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Forward Thinking Pest Control

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Rats Entering From Sewer System - Boston MA

16 May 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Beacon Hill

The City of Boston Inspectional Services Department and Boston Water and Sewer coordinate expertise with EHS Pest Services to perform a smoke test. What is a smoke test you ask? It's usually an integral part of solving a big problem. Rat invasions of structures from underground.

Rats take shelter and travel in the human built subterranean tunnels in our cities. We forget the sewer, storm water and utility systems are networked in a complex maze just under our feet.

Human waste and electricity generate life giving warmth to these lightly furred mammals and liquid water is abundant in most of these confined spaces.

Homeowners in the older areas of Boston are increasingly experiencing failure in lateral lines that support the sanitary out-flow and this could lead to an influx of Norway Rats, Mice, American Cockroaches and Filth Flies.

Our good friends at The City of Boston Inspectional Services Division and Boston Water and Sewer are dedicated partners in assisting home owners and progressive pest management companies in a solution to pest invasion.

This test revealed a broken area behind our clients foundation wall. Next step, open the area, repair and solve this infestation.

Root cause found, solution prescribed.

Thank you City of Boston for your knowledge, professionalism forward thinking approach.

Experts Warn of Increases in Tick-borne Powassan Virus

08 May 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

(CNN)Summer is nearly here, and it's bringing fears of a rare tick-borne disease called Powassan. This potentially life-threatening virus is carried and transmitted by three types of ticks, including the deer tick that transmits Lyme disease.

Over the past decade, 75 cases have been reported in the northeastern states and the Great Lakes region, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though no one can say how many infections will occur this year, warmer winters have led to an increased tick population, so experts predict rising tick-borne infections of many types.

Everyone is at risk for Powassan: Newborns, 20-somethings, the middle-aged, the elderly and the immunocompromised. Anyone bitten by an infected tick can get it, said Dr. Jennifer Lyons, chief of the Division of Neurological Infections and Inflammatory Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Infections are most likely during late spring, early summer and mid-fall, when ticks are most active.

"About 15% of patients who are infected and have symptoms are not going survive," said Lyons, who is also an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. "Of the survivors, at least 50% will have long-term neurological damage that is not going to resolve."

Although most infected people will never show symptoms, those who do become sick usually do so a few days to about a week after the tick bite, she said. The most common symptoms will be fever and headache.

'Flu-like' symptoms

"You basically feel nonspecific flu-like stuff," Lyons said, including "muscle aches and pains; maybe you have a little rash on your skin, but almost certainly, you'll have a fever and the headache."

The unlucky few who develop a more serious illness will do so "very quickly over the next couple of days," she said. "You start to develop difficulties with maintaining your consciousness and your cognition. ... You may develop seizures. You may develop inability to breathe on your own."

Just as there are no vaccines to prevent infection, there are also no treatments for Powassan.

"There are some experimental therapies we try when somebody comes in and they get here early enough and we get the therapy started early enough, but we have no idea if any of that works," Lyons said.

Standard treatment includes intravenous fluids, though antiviral medications, systemic corticosteroids and other drugs have been tried in some patients.

Scientists also believe Powassan is on the rise based on studies that have identified an increasing number of infections in deer.

"So it does seem that there are more and more deer that they're finding that have been infected with this virus," Lyons said. "So we should expect it to increase in human disease incidence over the next few years."

Similarly, Lyme is showing increasing numbers.

According to a recent tick summary report (PDF), 19% of deer ticks received and tested by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, a state-owned research facility, in 2012 were found to be infected with Lyme disease, and 29% of the deer ticks tested positive for the virus in 2016.

A bad tick season ahead

Goudarz Molaei, a research scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, is predicting more new Lyme disease infections in the coming months due to larger numbers of ticks and higher infection rates among them. Each year, there are nearly 30,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease across the United States, according to the CDC, though with unconfirmed cases, the total may be as high as 300,000.

Historically, in the winter, the station doesn't receive many ticks for testing, he explained: one or two per month, maybe five at the most.

"This year so far, we've received hundreds of ticks," Molaei said. "Since April 1, we've received nearly 1,000 ticks." This greater abundance comes as a result of two consecutive warm winters, which the insects are better able to survive, and longer springs and summers.

Overall, 38% of these ticks have tested positive for Lyme disease, he said.

"In one day, 50% of ticks were infected," he said. Peak season should be occurring around June or July.

"To make the matter more complicated, we are seeing greater number of ticks infected with other tick-associated pathogens, including babesiosis and anaplasmosis," Molaei said. Both babesiosis and anaplasmosis usually don't have symptoms, just like Powassan, though both may cause severe or even life-threatening illnesses.

"With ticks, it is no longer just Lyme disease," Molaei said.

Prevention is the first step

The Powassan virus was first discovered in Ontario in 1958.

"A kid came down with an unspecified encephalitis," or brain inflammation, Lyons explained. When the never-seen-before virus was identified, the scientists called it Powassan after the town where the child lived.

Only a couple of cases were seen each year from the 1950s to the early 2000s, when reports of cases in Canada and the US started to rise. A paper suggested that the virus might have been found in far eastern Russia as well.

Dr. Daniel Pastula, an assistant professor of neurology, medicine (infectious diseases) and epidemiology at University of Colorado Denver and Colorado School of Public Health, explains that of the three ticks that can carry Powassan -- Ixodes cookei, Ixodes marxi and Ixodes scapularis -- the third "likes to bite humans" the most.

Commonly known as a deer tick, Ixodes scapularis can also bite mice, Pastula explained.

"The thought is maybe that is where it gets Powassan from," he said. The virus may enter the cycle between ticks and small and medium-size forest rodents that live up in the Great Lakes and Northeast, and "humans just happen to be occasionally involved in that cycle."

"Unless you're an entomologist, it's very hard to identify ticks. They're kind of small," he said.

"The best thing people can do if they're worried about Powassan or any other tick-borne virus is to prevent against all tick bites," Pastula said. Join the conversation

This is best done by avoiding high brushy areas whenever you're in the woods, wearing long sleeves and pants when feasible, using insect repellent and doing tick checks after being outdoors, he said.

"It has to be insect repellent that is actually shown to work. Things with DEET or picaridin or IR3535 are the recommended ones, according to the EPA and the CDC," Pastula said.

"Essentially, you don't need to worry about Powassan if you don't get bit by a tick," he said.

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

Source: CNN

Carpenter Ants are Strong - MA, RI

05 May 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Ants are amazing! Carpenter Ants are very strong. Not only in lifting capabilities but they can chew through wood to make their homes.

A house is a dead tree to them.

We are experts in finding the source and solving your ant and other pest problem.

Call EHS Pest for help.

 

Bedbug Infestation - Boston, MA

04 May 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Bedbug populations can reach epic numbers if not immediately addressed.

This photograph shows hundreds of bedbug eggs glued to the underside of a box spring. Adult bedbugs, cast skins and fecal staining also in large numbers.

It's a bit more work with such a large infestation, but it will be eliminated and the home will be bedbug free.

Call EHS Pest if you suspect any pest problem and we will prescribe the solution.


EHS Pest - Bedbug Eggs

 

The East Coast will be a disease war zone this year

03 May 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Ticks carrying Lyme disease are expected to be rampant on the Appalachian Trail and much of the East coast this summer, says Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystems in Millbrook, New York, who has studied ticks and their relationship with Lyme disease for 30 years.

The summer of 2015 produced the perfect conditions for oak trees to produce acorns, the main source of food for white-footed-mice that live in Eastern forests. More food for these mice leads to an exploding mouse population. The white-footed mice are the most popular hosts for black-legged ticks, the main carrier of Lyme disease. With more mice, ticks can more easily find a warm body on which to live and later reproduce, passing down the Lyme disease to the nymphs. The nymphs have the highest rate of transmitting the disease because they are incredibly difficult to notice, being about the size of a poppy seed. The black-legged ticks have increased their range by 20 percent from 1998 and are now found in 50 percent of U.S. counties.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 300,000 reported cases of Lyme disease every year. That total does not include the thousands of people who go undiagnosed. Holly Ahern, an associate professor of microbiology at the State University of New York, has studied Lyme disease for seven years. Ahern says that the Lyme disease bloodwork only accurately diagnoses about 50 percent of those who are tested. She estimates the more accurate number of people affected with Lyme disease is closer to 600,000.

Ticks are often found in body crevices and hard-to-reach places such as armpits, groins, and behind the ears. It usually takes 36 to 48 hours to transfer the disease. Lyme disease symptoms include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes, often confused with a cold or flu by the carrier. The most identifiable symptom of Lyme is a rash in the shape of a bulls-eye found near the bite. According to the CDC, 70-80 percent of people infected with Lyme disease find this mark.

If recognized and treated, Lyme disease can resolve within two to three weeks. However, if gone untreated or undiagnosed, people can experience much more severe symptoms including short-term memory loss, facial palsy, inflammation of the brain, and heart palpitations.

To avoid ticks, your best defense is wearing long sleeves and pants. Tuck in your shirt and your pants into your socks to limit the tick’s access to your skin.

For more tick prevention tips, call EHS Pest.

Source: blueridgeoutdoors.com

Mice and Cars - Newton, MA

01 May 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest - Mice in the car

Mice, rats, squirrels love making automobiles home.

With warm weather here, collector cars and their pilots are emerging from hibernation to enjoy the beautiful spring.

Unfortunately, some owners might discover their prized automobile sidelined because they were mouse jacked! Mice and other rodents took command of the engine compartment and now they don't run.

We have a solution. Pest exclusion.

We will prevent them from entering the garage and prevent all of the damage and frustration. With no poisons around, they wont die in the heating ducts or headliner either so the only smell you enjoy are the spring flowers as you cruise the roads. Call EHS Pest for more details.

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

 


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Email: info@ehspest.com
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