robust caws could be heard without effort, now sound dim and weak you might be seeing the effects of West Nile. Where there are crows being infected, there are also blue jays and hawks to follow suit.

west_nile_virus_frederick_mdAccording to Maryland’s Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, from July 1-October 31, 2013 there were 16 cases of West Nile virus instances found in humans.  An additional 3 cases were found in animals from August to September, 2013. The surveillance report illustrated how important it is to rid areas of standing water. From July 16th through September 4th, 2013 there were 18 reported mosquito pools that tested positive for West Nile virus including one pool testing positive for both West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. This goes to show the importance of adhering to Mosquito Squad’s “5 T’s” in order to keep your surrounding property safer with regards to mosquito breeding and facilitation of West Nile.

west_nile_virus_prevention_frederick_md

mosquito_transmitting_west_nile_virus_to_humanIn a previous blog post we referred to an article illustrating the capacity for mosquito-to-human transmission of West Nile virus. The article gave great insight as to how the potential for being infected with West Nile virus rose so dramatically, stating, “The West Nile virus can be transmitted by mosquito species other than the Asian Tiger. However, the all-day feeding habits of the Asian Tiger mosquito may increase the risk of spreading West Nile virus. The Maryland mosquito spraying program is not the best against the Asian Tiger mosquito. Spraying is usually done at sunset or after dark for native mosquitoes. Asian Tiger mosquitoes are virtually absent during these hours.”  Mosquito Squad’s treatments use a different product than that used by the state and are more effective because we go into the backyards and spray areas where the state’s spray does not reach.  The product Mosquito Squad uses has a residual affect that will kill mosquitoes that come onto the treated area, while still being people and pet friendly.  This has resulted in much better control of the Asian Tiger mosquito in many yards around Frederick.

Conflicting Reports on Stink Bugs’ Mortality Rate Due to Our Cold Winter

July 11, 2014

stinkbug_frederick_md2In February of this year (2014), Virginia Tech researchers did studies to test stink bugs’ resilience in extreme cold temperatures. According to their research they concluded, “…about 95 percent of them were exterminated (when temperatures hovered around zero degrees for several days)”, due to the renowned “polar vortex” much of the Northeast experienced extreme cold for a longer than average duration. The research, unfortunately, was only limited to Blacksburg, Virginia where temperatures were closer to the zero degree mark, unlike Maryland.

stinkbug_frederick_md1According to another article by the Washington Post, Mike Raupp disputed the mortality rate of stink bugs. He remained more guarded in his prediction of the stink bug population in Maryland. While Blacksburg had a few days at 4 degrees below zero, Maryland did not. A research entomologist for the Agriculture Department also believes that stink bugs were not as greatly affected by the colder than average winter. Entomologist Tracey Leskey stated, “Unfortunately, they’re (stink bugs) doing just fine”. According to Leskey, “Even if they did die in bunches, they enter winter with an enormous population, so plenty of survivors rush out in spring to multiply”. Compounding the lower than expected mortality rates of stink bugs in the elements is the fact that many stink bugs make their way into homes during the cold months. Mike Raupp stated, “Every day I’ve had a stink bug wandering across my desk; they’re doing fine in my house”.

stinkbug_frederick_md3Just last week we had a customer reporting a large number of stink bugs on his house.  He noticed hey were smaller than usual, but stinkbugs nonetheless. This created the potential for an explosion of the stink bug population on this customer’s property, as there were now 2 generations of stink bugs (adult stink bugs and nymph stink bugs). A nymph (stink bug) looks extremely different than an adult stink bug; in most cases it looks so dissimilar that people think they are seeing an immature tick or other small insects. According to a research article, the brown marmorated stink bug, or BMSB, has a life cycle which consists of the following:

Eggs: The white or pale green barrel-shaped eggs are laid in clusters on the undersides of leaves. Egg masses have about 25 eggs that are only about 1 mm in diameter but become apparent when nymphs have recently emerged, as they will stay at the egg mass for several days. In Pennsylvania, eggs first appeared in late June, but females continued to lay egg masses until September. Although only one generation was observed, multiple generations are likely as the distribution spreads to the south (Bernon et al. 2004).

Nymphs: As with all immature stink bugs, the nymphs lack fully developed wings and have been described as tick-like in appearance, ranging in size from 2.4 mm (1st instar) to 12 mm (5th instar). Nymphs need to molt, or shed their outer skin (exoskeleton), as they progress through five different stages or nymphal instars. First instars are colored orange or red and remain clustered around the egg mass, sometimes until they molt to the 2nd instar stage. The 2nd instar begins to develop an almost black appearance, and subsequent instars (3rd, 4th, and 5th) begin to acquire more of the adult BMSB coloration.

Adults: Adults are 12 to17 mm long (approximately 1/2 inch), and have a mottled appearance. Alternating dark and light bands occur on the last two antennal segments. Additionally, the head and pronotum are covered with patches of coppery or bluish metallic-colored punctures and the margins of the pronotum are smooth as compared to the toothed, jagged pronotal margin of Brochymena (Hoebeke 2002). The exposed lateral margins of the abdomen are marked with alternate bands of brown and white. Faint white bands are also evident on the legs.

Don’t let stink bugs take over your house, refer to our previous blog about the best way to remove them from your home. As always, if you have any questions regarding stink bugs and how to best protect your home, call us at (301) 263-7220.

Tufts University Scientists Warn of a “Tick Boom” This Summer

July 3, 2014

nymph tick in frederick marylandWSET news published on June 23, 2014 an article discussing a stern warning from Tufts University scientists about the potential for a “tick boom” this summer. The jump in the tick population is attributed to abundant snow and a wet spring, which created ideal conditions for this tick boom. According to Tuft’s Professor Sam Telford, “the large amounts of snow this winter acts like a blanket to protect ticks. Plus the wet spring kept ticks from drying out.” The most concerning aspect of the impending tick boom is that it especially applies to the type of ticks that carry Lyme Disease.

frederick maryland tick controlAccording to another article, “June and July are the peak season for the tiny, hard to see nymph ticks which are believed to be the main vector for transmitting Lyme Disease”. The larger issue with the nymph tick is the size of the bug itself. The nymph tick can be especially hard to locate and it is possible to have a nymph tick on your body the size of a comma and, therefore, overlooked as being a freckle, or speck of dirt. Because of this, it is very important to check your body daily. With the expected explosion in the tick population imminent, protecting yourself from ticks should be the primary concern.

There’s nothing like a tick boom to inevitably lead to an uptick in Lyme disease. Adding to the difficulty on reporting the statistical analysis of Lyme Disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that “only 10% of the people infected with Lyme disease are accurately diagnosed”. In Maryland in 2013 there were 1,194 cases of Lyme Disease reported, however, the CDC estimates actual cases in Maryland were approximately 11,000. The need for tick control is higher now more than ever. According to the Centers for Disease Control homeowners should “Consider using a professional pesticide company to apply pesticides at your home” to protect from ticks in your yard. If you have any questions or concerns related to tick control and how to protect you and your family from ticks, give Mosquito Squad of Frederick a call at (301) 263-7220 or email us at Frederick@mosquitosquad.com.

National Mosquito Control Awareness Week is in Full Swing

June 26, 2014

 

mosquito_control_awareness_week1The week of June 22-June 28, 2014 has been declared the eighteenth annual “National Mosquito Control Awareness Week” by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA). The purpose of “Mosquito Week” is to educate the general public about the significance of mosquitoes in their daily lives and the important service provided by mosquito control workers throughout the U.S.  The intention is not only to educate the general public about mosquitoes, but also the diseases which they are capable of transmitting.

asian_tiger_mosquito_frederick_mdThe activity of mosquitoes in our area is extremely high and due to the arrival of the invasive Asian tiger mosquito, the biting activity is all day long (contrary to common belief that mosquitoes feed only during the cooler evening hours).  The Asian tiger mosquito not only bites during the hot summer days, unlike native species, but is much more aggressive than its native counterparts. Click the link here to see a daily update of the current mosquito activity levels according to the Weather Channel.

Common-backyard-mosquito-sourcesThis year was predicted to be especially bad for mosquito activity, much worse than any on previous record. According to an article from last year, “We could have the biggest mosquito population since 1989, which was a really bad year for mosquitoes.” Additionally, there are several more mosquito-borne diseases currently than there were in 1989. We now are contending with West Nile Virus and potentially Chikungunya due to the Asian tiger mosquito’s presence. The article stated, “The Asian Tiger is more aggressive and effective in transmitting disease than native mosquitoes, which they are ‘out-competing’ in many places.”

The more educated the general public is about the dangers of mosquitoes and the methods of ridding yourself of said dangers is of the utmost importance. Following the 5 “T’s” is always effective and highly important to help aid you in ridding your yard of unwanted mosquito breeding areas.  Mosquitoes have the potential of ruining any event, whether it is a graduation party, wedding, cookout, etc. It is better to be well-informed and prepared than having guests literally itching to leave your outdoor event. For more information on how to take your yard back and gain awareness call Mosquito Squad of Frederick at (301) 263-7220 or email us today.

How Mosquito Control in Frederick MD Can Spare You and Your Family from the Chikungunya Virus

June 17, 2014

asian tiger mosquito control in frederick marylandThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring several states for the Chikungunya virus, including Maryland. Due to an above average rainfall (25% higher than average), the potential for the spread of the virus has dramatically increased. Accompanying this statistic is the fact that people travel more, and in turn are exposed to foreign vector-borne illnesses which they then bring back with them. It’s a perfect storm once someone infected with Chikungunya arrives back stateside; they are the carrier, and the Asian tiger mosquito is the transmitter. Neither Chikungunya nor the Asian mosquito are native, however, due to the rapid increases in industrial globalization and travel, they are now both present in the U.S.

mosquito control in frederick marylandMosquito control in Frederick MD is a serious issue, and Mosquito Squad is the first commercial service to tackle this issue for people who were previously unable to get help. According to the (CDC), “Two species of mosquitoes, aedes albopictus and aedes aegypti, carry the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the albopictus, commonly known as the Asian tiger mosquito, is more likely to play a larger role in transmission in the United States due to its wide distribution.” Unfortunately, we have the invasive bloodsucker known as the Asian tiger mosquito in Maryland and Mosquito Squad is fighting back. The sheer relief people experience after seeing the results of our barrier spray is astounding. People are actually able to enjoy their backyards without being constantly hounded by mosquitoes. Simply being able to walk into their own backyard without applying bug spray, or having to set up a perimeter of citronella candles is literally life-altering for our customers.

mosquito control frederick mdThere are several methods you can use to prevent mosquito breeding in your yard, one of the most simple and helpful methods is to follow the 5 “T’s”.

1. TIP
Tip anything around your home that can collect water from rain or your sprinkler system. Dog bowls, plant saucers, clogged gutters and kid’s toys left out in the yard can collect enough water to be a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

2. TOSS
Remove excess grass, weeds from gardens, leaves, firewood and other leftover clippings from yards.

3. TURN
Turn over larger yard items that could hold water like baby pools, children’s portable sandboxes or plastic toys.

4. REMOVE TARPS
If tarps stretched over firewood piles, grills or boats aren’t taut, they’re holding water.

5. TREAT
Call Mosquito Squad of Frederick. Our mosquito elimination barrier treatment eliminates up to 90% of the mosquitoes on your property. Remember that mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance; they can carry dangerous diseases such as West Nile virus and the Chikungunya virus.

The most important of all these is to Treat your yard. It’s been helping hundreds of people and will continue to do so. If you would like to take your yard back, give us a call today at (301) 263-7220 or email us at frederick@mosquitosquad.com.

Loudon County, VA Declares Lyme Disease An Epidemic, Encourages Home Owners To Spray Their Yards

April 24, 2012

Loudon County, VA, neighboring Frederick County, MD has declared Lyme disease to be epidemic and launched a 10 point plan to reduce the cases of Lyme Disease in the county.  According to an April 9, 2012 report on Fox 5 DC, “There’s also going to be a significant awareness campaign and we want to encourage private homeowners to spray their own property to go after the ticks,’ Supervisor Ken Reid says.”

The news story describes how the tick-borne disease has impacted its victims.

“”’I taught kindergarten, but when it effected my voice, I couldn’t teach anymore,’ Benalayat says.

Speaking is difficult for her now, and everyday life focuses on treating her Lyme Disease.

‘I give myself I-V medicine and that takes an hour. I also take 30 pills every day as well’” Benalayat says.

Linda McGee was diagnosed with Lyme 8 years ago, and two of her three children have it too. Her family has paid more than $12,000 out of their pockets to treat her.

‘Insurance doesn’t cover much, and the I-V treatment was a thousand dollars a week back then,’ McGee says.

So they had to make a choice, college tuition or her intravenous antibiotic treatment. They sent their daughter off to college, and then in February, she relapsed.

‘I had some problems, and the Lyme went to my heart,’ McGee says.”

Deer ticks have a two-year life cycle and require a blood meal in order to molt from one stage to another.  Typically, the nymph ticks look for a blood meal in the spring.  Deer ticks typically look for their first blood meal from small animals, including white-footed mice, squirrels, chipmunks, and even foraging birds, and later blood meals from large mammals (like humans and deer).  Experts have predicted that the risk of contracting Lyme disease is extremely high this year.  Several factors play into this.  First, the ticks, and other insects, were able to survive the mild winter better than they would in a harshly cold winter.  Second, oak trees are producing fewer acorns this year.  Researchers indicate that white-footed mice feed on acorns and their population goes up and down depending on the acorn production.  Less mice means the ticks must look for another source for their blood meal.

Researchers at Yale University found that throughout the entire northeast from Connecticut to Maryland 1 in 5 ticks carried the bacteria that spread Lyme disease.  Other studies have found that same ratio.

What can you do to protect yourself?  Mosquito Squad has prepared the 6 Cs to help:

1. Clear out. Reduce your tick exposure by clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas. Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic. Separate them with wood chips or gravel. Don’t position playground equipment, decks and patios near treed areas.

2. Clean. Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house and lawn edges, mow tall grasses and keep your lawn short.

3. Choose plants. Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and/or install physical barriers to keep deer out of your yard. Check with your local nursery to determine the best choices for your area.

4. Check hiding places. Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick walls and patio retaining walls are popular hiding places.

5. Care for family pets. Family pets can suffer from tick-borne disease and also carry infected ticks into the home. Talk to your veterinarian about using tick collars and sprays. As with all pest control products, be sure to follow directions carefully.

6. Call the pros. Professionals utilize both barrier sprays that can kill “adult” ticks on the spot as well as “tick tubes.” Strategically placed, “tick tubes” prompt field mice to incorporate tick-killing material in their bedding, effectively eliminating hundreds of tick nymphs found in each mouse nest.

University of Maryland Entomologists Worry Stink Bugs and Mosquitoes Will be Bad in 2012

April 6, 2012

WTOP news published on 4/5/12 an  article discussing concerns the University of Maryland entomologists have about the 2012 stink bug population.  If you hate stink bugs and like to watch them die, the article is worth looking at just to see the photo of a praying mantis “feasting” on a stink bug.  Not surprisingly, the story suggests that this year could be really bad for stink bugs, mosquitoes, ticks.  First, the article points out that the mild winter did not kill off as many of the bugs as a harsh winter would have.  University of Maryland entomologist Michael Raupp tells WTOP that bugs that have multiple generations could be extremely bad this year.  Included in this group:   brown marmorated stink bugs, Asian tiger mosquitoes, spider mites, etc.

The article states:  “Although Raupp said it’s not definite that pesky insects like mosquitoes and Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs — which are native to Asia and invaded the area several years ago — will be more prevalent this summer, some signs are already favoring the critters.”  Additionally “[University of Maryland pest management specialist Galen] Dively said the advantage could be particularly strong for stink bugs.”   The only thing the article suggests could suppress the bugs:  weather.  “Dively said a wet spring or extremely hot summer could end up suppressing populations that would have otherwise thrived.

‘The weather in the spring or summer can actually change the whole scenario real quick, that’s why it’s hard to predict anything,’ Dively said.  That is an interesting quote because WTOP has posted the audio of an interview with Raupp where he worries that 2012 is starting to shape up like 2010, which he called a “watershed” year for stink bugs.  In Western Maryland the summer of 2010 seemed extremely hot to us, with several consecutive days of 100 degrees and the region being declared to be in drought.  Even with that extreme temperatures many compared the 2010 stink bug problem to a biblical plague.  So far (April 5, 2012), we at Mosquito Squad are hearing many people report mosquitoes already in their yards, reports of deer ticks, and many other insects getting started weeks before they normally do.  It appears to us that rain was more of a suppressor for the stink bugs than hot  temperatures.  As discussed earlier, a warm drought led to massive stink bug invasions.  Meanwhile, last year was extremely wet.  While we had and have several customers with huge stink bug problems last year (and this spring), we note that the rain seemed to suppress some stink bug migration to homes in some areas.  If Raupp is correct that this year is shaping up like 2010, we should prepare for it.  Our customers have reported great satisfaction with the control we have achieved for them.  One researcher from the University of Maryland told us it is advisable to treat for stink bugs early. We could not agree more.

Meanwhile, other articles have suggested that the tick population may be  aggressively biting humans this year.  One such article says that acorns are in a down part of their cycle.  What does that have to do with ticks? Field mice eat acorns and without that food source, their populations could diminish.  Deer ticks often get their first blood meal from mice. With less mice, the deer ticks will need to search out other sources, including humans, for their blood meals.

In that case the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” may be sound advice.


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