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What it REALLY means when a fly lands on your food (and why you should stop eating and throw it away immediately)

24 Apr 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Spring and summer may herald warm weather and sunshine, but it also harks the arrival of irritating flies that try to land on your food.

And it turns out there are some very good reasons why most people try to shoo them away before they can land on a dish.

Though many people just think they are a minor annoyance, it turns out the insects are actually loaded with germs that could pose a serious threat to your health.

Not only that, a fly will almost always vomit on your food when it lands on it.

Flies on average carry more than 200 forms of harmful bacteria thanks to the disgusting things they tend to land on, such as rotting food and fecal matter, a pest control expert has revealed.

It's the thousands of tiny hairs on the arms and legs of a fly that mean those dangerous germs can transfer to your food if a fly lands on it.

'They only need to touch your food for a second for their legs or the tiny hairs all over their bodies to transfer germs from all those nasty things they eat onto what you are eating,' said Ron Harrison, an entomologist and technical services director at Orkin pest control.

'And since flies can transfer serious, contagious diseases like cholera, dysentery, and typhoid, it is probably best if you avoid eating things that a fly lands on.'

That's not to mention what a fly actually does when it lands on your food.

You may have heard that the creatures relieve their bowels when they land on their food.

But what they actually do is just as disgusting.

Flies will almost always vomit on your food if they land on it.

The insects can't chew, so they eject digestives enzymes onto the food before eating it up again.

So next time a fly lands on your food, it's best to cut off the part it has touched and just throw it away to avoid consuming the insect's germs.

To learn more about how to get rid of flies, call EHS Pest.

Source: dailymail

Zika Found in Common Backyard Asian Tiger Mosquito

18 Apr 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

A common backyard mosquito can be infected with the Zika virus and it may pass the virus along in its eggs, researchers reported Friday.

The findings add to worries that the Asian tiger mosquito, scientifically known as Aedes albopictus, could help spread the virus as mosquito season hits temperate regions of the world.

The study, published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, doesn't prove that tiger mosquitoes can spread Zika, which causes severe birth defects. But it adds to evidence that they might.

Chelsea Smartt of the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory and the University of Florida and colleagues hatched eggs from Aedes albopictus mosquitoes gathered during a 2015 outbreak of Zika in Brazil. When they ground up the mosquitoes that grew from those eggs — male and female — they found genetic pieces of Zika.

"Our results mean that Aedes albopictus may have a role in Zika virus transmission and should be of concern to public health," Smartt said in a statement.

"This mosquito is found worldwide, has a wide range of hosts and has adapted to colder climates."

The main carrier of Zika is Aedes aegypti, or the yellow fever mosquito. It needs warm, tropical climates to thrive.

Aedes albopictus, easily identified by its stripey white legs and daytime biting habits, arrived in Texas in 1985. It's much more tolerant of cold temperatures, thrives more in the suburbs than in the cities and now lives in 40 U.S. states.

So far, home-grown Zika has only been found in the U.S. in two places - south Florida and south Texas. But travelers infected with Zika have been diagnosed all across the country.

A common backyard mosquito can be infected with the Zika virus and it may pass the virus along in its eggs, researchers reported Friday.

The findings add to worries that the Asian tiger mosquito, scientifically known as Aedes albopictus, could help spread the virus as mosquito season hits temperate regions of the world.

The study, published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, doesn't prove that tiger mosquitoes can spread Zika, which causes severe birth defects. But it adds to evidence that they might.

Chelsea Smartt of the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory and the University of Florida and colleagues hatched eggs from Aedes albopictus mosquitoes gathered during a 2015 outbreak of Zika in Brazil. When they ground up the mosquitoes that grew from those eggs — male and female — they found genetic pieces of Zika.

"Our results mean that Aedes albopictus may have a role in Zika virus transmission and should be of concern to public health," Smartt said in a statement.

The main carrier of Zika is Aedes aegypti, or the yellow fever mosquito. It needs warm, tropical climates to thrive.

Aedes albopictus, easily identified by its stripey white legs and daytime biting habits, arrived in Texas in 1985. It's much more tolerant of cold temperatures, thrives more in the suburbs than in the cities and now lives in 40 U.S. states.

So far, home-grown Zika has only been found in the U.S. in two places - south Florida and south Texas. But travelers infected with Zika have been diagnosed all across the country.

It takes people plus mosquitoes to spread a virus like Zika. The mosquitoes bite actively infected people, incubate the virus for a while, and then bite other people to spread it.

“This mosquito is found worldwide, has a wide range of hosts and has adapted to colder climates.” Mosquitoes don't go far, so outbreaks die out unless many people become infected and keep spreading it back to mosquitoes. Sometimes an animal can act as a reservoir — birds can keep West Nile Virus spreading, for instance.

Now the question is how well the virus lives in the bodies of the Asian tiger mosquito. Simply finding a virus in a mosquito does not necessarily mean the mosquito spreads the virus. The virus must replicate in the insect's salivary glands to be transmitted in a bite.

"The fact that you find it in Aedes albopictus is not surprising," said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

"The question is how important it is for transmission."

More study is needed, the University of Florida team said.

"The detection of Zika virus RNA from five adult Ae. albopictus reared from eggs collected during the 2015 outbreak in Camaçari, Bahia, Brazil, is consistent with the potential for vertical or sexual transmission of Zika virus by Ae. albopictus; however, evidence supporting this was not conclusive," they wrote.

But related viruses, including dengue, yellow fever, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis viruses, have been spread from parents to eggs in several species of mosquitoes.

To learn more on how to get rid of mosquitoes safely, call EHS PEST.

Source: nbcnews.com

Tick Prevention - MA, RI

14 Apr 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest Tick Prevention - MA, RI

My Doctor is fantastic. Her Norwood, MA group is serious about disease prevention. I received this letter and helpful links regarding Lyme disease from a medical providers point of view.

Dear Patient,

Spring has arrived! As April showers begin to wash away that long & frigid winter, Mother Nature will bring about new ways to keep New Englanders on their toes. No, we aren't talking about those brisk mornings that make it nearly impossible to choose between hot or iced coffee. We're talking about ticks!

Tick bites are a hot topic at this office during spring and fall, with "prime" tick season falling between late spring and early summer. To help prepare you for the season, we've answered some of your frequently asked questions relating to tick bites and Lyme Disease.

Please remember that we are always available during office hours to answer your questions. We appreciate your confidence in us as your primary care team!

Wishing you a happy & healthy spring season,

Brigham & Women's Primary Care Associates at Norwood

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme Disease is an illness caused by a tick-borne bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. Symptoms of Lyme Disease can begin anywhere from 3 days to 1 month after a person is bitten by an infected deer tick. Symptoms may include a red, ring-shaped rash around the bite (also known as a bull's eye rash), fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle/joint pain. Although Lyme Disease is rarely life-threatening, it should be treated with antibiotics to avoid lasting joint or nerve damage. (CDC, 2016).

How do ticks spread Lyme Disease?

The bacteria that cause Lyme Disease can be transferred to humans through the bite of an infected deer tick. Ticks do not fly or jump- they wait on low-growing plants in wooded & grassy areas for a host (person or animal) to pass by. When a host brushes up against it, the tick will cling to fur or clothing and crawl upward in search of a place to attach and begin feeding. (DPH, 2012).

How can I avoid tick bites?

One of the easiest ways to avoid tick bites is to avoid tick-infested areas from May - July. If you are in a tick-infested area, walk in the center of trails to avoid contact with overgrown grass and brush.

Another way you can protect yourself from tick bites is to use insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET on clothes and exposed skin. When in tick-infested areas, wear long pants and sleeves to reduce areas of exposed skin. Performing daily, full-body skin checks and showering as soon as possible after being outdoors may help you identify and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you. Doing daily skin checks during tick season can prevent Lyme, as then the ticks will not have been able to attach themselves for long enough to transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. (CDC, 2016).

What should I do if I am bitten by a tick?

Remove attached ticks with tweezers immediately. Ticks generally need to be attached to the body for more than 24 hours before they can transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, so early tick removal and a significantly reduced risk of infection. (DPH, 2012).

Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin's surface as possible. Pull the tick's body away from your skin with steady, even pressure. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap & water. If tick mouthparts remain in the skin, leave them alone. In most cases, they will fall out in a few days. (CDC, 2016).

When should I call my primary care office?

If you are bitten by a deer tick that may have been attached to your skin for more than 24 hours, please make an appointment to be seen at our office or visit a local urgent care center within 72 hours of discovering the tick bite.

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your provider. Be sure to tell your provider when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick. Your primary care provider will need to examine you and may order some diagnostic lab testing. Lyme Disease is treated with antibiotics; and patients generally make a rapid & complete recovery when treated in the early stages of infection. (CDC, 2016).

Recommended Reading:

Lyme disease: What You Need to Know:
https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/resources/brochure/lymediseasebrochure.pdf

Lyme disease prevention fact sheet for outdoor workers:
https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/resources/toolkit/factsheets/10_508_lyme-disease_outdoorworkers_factsheet.pdf

How to Do a Tick Check:
http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/cdc/lyme/tick-poster-check.pdf

How to Remove a Tick (and lots of other great resources):
http://www.tickencounter.org/prevention/tick_removal

References:

CDC. (2016, August 19). Lyme Disease. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/

House Mouse in a Toy Car - Brookline, MA

13 Apr 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

We have witnessed the damage mice, rats and squirrels can inflict on our motor vehicles.

Our good friend and colleague, Tom Moore owner of ASAP Pest Elimination snapped these photos of a House Mouse taking up residence in a toy model in a client's curio.

Acting as a Pest Police officer, Tom arrested the offending rodent and impounded the vehicle for closer inspection and a good wash and wax!

Learn more about pest elimination by calling, EHS Pest.

 

EHS Pest - House Mouse taking up residence in a toy model
EHS Pest - House Mouse taking up residence in a toy model

 

Rattiest Tree in America - Boston, MA

11 Apr 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Boston has the proud distinction to own the rattiest tree in America according to Rodentologist, Dr. Bobby Corrigan.

This grand old tree has likely housed many thousands of rodent families for more than a century.

Boston's Rattiest Tree
Rattiest Tree

Termites are Related to Cockroaches - Newton, MA

11 Apr 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Termites are related to cockroaches!

Our native Termites emerge from a winter slumber. Slow moving this morning, these Eastern Subterranean Termites will pick up the pace as we approach record warmth today.

Our colony elimination system will protect your home with no harm to our precious soil.

Call EHS Pest for a free inspection before the race begins.

Mosquitoes and Ticks are Going to Eat Us All Alive this Summer - MA, RI

07 Apr 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

This winter, as occasional cold snaps were outnumbered by weirdly balmy days, we at the PopSci offices had a running theory that come spring time we might be contending with buggy madness—enough mosquitoes to keep us firmly indoors, or at least coated in DEET. “Whoever bet on bugs made the right choice this year,” said Jim Fredericks, the Chief Entomologist & Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs at the National Pest Management Association. “It probably will be a pretty buggy spring and summer.”

The National Pest Management Association recently released its "bug barometer", and the predictions are lousy. This spring and summer, most of the continental United States (apart from the Pacific Northwest) will experience an uptick in insect numbers. In most regions, mosquitoes and ticks will emerge earlier and in greater numbers than usual. The southwest doesn’t have to deal with earlier mosquitoes, according to the barometer, but it gets to share in the nation’s bitter, buggy bounty: once the insects do emerge, they'll be more prolific than usual.

You may have loved this winter’s unusually warm weather, but guess what—so did many insects. The winter warmth (this was the sixth-warmest winter and second-warmest February on record in the United States according to NOAA) was pure buggy bliss. Add a warm, wet spring to the mix, and 2017 is creating the perfect breeding ground for some of our least favorite insect pests, including ticks and mosquitoes.

“Most of the pest insects that we're dealing with are not migrating,” said Fredericks. “They have to find a way to make it through the winter. When it's a mild winter they tend to do a little bit better.”

It's pretty straightforward: when the weather is milder, more insects survive the winter, which means there are more insects around to bite us and breed come springtime. Fredericks and his colleagues made their 2017 predictions based on the winter and spring weather coupled with predictions for the rest of spring and summer.

More adult mosquitoes live through a warm winter, and more of their larvae survive as well. And since mosquitoes breed in standing water, a wet spring gives them plenty of romantic enclaves to keep the population boom going. Moreover, warm weather speeds up a mosquito’s reproductive lifecycle—she can lay more eggs and have them hatch more quickly. If this is making you itchy, it should.

Ticks, which carry Lyme disease disease, are also a concern in much of the northeast. The bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease, can harm the joints, heart, and even the nervous system if left unchecked.

"If it's a mild winter, more of the larva and the adult ticks are able to survive through the winter, which just translate to a large population in the spring,” said Fredericks. And a mild winter also means more of the animals that the larvae feed on—small mammals like mice, squirrels, and chipmunks—will survive to get bitten. That sturdy food supply means ticks are more likely to live long enough to encounter (and infect) humans.

The issue isn’t just limited to bugs that, well, bug people. The warming weather is also a problem for agricultural crops. “In general, with warming winters we are going to see new pests moving north," said Mike Hoffman, an entomologist and executive director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions at Cornell University. "We have one called the corn earworm in New York which is a pest of sweet corn. Historically it came in on storm fronts late in the summer, but now they find it in traps early in the season, suggesting that that the pests are starting to overwinter because of better conditions.”

The New York State Integrated Pest Management program runs its own version of the bug barometer, only for the corn earworm. It’s prediction is similarly grim. Most of the northeast can expect an unusual number of the pests.

Hoffman is quick to point out that the relationship between warm weather and bugs isn’t straightforward. “If you have lots of snow, that's going to insulate the conditions, so the insects living in the ground are probably going to survive. But take away that snow and then the cold can penetrate into the soil, and reach those insects that happen to be in the soil, and potentially increase mortality. Also, with warmer conditions there's more freeze and thaw activity, so water can penetrate and work its way into the soil that are encased in ice, and that's usually not a good thing, but that can cause higher mortality.”

But still, he said, as the weather warms, “The nutshell version is that yes, there's going to be more, and they are going to be moving north, and there are records of that happening already. Bark beetle out west expanded over enormous areas because of a combination of warmer winters, and a longer warming season, and is doing tremendous harm.”

What should you do with this information?

“Do a self-assessment of your property of areas that could potentially breed mosquitoes,” said Fredericks. “You should look for anything that is going to hold water. A lot of people hear about flower pots and old tires, and sure, those are places where water can accumulate. But these mosquitoes can breed in the volume of water that can be held inside of bottle cap. It's time to be mindful debris and trash and children's toys. Make sure that rain gutters are clear and not clogged.”

In addition, Fredericks recommends wearing any repellant that appears on the CDC approved list, which includes DEET, Piacridin, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or (PMD) (which isn’t to be confused with the lemon of eucalyptus essential oil). And while dawn and dusk used to be the primetime biting period for mosquitos, newer species such as aedes aegypti are day biters. As for ticks, donning repellant and covering up—light colored, long-sleeved pants and long shirts—is key in tick areas. That means woods and grassy areas, but even the wild edges of your own property can be perilous when you're out doing yard work.

That's the best we can do for now. But there's no telling whether or not swarms of mosquitoes will become the new norm in summers year to come. Because of climate change, “the conditions are changing,” said Hoffman. “It's just not the way it used to be. We don't have the answers of what's going to happen.

To learn more about mosquitoes and ticks and how to get rid of them safely, call EHS Pest.

Source: popsci.com

Warm Weather May Bring Bad Tick Season This Spring – Boston, MA

04 Apr 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

The recent warm weather could be a sign of a bad tick season in the spring.

The weather we are having is much warmer than it should be and because of that ticks could start coming out.

People are hiking and doing things outdoors. They were taking advantage of the warmer weather, but whether they go out now or in the spring or summer, they can't let ticks get in the way.

Experts say mild weather in the winter could lead to a bad tick season in the spring. This means a prolonged season and therefore more time for ticks to be born.

You’re not going to see a lot of Lyme disease now but because things are kind of prematurely warming up you might see it now. The chances are it’s still going to be at its peak in the spring, in the summer and the fall.

You can only get Lyme from a deer tick that has the disease. Most tick bites are not going to give you Lyme disease even if the tick has it. That’s because it takes about two days for the tick to actually give you the disease.

If you’re going to be outdoors wear tight fitting clothes and to try to avoid going out at the end of the day.

Symptoms of Lyme disease could be having a rash that looks like a target, headaches, being tired and aching joints.

For more information on protecting yourself and tick control, contact EHS Pest in Norwood.

News10

Practices Safe and Efficient Bedbug Elimination - MA, RI

29 Mar 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Common Bedbugs are prolific animals. Following human populations from the burrows, caves and dwellings of early human existence.

In multi unit buildings they are quite often more widespread than reported by residents.

Building managers and Landlords can be blind sided by these pests with legal consequences and defamation to their good reputation even when they are trying to do the right thing.

Our best advice is find an expert bedbug biologist that practices safe and efficient bedbug elimination. Act quickly after any reported activity and try secure an insect specimen for identification. You need to know these insects are not Bat Bugs or Swallow Bugs. Then the investigation starts with an interview and comprehensive inspection. In multi unit housing, if all units of a structure are comprehensively examined, you are doing the absolutely best preventive measure. with early You are practice early detection and prevention, like you might with your doctor. The situation is much more manageable and likely less costly to your reputation, treatment and legal fees.

Most health agents in municipalities have standards of bed bug notice of violation. It requires that owners inspect all units in the dwelling, and they must treat all horizontally and vertically adjacent units to the infested unit(s).

Progressive companies, homeowners, landlords, property managers, property management companies and housing authorities bundle periodic preventive bedbug inspections with safety and other scheduled inspections.

If you have an infestation, consider your options and best fit for a solution. Our preferred first choice is without pesticides, but it's what's best for you, your family, residents and employees. Call EHS Pest for more information.

Rats Living in Attic - Brookline, MA

27 Mar 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Most people think of Rats as animals of the soil or sewers.

This Norway Rat prefers the higher life, as in living in our client's attic. Our electronic surveillance equipment shows us this night time noise maker at work.

@rodentologist, Bobby Corrigan teaches us that some members of Rattus norvegicus never set foot on the ground.

What an amazing animal! We mechanically removed her and permanently sealed the many entrances from the ground to the roof line. We will monitor the area for a time to be certain it's pest-free.

Mystery solved!

If you have rat problems and you want to get rid of them safely, call EHS Pest.

EHS Pest - Norway Rat living in attic
EHS Pest - Norway Rat living in attic

 


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