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RI, MA EHS Pest Control Blog

Mice and Rat Control in Winter

22 Nov 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest Rodent Expert

When vegetation becomes more scarce as cold weather sets in, pesky creatures like rats and mice are on the hunt for new shelter and food sources. The winter is prime time for rodents to invade homes inhabiting attics, garages, basements, and wall cavities in order to survive winter.

Mice can get in through any sized crack or hole and they can live on insects. Consequently, they can survive in wall cavities for a long time. In fact, they can draw out the humidity they need from the food they consume or the condensation on pipes. When treating a home for mice infestation, it is important to understand that mice are territorial and their territory size needs to be considered when setting bait. Otherwise, treatment will fail. The territory size counts in regards to the quantity of food available. It is highly advisable to seek the help of pest experts to properly ensure the treatment is effective.

Meanwhile, rats only sneak into homes and buildings for shelter. Then, they explore outside to look for food. But they will take advantage of any food that is accessible to them. What makes rat infestation harder to eliminate over mice is the fact that they are more cautious and suspicious of any new object placed in their turf.

To successfully exterminate rats and mice, hire a pest control services provider for the job. They have the right experience and skills for trapping and controlling rodent pests. Contact EHS Pest for safe rodent control and removal.

Exploding tick population -- and illnesses they bring -- worries government

21 Nov 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

(CNN) On Wednesday, a congressional advisory committee sounded the alarm on Lyme and other emerging tick-related illnesses saying they have become "a serious and growing threat to public health." The finding, presented in a report to congress, recommends surveillance, prevention, diagnosis and treatment measures for tackling the problem.

At least 20 known medical conditions can result from tick bites; the most common, Lyme disease, affects an estimated 300,000 Americans each year. Meanwhile, doctors and researchers continue to discover new illnesses linked to the crawling bugs.

The committee, known as the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group, was established under the 21st Century Cures Act (2016) and is tasked with proposing how to rein in this public health problem.

"As tick populations continue to grow and infected ticks expand geographically, the threat to human health intensifies," the working group wrote. To highlight the necessity to act, the report includes stories from patients, including Ruben Lee Sims.

'Untreated patients can lose everything'

Sims, a Vietnam veteran who in 1977 was recognized by the US Air Force as the "top enlisted management analyst of the year," had his life derailed several years later by tick bites.

Unable to diagnose Lyme disease, the military discharged Sims in 1984, labeling him a hypochondriac whose pain was caused by psychological factors. A year later, a non-military doctor also failed to deliver a diagnosis. Though the doctor suspected Lyme disease, Sims had never traveled to New England, where the disease is prevalent, so the tick-borne disease was crossed off the list of possibilities.

"I was misdiagnosed for over three decades and left untreated for Lyme disease," Sims told the report's authors. Today, that's no longer true. Better equipped to diagnose tick-borne disease, the VA has confirmed Sims' pain as a symptom of Lyme disease, and with appropriate treatment, he no longer has symptoms.

"Untreated patients can lose everything, as I did, and become part of the unemployed, under-employed, disabled, and homeless populations," Sims said in the report. These days, he shares his story to help others who may be affected by tick-borne illnesses. Most Lyme patients who are treated early can fully recover, yet up to 20% experience persistent symptoms -- some disabling. Immediate symptoms include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes and a distinctive ring rash. Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath, inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and shooting pains in the hands or feet are among the longer-term symptoms in patients with chronic illness.

The spread of Lyme disease

Lyme disease cases have doubled since 2004, according to the report. Meanwhile, its geographic prevalence has grown: The number of counties considered to have high incidence of the disease has increased by more than 300% in the northeastern states and by nearly 250% in North Central states, the report states.

"The geographic range of Lyme disease cases has expanded since its first appearance in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975 and has consistently spread northward, southward, and westward," the report says. The working group suggests this spread may be due, at least in part, "to ecological changes taking place in North America since the middle of the 20th century, including habitat and climate changes." Though less common on the West coast, Lyme disease is an important concern there, as are other diseases that result from tick bites, the report states. Despite hundreds of thousands of estimated cases, only about 35,000 are reported each year to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lyme disease is transmitted by infected deer ticks. Infected blacklegged ticks, Western blacklegged ticks and lone star ticks also frequently transmit illness in the United States.

Tick-borne diseases can be difficult to diagnose. Tests are not always accurate, and health care providers may not know how to use them. Additionally, patients may have not just one but two or more tick-borne illnesses at the same time.

The Tick-Borne Disease Working Group's recommendations include improving early and accurate diagnosis and treatment, strengthening national surveillance and developing new treatment options for treating acute and persistent illness.

"For decades, tick-borne diseases have increased at an alarming rate," the committee concluded. "The continued spread of ticks, the discovery of new tick-borne pathogens, and the spreading outbreak of human disease is a near certainty."

To find out more about ticks and how to safely get rid of them, contact EHS Pest.

Source: CNN Business

Protect Your Home From Pest Infestations This Winter

07 Nov 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest - Pest Control, MA, RI

As the temperature gets colder, insects such as ants, beetles, cockroaches and stink bugs tend to invade homes to seek food and warmth. Although many homes report various pest infestations during summer, they are unaware that their homes stays susceptible to pest infestation even during winter.

To stay on top of these fall crawlers homes need the help of professional pest experts to entirely eradicate them. But here are things that you should also do as a homeowner to help mitigate the problem:

  • Seal Your Home - To prevent these fall insects from sneaking into your home, seal off holes and cracks in doors and windows, close any exterior crevices, seal up bathroom and kitchen fixtures, even the smallest holes allow these insects to creep in in order to access water.
  • Clean Up - Keep floors and counters clean. Store food properly inside the fridge or insect-resistant canisters.
  • Store Firewood Away From Your House - This will prevent wood-boring crawlers from invading your home.
  • Dispose Spoiled Food Products Immediately and Properly - Be sure your recycle bin is regularly emptied. This will prevent attracting ants and flies.

For assistance in preventing insects, mice and other crawlers from invading your home this winter, contact EHS Pest to safely get rid of them.

Oregon City Woman, 94, Stung 74 times After Crossing Underground Wasps Nest

02 Nov 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest - Pest Control

OREGON CITY, OR (KPTV) - A 94-year-old woman was doing yard work when she was stung by dozens of wasps. Bernice Arline Patterson was even hospitalized after the attacks.

Patterson told FOX 12 she was stung 74 times and credits one of her sons with saving her.

According to Patterson, she was out doing some upkeep on a trail near her Oregon City home, when she stumbled across an underground wasps nest.

Within seconds she was swarmed by yellow jackets.

“It was terrible. I was just going like this [swatting] trying to get them off my face,” she said.

While trying to run away, Patterson fell and the wasps attacked her.

“It hurt like heck,” she told FOX 12.

Patterson began to yell for her son, David.

“I can’t remember what I did after that. I just felt like I was shaking,” Patterson said.

Thankfully, her son heard her screams and ran to help her. Patterson said he grabbed a broom and started hitting the wasps, getting stung in the process.

There happened to be a can of yellow jacket spray nearby, which he doused them with, scaring them off.

His mother was taken to the emergency room, where a doctor counted 74 stings on her body.

Now she is warning others to be more vigilant while doing yard work.

“If you see one bee, then you know there is more,” she said.

When asked if she’ll be doing any more yard work, Patterson said, “Yes but I will try to much more aware of my surroundings from now on.”

She also recommends folks keep a can of bee or wasp spray nearby when working outdoors.

For safe removal of bees and wasps, contact EHS Pest.

Climate Change Is Scary; ‘Rat Explosion’ Is Scarier

01 Nov 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

What’s so scary about climate change?

The term is not scary — at last not in a visceral, skin-crawling sense. Scientists have shown that the likely 2 degrees of global warming to come this century will be extremely dangerous, but, you know, “2 degrees” is hardly a phrase from nightmares and horror films.

How about “rat explosion”?

As the climate warms, rats in New York, Philadelphia and Boston are breeding faster — and experts warn of a population explosion.

Like rats, humans are hardy animals, and we’ve adapted to all kinds of climates. So it can be tempting to brush off the prospect of 2 degrees of warming. Especially for Americans, who mostly use Fahrenheit. That 2 degree warming is Celsius. Think of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Still not scared? Fine.

The physics of climate change doesn’t have the same fear factor as the biology. Many living things are sensitive to small changes in temperature, so warming of 2 degrees Celsius will transform the flora and fauna that surround us in a big way. Other life forms are also very sensitive to moisture, and so populations will crash or explode as anthropogenic climate change continues to make wet areas more sodden and dry areas, more parched.

And while extinctions may inspire a sense of tragedy, it’s the creatures multiplying in outbreaks and infestations that generate horror. As rat expert Bobby Corrigan of Cornell University has told various media outlets, rats have a gestation period of 14 days. The babies can start reproducing after a month. That means that in one year, one pregnant rat can result in 15,000 to 18,000 new rats. Warmer winters will continue to dial up rat fecundity. People in urban areas such as New York and Boston are already noticing a lot more rats, not just in downtown alleyways, but even in the posh suburbs.

Rats are just the beginning. Biologists have calculated that with the expected warming this century of 2 degrees Celsius, populations of dangerous crop-eating insects are likely to explode as temperate areas warm, reducing crop yields by 25 to 50 percent. Similar horrors lurk offshore, where biologists have found that a population explosion of purple sea urchins — “cockroaches of the ocean” — is choking out other denizens of Pacific kelp forests. There’s something deeply troubling about a single species taking over what was a diverse ecosystem.

In recent years, psychologists have accused conservatives of being more innately fearful than liberals, but that never quite squared with the fact that conservatives express less fear over environmental problems. Some social scientists are finally starting to question the broad equation of political preferences with fear, recognizing that different people fear different things depending on their upbringing, education and surroundings. But we’re all sharing this warming planet, and at the very least surely we can unite against a future filled with rats.

To safely get rid of rats and rodents, contact EHS Pest.


Man's bug bite led to flesh-eating bacteria infection

23 Oct 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

A scanning electron micrograph image of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. MRSA can be a cause of "flesh-eating" bacterial infections.
Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

What started as a simple bug bite on a young man's knee soon turned life-threatening when the itchy bump developed into an infection with "flesh-eating" bacteria, according to a new report of the case.

The 21-year-old man went to the emergency room after his right knee became swollen and painful, and he had trouble walking, according to the report, published in the November issue of the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. He told doctors that he had not injured his knee, but that he had gotten a bug bite there three days earlier.

"I was really surprised to see that this otherwise young and healthy guy could barely walk," said Dr. Jacqueline Paulis, an emergency-medicine physician at New York University School of Medicine, who treated the patient and is the lead author of the report. (Paulis treated the patient at a different New York City hospital before working at NYU.) 

A scanning electron micrograph image of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. MRSA can be a cause of "flesh-eating" bacterial infections.

What started as a simple bug bite on a young man's knee soon turned life-threatening when the itchy bump developed into an infection with "flesh-eating" bacteria, according to a new report of the case.

The 21-year-old man went to the emergency room after his right knee became swollen and painful, and he had trouble walking, according to the report, published in the November issue of the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. He told doctors that he had not injured his knee, but that he had gotten a bug bite there three days earlier.

"I was really surprised to see that this otherwise young and healthy guy could barely walk," said Dr. Jacqueline Paulis, an emergency-medicine physician at New York University School of Medicine, who treated the patient and is the lead author of the report. (Paulis treated the patient at a different New York City hospital before working at NYU.)

An exam revealed that he had a bump on his knee that was discharging pus, and tissue in the area had started to die, or become necrotic. He also could not move his knee joint, which "raises a lot of red flags for doctors that there's something deeper going on," such as an infection, Paulis told Live Science. The patient also felt sharp pains in his chest when breathing, and he started having flu-like symptoms a day before arriving in the ER.

An X-ray of his knee showed that there was air underneath his skin tissue, which can be a sign of a "flesh-eating" bacterial infection, known medically as necrotizing fasciitis. (Air gets under the tissues because some species of bacteria that cause necrotizing fasciitis produce gas.)

Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare but serious infection of the tissue just under the skin, as well as connective tissue, that spreads quickly in the body and can result in the loss of limbs and even death.

There are several types of bacteria that can cause necrotizing fasciitis, including group A Streptococcus (group A strep), Klebsiella, Clostridium, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most commonly, people get necrotizing fasciitis when the bacteria enter the body through breaks in the skin, including cuts and scrapes, burns and surgical wounds, the CDC says.

But bacteria may also enter the body through insect bites. If a person scratches a bite hard enough, they can break open the skin, allowing bacteria to enter, Paulis said.

However, when this happens, "usually our bodies and immune systems are healthy enough to contain that and mitigate it," Paulis said. In very rare cases, necrotizing fasciitis can develop, but this is usually seen in people with other risk factors for the disease, such as older age, diabetes or kidney disease.

Paulis said she doesn't know why the patient developed necrotizing fasciitis when he had no other risks factors for it. "He was the epitome of health, 21 and young," Paulis said. It was also unclear what type of insect bit the man, the report said. But the man's blood and wound site tested positive for the bacteria methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which caused his infection.

Tests also revealed that the man's infection had caused him to develop yet another rare complication — a "septic" pulmonary embolism. This is a clot containing bacteria that travels from the site of the infection to the lungs, where it blocks blood flow and causes abscesses.

Paulis said one reason she decided to publish the case was to make doctors aware that the combination of skin and lung symptoms could indicate an infection along with a septic pulmonary embolism — a rare disease combination that she has seen only a few times in her career. "I think we should have it on our radars as emergency physicians," Paulis said.

The man was treated with intravenous antibiotics and surgery to remove dead tissue in his infected knee. He recovered fully and was able to leave the hospital after a few weeks, Paulis said.


Rats Suddenly Surge in Boston Suburbs

22 Oct 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

The suburbs have long beckoned certain city dwellers — recent college grads in search of cheaper rent, young families wanting more space — but another kind of urbanite is now discovering paradise among the green lawns and leafy streets beyond Boston.

And it’s not better schools they’re after.

We’re talking about rats. Long a scourge of densely populated cities like Boston, rats have suddenly scurried into the consciousness of Boston’s suburbanites. The loathed little beasts have infested neighborhoods, startled residents, and flummoxed local authorities charged with getting rid of them.

In Belmont, officials closed a popular children’s park twice in a recent five-month period because of rat infestations. In Peabody, rat problems are now a standing issue on the board of health’s monthly agenda.

“We’ve been visited,” confirms Reading Town Manager Bob LeLacheur Jr., who recently informed residents at a meeting of the town’s select board that money was no concern when it comes to battling a boom in the rat population. (And that was before one showed up on his driveway.)

Rich Cyr, lead technician from B & B Pest Control, baited rat traps (left) with peanut butter at a home in Marblehead and held a dead rat (right) found at a home in Lynn.Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Just how bad has it gotten? Over the summer, the city of Waltham declared a public health emergency.

“We had reports of 25 to 30 rats playing in puddles,” the director of the board of health told the Waltham City Council in August. The council, apparently unnerved, quickly approved $15,000 to address the problem.

To be sure, Boston remains a rat capital; in one review of 2015 census data, the city ranked as the second most rat- and mouse-infested city in the United States.

But exploding rat populations in smaller cities and towns have confounded experts, who say it’s happening around the country and even the world.

Theories regarding the causes include the possibility that growing suburban populations, along with a corresponding growth in garbage dumpsters and other public receptacles, have provided an abundant source of food. Some have also speculated that smaller cities and towns, being both budget conscious and unaccustomed to rat infestations, may have skimped on eradication efforts in the past, allowing small problems to turn into much bigger ones.

Another worry on the minds of many experts, though, is climate. Increasingly mild winters could be allowing rats to reproduce more often, with devastating results. Rats have a gestation period of only a few weeks and litters that can number up to 14. Those baby rats are then ready to reproduce a little more than a month after birth.

“You take one pregnant rat and you come back in one year, and all of the descendants of that one pregnant rat will have become 15,000 to 18,000 rats,” says Bobby Corrigan, a scientist in urban rodentology who travels the world — including to Boston — to study the creatures.

Once established in a community, rodents can be tricky to get rid of, in part because it requires a concerted effort to cut off their supply of food and shelter.

“The problem with rats is you can have them in a neighborhood, and five people are doing their due diligence, and a couple bad seeds can delay the elimination process,” says John Bozarjian, owner of Lynn-based B&B Pest Control, which serves Greater Boston.

As complaints about rats in suburban towns have piled up, local officials have launched a number of efforts: facilitating inspections of residential properties, increasing dumpster inspections and trash pickups, and, in the case of Peabody, filming a 30-minute public-access program dedicated to rat prevention.

Rich Cyr found evidence of rat activity in a crawl space under a home in Marblehead.Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

For a while, the town of Belmont went so far as to enact a “carry in, carry out” strategy at town parks, in which trash barrels were removed and guests required to carry out any trash they’d brought with them.

In Newton, the occasional rat sighting is nothing new, says Deborah Youngblood, commissioner of health and human services for the city. But after a run of complaints in recent months, the city has put on a full-court press in rat prevention.

Officials this summer began handing out a rat-related brochure to everyone stopping by town hall to pick up building permits, and a letter will soon go out to local restaurants detailing ways to discourage rats. The town has also launched a Web page dedicated exclusively to rats, where residents can report sightings and find basic information on preventative measures.

Rich Cyr entered a crawl space to place rat traps at a home in Marblehead.Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

I’ve definitely never talked about rats more,” says Youngblood.

In truth, says John D. Stellberger — president/entomologist of EHS Pest Services — mice probably pose a more significant health risk to humans, as, unlike rats, they often occupy homes or offices, scurrying across counter tops or feasting on desk crumbs.

But many people, he points out, can live with the occasional sight of a mouse.

Rats, on the other hand?

“There’s zero tolerance,” Stellberger says.

The good news is that, in at least some cases, the measures cities and towns are taking seem to be having an impact.

After twice closing Joey’s Park, the town of Belmont has instituted monthly checks of all its parks and keeps a pest control company on call for any issues that might arise.

“What we’re doing right now is working,” says Jay Marcotte, Belmont’s public works director. “Knock on wood.”

The bad news is that, while rat populations can be controlled with serious effort, the reality is rats are here to stay.

As Bozarjian put it, “There have been three mammals that have been surviving since the dawn of time: humans, mice, and rats.

“And they’re gonna be here till the end of time.”

To get rid of rats and rodents safely, contact EHS Pest.

Man dies of rare brain disorder after eating squirrel brains

16 Oct 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest Control, MA, RI

A man in New York developed an extremely rare and fatal brain disorder after he ate squirrel brains, according to a new report of the man's case.

In 2015, the 61-year-old man was brought to a hospital in Rochester, New York, after experiencing a decline in his thinking abilities and losing touch with reality, the report said. The man had also lost the ability to walk on his own.

An MRI of the man's head revealed a striking finding: The brain scan looked similar to those seen in people with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), a fatal brain condition caused by infectious proteins called prions. Only a few hundred cases of vCJD have ever been reported, and most were tied to consumption of contaminated beef in the United Kingdom in the 1980s and 1990s. (In cows, vCJD is commonly called "mad cow disease.")

But in this case, the man had another dietary habit that could have raised his risk for vCJD: His family said he liked to hunt, and it was reported that he had eaten squirrel brains, said Dr. Tara Chen, a medical resident at Rochester Regional Health and lead author of the report. It's unclear if the man consumed the entire squirrel brain or just squirrel meat that was contaminated with parts of squirrel brain, Chen said. [27 Oddest Medical Cases]

Chen didn't treat the patient, but she uncovered the case while writing a report on suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease cases seen at her hospital in the last five years.

The report was presented on Oct. 4 at IDWeek, a meeting of several organizations focused on infectious diseases.

A rare brain disorder

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a progressive neurological disorder that affects only about 1 in a million people each year worldwide, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It's a "debilitating disease" that progresses quickly and usually results in death within one year of diagnosis, Chen told Live Science. There is no treatment or cure.

The disease results from prion proteins that fold abnormally, leading to lesions in the brain.

There are three forms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD): one that is inherited, one that comes from exposure to infected tissue from the brain or nervous system (this form includes vCJD), and one type that is "sporadic" and does not appear to have a genetic or environmental cause.

The sporadic type is the most common, responsible for 85 percent of cases, according to the NIH.

Because CJD is so rare, doctors at Rochester Regional Health were surprised when four suspected cases of the disease occurred at the hospital within a six-month period, from November of 2017 to April of 2018. That number is higher than expected based on the population of the Rochester area, which has about 1 million people, said study co-author Dr. John Hanna, also a medical resident at Rochester Regional Health.

This high number of suspected CJD cases prompted Chen, Hanna and colleagues to conduct a review of suspected CJD cases occurring at their hospital from 2013 to 2018. (Five cases were identified, but two of those five ultimately tested negative for CJD.)

That's when the doctors came across the case tied to squirrel brains. Tests indicated that this was a "probable" case of vCJD because of the MRI finding and a test that showed specific proteins in the patient's cerebrospinal fluid, which often indicate the disease.

However, CJD can be confirmed only with a test of brain tissue on autopsy at death. Although the patient passed away after his diagnosis, Chen and colleagues are working to obtain access to his medical records to see if CJD was confirmed at autopsy. If so, such a confirmation would be highly unusual; only four confirmed cases of vCJD have ever been reported in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The review of the five cases revealed a concerning finding: Diagnosis of the condition was often delayed; in one case, about two weeks passed before doctors suspected that a patient had CJD. In that case, the patient, a 65-year-old woman, had undergone plasmapheresis, a blood-filtering procedure, and a gynecological surgery before her diagnosis.

Quick diagnosis of CJD is important, because infectious prions could contaminate equipment used on patients with the disease, and this might transmit the condition to others if the equipment is not properly cleaned.

Diagnosis may be delayed, in part, because CJD is rare and is not "on the tip of the physician's mind" when assessing a patient, Hanna told Live Science. In addition, once doctors suspect CJD and order a cerebrospinal fluid test, it typically takes around two weeks to get the test results.

The report highlights the need for doctors to keep CJD diagnosis in mind and for hospitals to have "policies for infection control when it comes to CJD," Hanna said.

For squirrel control, contact EHS Pest.

Source: Live Science

Southern CA Dealing with New Breed of Mosquito and They're on the Move

10 Oct 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

They’re tiny. They’re hungry. And they’re invading the city.

An invasive mosquito species called the Aedes is spreading at an alarming rate throughout Southern California, causing concern over possible disease outbreaks in the near future.

Known as the “ankle biter,” the Aedes has been making its home in Southern California over the last several years.

In Long Beach, the non-native species was first detected last year in the northwest corner of the city. This season they’re everywhere.

“They’ve colonized all the ZIP codes,” said Lamar Rush, a supervisor for the Long Beach Health Department’s Vector Control Program. “It started with a few calls last year, and this year it’s just exploded.”

Los Angeles County so far has seen two types of Aedes: the Asian Tiger Mosquito, native to Southeast Asia, and the Yellow Fever Mosquito, native to Africa. Both are found throughout the world.

And they’re troubling for many reasons.

While the region’s native Culex mosquito mainly feeds on birds, the Aedes prefers people, making them particularly aggressive.

They usually bite around the legs and ankles and feed during the day, whereas the Culex is nocturnal.

“They’re tiny so most people don’t even notice them until it’s too late,” Rush said. “Their bites are very itchy.”

There’s also the breeding habits.

The Cluex prefers to lay her eggs in clustered rafts on standing water. If you dump out the water, the eggs will dry up and die.

The Aedes attaches her eggs to a wall and covers them with a protective seal. If the water source dries up, the eggs can survive for years until they’re reactivated.

She only needs a tiny amount of space and water.

Office plants, flowerpots or even a discarded bottle cap with sprinkler water will do, said Susanne Kluh, the scientific and technical services director for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District, which oversees mosquito abatement in East Long Beach.

“We can’t even begin to describe what kind of a problem this poses,” she said.

Kluh said the problem began about two years ago and has been getting “exponentially worse.” In 2014, they would trap about five Aedes mosquitos a week in the county. Now they’re logging around 40 a night.

The county hotline to report mosquito bites is receiving about 1,400 calls each month, compared to around 150 calls in previous years, she added.

“The only good news is that they haven’t currently transmitted any diseases and they don’t fly very far,” Kluh said.

But if the problem persists, she said, Southern California could have an outbreak of diseases never before seen in the region.

The Aedes can transmit Dengue fever, Zika and yellow fever, while the Culex can only carry West Nile virus. The area will get some relief when breeding season ends this month, but Kluh said she’s expecting another record mosquito season next year.

“I’m afraid I don’t have much hope that it’s going to be any better,” she said.

Here are tips to prevent mosquito breeding around the home:

  • Empty any containers filled with water in and around the home.
  • Clean and scrub bird baths and pet water bowls at least once a week.
  • Dump water from potted plant saucers.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and drain water from pool covers.
  • Limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants.

For effective mosquito control, contact EHS Pest.

North Carolina Car Infested with Ants

09 Oct 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

A North Carolina family returned from a three-day trip to find the car they had parked at Charlotte Douglas International Airport had been broken into. Not by crooks, but by hundreds, maybe even thousands of ants. 

Caroline Tedder Hacker wrote on the airport’s Facebook page that they were in the engine compartment and all over the cabin. On the two-hour drive home to Greensboro, some were crawling on her 11-year-old.

Hacker told WCNC that they found a colony that had been built under the hood near the windshield.

The airport confirmed that similar incidents have happened in the past, and said that it regularly treats the area, but that it is a sporadic issue in the parking lot, which is next to a wet, grassy space where ants sometimes surface due to the weather and time of year.

“It just made me really irritated, because it’s happened to other people, just feels like it shouldn’t have happened, if it happened to other people,” Hacker told WCNC. Watch out for anthills where you park, keep your car clear of any food or crumbs and get it washed thoroughly to help prevent this type of infestation.

The airport has agreed to pay for the $200 cleaning charge the Hackers incurred, and also waive the parking fee.

The family has not said if they will be pursuing further compensation.

Looking for an effective ant colony removal, contact EHS Pest.

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