Environmental Health Services, Inc. working to meet tick threat head on while educating the public about greater dangers than Lyme.
Norwood, MA, July 8, 2017: There are multiple new studies showing tick populations increasing with shifting weather patterns from climate change. Warmer temperatures are causing to reproduce at a faster rate and expand their range well beyond previous limits. Extremes in weather patterns resulting in heavier snowfalls are resulting in a decrease of tick die-offs in winter freezes by insulating the ground.
Massachusetts state health officials have now declared Lyme disease epidemic. Yet the Centers for Disease Control lists 14 tick-borne diseases in all, several potentially deadly. Lyme disease is fairly well-known, shows symptoms normally in 48 hours from being bitten, is testable and treatable, and is in only rare cases fatal. The Powassan virus, also transmitted by the deer tick, can show symptoms within 2-3 hours of being bitten. There is no test and no cure for this disease, and is potentially fatal.
The deer tick is not the only vector of concern, There is also the dog tick, which transmits Rocky Mountain spotted fever, considered to be the most deadly and frequently seen. It has been reported in every state in the US except for Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, and Alaska. And now the Lone Star tick, which unlike other ticks is particularly aggressive and actually pursues its host, has shown up in significant numbers as far north as Maine. Another unique characteristic of the Lone Star tick is that it bites in its three growth stages (larva, nymph, adult), as opposed to all other US ticks biting only as adults. In addition to the two potentially fatal illnesses this tick transmits, it can also pass on a meat and meat product allergy. This allergy is so sensitive that even cross contamination can trigger a potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.
Studies also show that the vast majority of tick bites occur in the human environment, rather than the natural tick environment. Pets, especially outdoor cats, are particularly likely to bring ticks into the home. Additionally, the numbers of ticks on wildlife are so overwhelming that it is believed to have caused a decline in moose numbers in New England. There are reports of moose actually dying from blood loss, with researchers counting over 100,000 blood engorged ticks on one carcass.
Precautions that minimize risk include limiting skin exposure, utilizing store bought insect repellents, and avoiding areas where tick and mosquito infestations most frequently occur. Richard Pollack, PhD, Public Health Entomologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, says “time is of the essence” in preventing tick attachment and disease risk. “A daily check can prevent this, so everyone in the family should be like little chimpanzees and look for them.” he said.
Environmental Health Services has been working to educate the public on the increasing tick-borne threat and the personal precautions and professional treatments that can reduce the risks to their health. The primary treatment at EHS is organic pest control, which is not persistent in the environment and is completely non-toxic to people and pets. It utilizes naturally occurring essential plant oils and have proven efficacy against target pests, reducing their threat by as much as 92%, with no adverse effects on humans or environment. This type is treatment is a preferred method at EHS, a company focused on eco-sensitive pest solutions.