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What is Babesiosis? Are We At Risk in Minnesota?

What is Babesiosis?

Babesiosis is a tick-borne disease spread by the bite of an infected deer tick. It is caused by a parasite called Babesia microti that is transferred to mammals by infected ticks. You may hear about it in the news on occasion as it can be life-threatening.

What are the Symptoms of Babesiosis?

It is possible to become infected with Babesiosis and experience no symptoms at all. But some develop general flu-like symptoms. These symptoms can include chills, sweats, fever, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea or fatigue.

Babesia parasites infect red blood cells and destroy them which can cause a special type of anemia, hemolytic anemia. This could eventually cause jaundice and dark urine.

Babesiosis gets dangerous for people with certain types of conditions, including those who have no spleen, a weak immune system, serious health conditions such as liver or kidney disease or are elderly. Babesiosis can lead to low and unstable blood pressure, hemolysis, thrombocytopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation which can lead to blood clots and bleeding, failing organs and even death.

Treatment for Babesiosis

Babesiosis is treatable, but only those with symptoms will require treatment. Usually, Babesiosis is treated with a 7-10 day drug combination of an antibiotic and an antiparasitic.

If you experience flu-like symptoms or any of the more severe symptoms above after potentially being exposed to a tick bite, you should see your doctor right away. Even if you are not sure if a tick bit you, you are better safe than sorry. Ticks are tiny and not always noticed.

Babesiosis in Minnesota

While Babesiosis is rare as far as tick-borne disease is concerned, it is here, and on the rise, in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Health reports we had 45 confirmed and probable cases of Babesiosis in 2015.

For questions about tick-borne diseases or how to control ticks on your property, call Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities today. We offer highly effective tick control options so you can enjoy your yard with fewer ticks and greater peace of mind. (763) 434-2483

Source: CDC – Babesiosis

5 Tick & Lyme Disease Myths Busted: What You Might Not Know Can Hurt You

Lyme disease in Minnesota is a growing problem. Along with that problem comes a lot of sharing of experiences and information on the Interwebs. We encourage you to always pay careful attention to the expertise level of your source. When in doubt, the CDC is the leading guide for current data about Lyme disease. You can also count on the Minnesota Department of Health Please take a quick look at the top 5 myths below:

Myth #1: Ticks Are Only Found in the Woods

Did you know that ticks like tall grass, small shrubs and shady spots along your wood piles, fences, retaining walls, and outbuildings? Risks for tick bites go wherever deer and mice go, and ticks love shady, damp areas. This makes it vital for you to keep your lawn trimmed low, and the areas surrounding your wood piles and walls clear of debris where they can hide.

Myth #2: You Can Feel a Tick Bite

Ticks that carry disease can be very tiny. Think of a poppy seed biting you. Would you notice? Not only that, because they stay attached for several days to get a full blood-meal, ticks secrete a pain killer in their saliva to help them go unnoticed. Sneaky! This fact makes checking for ticks an extremely important step in Lyme prevention.

Myth #3: Ticks Are a Summer Pest

Ticks can be just as pesky in the fall and early winter as they can be in summer. As long as they are not buried under snow, adult ticks can be hunting for their last blood meal before laying eggs. And with hunting season in Minnesota, it is a great opportunity for them to find you.

Myth #4: All Lyme Disease Cases Have a Bullseye Rash

The verdict is still out on what percentage of those infected with Lyme disease actually get a bulls-eye rash. Many times, the bulls-eye rash could simply be going unnoticed. The CDC sites that 70-80% get a rash, but with ticks hiding in discrete places, you may have one and not ever notice it.

Myth #5: Lyme Disease Can Be Sexually Transmitted

The CDC has found no evidence that Lyme can be transferred from person to person by touch, sex, kissing or other close encounters. It can, however, be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her fetus. There has been no Lyme disease linked to a blood transfusion, but because it can survive in blood, it is recommended that you do NOT donate blood if you have Lyme disease.

For tick prevention in your yard, follow the Cs of tick control and call us at Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities. We offer tick control treatments and tick tubes for immediate and long-term tick control on your property. (763) 434-2483

Mosquito Season in Minneapolis: It All Depends on the Weather

Have you been enjoying fewer than average mosquitoes at your Twin Cities home this summer? Then you may also be complaining about the lower than average temperatures too! When it comes to the severity of the mosquito season in Minnesota, the weather has everything to do with it.

Why Are Their Fewer Mosquitoes Regardless of Above Average Rain?

One of the more common mosquito species in our area, Culex tarsalis is a carrier of West Nile Virus. This mosquito, like most, requires water to grow its population. But what gets the population spreading fast is the temperatures. Spring and early summer rain, plus late summer (August) heat, can result in a massive population of this mosquito, which is when West Nile Virus cases begin to pop up.

While you may have been frustrated with the lack of swimming weather this August as we spent a few weeks in the 60’s, there is a payoff. What typically are the dog days of summer were cooler than average, resulting in fewer mosquitoes than normal. So far, the West Nile virus cases are fewer, and as long as temperatures stay cool, it should remain that way.

Stay Cautious

Don’t forget! Mosquitoes only need about a week or less to grow from egg to adult when the weather is hot. So if we get a late onset of the end-of-summer heat, we could be looking at a short-lived surge in mosquitoes, which could spread West Nile virus during that time.

Stay cautious, especially when the weather warms back up, by using mosquito safety methods to avoid mosquito bites. While out and about, keep skin covered or use a spray repellent on exposed skin. At home, don’t cause yourself undue hassles with sprays, candles, and other methods that don’t work. Call Mosquito Squad of Minneapolis; we’ll make every week of every summer, no matter what the temperature, feel like a mosquito-free summer! (763) 434-2483

Source: WCCO West Nile Cases Down Thanks To Cooler Temps

Thanks to the FDA “Fast Track Program,” a Lyme Vaccine for Humans Could Be on the Horizon

While a Lyme vaccine for canines currently exists, and a human Lyme vaccine came and went in the 90’s, scientists have been diligently working towards a new human Lyme vaccine to address the rapidly growing rate of the tick-borne disease. With an average of 16.4 Lyme disease cases per 100,000 people (well above the national average of 7.9), Minnesota stands to benefit tremendously from a human Lyme disease vaccine coming to market.

From the first stages of vaccine development through testing and human trials, many years can pass before a new vaccine becomes available. But there is hope for a new Lyme vaccine that has been given “fast-track” status by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

What Does FDA Fast-Track Mean?

When a new medicine, therapy, treatment, or vaccine is given the expedited fast-track status, it means the FDA will accept less data for FDA approval. Once the vaccine goes on the market, studies will continue.

Lyme Vaccine FDA Fast Track

According to Newsday, the new Lyme vaccine, VLA15, created by Valneva, appears to be effective against six of the most common types of the Lyme bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. With only 180 participants in a preliminary clinical trial so far, they will begin a larger clinical study early next year thanks to their fast-track status.

With the CDC estimating at least 300,000 cases of Lyme disease annually, despite their total confirmed landing around 30,000, a human Lyme vaccine cannot come fast enough. Until then, avoiding tick bites is the best method of Lyme prevention. When you’re out and about in untreated areas, be sure to follow our tick safety guidelines. But, if you are at home, enjoy your yard with less worry by contacting Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities for tick control services. With our tick tubes and barrier treatment, you can enjoy 90% fewer ticks on your property. Call today! (763) 434-2483

What is a Co-Infection in the World of Ticks and Mosquitoes?

If you haven’t been living under a rock, then you know how dangerous ticks and mosquitoes are. Between the rise and spread of Lyme disease (a tick-borne illness) and last year’s Zika Virus outbreak (a mosquito-borne disease), both have been in the news quite a bit over the last year or two. What may not be prominent in the news cycle is the rare instances of co-infection.

What is Co-Infection?

Co-infections while rare, are most commonly seen in tick-borne illnesses. Most often, Babesiosis. Patients infected with Babesiosis by the bite of an infected tick can also be infected with Lyme disease from that same tick that happens to be carrying both diseases. Afflicted with two illnesses at the same time makes treatment and recovery more challenging. Check out Lymedisease.org for a great deal of further information on tickborne coinfections.

Tick-Borne & Mosquito-Borne Illness Simultaneously

Recently reported by the Billings Gazette, a young man was diagnosed with both Rocky Mountain Spotted fever (RMSF) and West Nile virus (WNV) at the same time.

Twenty-one at the time, Tate Haidle became suddenly and extremely tired while traveling for his job selling coffee at musical festivals across the Midwest. He returned home, and his condition escalated. He was sleeping all day long and lost 36 pounds. After finally seeing a doctor, he was diagnosed with both West Nile Virus and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. It took almost a year and a half to recover from both, and he still is not 100% back to his full energy level.

Truly the chances of this happening are one in millions, but he is lucky to have survived. His doctor only knew of two previous cases of WNV and RMSF co-infection. Both were in teenagers, and neither survived.

How Is Mosquito & Tick-borne Co-Infection Possible?

As it turns out, ticks and mosquitoes prefer similar environments. Not a fact we think too much about, but damp, moist, wooded areas are perfect for both insects. If you are spending a great deal of time in an untreated wooded area without proper precautions, it is certainly quite possible to get both a tick bite and a mosquito bite. The chances of both carrying disease are where the probabilities lower.

While you may never think you could become infected with both a mosquito-borne and tick-borne illness simultaneously, it is important that you 1.) take precautions to avoid tick bites and mosquito bites and 2.) see a doctor immediately should you suddenly face extreme exhaustion or other ailments. Make sure your doctor is aware of your recent exposure to ticks and mosquitoes.

At Mosquito Squad of Minneapolis, we urge you to follow tick safety guidelines when spending time in untreated areas. We also offer you a lower risk at home with our tick control and mosquito control services. Call now to learn how we can eliminate up to 90% of both ticks and mosquitoes from your yard. (763) 434-2483

How Do I Keep My Rain Barrel From Contributing to the Mosquito Population?

Collecting rain water is becoming a very popular way to conserve water. It is especially loved for use in irrigation, an expense that can be high during the summer months. If you’re already enjoying a high-efficiency smart irrigation system from our sister brand Conserva Irrigation and you still want to take it a step further, a rain barrel might be in your possession. But did you know rain barrels can cause a growth in your mosquito population?

Keeping Mosquitoes Out of Rain Barrels

One of the most successful ways to control mosquito populations is by controlling their source of growth. Standing water where fish are not present provides mosquitoes with the best environment for eggs, larvae, and pupae to mature into adult mosquitoes. Over 300 eggs are laid at one time, leading to as many adults hatching in about a week. The females of that group will seek a blood meal, annoying you with a dangerous itchy bite in the process.

While we often talk about the importance of following the Ts of mosquito control, we don’t typically discuss how to deal with standing water that we are purposefully keeping or collecting in our yards. You don’t have to accept mosquitoes as part of the program if you have a decorative water feature, bird bath, or rain barrel. We have tips for keeping mosquitoes from growing in those too:

Rain Barrels

Rain barrels should never be open barrels. Ensure your rain barrel is covered tightly with a screen no larger than 12 squares per inch. Be sure your rain barrel system is properly designed and regularly maintained.

Bird Baths

Change the water in your bird bath regularly. Mosquitoes can develop and hatch in as little as five days, so changing the water and wiping it out should be done at least that often.

Decorative Water Features

Water gardens, decorative ponds, and outdoor fountains need proper attention as well. Water gardens should be designed to absorb rain water completely within five days of a heavy rainfall. Decorative ponds and fountains should be stocked with fish at all times, be treated with chemicals, or have a running fountain to keep water moving at all times.

If you have any sources of shallow stagnant water that cannot be drained or stocked with fish, you can treat it with mosquito larvicide.

At Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, we feel strongly about the benefits of collecting rain water and creating a landscape you enjoy that might include water features. With proper care and maintenance, all of this can be achieved without contributing to the Minneapolis mosquito problem. For further reduction in mosquitoes at your home, call us today. 763-434-2483 Our mosquito barrier treatment eliminates up to 90% of mosquitoes for up to three weeks.

Is My Mosquito Bite Infected? Or Am I Allergic to Mosquitoes?

In the land of 10,000 lakes where the mosquitoes are the state bird, you are undoubtedly familiar with the classic red itchy bump that accompanies a mosquito bite in Minneapolis. Have you ever watched a mosquito bite swell bigger than normal, or look redder than usual, and wondered what is going on? Have you wondered if you are allergic to mosquito bites? Have you wondered if your mosquito bite has somehow become infected? There is a difference, and it is important to know the difference so proper mosquito-bite treatment can be applied.

Mosquito Bite Reactions & Allergies

Mosquito bites cause a reaction in most people’s bodies, some more severe than others. A slight swell and itchy red bump is the typical reaction. The female mosquito (males don’t need blood meals) injects saliva into your body to thin the blood and prevent coagulating for easier drinking. This mosquito saliva is the source of the mosquito bite reactions. However, some people are more sensitive to and even allergic to the saliva which can heighten the reaction. For instance, babies and small children can have a more swelling and a brighter red reaction due to their young sensitive skin. Bruising can even occur for those with the highest sensitivities.

Skeeter Syndrome

Skeeter Syndrome is the name given to the severe local reaction to mosquito bites that occurs for some. Swelling can cause an entire limb to become twice its normal size within hours of being bitten.

Systemic Mosquito Bite Reactions

Although rare, those with a severe allergy to mosquito bites can experience nausea, hives, vomiting, wheezing, and swelling around the lips and mouth. Fever, asthma, and anaphylactic shock can even occur.

Mosquito Bite Infections

Don’t scratch it! Mosquito bites can easily become infected, especially if they have been scratched open. Infections are caused when bacteria enter the body through an opening like a mosquito bite. An infected mosquito bite will likely become brighter red and swell bigger than normal. Infections can happen over time and are accompanied by a fever once they set in. Be sure to seek medical treatment if you think you have an infected mosquito bite. If you rip open a mosquito bite, keep it clean and covered with antibacterial ointment.

Treating a mosquito bite depends heavily on the reaction. Cortisone is the best source for itch relief in a normal reaction. Be sure not to scratch, or you can cause an infection. Keep mosquito bites clean and dry. Infections should be treated with antibiotic ointment, but you should see a doctor if the bite becomes very red and swollen accompanied by a fever. Those who may have an allergic reaction to mosquito bites should seek medical care immediately.

Avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to avoid mosquito bite reactions big or small. Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities is proud to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on our mosquito barrier treatment that reduces mosquitoes on your property by up to 90%. Call today! (763) 434-2483

An Invasive Mesquite Tree Could Hold the Key to Malaria Control in Mali

Mosquito Squad is proud to be actively working with Malaria No More in an effort to eradicate Malaria from the Earth. Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasite that kills nearly half a million people each year. The disease is especially dangerous to children, killing a child every two minutes. With the goal to eradicate Malaria by 2040, we are constantly watching what researchers are up to, as new ideas emerge every day.

When it comes to eradicating a mosquito-borne disease, the most natural place to start is eliminating the vector of the disease, in this case, the Anopheles mosquito. While mosquito source elimination has often been a tactic centered on the removal of standing water, a new idea focuses on the elimination of a mosquito attracting plant.

Removing a Mosquito Attracting Mesquite Tree Could Reduce Malaria Risks

An invasive mesquite tree called Prosopis juliflora is abundant in Mali villages. It thrives even during droughts while other local plant species are not in bloom. The trees’ flowers provide plenty of nectar for mosquitoes to feast on in addition to their blood meals. While only females eat blood, they do also drink nectar from flowers.

“Mosquitoes obtain most of their energy needs from plant sugars taken from the nectar of flowers,” Gunter Muller, a biologist from Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School said.

Muller and his team of biologists were suspicious that the flowers were attracting Malaria-spreading mosquitoes and helping them thrive, but they could only confirm that with a bit of research. PBS reported on their findings. After collecting mosquito samples from villages with and without the mesquite trees. Those with the trees had 4-7 times more sugar-fed mosquitoes than those without the trees. Those with the trees also had about six times more older female mosquitoes, those who are more likely to transmit Malaria.

To further confirm the tree as the source of this increase, they went back and cut the flowering branches from trees in three of the villages. When they sampled the mosquito population afterward, they discovered female mosquito populations dropped five-fold, the male mosquito population fell by eight-fold, and the older female mosquito population plummeted by three-fold.

Mosquito Nets

The two tools for Malaria control with current widespread acceptance include treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spray. The positive benefits of large-scale removal of these mesquite trees sound promising but will require a lot of questions to be answered around the full scope of the tactic including costs.

At Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, we are hopeful that Malaria can be eradicated. With your help through Malaria No More we are working to provide mosquito nets and educational material to the people of Cameroon to lower their risks for Malaria. (763) 434-2483

Donate to Malaria No More

Can a Tick Bite Really Make Me Allergic to Red Meat?

In short, yes, a tick bite can make you allergic to red meat. This sounds like fantasy, but it is true, and the tick responsible for this occurrence is becoming more prevalent in Minnesota.

While still a rare creature to stumble upon in Minnesota, the Lone Star tick is here and is the cause of this strange red-meat allergy phenomenon.

How Can a Tick Bite Cause an Allergy to Red Meat?

First, let us tell you, this is still a rare occurrence. But we couldn’t let it go untold because it is so strange. The National Geographic reports the science behind the event:

The Lone Star tick first feeds on a cow or other mammal. That is when it picks up a sugar molecule called Alpha-Gal. Then, when that same tick later bites you, it activates your allergy immune system. From then on out, your body treats red meat (which contains Alpha-Gal) as an enemy it needs to fight. So when you eat red meat, your body triggers antibodies against it, which leads to the allergic reactions.

This allergic reaction has a slight delay, as the red meat has to make it to your gastrointestinal tract before the immune response is triggered. This delay makes it difficult for many to figure out what is causing their allergic reactions that can include hives, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhea

Red Meat Allergy Treatment

Allergic reactions are dangerous and sometimes lead to hospital visits. There is no cure for the allergy, only treatment for the reactions that occur from it. Additional exposure to Lone Star tick bites carrying the Alpha-Gal molecule can actually worsen the allergy, making reactions more severe.

Climate change is allowing Lone Star ticks to expand their population in numbers and geographical reach. This has allowed the number of red meat allergies caused by tick bite to go up. While the CDC is not tracking “Alpha-Gal Syndrome” cases, the number of patients with Alpha-Gal Syndrome at Vanderbilt University has gone from around 50 or so five years ago to around 200 today.

While we try to stay on top of all tick-borne and mosquito-borne disease developments, we encourage you to avoid tick bites to lower your risks for all of them. We offer the most effective tick control treatment for your Minneapolis home or property. Call today to get started (763) 434-2483.

A Mild Winter Causes an Earlier Mosquito-Borne Disease Season in Minneapolis

West Nile Virus found at the beginning of June in local mosquitoes! This is unusually early and could be due to the early onset of mosquitoes this spring.

Minneapolis Mosquito Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

West Nile VirusMPR News reminds us the typical season for West Nile Virus in Minneapolis starts in mid to late June, and human cases start to show up in late July through September. According to Valley News, a mosquito tested from the Minneapolis metro area on June 6th tested positive. The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District tests mosquitoes every week and says this is as early as they have ever seen a positive West Nile Virus test result.

It is unclear whether this means we could be facing a worse than normal West Nile Virus season or not, but it is a reminder of the importance to remain vigilant about mosquito bite prevention. Last year there were 83 human cases of West Nile Virus reported in Minnesota, five were fatal. While it is not a common disease, it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito, and it is extremely dangerous.

West Nile Virus Symptoms

West Nile Virus is caused by a bite from an infected mosquito. While 70-80% of those infected will never have a symptom, those who do may experience body aches, headaches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash. See your doctor immediately if you suspect West Nile.

Prevention of mosquito bites is the best method of West Nile Virus prevention. Enjoy a carefree, spontaneous outdoor lifestyle at home with the help of Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities. Our mosquito barrier treatment eliminates up to 90% of mosquitoes on your property. Call today to get started. (763) 434-2483

Why are Minneapolis Mosquitoes so Bad This Year?

Did you know we had five inches of rain in May? The average rainfall in May for Minneapolis is under 4 inches. Add to the extra precipitation a hot June (13 days above average already), and you have yourself the perfect recipe for mosquito population growth.

Mosquitoes Need Blood + Water

Mosquitoes need two vital sources for reproduction: water and blood. The female mosquito needs the blood from biting humans and other animals to produce the eggs and then she needs standing water to nourish them from eggs to larva to pupa to adulthood. Without standing water, eggs would not survive to adulthood, effectively limiting mosquito population growth. Eliminating standing water is the single most effective thing you can do yourself to control mosquitoes.

What About the Lakes?

You might be thinking the effort wasted at your lakefront home, but you’d be wrong. Mosquitoes can find small stagnant puddles near the shore to thrive in, but the moving lake water and plentiful wildlife make lakes less hospitable to mosquito population growth than you’d think. Fish, frogs, and birds love to feed on mosquito eggs, larva, pupa, and even adult mosquitoes when they have the chance.

What CAN grow mosquitoes at your lakefront home is the tarp over your boat that has a puddle in it. Or the sand buckets left on the beach during the last summer storm, now half full of water. These items must be eliminated or tipped over/drained after every rain. Make sure your decorative landscaping elements are not holding water and if they are meant to hold water like fountains or bird baths, clean them weekly and make sure the fountain is always running.

For more help in remembering what mosquito sources need checking in your yard after the rain, follow the 5 Ts of mosquito control. In addition to eliminating sources, we can eliminate 85-90% of the mosquitoes directly. Our product will last for up to 3 weeks to keep your property mosquito-free no matter how hot it gets this summer. (763) 434-2483

Slap! Slap! Slap! Don’t Let Summer Celebrations Be Spent Swatting Mosquitoes Followed by Removing Ticks

Memorial Day was the official opening weekend of summer. While mosquitoes don’t wait for that milestone, it may have been your first opportunity to get out and enjoy your yard this year. Did you spend that time swatting and slapping more than relaxing and entertaining? If so, call Mosquito Squad of Twin Cities to schedule mosquito event treatment for all of your summer events. (763) 434-2483

Father’s Day Mosquito-Free Family Fun

With Father’s Day only a few weeks away, call us right away! Our special event treatment is perfect for making an enjoyable family barbecue. Our crew will treat your entire event space to make sure the mosquitoes, gnats, and tick stay away for entire day and night.

Graduation Party Mosquito & Tick Treatment

June is a huge month for graduation parties, and in Minnesota, we don’t waste a single second of summer being indoors. With backyard volleyball, horseshoes, and swimming followed by an evening bonfire – special event mosquito treatment is imperative for throwing the best graduation party. Your party-goers will be unaware of the odor-free, residue-free barrier that is allowing them to enjoy the day and night without stinky spray, citronella, or worthless mosquito repellent bracelets. And you can rest easy knowing you’re lowering your guests’ risks for picking up a dangerous tick-borne or mosquito-borne diseases.

Outdoor Wedding Mosquito Prevention

It is becoming the norm, rather than the exception to have an outdoor wedding in Minnesota. From beautiful lakefront properties and wedding venues to backyard weddings, there is something especially romantic about getting married in the great wide open. We have to say, weddings are one of the most important events in Minnesota for professional event mosquito control. Can you imagine your guests all dressed up and swatting at bugs? Can you imagine asking them to use a can of mosquito repellent when they’re in their suits and gowns? What about you? Don’t trip your way up the aisle waving your hands around. Our specially trained technicians can make mosquitoes obsolete for your big day!

Labor Day Mosquito Treatment

Close summer out with a bang, by hosting the best end of summer party this Labor Day. One last hoorah before the crisp fall weather arrives should not include uninvited guests such as mosquitoes and ticks.

Call Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities today. (763) 434-2483 We can schedule all of your special event treatments now, so you don’t have to worry about anything except enjoying every minute of summer. If you are already a seasonal customer, call us now if you’re throwing any backyard parties. We’ll make a note so we can schedule your treatments to maximize effectiveness for your summer parties.

Fake News Can Happen to You: Don’t Believe Every Tick Removal Home Remedy on Facebook

At Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, we are looking out for you! When it comes to lowering our clients’ risks for tick-borne and mosquito-borne diseases, there is no stone we won’t overturn.

Minneapolis Tick ControlWith today’s Internet atmosphere, it can be difficult to sort between bad advice and good advice. While there is a surge of people looking for home remedies and do-it-yourself solutions – which is not a bad thing – there is an equal surge of response to the demand, leading to uninformed individuals posting bad advice.

Do NOT Remove a Tick with Peppermint Oil

With over a half a million views, a video has been circulating Facebook advising watchers to use peppermint oil to encourage embedded ticks to detach themselves. Take a moment to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their expert advice on safe tick removal. You’ll quickly find that the peppermint oil advice is in direct contradiction to safe tick removal methods.

In fact, smothering a tick or stressing it out in anyway with common home remedies can increase your likelihood of contracting a tick-borne disease, like Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis, if the tick is infected. The stress can cause the tick to regurgitate saliva into your bloodstream which will hasten the speed at which a disease is passed on to humans from a tick bite. We’ve heard it all from using a hot match, hot lighter, nail polish, and petroleum jelly to “burn the tick off.” Please do not do any of these things.

Follow the safe tick removal method to remove a tick quickly and safely using pointy tweezers to slowly and carefully pull it out of your skin. Follow up by cleaning the bite with alcohol and save the tick in a sealed baggy with the date on it in case you develop symptoms of illness.

If you have any questions about tick safety, please give us a call. And to avoid tick bites at home, in your own backyard, call Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities to sign up for our intensive tick control treatment. (763) 434-2483

Rare and Dangerous Tick-Borne Powassan Virus Could Be Spreading in Minnesota

You might be very aware of Lyme disease and its prevalence in Minnesota, but did you know ticks can carry other more dangerous diseases? David Neitzel, Epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health, wants us to be aware of our risks for the Powassan virus which has been less known up until now. It is time to become more aware. He tells KARE news that the deer ticks we are used to in the wooded parts of our state are expanding their range. It is not new information that these ticks are spreading and carry disease. However, most people may not have been informed about Powassan in the past.

Why Now?

Powassan is a rare tick-borne disease. There have only been 75 cases reported to the CDC in the past 10 years. The reason we find it important to talk about it is that 20 of those cases were in Minnesota. The highest of any state in the country. The deer tick didn’t always carry this virus, but now it does and as the ticks become more prevalent in new areas the virus could as well.

Powassan Virus is Rare But Dangerous

Peak season for ticks in Minnesota is April to July and September to October. It’s during this time that these sesame seed sized pests are most likely to bite. The fact that they are so small can keep you from even realizing you’ve been bitten. When it comes to Powassan, this leads to danger point number one. While a tick carrying Lyme has to be attached for 24-48 hours to transmit the virus, a tick carrying Powassan only needs 15 minutes. The second thing that makes Powassan more dangerous than some more well known tick-borne illnesses is that there is no treatment and it can be fatal.

While Powassan virus is rare, a large number of people that actually contract it will never have the first symptom. If symptoms do occur they can range from the milder headache, vomiting, weakness, high fever, and in the worst cases seizures, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), or meningitis (swelling of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). In the cases that lead to encephalitis, there is a 10% mortality rate. Those that do survive have a great chance of continuing neurological problems. Regardless of the severity, only the symptoms of Powassan can be treated, not the virus itself.

Powassan Virus Prevention

Information is a wonderful tool in keeping you, your family, and your pets at a lower risk for any type of tick-borne disease. At Mosquito Squad of Twin Cities, our goal is to continue to provide you with this information as it changes. And here is a list of other suggestions:

  • Know the areas you are traveling in and what pests occur there
  • Use effective bug repellents that contain DEET
  • Wear light-colored clothing so that ticks will be more noticeable
  • Inspect your entire body after time spent where ticks could be present
  • Keep your yard clean and clear creating a less than friendly pest environment
  • If you are bitten by a tick make a note of the date and if symptoms become present call your healthcare provider immediately
  • Eliminate ticks in your own yard with professional tick control services

At Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, we know that tick control is the most effective way to lower your risks for all tick-borne diseases. Our 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed barrier treatments and tick tube systems are the best way to keep your yard the worry-free and family-friendly haven that you desire. Call us today. Mosquito Squad of Twin Cities (763) 434-2483

Raise Awareness in the Fight Against Lyme Disease with the Minnesota Lyme Association

Lyme Disease Awareness Weekend in Minneapolis

The weekend of May 5th offers several events in Minneapolis to raise money and awareness for the fight against Lyme disease. Spread by the bite of an infected deer tick, Lyme disease can easily be misdiagnosed with its flu-like symptoms and can lead to months or even years of devastating physical effects. Raising awareness helps more people know how to prevent Lyme as well as what to look for in symptoms. Raising money will get us that much closer to better Lyme prevention and treatments, maybe even a vaccine one day. View the events below and choose the best way you can participate:

May 5, 2017 – MN Lyme Association Gala

Minneapolis Lyme Awareness On Friday, May 5, 2017, the Minnesota Lyme Association is throwing a Gala at the Radisson Blu Mall of America. All proceeds go to the MN Lyme Association.

The gala will include a delicious dinner of your choice, a cash bar, and a silent auction. Along with a comedy show and informative speaker, you’ll also enjoy the company of Ally Hilfiger, Heather Hearst, Joe Schmit and Ian Leonard. Choose the VIP ticket, and you’ll enjoy a meet and greet with Ally Hilfiger, an autographed copy of her book, and premium seating. Buy your tickets today, with a limited number of seats and an expected sell out; you could miss your chance!

Lyme Awareness Day at Mall of America

Saturday, May 6, 2017, is Lyme Awareness Day at Mall of America. With a full day of activities there is something for everyone.

  • 8:30 am -10 am you can join the Project Lyme Awareness Walk.
  • From 10am-3pm there is a resource fair in the rotunda with activities and information about Lyme disease.
  • At 1 pm the guest of honor, Ally Hilfiger will be conducting a book signing for her book “Bite Me,” which chronicles her struggle with Lyme disease.

Avoiding tick bites is currently the best way to prevent Lyme disease. Eliminating exposure to ticks is the best way to avoid tick bites. Don’t stay indoors – eliminate the ticks! Lower you and your family’s risk for Lyme disease at home, call Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities for the best tick control in Minneapolis. (763) 434-2483

What Is My Risk for Zika Virus in 2017?

While the news has been taken over by politics and related world events, other stories get pushed down the list or off the list. Zika virus is one of the stories that has not made most people’s radars in 2017. After arriving on the world scene and dominating the news at this time last year, you may be left wondering if Zika is no longer a threat. You’d be astonished to learn that the threat is as it was last year. Mostly travel-related, and still dangerous especially to pregnant mothers and their babies.

NPR reports that the CDC is still seeing 30-40 cases of Zika in pregnant women each week in the United States. That is not last year’s numbers, but the current rates. While mostly travel related, Zika virus is no less dangerous to the unborn babies they are carrying.

Nearly 1,300 pregnant women in the United States were infected with the Zika virus in 2016. Of which 970 of them completed their pregnancies. With 77 reported pregnancy losses and 51 babies born with birth defects, the threat of Zika virus to pregnant women is real.

The current calculated risks for birth defects in pregnant women infected with Zika are 5% overall. That number jumps to 10% in women who were affirmatively diagnosed and 15% for women who contracted Zika during the first trimester.

The CDC continues to work on learning whether babies not born with obvious immediate effects will show signs of neurological or other disorders later. They also strongly advise women who are pregnant to not travel to areas where Zika virus is a risk. Currently, this includes Florida, Texas, the Caribbean, Latin America and Southeast Asia. But keep an eye on the CDC Zika Travel Guide for the latest information.

At home, we can control the spread of local mosquito-borne viruses such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis with help from Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities. We’ll eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes from your property, leaving you with an enjoyable outdoor living space. Call today at (763) 434-2483.

Minneapolis Spring Clean-up for Fewer Mosquitoes All Summer Long

Do you know how long the weather has to be warm before Minneapolis mosquitoes begin to multiply?

After just ten days of the weather reaching above 45 degrees, females will begin to seek blood meals and water sources for producing and laying eggs. If you’re waiting for the first 70-degree day to go clean up your yard of debris and standing water, you’re going to be way too late!

We Can All Do Our Part

Kids Toys Hold Mosquito Breeding Water Mosquito populations are not confined to each of our individual yards. Suburban and urban living requires us to be cognizant of how we affect our neighbors. When it comes to mosquito population growth, we should each do our part for “source elimination.” Source elimination refers to removing the resources vital for mosquitoes to multiply.

Not Just Water – Standing Water

The key resource for mosquito multiplicity is standing water. Lakes, ponds, and streams are moving large bodies of water that are home to many larger organisms that feed on mosquitoes. The more effective source is in standing water like buckets, bottle caps, puddles, clogged gutters and sewer drains, bird baths, rain gauges, open rain barrels, kids toys, and even hollows in trees that can hold rain water.

Minneapolis Mosquito Control Yard Clean-up So you see, it is not as easy as making sure you don’t leave a bucket in the yard. There are many things that are inadvertently providing this vital source unseen or unnoticed.

So get out there, find anything that could hold any amount of water. It could be a deep pile of leaves that retain moisture, a saucer under a potted plant, a tiny candy wrapper that is just the right shape, whatever it is, clean it up, tip it over, and throw it out. Do not forget to check ditches for proper drainage and trees for holes that need filling.

Read our 5T’s of mosquito control for more ideas of water holding items and make sure to share this with friends and neighbors. Post it on your HOA Facebook Group or NextDoor page so your neighbors can help you fight the bite!

Call Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities today to gain further mosquito population reduction. (763) 434-2483 Our mosquito control treatment will eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes in your yard all season long.

How to Prepare for a Potentially Bad Tick Season in Minneapolis

There has been a great deal of news in the last few weeks about the expectation of it being a bad year for ticks in Minnesota. An increase in mice is expected to create an increase in ticks which will increase our risk for Lyme disease. While each tick season is remarkably different than the year before, and we rarely know for sure until it arrives, we prefer to error on the side of precaution as it only takes one tick bite to inflict a battle with Lyme disease.

Deer Resistant Plants Can Lower Ticks in Your Yard

Discourage Ticks from Entering Your Yard

If your nearby woods have a substantial deer population, you may consider a deer fence, as deer are the prime suspect in bringing ticks into Minneapolis area yards.

For everyone else, strategic landscape design can deter deer from entering your yard. Start by planting barrier plants around the perimeter of your property avoiding those that deer like to eat, such as azalea, dogwood, roses, lilacs and rhododendron. Avoid fruit trees and vegetables that will provide a feast for hungry deer. Check with the local nursery for more about how to keep the deer out of your yard with proper plant and flower choices.

Make Your Yard Inhospitable for Ticks

You’ll also want to do everything you can to make your property less appealing to ticks themselves. Follow the 6 C’s of tick control to make sure you’re not inadvertently creating a haven for the tick population.

Get an Early Start on Tick Control Efforts

Call Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities today. While we don’t treat for mosquitoes until May, tick control clients receive an April spray when tick tubes are placed. This April treatment eliminates 85-90% of the ticks that are out questing now and is essential to lowering the number of nymph ticks questing for a blood meal in early summer. With the added benefit of getting a jump start on mosquito season, signing up now is a great way to ensure you enjoy a mosquito-free and tick-free summer however early summer arrives. Call now for a FREE quote (763) 434-2483

2017 Predicted to be a Bad Year for Lyme Disease in the Northeast

According to a recent report by Farm Journal’s AGPRO Lyme Disease is predicted to be a major concern for those living in the Northeast. Lyme Disease already strikes about 30,000 people annually so any data that shows the possibility of a spike in the already high infection rate sparks interest.

Last summer’s bumper crop of mice is the root cause of the concern. The Northeast area experienced a huge increase in mouse populations during the summer of 2016. Key states in the region include Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Along with the subsequent nuisance caused by their arrival of more rodents, researchers are now concerned this may spell trouble.

The research was conducted by Felicia Keesing, an ecologist at Bard College and her husband Rick Ostfeld, who is an ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y. The couple has studied Lyme Disease for over 20 years. One of the warning signs stemming from that research included being able to predict a spike in Lyme Disease based on the counting the amount of mice present the previous year.

Mice, specifically white-footed mice which are prevalent throughout the Northeast, are key transmitters of Lyme Disease. As the article pointed out, “They infect up to 95 percent of ticks that feed on them. Mice are responsible for infecting the majority of ticks carrying Lyme in the Northeast. And ticks love mice. “An individual mouse might have 50, 60, even 100 ticks covering its ears and face”, Ostfeld says. Other wild animals groom themselves, and in turn, eradicate many of the ticks from their bodies. However, the white-footed mouse tolerates the invasion of ticks.

Last summer’s mice increase can be attributed to many factors, including the weather, a dwindling population of natural predators that feed on the mice and even infrastructure changes as part of the Northeast’s growth. The correlation between more mice and Lyme Disease incidence is a simple cause and effect scenario. The mice harbor the bacterium that causes the disease, the ticks feed on the mice becoming infected and then increase the probability of spreading the disease onto you.

The best way to help minimize the risk of coming into contact with the disease is to remain proactive throughout the season. Along with common sense practices, Mosquito Squad of the Twin-Cities can eliminate 85-90% of the ticks on your property with our Intensive Tick Treatment. This entails a combination of our traditional barrier spray that eliminates ticks & mosquitoes on contact and tick tubes which kill nymph ticks, our Intensive Tick Treatment is the best method for Minneapolis tick control.

For a list of common sense tick protection practices to employ when you venture away from your protected backyard, visit our The 6 C’s of Tick-Proofing Your Yard page located on our website.

Avoiding ticks is the best way to avoid tick bites and lower your risk for Lyme disease. Call today for a quote and protect your family from the risk of Lyme Disease the entire season. You can reach us at (763) 434-2483.

Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities Invites you to the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show 2017

Are you busy dreaming of the big spring warm up, planting your starter seeds indoors, and preparing for some spring home renovations? Us too! Head to the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show to find everything you need to make spring and summer of 2017 the best yet.

Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave S,

Friday, February 24 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday, February 25 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday, February 26 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday, March 3 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday, March 4 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday, March 5 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

While you’re busy finding new landscaping items, learning gardening tips and competing in the Better Gnomes and Gardens competition, don’t forget to stop by the Mosquito Squad booth 422 to sign up for a mosquito-free season.

Our highly-trained technicians will come out and spray our traditional barrier spray every 3 weeks all season long to ensure your outdoor lifestyle doesn’t get interrupted by the annoying bites of mosquitoes and ticks. With a full season sign up you can enjoy a mosquito free yard from the first mild days through the muggiest days of July.

We hope to see you there. But if you can’t make it, give us a call at (763) 434-5414 to get a quote for your property!

Be sure to check out our sister brands in adjoining booths: Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Conserva Irrigation

Season Long Mosquito & Tick Control is Essential for Maximizing A Minneapolis Pest-Free Outdoor Lifestyle

Mosquitoes and ticks don’t wait until you are ready for them to come out each spring. As soon as the weather allows, they are ready to go. Adult ticks are out for a good part of the winter as long as there is not too much snow. While larvae molt over winter and emerge in late spring as nymphs, which is when you will experience what seems like an ambush of ticks. Spring is also when mosquitoes will begin to grow in numbers provided the weather is amicable.

Why Is Spring Mosquito Treatment Important?

Mosquito populations grow swiftly in the right conditions. Once the weather warms up, as long as females have blood for producing eggs and a water source to lay the eggs, you’ll see a few mosquitoes turn into hundreds in a week and thousands in two. As each female can lay up to 300 eggs at one time and an average of 1 week for those eggs to develop into blood-sucking adult mosquitoes, you can see how quickly mosquito populations can grow. With early treatment, you can keep mosquito populations down, which limits population growth significantly.

How To Avoid the Spring Onslaught of Nymph Ticks

Ticks are a slightly different story in regards to keeping populations down. With a longer life-cycle than mosquitoes, we need to deploy year-long tick control efforts for maximum effectiveness. During peak questing season (spring to fall) we’ll use our traditional barrier spray for eliminating adult ticks who are seeking their blood meal from humans and larger mammals. But twice a year we need to use tick tubes to eliminate nymph and larval ticks before they have a chance to spread the diseases they pick up from their rodent hosts.

Nymph ticks are very tiny and come out in large numbers in the spring, searching for a blood meal. Nymph ticks are the best at spreading disease because they are so small. Tick tubes provide treated cotton to their rodent hosts. This cotton eliminates larval and nymph ticks in rodent dens before they emerge in spring looking for a new host. With consistent use of tick tubes and barrier spray, you won’t see the army of nymph ticks emerge the way you may have this spring.

Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our services. With the season-long use of barrier spray and twice yearly tick tubes, you’ll enjoy as much as 90% fewer mosquitoes and ticks on your property. Call today to sign up now; it’s never too early to prepare for a pest-free summer season. (763) 434-2483

What Does Lyme Disease in Minneapolis Look Like?

Tick bites in Minneapolis are always of concern to anyone who knows anything about Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, and other tick-borne diseases. If you are lucky enough to know you were bitten by a tick, you are steps ahead of many who may be suffering unknowingly from Lyme disease. But, you may also be waiting and wondering what to look for so that you can determine if Lyme is a possibility and if treatment is necessary.

Let me start by saying that not all ticks in Minneapolis are infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Since removing your tick, you may never feel a symptom or experience a thing! But if your tick bite looks suspicious, you may be wondering if you can beat the other symptoms of Lyme by getting treatment started right away. We are not doctors, and we always say error on the side of caution if you’re feeling ill, or your bite looks concerning, but we can tell you some things to look for.

What Does a Lyme Rash Look Like?

The rash is usually the most distinguishing sign of a Lyme infection as other symptoms are ambiguous. That being said, not everyone will get a rash, and not all Lyme rashes look the same. See below, from left to right; you’ll see three different “bulls-eye” rashes from Lyme infections. Each one looks different. Some more distinguishable than others. If you see any rash around your tick bite, it is best to get it checked out. The bulls-eye shape can spread out over time, becoming less distinct or can blend in with a tan or dark skin tone.

What Does Lyme Feel Like?

After experiencing a Minneapolis tick bite, pay close attention to how you feel for the next 30 days or so. It is wise to write down the date or save the tick in a baggy with the date on it. This will help you remember if a full month goes by and then symptoms pop up. Pay attention to any combination of the following symptoms: fatigue, fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, joint pain and swollen lymph nodes.

Every patient’s immune system will react differently to a Lyme infection. Paying close attention to changes in your health after a tick bite is the best way to make sure you seek medical help as soon as possible and that treatment begins early for the best chance at a full and quick recovery.

Avoiding ticks is the best way to avoid tick bites and lower your risk for Lyme disease. At Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, we offer Intensive Tick Treatment to eliminate ticks today with tick spray and tomorrow with tick tubes. Call today for a quote. (763) 434-2483

Want To Keep the Ticks Out of Your Minneapolis Yard? Keep the Deer Out!

Deer ticks are something we know plenty about here in Minnesota. And they are called deer ticks for a reason because they feed and travel on deer into our yards. They ride into our yards on a deer, lay about 2000 eggs that hatch and feed on mice, and become infected with disease. Who wants to look out their kitchen window, see a quick glimpse of Bambi and then visualize this? If you or your husband are hunters, then ok maybe you’re excited about the easy target, but this probably isn’t your vision of the prime hunting situation. So what do you do?

What Will Keep The Deer Out?

If your property borders what could be a heavily populated deer area you might consider a deer fence. Borders of stone or other landscaping material can also be used to create a border between your manicured yard and woods and areas where ticks might congregate. This is a great tool especially for making it clear to smaller children where they should go and where they shouldn’t. There are plants you can use too, but you have to research. For as many plants as deer don’t like there are probably twice as many as they love. So get ready to pull your hostas up and let’s see what you need…

Minneapolis Plants That Don’t Attract Deer

Barrier plants can be a great nonchemical way to keep the deer away. Avoid vegetable plants and fruit trees. Try herbs like oregano, rosemary, and mint instead. Want something beautiful? Try zinnias, black-eyed Susans, and marigolds. Gerten’s Nursery in Inver Grove Heights, MN also has suggestions: gingko, chestnut, and birch trees for example. You could add verbena or snapdragons, poppies or Shasta daisies. While the work of pulling up your Hostas may be a pain (unless the deer have already eaten them), it doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful yard, and you’ll have the added benefit of not suffering the dissapointment of finding your plants eaten and gone.

Make Your Yard Unattractive to Ticks Too

The University of Rhode Island’s TickEncounter Resource Center has some great ideas about cleaning up your yard to be less attractive to ticks. Clean up leaves, bag them and take them away. Wet humid places are a great spot for nymph ticks to hide. Keep paths that lead from more wooded areas into your yard cut wide. Ticks grab onto you from brush and blades of grass, don’t give them the reach. Trim low-hanging shrubs and limbs for the same reason. Keep woodpiles away from your daily traffic areas. The perimeter of your yard is a good place for disease-carrying mice to hide as well. Stone walls, sheds, woodpiles all need to be kept as neat and dry as possible. Ticks thrive on dark, cluttered, humid areas.

What If the Ticks Make It In the Yard Anyway?

There are other deer repellents out there and any sporting goods store can help sell you the what you may need. Or there is still the option of the shotgun out the back door, but really? Research your barrier options and you can make your yard exactly the sanctuary you want for your family and not the woodland creatures. And for the ticks that do make it in? Mosquito Squad of Twin Cities’ time released barrier spray and tick tube system goes just a step further in keeping those hard to control areas from becoming tick habitat. We eliminate 85-90% of ticks in your yard and our products come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call today! 763-434-2483

Send Another Minneapolis Summer Out with A Pest-Free Bang!

The kids are headed back to school. The pool will be closing up soon. It’s sad to see summer go, but then again it’s almost FOOTBALL SEASON! Yes, we may be putting up the bathing suits, but I doubt you are ready to turn the grill off for the year. And if you are out in the yard the mosquitoes are willing to party with you. It’s been a hot summer, and they’ve been out in full force. As we’ve been shown that climate change adds a month to our mosquito season, it seems clear they are going to be here a while longer.

Special Event Mosquito Spray

Maybe you are planning a big Labor Day Soiree! There is something about the transition from summer to fall that seems magical so of course, you want to celebrate it. You want to create memories that will carry you through to next summer without it including being chased inside by biting annoying mosquitoes. Mosquito Squad of Twin Cities has just what you need to make your Labor Day party memorable for the laughter and fun, not the swarm of these evil critters. Let us come out a day or two before your event! Our event barrier spray is odor free, residue free, and will last through the day and long into the night. It is the perfect solution for your larger events when you need extra protection from Mother Nature. Our event spray doesn’t just handle dangerous, annoying mosquitoes, it eliminates ticks as well.

Keep That Protection Going Right Into Fall

We have you covered for the smaller scale, spontaneous events too. If you are just gearing up for some backyard fun, maybe throwing the football in the yard, our barrier spray can do the trick. Signing up for the entire season is an excellent way to enjoy every event in your yard, big or small, pest free all season! Our time released formula eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes and ticks in your yard for 2-3 weeks. Our services are 100% satisfaction guaranteed, and the best mosquito control Minneapolis has to offer!

So go ahead… trade in the pool towels for the foam fingers. Eat your last slice of watermelon.
But don’t turn your backyard into a ghost town. Plan your Minneapolis Labor Day Event! You cut the grass and cook the food; we will get rid of the mosquitoes! Call Mosquito Squad of Twin Cities today. (763) 434-2483

Minneapolis Mosquito Season is Longer Than Ever Before

Therefore, mosquito control in Minneapolis has gone from something you should do to something you really must do. As harsh as that may sound, it’s a reality. Mosquito-borne illnesses, such as the Zika Virus and West Nile Virus, are on the rise in the United States and so is the mosquito season. WCCO, the local CBS news station in Minneapolis, reports that according to pest control companies the calls for mosquito spray came early this year. And as we can all atest to, the mosquitoes are just hitting their stride now, in August, they are more plentiful than ever.

Climate Change and Mosquitoes

We have been told of the many effects of climate change on the earth for years now, but have you ever considered how mosquitoes factor in? Since the 1980’s temperatures and humidity levels have been on the rise in the United States. Mosquitoes love warmth and moisture, so they’ve begun to stick around longer. Minnesota Public Radio reports of a study done by Climate Central concerning the rise of the mosquito season. The study shows that 76% of major U.S. cities have seen an increase in days of the mosquito season. Minneapolis ranks 3rd in the top 25. THIRD! With an increase of 34 days over the past 36 years. It’s no wonder the mosquito is our unofficial state bird!

Mosquitoes Carry Disease

This, of course, isn’t new information. And now we have to consider that with a longer mosquito season the risk of contracting one of these diseases can be higher. West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne illness reported in Minnesota, but with Zika, EEE and LaCrosse Encephalitis in the mix, we have a multitude of reasons for mosquito prevention.

Protect Yourself All Season

When you live in an area where the weather report includes a mosquito report, keeping your yard, your family, and yourself protected is something you want to take seriously. Bug spray with Deet or other proven repellent and protective clothing should always be used when you are in untreated areas on high mosquito risk days.

Also, consider your surroundings and follow the 5Ts of mosquito control. Share these with your neighbors to promote mosquito control on a larger scale. And as you let the thought of mosquito season being more than a month longer than it used to be sink in, look to us at Mosquito Squad of Twin Cities for our season-long mosquito control service. Our barrier spray system will eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes living in your yard immediately, with a time released system that continues to work for 2-3 weeks. With our seasonal program, a trained technician will return to spray every 2-3 weeks as needed. Now all you have to do is go outdoors and enjoy! Call us today. (763) 434-2483

Meet the Squad: Get to Know Your Technician Jeremy Davidson

Every few weeks our valued Minneapolis and Saint Paul customers receive a mosquito barrier spray treatment from one of our amazing mosquito control technicians. This crew is like family and are the reason for our success and more importantly our customers’ pest-free lifestyle. To that end: we think you should get to know your technicians. They are a great group of people who are thrilled to be able to provide mosquito and tick protection to the Twin Cities.

Meet Jeremy Davidson

Jeremy has been devastating the mosquito and tick population in the Twin Cities for three years now. His highly effective barrier spray technique, no doubt, comes from a life of playing baseball. While he is not currently a player, he spends his time trying to convince a group of 10-year-olds to pay attention for a second, as a little league baseball coach for his oldest son’s team.

When Jeremy is not spraying your yard or corralling his baseball team, he is spending time with his 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. A proud father of 3, Jeremy has his work cut out for him at home and out in the field. If he ever gets a moment’s relief, he loves to watch the Minnesota Twins, especially when they have a winning streak. Of course, he is a big fan of all the local teams, football and hockey too!

Jeremy spent part of his childhood in Northern Minnesota but has spent most of his life here in the Twin Cities area. He loves Minnesota living because there is so much to do in the Minneapolis area. Within 20 miles in any direction, you can find just about every outdoor activity you could want. He particularly loves hunting, fishing, and outdoor sports.

While Jeremy loves helping people eliminate mosquitoes and ticks to enjoy their property more, his favorite thing about his job is getting to meet such great people. Every day at Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities is different; sometimes he is spraying a suburban lot and other times he gets to spray a large Lake Minnetonka estate. With such a variety of homes, properties and people in the Twin Cities, there is no such thing as a boring day. He even downplays the difficulty of his job, insisting he only wears the pack for short periods of time and then it is back in the truck and on to the next location.

When pressed for more about what makes Jeremy, Jeremy, he claims with flawless dead-pan “I just want to be like everyone else.” A perfect example of Jeremy’s great sense of humor. So, if you know Jeremy is coming to your home to spray, feel free to prank him or tell him your latest punch line, he is sure to get a kick out of it.

Stay tuned for more introductions in our Meet the Squad series.

West Nile Virus and La Crosse Encephalitis are the Real Threat From Minneapolis Mosquitoes

As the eyes of the world are on the Rio Olympics and the threat of the Zika Virus, in Minneapolis we face danger from other dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses that are already here. The mosquitoes that carry Zika Virus are present in Minnesota, but in very small numbers along the Southern part of the state. With 51 species of mosquitoes, we face different mosquito disease risks, including West Nile Virus and La Crosse Encephalitis.

West Nile Virus in Minneapolis

West Nile Virus is a yearly threat that usually occurs in the later more humid part of summer. Transmitted by the common Culex tarsalis mosquito, West Nile Virus can affect humans and animals alike. The first human case of West Nile Virus in Minnesota for 2016 was just reported this week, affecting a man in Effie, MN. With flu-like symptoms that can include headache, body aches, nausea, joint pains, vomiting or diarrhea, West Nile Virus can be brutal, but only about 20-30% of those infected will show any symptoms. Less than 1% of those who become ill will develop a serious neurological illness such as meningitis or encephalitis. Seek medical care immediately if you suspect you have transmitted West Nile Virus.

La Crosse Encephalitis

La Crosse Encephalitis can be transmitted to human by an infected tree hole mosquito (part of the Aedes family). According to Manakto Free Press, tree hole mosquitoes thrive in wooded areas. The CDC reports symptoms La Crosse Encephalitis can include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and lethargy. Severe neuroinvasive illness can occur and does most frequently in children younger than 16 years old. Seizures can be common with severe illness, but less than 1% of cases become fatal. Patients who suspect La Crosse Encephalitis should see a doctor immediately for testing and supportive treatment. While there is no cure or specific antiviral treatment, symptoms should be managed by a doctor, especially if they become severe.

Both West Nile Virus and La Crosse Encephalitis are rare, but because they can be so dangerous, it is vital that the residents of Minneapolis be aware of symptoms. It is also important to protect yourself during the latter parts of summer when the risk increases. If you are spending time outdoors in untreated areas be sure to use repellant on exposed skin. At home, Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities can eliminate up to 90% of the mosquitoes on your property with our traditional mosquito barrier spray. After all, avoiding mosquitoes and mosquito bites is your best line of defense. Call today for a free quote, (763) 434-2483 or fill out the form below.

Lyme Disease Symptoms Vary: Making Diagnosis Difficult

Lyme disease, transmitted by deer ticks, is a tricky illness to diagnose. With a trifecta of qualities stacked against us, we can suffer from Lyme disease for weeks and months without ever suspecting it.

First, ticks can be as tiny as a poppy seed. They have perfectly designed bodies for staying securely attached, unnoticed for a several day feast on our blood. They love embedding themselves behind knees, in armpits and other places that easily go unseen.

Secondly, the symptoms of Lyme are flu-like, headaches, fever, muscle aches, joint pains and most can be attributed to many other illnesses. The one distinct symptom, a bullseye rash, is only present in 70-80% of cases, can look different with each individual, and go unseen in the hiding place where the tick was embedded. The combination of all these symptoms can be different in every case.

Thirdly, the current methods for testing for Lyme disease in humans are inaccurate in that if a person with Lyme is tested early in illness, the test will come back negative. If they have received antibiotics and are tested later, the antibiotics can affect the test results. So, when symptoms first appear there is no quick way, if we don’t suspect Lyme to test for Lyme to rule it out or diagnose it definitively.

A Specific & Unique Case of Lyme

A patient recently recovered from a Lyme disease infection lives in a suburban subdivision with small lots and a single row of trees with underbrush between the backyard and the homes outside of the neighborhood. The region in which he lives is known mostly for American dog ticks, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
When muscle pain and joint pain came on suddenly and wide-spread, no one suspected Lyme. Everyone was thinking a pinched nerve. After consulting a Chiropractor, who expressed concern that it was something more serious, he showed his wife the red spot the Chiropractor saw on the back of the knee. It was a disseminated bulls-eye rash, typical of Lyme but looking much different as the rings spread out and wrapped around his knee.

Ticks Like Tall Grass and Shady Spots

Within 24 hours of beginning doxycycline, the four days of progressively worsening muscle and joint pain began to improve. It is important to remember that Lyme symptoms are not all or none. Every patient has a different experience. This lucky Lyme patient had no fever, no headache and did not go hiking deep in the woods. He would undoubtedly still be undergoing a barrage of unnecessary orthopedic or rheumatology tests and exams if the Chiropractor hadn’t spotted the rash. He could have suffered chronic Lyme for months or longer. Tiny deer ticks can live in all tall grasses, shrubbery, and underbrush where other mammals can carry them – even in small suburban yards.

Many with Lyme Go Undiagnosed

Many suffer without learning the cause. Knowing how to avoid ticks and how to check for ticks after exposure is essential to catching Lyme disease early to receive treatment and the best chance for a quick and complete recovery. In Minneapolis, deer ticks and Lyme are quite common. With Intensive Tick Treatment from Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, you’ll enjoy more than 90% fewer ticks on your property, whether big, small, wooded or bare; lowering your risk for Lyme when you spend time in your own yard. Call today to sign up. 763-434-4283

Burn, Suffocate, Smash or Flush? How to Properly Dispose of a Tick in Minneapolis

While we have recently shared vital information for proper and safe tick removal, we may have left you standing, tweezers and tick in-hand. Now what? If you were unfortunate enough to have to use our advice for tick removal, you may have Googled or asked a friend what to do with the tick. The advice you received could have varied from funny, to dangerous and even laughable. While some of the methods will certainly work, at Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities we have the best idea for what to do after removing a tick and more importantly what NOT to do after removing a tick.

Common Tick Disposal Ideas

You may have heard you should flush, crush, suffocate or burn a tick after removal. Some of these methods work, but we have to say, NEVER EVER try any of these methods on a tick that is still attached to you or your pet.

  • NEVER smash a tick. If they are infected and you crush it, you could become inadvertently exposed to the pathogen infecting the tick.
  • Flushing a tick won’t kill it, as they don’t drown. However, flushing it will certainly result in you being rid of it as ticks don’t have the capability of climbing back up a porcelain bowl. Just make sure you watch the creep go down in the first place.
  • Suffocating a tick in a plastic bag or jar will eventually kill it as well. Just make sure your method of suffocation is sealed tightly.
  • Burning a tick will certainly destroy it. Just be sure to do this in a safe environment like an outdoor fire pit or burn barrel.

The Best and Safest Way to Dispose of a Tick

At Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, we try to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advice whenever possible. In regards to safe tick disposal, the best method is to submerge the tick in alcohol within a sealed bag or container. This is our favorite method because it allows you to save the tick in a preserved manner for future tick testing. We recommend you date the baggy or container and save it for a month or two. If the person or pet bitten by the tick begins to experience illness, the tick can easily and quickly be tested for tick disease for fast diagnosis and treatment.

If avoiding this encounter with a tick altogether appeals to you most, call Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities today. (763) 434-2483 Our tick spray + tick tubes Intensive Tick Treatment program can reduce the ticks in your yard by over 90%. Lowering your risks for tick bites and tick-borne diseases like Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Meet the Squad: The Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities Introduces Dawn Callander

At Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, we owe our satisfied clients to our amazing Squad of highly-trained professional technicians and office staff. To that end, we want you to get to know The Squad. They are a talented crew of unique individuals who come together as a team in the summer to help the Minneapolis and St. Paul area enjoy outdoor living mosquito free and tick free. As a customer recently told Dawn on the phone:

“I don’t know who does the hiring of your crews, but they need a raise. The young men out here are polite, courteous, respectful and articulate and a great representative for your company.”

We couldn’t agree more! We love our crew and like Dawn always says, “It really is a family.”

Meet Dawn Callander, your first contact when you need mosquito control or tick control service in the Twin Cities. Dawn is happy to set up new clients, answer questions, schedule a respray or adjust your spray schedule as needed. Everyone loves to talk to Dawn, and she loves talking to them. When you call, you’ll know why right away. Her cheery personality and customer care shines through immediately, and her deep knowledge of Mosquito Squad’s services makes her a valuable asset for all callers.

Dawn and “My Buddy Dread”

Dawn grew up in West Iowa and is consistently and playfully getting plenty of flack about it from the crew and office staff at Mosquito Squad. She has lived in St. Paul for about ten years now. While she is not admitting to being a Minnesota Vikings fan just yet, she will confess to possessing the best seat for the week’s big game; a cozy spot on her couch with better popcorn and milder temperatures than the U.S. Bank Stadium.

If Dawn ever has a bit of free time during mosquito season, she does enjoy catching a St. Paul Saints baseball game. She also loves the outdoor concerts found all summer long at the parks around the lakes.

Dawn is dedicated to staying healthy by working out daily. She makes her way to the gym at 4:30-5am to get her work out in before work when the gym is quiet, and there is no waiting in line for equipment.

Dawn is the proud mother of 3 grown children who have all spread their wings, living in various states across the country. At one point they each lived in a different time zone, making it perfect for Dawn to have a 7 pm call with each of them in sequence at 7 pm in their time zones. Dawn’s pride and joy are her five grandbabies. Not meant to be a long-distance Grandma, Dawn is thankful for facetime helping to keep them close!

Dawn has had a front row seat since the early days of Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, making her extremely proud of the growth and success of the company. She is great at selling Mosquito Squad services because, as she put it “It’s easy to sell something you believe in.” She takes great pride in promoting Mosquito Squad and sister companies Conserva Irrigation of the Twin Cities and Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Minneapolis, not only because of the quality product but also because of the “integrity” and dedication to “giving customers great service” that is ingrained company-wide.

Stay tuned for more entries in our Meet the Squad series and be sure to razz Dawn about her growing up in Iowa when you call.

Live Free. Mosquito Free. Stink Free. And Citronella Free.

Living in Minnesota, where the mosquito happens to be the state bird, you are probably quite familiar with a multitude of mosquito control options. If it exists, you’ve probably tried it at one point or another, in an attempt to make the short summer more enjoyable. While you may have found a few methods that work, some that kind of work and others that absolutely don’t work, you certainly found that all of those temporary mosquito control or mosquito repellent methods are a huge hassle in some way shape or form. At Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, we want you to enjoy your outdoor time with no preparation, no stinky spray, no hassles & most importantly, no mosquitoes!

Mosquito Repelling Plants

Lemongrass, Citronella, geraniums (mosquito shoo), and lavender are just some of the plants that promise to bring mosquito relief. While some work to an extent and other’s do not, they offer limited protection to the small area immediately surrounding them. Are you prepared to spend the entire summer barbecue huddled up close to the stinky citronella plant? More importantly, are you prepared to make all of your landscaping design choices based on plants that repel mosquitoes versus flowers and shrubbery that you love and adore?

Mosquito Spray, Candles & Oils

We admit that mosquito spray with Deet is a great method for deterring mosquitoes and ticks while in untreated areas. But, we all know too well how stinky and annoying the spray can be. When spraying children they inevitably rub it into their eyes, or when you’re having a backyard party, it can be embarrassing to ask your guests to spray themselves. When at home, you should enjoy your yard anytime, day or night, without having to stop and spray yourself with stinky substances.

Tiki torches filled with citronella oil and citronella candles are a popular method of mosquito deterrent. While there can be some success with these methods it, like the plants is in a small area near the item. During a long afternoon and evening barbecue, these items can melt away and be used up before the night is over. With the candles, it is one and done. With tiki-torches, you’ll have to haul out a jug of oil and refill the canisters. Leaving you with a mess on your hands, your table, your patio and everywhere in between. Make your backyard mosquito free with no hassles by calling Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities.

Our most popular mosquito control service, mosquito barrier spray eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes in your yard for up to 3 weeks. That is three weeks of no spray, no candles, no hassles & no mosquitoes. Best of all, sign up for the season and we’ll come back every 2-3 weeks all summer long to keep your yard pest-free for your enjoyment. Call today! (763) 434-2483

Pregnancy and The Zika Virus: The Latest News

According to the CDC, as of June 1st, 2016 there are 17 cases of the Zika virus in Minnesota. That doesn’t sound like many and for most infected individuals it’s not a major illness. The virus, a mosquito-borne illness, causes some unpleasant symptoms such as fever, rash, and joint pain. For most healthy people those symptoms are gone within a week. However if you are pregnant and become infected, it is a far different concern. Zika virus can infect babies in the womb and cause microcephaly as well as other neurological and developmental issues. Here in Minnesota, there are two women dealing with those concerns right now.

Two women here in our home state contracted Zika while pregnant. One while traveling and the other sexually transmitted from her husband who had been travelling. The good news at this point is that one child has been born with no problems, and so far the other fetus appears healthy. The bad news is that this issue is so new, doctors don’t know if there are future concerns. These children will have to be monitored for quite some time before anyone is sure that they will remain healthy and develop normally.

In Related Zika Pregnancy News

The Washington Post states that there are 340 Zika infected women across the US waiting to see if their unborn children will be affected, however in three states there are devastated mothers that are no longer waiting. In Hawaii, New York, and New Jersey the reality of what Zika can do to an infant is just sinking in. Three children have been born with microcephaly, which causes the child to have an unusually small head and brain. There have been other developmental issues with these babies as well, including intestinal issues and issues with their eye structures.

Cautiously Optimistic

The keyword being cautiously. We don’t know when and if Zika will become a locally transmitted virus. Having the virus while pregnant doesn’t mean your child will be born with birth defects, but when they are it can be severe. As a nation, this is something we will be watching develop for a long time to come. What we must do as individuals is protect ourselves by avoiding mosquito bites. If you are pregnant or plan to be, avoid travel to countries where Zika is present. When in untreated areas where mosquitoes are present, cover your skin and use insect repellant. At home, Mosquito Squad of Twin Cities can eliminate 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your yard all season long. Call us today. (763) 434-2483

We always recommend following the 5 Ts of mosquito control to reduce the mosquito population in your yard.

Did Memorial Day Leave you Itching Thanks to the Minneapolis State Bird – The Mosquito?

While everyone likes to joke that the Minneapolis state bird is the Mosquito, certainly it is not very funny when you are trying to host a holiday picnic or barbecue, and the mosquitoes are plentiful and biting. If you spent Memorial Day in Minneapolis slapping at mosquitoes and scratching fresh itchy bites, we have a few ideas for ensuring your next summer party (maybe Fourth of July) can be enjoyed pest-free.

Minneapolis Seasonal Mosquito Control

Seasonal Mosquito control is the best way to enjoy a pest-free outdoor lifestyle all summer long. At Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, we offer several options for seasonal protection. Our top-selling mosquito barrier spray eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes in your yard. With a special time-released formula, it will continue to eliminate mosquitoes and ticks for up to 21 days. Every 2-3 weeks we’ll automatically spray again. Other great options in season-long Minneapolis mosquito control includes natural barrier spray and automatic mosquito misting systems. With any of our seasonal mosquito control methods, you can be sure your yard is pest-free for every outdoor occasion all summer long.

Minneapolis Mosquito Event Spray

Another popular product offered by Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities is our mosquito event spray. Perfect for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Weddings, and all outdoor summer gatherings, our event spray will create a pest-free event space. Taking your guests off the menu, our mosquito event spray eliminates mosquitoes and ticks on contact and will work for the duration of your event. The odorless and residue-free spray will allow you and your guests to enjoy the party well into the evening and night without swarms of pests crashing the event.

If you have plans for more summer gatherings this year, call today. We’d be happy to put you on the schedule for mosquito event spray as far in advance as possible. Every year we get very busy leading into Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day – don’t risk calling too late, call now! (763) 434-2483

What Produces More New Mosquitoes: A Clogged Gutter or Lake Minnetonka?

In the land of 10,000 lakes, it is no surprise that Minneapolis and Saint Paul suffer from terrible mosquito problems in the hot summer months. Or is it? While most of us are aware that mosquito population growth is dependent on standing water, we may not realize that the environment in that standing water has a lot to do with success or failure during mosquito larvae and pupae growth. We’re here to dispel commonly misunderstood assumptions about where mosquitoes breed and develop into blood-sucking adults.

Streams are a No-Go for Mosquitoes

Standing water is the key to the mosquitoes successful growth from larva to pupa to adult mosquito. Only along the shores of a stream where a standing puddle of water exists can mosquitoes develop well. While certainly streams and creeds do provide some mosquito habitat, they are not the main source of mosquito population growth in the Minneapolis area.

Lakes & Ponds Limit Mosquito Survival

A lake or a pond may seem an obvious source for massive mosquito population growth. The truth of the matter is, there is a great deal of animal and plant life supported by large bodies of water such as Lake Calhoun, Cedar Lake, and Lake Hiawatha. Fish, turtles, frogs, spiders and other large insects also call lakes and ponds home for the smorgasbord of food readily available. Some of that food happens to be mosquito larva and pupa – limiting the ability for mosquito survival in these bodies of water.

Shallow Undisturbed Water

While some mosquitoes no-doubt can grow up from eggs to adult mosquitoes at the edges of lakes, streams, and ponds, by far their most preferred habitat is shallow undisturbed water. Humans create a great deal of opportunity for mosquito population growth with all of our stuff. From decorative items like bird baths to clogged gutters and wheelbarrows, anything that can hold a little bit of water and is forgotten for more than a week can yield a large growth in mosquito populations.

Mosquito larvae feed on bacteria and other organic material found in stagnant water to grow into pupae and then adults. Mosquito maturation only takes about a week, making it very easy for them to take advantage of busy humans neglected yards. If you have items that you WANT to have in your yard that hold water, make sure you clean them out every few days to eliminate mosquito eggs, larva and pupa that may be maturing under the surface.

When it comes to limiting the growth of mosquito populations in the Minneapolis area, individual homeowners can make a huge difference. Following the 5 T’s of mosquito control in your yard can lower mosquito population growth for the neighborhood. For added mosquito control in your yard, call Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, our traditional barrier spray eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes on your property for up to 3 weeks. If you have any questions about where mosquitoes grow and mature or would like to sign up for the best Minneapolis mosquito control – call today. (763) 703-1616

Minneapolis Tick Tubes: How Does this Cardboard Tube Eliminate so Many Ticks?

May is Lyme disease awareness month, which has everyone at Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities thinking about ticks. While deer ticks are the nasty little buggers responsible for spreading Borrelia Burdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme, we are more than happy to eliminate all ticks. While they are dangerous spreaders of disease, they are also just plain gross. Our disgust for ticks and our wanting to limit your exposure to dangerous disease makes us happy to offer tick tubes to the greater Minneapolis area.

What Are Tick Tubes?

Tick tubes are almost exactly what they sound like. They consist of a cardboard tube filled with treated cotton. The cotton is treated with insecticide that eliminates ticks on contact. This cotton is used as a nesting material in the dens of mice and other rodents. When larval and nymph ticks embed themselves on these rodents, they are eliminated upon entering the rodent den. By eliminating larval and nymph ticks, we effectively interrupt the tick life-cycle.

Tick Tubes Are Great for Lowering Tick-Borne Disease Risks At Home

Tick tubes are an exceptionally effective way to slow down the spread of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme. Ticks have a 3 stage life cycle, larval, nymph & adult. They take a blood meal at each phase to transition to the next face, and female adults to produce eggs.

Larval ticks are not infected with bacteria or other disease-causing pathogens. When they have their first blood meal, they become infected with whatever their first host (usually a rodent) was carrying. Only nymph and adult ticks can transmit tick-borne diseases to humans. With tick tubes, we effectively interrupt the tick life cycle by eliminating larval and newly emerged nymph ticks in the rodent dens, before they have an opportunity to come out and spread their pathogens to humans and other animals.

Image Credit Mainely Ticks

Each Female Tick Lays 3,000-6,000 Eggs

Tick tubes combined with season long tick barrier spray can result in a higher than 90% of reduction of ticks on your property. The longer you partake in Minneapolis tick control measures, the greater reduction of ticks you’ll see due to the interruption of so many ticks ever becoming adults who can lay eggs. With each female tick laying 3,000-6,000 eggs at one time; eliminating ticks before maturity can drastically lower your property’s tick population. If you’re interested in combatting the growth of ticks on your property call Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities today. (763) 434-2483

Spring Has Sprung Early in Minneapolis and With it, More Deer Ticks & Wood Ticks

This week in Minneapolis it will be in the 50’s-60’s and by next week, we are looking at temperatures above 70. It’s warm, and it’s been warm in Minneapolis for this time of year. Who doesn’t love an early spring? Unfortunately, it has brought something that no one loves…an early tick season. Reports from KARE-TV and KSTP TV share that their viewers have been seeing and fighting ticks on their pets and in their homes since March. A mild winter and an early spring will lead to a longer tick season and more time for these pests to do more harm here in Minneapolis, according to Jeff Hahn, an entomologist with the University of Minnesota.

Ticks Here. Ticks There. Ticks Everywhere.

If you walk your dog on a daily basis, you have most likely encountered deer ticks or wood ticks yourself and have probably heard your friends complain about it too. From Wayzata to North Oaks, ticks lie in wait for you and your pets in the tall grass of the park or on the wooded paths and trails you like to travel. They catch a ride into your home. Even if your dog has been treated with tick control and they don’t latch on, the pests can still make their way inside. Doesn’t the thought of constantly checking your kids and dogs for ticks slightly turn your stomach? What if you find them crawling on your furniture? YUCK! And let’s not forget the threat of Lyme disease is growing in Minnesota! Of course, we know you aren’t going to barricade yourself indoors, but it is smart to consider your path and your clothing when you are out in nature.

Minneapolis Tick Control

For protection in your yard and at home, let Mosquito Squad of Twin Cities be your solution. Servicing the greater Minneapolis area, we can eliminate 85-90% of the existing ticks in your yard with our barrier spray. By spraying our time released formula every 2-3 weeks throughout the tick season, you will be able to enjoy your yard worry free. We also want to make sure that next spring, whether early or not, you are protected from the next tick generation. With our tick tube system, we can keep newly hatched ticks from even entering your yard. These tubes, filled with a treated cotton material, are placed strategically throughout your yard. Mice use this cotton to build their nests; larval and nymph ticks embed themselves on the mice and eliminated upon entering the den. We provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Call us today for a quote. (763) 434-2483. Let us help you enjoy every extra minute of this beautiful season!

Did You Know There Are 13 Types of Ticks in Minnesota?

There are thirteen species of tick present in Minnesota. However ten of those are considered soft ticks or bat ticks and with these there is little human interaction. So now we are down to three. These three “hard tick” species are the American dog tick, the deer tick, and the brown dog tick. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, most tick bites do not lead to disease. With the tick population on the rise in the North and Northeast United States, it is smart to recognize the possible diseases and symptoms that do occur here.

Identifying the Predator

American dog ticks are brown with white or yellow markings. During the course of a two-year life cycle, they are most active during the spring, but still active in the summer months as well. These ticks carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia.

Brown Dog ticks are brown with no noticeable markings. They cannot survive outdoors in a Minnesota winter. However, dogs can bring them into your home where they will survive and multiply. Female ticks can lay up to 3,000 eggs in hidden places around your home.

Deer ticks are possibly the most menacing of the three. With brown and red bodies, black heads and legs, these ticks life cycle lasts at least two years. They are most active during the summer, but cases of Lyme disease have been reported from between February to November. Other than Lyme disease these ticks also carry Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, and Powassan virus.

Detecting Tick Disease Symptoms

Tularemia: Symptoms begin to occur within 3 to 14 days of exposure including swollen ulcers at the site of the insect bite, chills, headache, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion. There are several different forms of Tularemia, and they can attack the skin, eyes, lungs, or lymph nodes. Ulceroglandular is the common form. Tularemia will be treated with antibiotics if detected early, but left untreated it can lead to inflammation of the lungs, infection in the brain or bones, irritation around the heart, and death.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever(RMSF): Symptoms can appear from within a week to 14 days including high fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, nausea, and insomnia and a rash that begins around your wrists and ankles. It responds well to antibiotics, but a lack of treatment can cause serious damage to your kidneys, brain, heart, and lungs. Blood vessel damage and eventual amputation are also possible. If left untreated, it can be fatal.

Lyme Disease: Symptoms including chills, fever, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes and a bullseye-shaped rash. Treatment with antibiotics generally leads to a full recovery. Left untreated chronic Lyme can occur. The symptoms of this include spread of the rash, Bell’s palsy, nerve pain, inflammation of the brain, severe headaches, arthritis, and shortness and breath with dizziness. Chronic Lyme can last long after treatment is over.

Anaplasmosis: Symptoms appear within 1-2 weeks including fever, headaches, abdominal pain, malaise and confusion, cough, muscle pain, and abdominal pain. Treated with antibiotics, patients should recover quickly. Severe problems can include kidney failure, breathing difficulty, and neurological problems, and even death if left untreated.

Babesiosis: Symptoms are similar to the above-mentioned illnesses, flu-like with fever, chills, headaches, body aches, fatigue, but the others are caused by a bacteria. Babesiosis is caused by a parasite that infects and destroys red blood cells. It can be very severe for those with weak immune systems and severe health issues. Complications such as low blood pressure, anemia, blood clots and bleeding are all possible. Some cases, though few, have even lead to death. Treatment for asymptomatic persons is often not required, and decisions for treatment will most likely be made per individual.

Powassan virus: According to the CDC many people who become infected never develop symptoms or it may take up to a month after a tick bite for symptoms to occur. Symptoms include fever, weakness, headache, vomiting, seizures, confusion, coordination and speech difficulties. Powassan virus can also cause inflammation of the brain and membranes around the spinal cord by infecting the central nervous system. Powassan virus can be fatal and can cause permanent neurological issues, such as headaches, muscle wasting, and memory loss. There is no medication to treat this infection, however, treatment of the symptoms may be necessary.

Some tick-borne disease in Minnesota are obviously more dangerous than others, but if treated, most people will recover completely. We recommend you make note of the date of a tick bite and keep an eye out for symptoms. If they begin to occur, contact your doctor immediately.

Planning a Defense

Prevention and elimination of ticks are the best way to protect your family and prevent disease. At Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, we suggest our barrier treatment spray to eliminate 85-90% of the ticks in your yard on contact and continuing for up to 3 weeks. Combined with our tick tube system and the 6 C’s of tick proofing your yard, we will work together to make your yard a safe place for your pets and your family. Call us today! We stand behind every service with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. (763) 434-2483

Tick-borne Disease
Ticks in Minnesota

The Zika Virus is Worse than Suspected & Minneapolis Could See Some of The Action

Reclaiming its position as the top story of 2016, the Zika Virus is back in the spotlight since the CDC warned health and government officials that the dangerous side effects of contracting Zika Virus are worse than they first feared. After months of scientific research confirmed suspected dangers and uncovered new ones, the CDC is urging officials to approve financing for further Zika research to combat this dangerous virus and learn the full extent of the possible health dangers.

Zika Virus DOES Cause Microcephaly in Infants

Until last week, health officials have been careful to label Zika Virus infection during pregnancy as being “linked” to microcephaly in infants. Medscape recently reported the “link” has been confirmed. Zika Virus is the cause of an increase in microcephaly and other birth defects in the affected areas. The news does not seem very shocking considering the statistics coming out of Brazil, but research continues to establish the extent of the risk as not all Zika infections in pregnant mothers will lead to birth defects.

Other Health Risks Linked to Zika

With so much focus on Zika in pregnancy, links to other health complications in non-pregnant individuals seem to be flying under the radar. Not just dangerous to babies and pregnant mother’s, the Zika Virus has been linked to two auto-immune disorders. Guillain-Barre syndrome and Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis both are diseases in which the immune system mistakenly attacks its own body. Additional research is already underway to establish the strength of these relationships.

Zika Mosquitoes Reach Further North

The week before the big news broke, the CDC updated their Zika mosquito map to span across 30 states, where only 12 were previously affected. Both the Aedes Aegypti and the Aedes Albopictus have migrated further north. The Aedes Albopictus (Asian Tiger) mosquito is an aggressive day feeder that has been found in parts of Southern Minnesota. Whether it will have a presence in Minneapolis this summer, only time will tell.

Zika Prevention

The CDC has issued two important guidelines for limiting the dangerous health effects of the Zika Virus. The first urges pregnant women to avoid travel to affected areas by following the CDC travel guide. There is also a guideline for couples considering pregnancy as the Zika Virus is sexually transmitted. With only 20% of patients experiencing symptoms, it could be very easy to transmit the disease to a pregnant spouse unknowingly. To avoid this possibility follow the CDC’s guide for couples. Of course, avoiding mosquitoes and mosquito bites is the best form of prevention in avoiding becoming infected with the Zika Virus.

Continue to follow the 5 T’s of mosquito control to make sure your property is not inadvertently assisting in the expansion of mosquito populations. Add professional mosquito control services from Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities to eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes in your yard. With a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you have nothing to lose, except for annoying dangerous mosquitoes and ticks. Call today (763) 434-2483

Protect your Dog from Tick-Borne Diseases in Minnesota

Ticks are a significant annoyance to humans and their pets in Minneapolis. There are 13 known species of ticks in Minnesota. We typically only encounter three, the blacklegged tick (deer tick), American dog tick (wood tick) and the brown dog tick. While that seems like a relief, these three ticks are carriers of dangerous tick-borne diseases, threatening humans and dogs alike. Lyme disease in humans is widely talked about, but did you know your dog can get Lyme disease too? Dogs can also be infected with Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis.

Lyme Disease in Dogs

While there are a plethora of symptoms for Lyme disease in humans, dogs rarely show symptoms. In fact, 90-95% of cases are asymptomatic. If your dog should happen to become ill from Lyme disease symptoms may include a shifting lameness in their legs due to coming and going of inflammation in their joints, depression, sensitivity to touch, stiff walk with an arched back, lack of appetite or fever. The risk for dogs comes when Lyme disease affects their kidneys. If your dog begins to show a lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst or weight loss it could be a sign of kidney failure. If you suspect your dog has become infected with Lyme disease, call your veterinarian as a course of antibiotics could lead to a full recovery. Read more about Lyme disease in dogs.

Anaplasmosis in Dogs

Like Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis in dogs is also transmitted by the deer tick. Sign of infection can include joint pain and stiffness, high fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and in rare cases neurological symptoms such as seizures and neck pain. Take your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect Anaplasmosis. Your veterinarian will do some bloodwork and if Anaplasmosis is suspected they will likely prescribe an antibiotic, which in most cases leads to a full recovery. Read more about Anaplasmosis in dogs.

Babesiosis in Dogs

Babesiosis in dogs is quite different from other tick-borne diseases in that it is a parasite rather than a bacteria. The parasite is transmitted to your dog by an infected wood tick. Infected dogs may show symptoms such as fever, lack of appetite, depression, pale complexion, anemia or a bounding pulse. Your dog should see the veterinarian immediately for testing if you suspect Babesiosis. Treatment with anti-parasite medicines can resolve symptoms, but the infection itself may not be eliminated. Dogs with Babesiosis can be considered permanent carriers of the parasite. Read more about Babesiosis in dogs.

Prevention is the Best Protection Against Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs

Dogs are “man’s best friend” for a reason. They provide love, affection and companionships. For many of us, our dog was our first “child” and will always be treated as a family member. Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s advice for topical tick control treatment and lower your dog’s risk for infection from tick-borne diseases by limiting the number of ticks in your yard. Be sure to follow the 6 C’s of tick control and invest in professional tick control services for your Wayzata or Woodbury property from Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities. Our tick treatment can eliminate 85-90% of the ticks in your yard. Call today. (763) 434-2483

Ick! How to Remove a Tick Safely

There is nothing like that moment of discovering a tick on yourself, your family member or a pet. Ticks are gross enough on their own accord, but when they become attached and partially or fully engorged, the gross factor goes off the charts. Deer ticks, American dog ticks (wood ticks) and brown dog ticks are out in full force in Minnesota as soon as the weather gets above the freezing mark. If you’re spending time outside, doing yard work, hiking or spring clean-up you may very well encounter a tick.

Ticks are not very big and rarely felt. It is important to check yourself and your pets for ticks when you come inside. This is quite likely when you may discover one embedded in your skin. While your gut reaction may be to rip that thing out as fast as you can, that would be a dangerous proposition.

Infected ticks can take 18-48 hours to transmit a disease when attached to a host. The safe removal of a tick can be the difference between a non-event and a medical issue that could be life-altering. With diseases such as Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis and Powassan virus potentially being carried by ticks in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, knowing how to safely remove a tick is vital to your health.

Using old-wives tales such as burning a tick off with a lit match or a hot lighter could lead to infection. Shocking a tick has been known to cause it to regurgitate saliva into the host it is attached to – never, ever suffocate, burn or torture a tick that is still attached to you, your child or your pet.

How to Safely Remove a Tick

The advice from the Tick Encounter Resource Center is our favorite. Grab your pointy tweezers and hit play:

Step One:

Pointy tweezers are a must for safe tick removal. Standard household tweezers are not effective for removing tiny nymph ticks which can increase your chances for ripping the tick upon removal.

Step Two:

Before removing the tick, disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol to avoid getting bacteria into the bite upon removal.

Step Three:

Use the pointy tweezers to grip the tick firmly and as close to your skin as possible, preferably around the tick’s head.

Step Four:

Tilt the tick upright so you can pull it straight out of the skin slowly & steadily upwards. If the tick’s mouth parts break off in your skin, don’t panic. Use the tweezers to remove them separately. The tick cannot transmit disease without its body so there is no increased risk of infection.

Step Five:

Disinfect the wound thoroughly after the tick is removed. And follow our best advice for safe tick disposal.

If you want to avoid this potential encounter, lower your exposure to ticks with Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities. Call today, we can eliminate up to 85-95% of ticks on your property with our expert tick control services. (763) 434-2483

Minnesota Faces a New Tick-Borne Disease Threat

Awareness of Lyme Disease has grown over the past few years with high profile celebrities speaking to the media about their struggles with Lyme Disease and chronic Lyme Disease. While it is possible to get Lyme Disease throughout most of the U.S., the disease prevalence is much denser in the Midwest and Northeastern United States where deer ticks thrive.

The bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi was previously thought to be the only cause of Lyme Disease, until now. Research conducted in collaboration with the CDC and the Mayo Clinic has led to the discovery of a new bacteria capable of causing Lyme Disease. Temporarily named Borrelia mayonii, genetic tests show a close relationship between the two bacteria.

New Lyme Disease Bacteria

The study has so far discerned the new bacteria to only be found in the upper Midwest (North Dakota, Wisconsin & Minnesota). The newly discovered Lyme bacteria ( B. mayonii ) is also spread by deer ticks. B. mayonii results in an illness very similar to Lyme with just a couple of key differences. Unlike B. burgdorferi, the new Lyme bacteria is associated with nausea and vomiting, a higher concentration of bacteria in the blood and diffuse rashes vs. the typical “bull’s eye” rash associated with Lyme disease.

Treatment for B. mayonii Lyme Disease

Patients who were found to have been infected with B. mayonii were successfully treated with the same antibiotic regimen applied to Lyme Disease patients (doxycycline, amoxicillin or cefuroxime axetil). The CDC is conducting further research with the help of state health departments in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin to learn more about B. mayonii, it’s symptoms and how far the bacteria may extend geographically.

As with all tick-borne disease prevention, we advise you to keep your yard less hospitable to tick habitats by following the 6 C’s of tick control. For further reduction of the tick population in your yard sign up for our Intensive Tick Treatment which combines our tick barrier spray & tick tubes for up to a 95% reduction of ticks on your property. Call today (763) 434-2483

The Effects of Zika Virus are Still Being Discovered

With millions of dollars being poured into Zika Virus research worldwide, we are learning new information almost every day. With that being said, most of the findings are still preliminary and need further study, but we find it important to keep aware of the latest so that when certainties are made, we’ll be ready. Over the last few weeks, a few studies have been published, alerting the public to a couple of key discoveries. Here is what we know:

Zika Virus Linked to More Birth Defects

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that followed Zika infected and Zika negative pregnant women from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Zika-negative patients had normal results from their ultrasounds while 29% of Zika infected patients showed abnormalities. Two of the Zika pregnancies ended in stillbirths after 30 weeks of gestation and so far the live births of Zika patients with abnormal test results all have confirmed the ultrasonic findings. While the study was meant to learn more about the link between microcephaly in infants and Zika Virus, it has discovered possible links to other birth defects. The birth defects discovered include Macular hypoplasia, cerebral calcification, central nervous system alterations, intrauterine growth restrictions, abnormal arterial flow in the umbilical arteries, abnormal arterial flow in the cerebral arteries, developmental failure in the vermis (a part of the brain), Blake’s pouch cyst and insufficient or absence of amniotic fluid. The world awaits further studies to learn the exact link between Zika virus and these pregnancy complications & birth defects.

Zika Virus Linked to Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Guillain-Barre syndrome is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. It typically starts with weakness & tingling in the extremities, eventually leading to temporary paralysis of the entire body. An outbreak of Zika Virus in French Polynesia in 2013-2014 was associated with an increase in the number of cases of the rare Guillain-Barre syndrome. Currently, eight countries in South America & Central America have reported a steep rise in Guillain-Barre syndrome, which appears to coordinate with the Zika outbreak areas. Preliminary studies have discovered that a link is there, but there seems to be some potential for dengue fever to be involved somehow as well. Again, further studies are needed to figure out if the presence of dengue fever is a coincidence or somehow a factor.

Zika Virus Could Be Carried by the Culex Mosquito

A preliminary study in Brazil, as reported by PBS, has discovered that the Culex family of mosquitoes may be able to carry & transmit Zika Virus. The research showed that the mosquitoes could carry the virus as well as “reproduce the virus in their salivary glands” which is a vital step in being able to pass the virus on to humans. In Minneapolis, we have multiple types of Culex mosquitoes. If further studies confirm the results, we will certainly be affected by this discovery.

All of these findings are still in early stage research. The links seem to be there, but the exact relationships are yet to be determined. Until we have concrete knowledge, be sure to stay up to date with the CDC’s travel guide for pregnant women. And lower your risks at home by following the 5 T’s of mosquito control and consider Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities for your Minneapolis mosquito control needs. Call (763) 434-2483

Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities at the 2016 Minneapolis Home & Garden Show

Come see us at the 2016 Minneapolis Home & Garden Show. Booth 813.

Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities will be at the 2016 Minneapolis Home & Garden Show with our partner brands Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Minneapolis & Conserva Irrigation of the Twin Cities. The annual Minneapolis Home & Garden Show is a great starting point for all of your spring home improvement and gardening plans. With so many services in one place, you can get everything you need to make the summer of 2016 the best yet.

We will be on hand to answer all of your most important questions about mosquito prevention for your home this summer. With Zika ruling the news, now is the best time to put a mosquito control plan in place for your Minneapolis area home. Our most popular service, barrier spray eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes and ticks from your yard. We also offer other mosquito control and tick control services to meet everyone’s needs.

If you are unable to make it to the convention, call today to for more information about Minneapolis mosquito control. (763) 434-2483

Minneapolis Convention Center

Minneapolis Home & Garden Show Hours
Friday, February 26 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday, February 27 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday, February 28 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday, March 4 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday, March 5 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday, March 6 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

We hope to see you there!

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