Archive for the ‘Fort Lauderdale bedbug control’ Category

Bug Bites: Which Ones You Should Worry About

April 12, 2011

Bug Bites: Which Ones You Should Worry About

AP/The Huffington Post By LAURAN NEERGAARD

WASHINGTON — It’s that time of year when the bugs emerge to bug us.

Some can pose real threats – Lyme disease from tiny ticks, West Nile virus from mosquitoes, or life-threatening allergic reactions to bee stings. But most bug bites in this country are an itchy nuisance.

How itchy or big the welt depends in part on your own skin, how much of the chemical histamine it harbors. Yes, some people really are mosquito magnets. And no, most of the bites people blame on spiders aren’t from them at all.

In fact, chances are you won’t be able to tell the culprit unless you catch it in the act. Yet doctors and entomologists alike field calls asking, “What bit me?”

“People call up really bummed out,” says spider expert Jonathan Coddington of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, who points to just two worrisome types in the U.S., the black widow and brown recluse family. Spider phobia, he says, is “out of all proportion to actual risk.”

It’s not uncommon to have a large skin reaction to any bite or sting, and Dr. Reid Blackwelder, a family physician from East Tennessee State University, sees a couple of them a week in the early spring and summer.

“Most of the time, what people need is reassurance,” he says.

To explore the most bothersome biters, Coddington offered the AP a behind-the-scenes look at some of the millions of specimens in the Smithsonian’s entomology collections that scientists use to identify and study insects and arachnids.

Mosquito bites probably are the most common. Sure we’ve been told to watch out for them at dusk and dawn. But the Asian tiger mosquito – a fairly recent immigrant that has spread to 30 states since arriving hidden in some tires in Texas – bites all day long. It’s a more aggressive, harder-to-swat version than native species, Coddington says.

If it seems every mosquito’s after you, well, there are about 3,500 species around the world and Coddington says most don’t bite humans, preferring other animals instead. But those who do can be attracted by sweat, alcohol, perfumes and dark clothing.

Bedbugs are the latest headline-maker. Scientists can’t explain why they’ve suddenly rebounded in many U.S. cities after all but vanishing in the 1940s and `50s. But once they’re in a building, they’re famously hard to eradicate. You won’t feel their needle-like bite, but you might see a line of red dots in the morning.

Not so with horse flies and black flies. They cause painful welts, and they’ll chase any blood meal. And yellow jackets may be a bane of summer picnics, but they’re most aggressive in the fall, the reproductive mating season, Coddington notes.

Most people face no risk other than infection from scratching, but there are some important exceptions:

_Blacklegged tick species, commonly called deer ticks, that are as small as poppy seeds can transmit Lyme disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted more than 35,000 confirmed or probable cases of Lyme in 2009, the latest data available. These ticks are most active from May through July, and are most common in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, upper Midwest and Pacific coast.

If a tick’s been biting for less than 24 hours, chances of infection are small. So do a daily tick check. And the CDC recommends using insect repellent with DEET.

Antibiotics easily cure most people of Lyme. But other than Lyme’s hallmark round, red rash, early symptoms are vague and flu-like. People who aren’t treated can develop arthritis, meningitis and some other serious illnesses.

Different tick species around the country can transmit additional diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tickborne relapsing fever, and STARI or Southern tick-associated rash illness.

_West Nile virus is the main mosquito concern in the U.S. Although cases have dropped in the last decade, the CDC recorded 45 deaths from West Nile last year. Severe symptoms fortunately are rare but include high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, muscle weakness and paralysis, and the neurological effects sometimes are permanent.

To avoid mosquitoes, the CDC advises wearing insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Empty standing water where mosquitoes breed.

_At least 40 people a year die from allergic reactions to stings from bees or other insects, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Potentially life-threatening reactions occur in fewer than 1 percent of children and 3 percent of adults.

But seek care quickly for signs of an emergency, Blackwelder stresses: Swelling on the face or neck, shortness of breath or feeling dizzy. People who know they’re allergic should carry an EpiPen.

_Bites from a black widow or brown recluse can require medical care, although fatalities are incredibly rare. You may not feel the black widow’s bite, but within about an hour pain spreads through the abdomen, with cramping or rigid abdominal muscles. Poison centers stock antivenom, but most people do fine with muscle relaxants and other care, says Blackwelder, a spokesman for the American Academy of Family Physicians.

A brown recluse bite eventually forms an ulcerlike lesion that can get fairly large but usually requires just good wound care, he says. But other infections can be mistaken for these bites, so Coddington says bringing in the suspect spider helps identification.

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Melbourne, Vero Beach, Port Saint Lucie, Stuart, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Coral Springs, & Fort Lauderdale bedbug control tips

August 30, 2010

The EPA has listed the top ten bedbug control tips to take into account when you have bedbugs…take a look!

1. Make sure you really have bed bugs, not fleas or ticks or other insects.

You can verify your insect on our bed bug web page or check with your local extension agent.

2. Don’t panic.

Eliminating bed bugs is difficult, but it is not impossible. Don’t throw out all of your belongings; most of them can be treated and saved. Throwing out belongings is costly, may spread the infestation, and could be unnecessarily stressful.

3. Think through your treatment options — Don’t immediately reach for the spray can.

Be comprehensive in your approach. Integrated pest management techniques may reduce bed bug populations and limit pesticide exposure to you and your family. If pesticide treatment is needed, it is best to bring in a professional. There is help available to learn about integrated treatment options.

4. Reduce the number of hiding places — Clean up the clutter.

A cluttered home provides more places for bed bugs to hide and makes locating and treating for them more difficult. If bed bugs are in your mattress, using a mattress/box spring encasements makes it more difficult them to get to you while you sleep. To be effective they must be left in place for a year. Be sure to buy a product that has been tested for bed bugs and is strong enough to last for the full year without tearing.

5. Frequently wash and heat-dry your bed linens.

Wash bed spreads, and clothing that touches the floor to reduce bed bug populations. Bed bugs and their eggs can hide in laundry containers/hampers so clean them when you do the laundry.

6. Do-it-yourself freezing is not usually reliable for bed bug control.

While freezing can effectively kill bed bugs, temperatures must remain extremely low for an extended period of time. Home freezers typically are not cold enough to kill bed bugs. Freezing temperatures outside may be used to kill bed bugs, but can take several days (at 0oF) to almost a week (at 20oF).

7. High temperatures can kill bed bugs.

Raising the indoor temperature with the thermostat or space heaters won’t do the job, though. Space heaters must always be used with care, as they have the potential to cause fires and serious burns. Specialized equipment and very high temperatures are required to successfully heat treat a structure. Black plastic bags in the sun might work to kill bed bugs in luggage or small items, provided the contents become hot enough (approximately 110oF for at least 3 hours).

8. Don’t pass your bed bugs on to others.

Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers. If you throw out a piece of furniture that is harboring bed bugs, take steps to destroy the item so that no one else adopts it (along with the bugs!).

9. Reduce populations to reduce bites.

Thorough vacuuming reduces populations. Carefully vacuum rugs, floors, under beds, around bed legs, bed frames, and all cracks and crevices around the room. Thoroughly vacuum upholstered furniture. Change the bag after each use so the bed bugs can’t escape. Place the used bag in a tightly sealed plastic bag and in an outside garbage bin. will reduce the populations.

10. Turn to the professionals, if needed.

Hiring an experienced, responsible pest control professional can increase the likelihood and the speed of success in eliminating bed bugs from your home. If you hire an expert, ensure it is company with a reputable history and ask them to use an IPM approach.) Contact your State pesticide Agency for guidance about hiring professional pest control companies.

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