Asian Longhorned Tick

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Asian Longhorned Tick

Invasive New Tick Species

There is a new invasive tick species in the United States. The Asian Longhorned Tick has been identified in the Northeast and as close as Maryland, West Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina. This new tick species originates from China, Japan, Russia, Korea, Australia and other South Pacific regions. From the best known studies of introduction, it seems that it has been in our country as early as 2013, however official reports site 2017. With the Asian Longhorned Tick migrating to neighboring states, it is a concern for us to keep a look out for any signs of this species to address pest control measures here in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Asian Longhorned Tick primarily tends to find hosts on livestock animals such as cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens; it also has been found on deer, rabbits, bear, rats and birds. Some of our native tick species only feed on specific animals, however the Asian Longhorned tick will feed on anything. When they invade an area, they tend to feed in such large numbers, as to cause such massive blood loss to its host that it dies. The numbers are alarming, considering how fast this new tick can reproduce. Typically ticks found in our area can take two years from fertilization to adult. The Asian Longhorned Tick can lay up to 2,000 eggs that will produce young within 6 months. Under some climate conditions, two generations have been reported in a single season. Add to this fast lifecycle, the female can reproduce without needing a male to fertilize her eggs. They are also quite hardy survivors, as they can live for almost one year without a single feeding and will dig underground to survive an entire winter; even in cold winters of the Northeastern United States.

At this point of what is known of this new species of tick, it seems that mostly livestock, wild animals and outdoor pets are at risk. However this tick has shown behavior in other countries to also use humans as hosts. This poses health risks such as Japanese Spotted Fever, Russian encephalitis and severe fever with thrombocytopenia. Some of these are serious health concerns and should be considered a threat that should warrant regular inspection of your body, pets and livestock for ticks, as usual.

An Adult Asian Longhorned Tick is about the same size as many other ticks in our area (very small). They are light to dark brown in color but do not have any defining shapes or markings to assist in identification. This poses a challenge to positively identify this species. Therefore it is important to always check in tick prone areas such as ears, neck, back, groin, ankles, armpits and all underwear areas. Be careful to always wear pants tucked into your boots or socks, and long sleeved shirts if venturing into high grass or wooded areas of your property. Then inspect thoroughly when undressed. Also, continually check your outside pets for possibility of ticks.

Although the Asian Longhorned Tick has not been verified in Nashville, Tennessee, you want to report any suspicious looking ticks that you find. If you suspect ticks in your area, or in your home make sure to give Certified Pest Control a call so we can identify and define a treatment program to control your tick population.

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Leaf Insect

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Leaf Insect

Master of Disguise

The walking leaf is a master of disguise. They use camouflage as their main feature of defense. You may be looking right at one and not even know it, as they can look exactly like a leaf on a tree. The level of detail in their disguise is amazing, as they will even have dark or aged edges, with places that are notched out to perfectly mimic bite marks that any real leaf would have. To add to their realistic disguise, they even move back in forth in a motion that would look like a leaf blowing in the wind.

The leaf insect is part of the Phasmid or Phylliidae family. This would put them as close relatives to cockroaches, crickets, grasshoppers and praying mantis. Although many insects in its family species are considered pest control issues here in Nashville, Tennessee, the walking leaf is not. They primarily live in Australia and Southeast Asia. So we probably won’t be seeing one any time soon in Tennessee unless it is a pet. Yes, many people find this insect so interesting to look at, they keep them as pets.

They range in size from 1” to over 4” long, and as with many insect varieties the male is typically smaller then the female. Both the female and male leaf insect has front and rear wings but only the male can fly when under attack. Some species also have spikes on their hind legs that can help deter predators with a painful kick. So, if their camouflage is detected they really only have one line of defense.

Some leaf insects can reproduce without mating. The process is called parthenogenesis and when this method of having young happens, only females are born. It requires fertilization from a male to produce eggs that contain both male and female. Unlike many other insects they do not have a birth cycle that includes egg, larva and pupa like wasps, flies or ants. Depending on the species, the leaf insect lays eggs that can remain underground for one to three years or can be laid at the top of a tree and hatch in two to ten weeks. The eggs that are laid on the ground have a knob that looks like plant seeds that attract ants. This would seem to be the end of the life cycle for this new leaf insect. However this is still all part of the many stages of disguise that this interesting insect uses to survive. The ants see what they think is a seed, take it underground to their nest and eat only the knob. This leaves the egg completely intact for the leaf insect baby to develop. Being in the ant nest, they are in a very safe place, as they are then protected by the ant colony from any other possible predators. When hatched they resemble a very small adult leaf insect, also very easily confused with an ant. So, the babies can blend in with the ant colony until they can make their way out and begin their new life. The babies look brown in color when hatched, they then climb up the nearest tree and begin to feed on leaves which turns them green. Since they are herbivores and feed on the local plant life where they are born, their color resembles the habitat that they hide in.

The new females can lay eggs only a few weeks after becoming an adult. Also depending on the species, it can lay one hundred to one thousand eggs at one time. Their short lifespan of six months for a male and eighteen months for a female, still make for a very active birth cycle to ensure the continued life cycle.

The leaf insect shows that it is a master of disguise from egg, to hatching and eventually an undetectable leaf on a tree. It is truly an amazing camouflage artist.  

 

 

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Cockroach

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Cockroach

One Quick Family

Cockroaches are not only a pesky problem to have; they can also put those in your home in danger. Everyone hates to turn on the light to see scurrying roaches head for their hiding place. However cockroaches are not only a pesky problem to have; they can also put those in your home in danger. The health risks of having Cockroaches in your home can range from dysentery, polio and salmonella to asthma. The problem comes with the fact that they will eat most anything, including feces. After consuming such terrible bacteria full meals, it ruminates in their own digestive tract then they crawl over uncovered food and vomit or use the bathroom on our food. We then consume that bacteria and can get quite sick. Also their shed skin has been directly linked to acute asthma attacks in many, especially children. So not are they only an unsightly problem to have, it can lead to health problems if they have invaded your home.

There are more than 4,000 cockroach species worldwide; however the German cockroach, American Cockroach, Oriental Cockroach and Brown banded Cockroach are most common in Tennessee. These bacteria spreading pests need a place to live and breed and are quite persistent about entering your home.

Cockroaches can get into your house by hitching a ride in luggage, grocery bags, moving boxes, or many other items you bring in. They can even be on your clothes, and without knowing it, you have brought this fast breeding pest into your home for them to take over. A single female can live four to five months. In this short life span, she will lay enough eggs that she and her young can produce 200,000 – 300,000 new roaches in one year. As you can see, a few roaches can turn into an infestation very quickly. .

This fast breeder is also very resilient. Quite the survivor, roaches can survive for a month without food, can live for about a week without their head and can hold their breath under water for 30 minutes or more. Their body design also makes it a very effective survivor. As it is flat and low to the ground, this makes it very easy to enter and hide under baseboards, dishwashers, cabinets and refrigerators. This is the ideal place for them to live and breed; as they are looking for a place that is dark, has moisture and food. They will eat most anything including paper or paint in order to survive. The one thing that can cause them to have a limited lifespan is lack of moisture or water. Without any water present, the cockroach can only live for a week or two. Therefore they will also be found around laundry areas, drains and basements. Another quality that aids their survival is speed. A cockroach can bolt up to 2 - 3 miles per hour. Scale that speed up to human size, and if it’s if the cockroach is speeding at 200 miles per hour, and they can turn on a dime. Keep a quick eye out, because if you see one, there are no doubt many more of these speedy pests hiding.

So, you want to do all you can to keep your home free of this unwelcome pest. Make sure to keep food in sealed containers, keep the dirty dishes from piling up in the sink, clean the home regularly, keep areas around and behind appliances clean, don’t leave pet food out and take out the garbage regularly. If you practice some of these tips, it can help your home from becoming a breeding ground for cockroaches.

However, Cockroach issues require professional treatment in order to properly exterminate this pest. Our trained technicians first identify the type of cockroach you have in your home and thoroughly inspect to locate nesting sites. We will then utilize a professional control method that will eliminate not just the roaches you see, but the entire nest. If you are experiencing issues with Cockroaches in Nashville and middle Tennessee, please contact Certified Pest Control to properly diagnose your individual solution.

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Filbert Weevil

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Filbert Weevil

A Nutty Place to be Born

As the fall season progresses Oak trees can come under attack by pests and disease. This is most commonly manifested by a sticky sap that is dropped from trees covering cars, driveways and patios. This is evidence of something much more invasive and dangerous to the survival of the Oak tree’s future. So, what could be strong enough to destroy the offspring of one of the strongest trees in the United States? A small beetle with a long skinny snout can be one of the culprits. The Filbert Weevil is only about ¼” in length, with a snout almost as long as their entire body. The most common population is in the Western United States and Mexico, although we do have other nut weevils in Tennessee. The Filbert Weevil may be small, but this small pest is responsible for damage to acorns and making it possible for other smaller pests, animals and disease to destroy any possibility of a new Oak tree from sprouting.

The Filbert Weevil takes advantage of a perfect hard shell compartment to continue its life cycle and a place for their eggs to hatch and larva to develop into a fully grown adult.

They begin while the acorn is still on the tree and are smart enough to choose the shady side of the tree. This allows the nut to avoid the sunshine and possible cracking open due to the light and heat. If the nut was to crack open, it would expose their eggs and cause them to die. The method of entry into the outer shell is their snout which they use as a tiny drill. As the female aggressively drills into the hard acorn with her snout, she also gets a meal. The deeper she drills, the more nut meat she can eat on the way to making a home for her offspring. Once the tunnel or canal is drilled out, the Filbert Weevil will lay one or two eggs in the safe hard shell for them to develop. This will not be the only nut used, as the females are capable of laying 25 – 30 eggs in a mating cycle. The larva eventually hatch, safe and sound and surrounded by nut meat to feed on as they grow and mature. As the larva continues to grow, the fall season comes to the point of the Oak tree dropping its potential new saplings. As the acorns hit the ground, the Filbert Weevil gets the signal to emerge from its home as a full grown adult. It is now winter, so to survive the cold weather; the newly born Filbert Weevil bores a hole in the ground so it can survive until the next spring.

With the acorn now hollowed out and the outer shell compromised, it is now a prime target for other pests, animals and disease to enter. Prior to the Filbert Weevil boring the hole and eating out the inner nut meat, many of these other predators would not be able to break the shell or penetrate the interior. So, the potential sapling does not get a chance to produce another Oak tree. Now on the ground, they fall prey to many other insects, birds, squirrels and eventually disease.

This cycle of life begins with the Filbert Weevil looking for a safe, hard shelled and nutrient rich place to hatch their offspring. But in nature’s world of survival this ends the possibility of a new Oak tree.

 

 

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Asian Lady Beetle

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Asian Lady Beetle

Cute Bug or Uninvited Messy Houseguest

Asian Lady Beetles are commonly looked at as a cute and harmless bug. However if you are unfortunate enough to become home to this invasive species, it may not seem so cute anymore.

As the Fall Season enters our area, like many other insects, Asian Lady Beetles begin to look for protection from the cool temperatures. That leaves your home as a prime target for this seemingly harmless beetle to seek out for a safe and warm winter. Any cracks or openings around doors, windows, chimneys, plumbing or wires can be a great pathway into your home.

These beetles make the use of pheromones to send out the message that there is a nice warm area to gather. And in some cases, this gathering gets quite numerous. It is common for thousands of beetles to invade and make the attic space and wall voids in a single home, a place to overwinter. As warmer days come and go, they will seek their way into living spaces where they are seeking out warmer areas filled with sunlight to congregate. So, Asian Lady Beetles can become quite a nuisance, not just by thousands of them sharing your home, but they can also have other negative effects. Asian Lady Beetles can bite, although it is usually nothing more than a prick of the skin followed by a mild irritation, unless allergic. Another negative consequence is the stains they can leave on furniture, carpets, clothes and curtains. When agitated, they release a small amount of this foul smelling secretion. The liquid that is released from their legs will stain anything that they are on, with porous surfaces most susceptible to stains that will require thorough cleaning. If not cleaned in a short amount of time, these stains can become permanent. So be careful not to crush the beetle, unless you want a smelly mess to clean up.

Although the Asian Lady Beetle is not a natural inhabitant of Tennessee, we have plenty. This is because they were originally introduced in the U.S. by farmers to assist with protecting crops such as soybean fields. The beetle has a voracious appetite for aphids and can eat as many as 250 per day. This assisted farmers by becoming a natural pesticide. However, as with many insects, this introduction to a new environment has caused some areas to become overrun with tens of thousands of Asian Lady Beetles in a single home.

We do have native Lady Beetles. The keys to identifying the difference are color and patterns. Asian Lady Beetles are generally more orange or tan in color, have many spots and an obvious black and white “W” or “M” shape on the head area. The natural species is more of a red color, has less spots and mostly black area on the head. The native species is less aggressive, lives outdoors and helps control pests. So if you have an indoor invasion, more than likely you are becoming host to a very large Asian Lady Beetle horde. It has been suggested to simply remove them with a vacuum, and then empty the vacuum, to reduce the amount of beetles in your home. However, a more thorough approach is required involving treating the outside and inside of your home to get rid of this unwelcome winter house guest. Call Certified Pest Control today, to help assess your beetle issues.

 

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Emerald Cockroach Wasp

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Emerald Cockroach Wasp

A Wasp With a Pet Cockroach

This tiny wasp has a beautiful blue green body with legs that are red and blue. An adult female is only ¾’” long and lives primarily in Africa and South Asia.

Although this wasp is very small and colorful in appearance, it has a dark side to its behavior. The female of this species has the stinger, and she uses it to accomplish her very bizarre and predatory actions. Little is known of her mating habits; however once she is fertile this is when the Emerald Cockroach Wasp begins its hunt for a victim, a cockroach that will soon become the host for her egg.

The Emerald Cockroach Wasp stings the cockroach twice. The first sting is in the thorax, which temporarily paralyzes the cockroach’s legs to keep it from escaping. This gives the wasp time to initiate the second sting through the cockroach’s head and directly into its brain. After these 2 – stings, the wasp is tired. So to renew its energy it eats off portions of the cockroaches antennae and drinks some of its blood in order to complete this brain control process.

The second sting delivers venom in order to limit the ability to act normally once the paralysis wears off. As a matter of fact, the cockroach can move and walk, but it is completely under the control of the venom in its brain. While in this state, the Emerald Cockroach Wasp leads the cockroach like a pet dog, by its antennae, to its burrow and lays an egg on the cockroach. The venom works on areas of the brain that causes the cockroach to have no escape instinct, yet it can walk. This is very important, because it allows the wasp to use a much bigger victim, to its reproductive advantage. The wasp is so small that it could never carry the cockroach back to the burrow. Thus the ability to walk and be led by the wasp allows for the movement to a place where the wasp has even bigger plans. The poor cockroach may be able to move around slowly but it does not know what terrible fate is ahead. While confused and trapped in the burrow by the wasp, the egg hatches in about 4 days. The hatched larva then chews into the abdomen of the cockroach to live like a parasite inside the roach body. Over an 8 to 9 day timeframe, the larva eats the internal organs of the cockroach, in specific order in order to keep the cockroach alive. This gives it time to form a cocoon inside it, to further develop and grow.

Important to this portion of the development process, is protection from disease and bacteria. Especially considering that the wasp is living inside a potentially decaying cockroach body. A built in antimicrobial secreting mechanism allows the larva to remain safe.  The larva secretes enough of these antibiotics to keep all bacteria and viruses from harming it during this final incubation stage. After about six weeks a fully grown Emerald Cockroach Wasp exits the roach body and begins its adult life.

Adults live for several months, mate again and the life cycle continues. With the next generation of Emerald Cockroach Wasp looking for another poor unsuspecting cockroach to use to their advantage.

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Green Metallic Sweat Bee

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Green Metallic Sweat Bee

Photo By: Jon Sullivan / CC0

A Bee with a metallic appearance

Have you ever noticed the unique color of a Sweat Bee that lives in our state of Tennessee and most of the United States? Most of us group all small bees of this sort into sweat bees; however there are about 1,000 species of sweat bees. The Agapostemon or Green Metallic Sweat Bee is small, and therefore is difficult to get a good look at the beautiful color they display. If you are able to get a close look, their head and thorax are colored a metallic green or blue with most males displaying a typical yellow and black striped abdomen we associate with most bees. The shades of green or blue can vary depending on the light. But as you can see from the picture, it can be quite brilliant.

These small bees mate, then survive through winter by going underground with the females gathering a layer of fat that keeps them insulated through the cold temperatures. Many times nests are close together with multiple females sharing a common dirt burrow. Even though they share the same common area, each female creates their own tunnel where they are alone and can have their own specific area for laying eggs. When Spring comes, the fertilized females emerge and lay eggs in the underground nests. They use their inborn instinct to gather pollen grains to place in the nests for the expected larvae to feed on, once born. The fall spring generation of the year are almost all female, with the summer generation containing both male and female. This allows for the continued life cycle; for males to fertilize the females that will make it through winter and spawn the next fall spring generation.

The Green Metallic Sweat Bee is only ¼” to ½” in length and has a very short tongue. The overall size of the bee allows it to forage among a wider range of flowers, including very small clusters of blooms. However their small tongue limits them to favored plants in the Sunflower and Buckwheat family. They also prefer to visit composite flowers such as Daisies, Dandelions, Asters and Goldenrods. Spring and Summer are peak times of activity.

There are about 40 species of Green Metallic Sweat Beas and are considered very important in the pollination process.

Although Sweat Bees are drawn to human perspiration they really only want a drink. They like the salty liquid that we produce through perspiration and due to their size and weight many times we do not even notice that they have landed on our body. But resist swatting the bee against your body. They don’t prefer to sting, however if provoked or pressure is applied they will sting in self defense. Even though a sweat bee sting is not generally as painful as a bumble bee or wasp, make sure to remove the bee or stinger as quick as you can. To alleviate any pain or swelling, it is suggested to apply ice, use over-the-counter pain relievers and making a paste of baking soda or meat tenderizer.

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Southern Devil Scorpion

Southern Devil Scorpion

A Scorpion In Tennessee?

Most people think of Scorpions as residing in arid, dry areas such as Southwest areas of the United States. However, we do have Scorpions that reside here in Tennessee. The most common is the Southern Devil Scorpion, or also called the Unstriped Scorpion. In addition to Tennessee, they can be found in most of the Southeast. Scorpions are arthropods and classified as Arachnids which also includes spiders.

They are not deadly, like most Scorpions from the Middle East; however their sting can be quite painful. It has been likened to the sting of a wasp that produces pain, swelling and redness around the bite area. They are relatively harmless, as they are not actively looking to bite humans, although some people do have allergies to them and may need to seek medical attention if bitten and symptoms persist.

Mature adults are brown in color, are 1 ½” to 2” Long, have 8 legs, front claws, and a stinger on the rear. While most of the time they are skittish and run from danger, they can take a defensive stance with front claws outstretched and the tail / stinger raised up and over the body in a menacing posture. Do not get close if in this stance because they now feel in danger and can be quick to sting.

The female Southern Devil Scorpion can give birth to as many as 30 – 60 offspring. They are born not as eggs, but as live babies that are carried on her back for 4 – 5 weeks until they are large enough to live and hunt by themselves. At this point they shed their exoskeleton for a larger and tougher shell to survive as adults. They need this protection, as they have predators such as birds and lizards.

They are generally found at night due to the fact that they are nocturnal and will find hiding places underground, in wood piles, stacks of lumber, dead logs or even in trash. But as they venture out at night, they are looking for food such as small spiders, crickets and caterpillars. They use their tail to inject the venom into the prey, pin the insect down until it is dead, and then use their claws to pull apart pieces small enough to eat. 

Although their natural habitat is among the leaves and downed limbs outdoors, they can find their way into your house. This is through any cracks, crevices or unsealed doors and windows. The best way to protect from having the unfortunate encounter of a Southern Devil Scorpion in your house is through exclusion. Eliminate any openings, seal doors, windows, plumbing, electrical and any other devices that penetrate your walls from the outside. Also, cleaning up of debris, wood and leaf piles near the house will control their environment. An insecticide can also be applied to the outside perimeter of the home and glue traps along baseboards to discourage entry.

As with many other spider species such as Brown Recluse, if you suspect have Southern Devil Scorpions have invaded your home, be aware and take precautions. These scorpions look for dark hiding places. Always shake out stored blankets, shoes that have been stored, stacked clothes in closets or any other good dark hiding place. Although it is rare that we come across these in homes, they do reside here in Tennessee. So, be aware and cautious to avoid this painful sting.

Southern Flannel Moth

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Southern Flannel Moth

A Pretty Bug With a Dangerous Flare

What may look cute and furry, can lead to a lot of pain if touched. The Southern Flannel Moth (also known as the puss caterpillar) lay eggs that turn into larvae that has an appearance of having long soft hair. But do not let this tempt you to try and feel it’s fur. The moths are pretty, and so are the larvae, but they are very dangerous. They are actually one of the most venomous caterpillars in the United States.

As a caterpillar, in the early larvae stage, it’s body is about an inch long and tapers down to a tail that is longer than the body, with hairy legs and fuzzy black feet. It develops very curly hair that makes it look like cotton or tufted hair. The hair is silky yellow, grey, red or mixed in color. The adult is also very fuzzy in appearance, with an orange thorax and orange at the base of its short yellow wings.

Even though the hair may look very pretty, it is hiding spines connected to poison glands. When this hair is touched by a person, the venomous hairs become embedded in the skin. These hairs, or spines, inject poison into any human or animal that tries to touch it. The most common places to be stung are the hands, arms and feet. This poison can cause intense pain, vomiting and headaches. Severe cases have occurred, requiring medical attention. The pain has been described as blunt force trauma, even making the bones hurt. So be careful not to touch.

They are primarily found along the Eastern and Southern United States, Mexico, and parts of Central America. They are usually found on shade trees such as oaks, elms, maple, or on small bushes including roses.

 Southern Flannel Moth in its Caterpillar Form

Southern Flannel Moth in its Caterpillar Form

The southern flannel moth (puss caterpillar) mates twice per year. Females usually mate the night they actually come out of the cocoon. Then they lay their eggs during the next few nights. Their eggs are laid in single or double rows that are curved. They are found on leaves or small twigs and are covered with hair from the abdomen of the female. Her eggs hatch in a week to ten days.

They have caused major problems in the past. In 1923 a severe outbreak caused a Texas school system to shut down until they could get the caterpillar population under control. It was reported that thousands of stings were reported in a single breeding season.

If you have the misfortune of being stung by this venomous caterpillar there are several suggestions to ease your pain. You can wash the sting with soap and water. Once the sting is dry, try putting tape on the sting and pull it off to remove any of the spines that have become embedded in the skin. Then put rubbing alcohol or baking soda on the area which can neutralize the venom to reduce pain, itching, and swelling. Last, you can try using an ice pack to help with the pain.

So be on the watch, as they are in Tennessee. Although this caterpillar may look cute, furry and so tempting to touch – keep your distance.

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West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus

The Worst Kind of Mosquito Bite

Mosquitoes in the Nashville area have tested positive for the West Nile Virus this summer.  This news should cause everyone to want to learn a more about the virus, how it is spread and what can be done to protect your family from any risk of exposure.

West Nile Virus is a type of Flavivirus. These types viruses are responsible for causing dengue, yellow fever and encephalitis. It was first identified in Uganda in 1937 and is common in Africa, West Asia and the Middle East. West Nile virus first became well known in the U.S. in 1999 after an outbreak in New York City. It has now been reported in all US states except Alaska

The West Nile Virus is usually spread by infected Mosquitoes. West Nile Virus has been proven to be spread between mosquitoes and animal hosts, however birds are the most common host of the virus with over 200 species found to be infected. Some birds get sick and show symptoms of the disease, and may die, but others become infected and serve as carriers or hosts while showing no symptoms. House sparrows and crows have been blamed for the majority of carriers, since so many have tested positive for the virus. However, the Robin is actually suspected to be the main host and carrier of West Nile Virus in the United States. Birds have been proven to be able to transmit the disease to other birds, but this is not the case with humans or other mammals. Humans and mammals are considered “dead-end” hosts for West Nile Virus and cannot transmit the disease to others due to our bodies make up of virus fighting antibodies. Since this disease has been shown to change over time, there is a chance that as more mosquitoes feed on mammals, they could eventually become a host to the virus. But for now, all mammals are dead end hosts, with no risk of transmission.

The culprit Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on birds that are infected. After feeding upon the infected birds the virus circulates through their blood until it gets into the mosquitoes salivary glands. Then when the infected Mosquito chooses its next meal, whatever it bites can be injected with the virus. It affects anything that a mosquito chooses to bite including humans and animals. While Mosquitoes can carry the virus during their entire breeding season, early fall is when mosquitoes most likely have the highest levels of the virus.

Most people (80%) that are bitten by infected Mosquitoes have no symptoms of West Nile Virus. However 20% of people that become infected with the virus develop West Nile Fever. Symptoms include headaches, fever, stiff neck, rash, weakness, vomiting and disorientation. Fewer than 1% of people develop more severe symptoms and forms of the virus, such as encephalitis or meningitis. 

With the consequences of becoming infected being a serious concern, what can we do to avoid exposure? The best way is try to avoid Mosquito bites. Inspect the area around your house for any standing water that can be removed, including gutters, buckets, tarps, swimming pools or old tires. Any outside ornaments such as bird baths should be emptied and filled with fresh water regularly.  It is also suggested to use insect repellent, wear light colored long sleeves and pants when outside. 

The best approach is a collaborative effort with Certified Pest Control. Our trained technicians use a special application method that creates a very fine mist. Once a mosquito lands on this area, it will come in contact with the product and die in a short time. Most homeowners experience an 80 – 90% reduction in the mosquito population within a few treatments. The product is applied each month during the spring, summer and early fall.