Tag Archives: vector borne disease



Julie Green

Real Housewives and Vector Borne Disease?

Posted by Julie Green

I will admit I am a huge Real Housewives fan. I know, I know it isn’t exactly Emmy award winning stuff, but after a long day of juggling work, a toddler and an active duty military husband who is often away, sometimes it is oh so nice to get caught up in the (ridiculous) world of these ladies. It is completely mindless TV and certainly has never intersected with my job or blogging about mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. Until now, that is.

This week on her blog the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Foster opened up about her struggle with Lyme disease and news articles started popping up all over my Twitter and Facebook feed. I was so shocked to read about the incredible journey she’s been on; first trying to get diagnosed and then her battle with this terrible disease all brought on by a tick bite. But more importantly than that, I was really inspired by her bringing this to light and sharing a personal story. Very little is known about Lyme disease and there is no vaccine or cure.

Lyme disease is transmitted by the deer tick and in 60-80 percent of cases, a rash resembling a bull’s eye appears and expands around or near the site of the bite. The early stage of Lyme disease can include symptoms such as chills and fever, headache, fatigue, stiff neck, muscle and/or joint pain. If Lyme disease is unrecognized or untreated in the early stage, more severe symptoms may occur. As the disease progresses, severe fatigue, a stiff aching neck, and tingling or numbness in the arms and legs, or facial paralysis can occur. The most severe symptoms of Lyme disease may not appear until weeks, months or years after the tick bite. These can include severe headaches, painful arthritis, swelling of the joints, and heart and central nervous system problems such as what Yolanda Foster describes in this interview.

Just last week I was blogging about the new tick borne virus out of Kansas and here I am talking about ticks again. It may seem like the problem is growing rapidly, but really it is our awareness that’s growing, thanks to people like Yolanda who talk about their health journey and advocate for vaccines and cures. It is also something to keep in mind because spring will be here before we know it. As I said just last week, if you’re someone who spends a great deal of time or works outdoors, it is important to keep yourself covered during prime tick season. If you have questions about tick control for your yard for the 2015 season,  just give us a call.

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Julie Green

New Tick Borne Disease Identified

Posted by Julie Green

Over the Christmas holiday some unsettling news came out of Kansas. Over the summer a farmer from Bourbon County, Kansas passed away after only 10 days in the hospital. With many tick bites from farming and his symptoms mimicking those of other tick borne illnesses, those were the first tests run. He tested negative for Rocky Mountain Fever and Lyme Disease. After more testing was done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Kansas it was confirmed he had a virus that had not been previously identified.

An otherwise healthy man, the virus has been attributed to ticks, and was named after the residence of the farmer, Bourbon Virus. “We don’t know the full spectrum of disease because it’s the first case,” says Dana Hawkinson, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at The University of Kansas Hospital. For example, no one knows whether or not the disease is usually deadly or if there could be more mild cases from which future patients could recover. Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches and a general feeling of malaise. But while similar tick-borne illnesses typically are treated with antibiotics, this disease is transmitted by a virus, and therefore won’t respond to the medication.

While we’re in the middle of winter, this isn’t really a concern as ticks are only active from around April to September. But, it is something to be mindful of as we all dream of warmer weather. If you’re someone who spends a great deal of time or works outdoors, it is important to keep yourself covered during prime tick season. If you have questions about tick control for your yard for the 2015 season,  just give us a call. As research continues and more information is revealed about the virus, Mosquito Joe will keep you updated.

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Julie Green

The One Christmas Present You Don’t Want

Posted by Julie Green

This time of year is best known for Christmas trees, carols and eggnog. Some people are singing along to “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!” while others are saying “Forget that!” and heading south for the holiday season to soak up a little more sun and warm temperatures. We fully support any plan that involves sunshine and warm air, but we wanted to give you a few tips for traveling to southern areas, like the Caribbean, where chikungunya is prevalent.

Exactly one year after the mosquito borne virus made its first appearance in the Western hemisphere last December, the virus that has spread throughout the Americas has topped the 1 million case mark, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) this past Friday. Originating in Africa, the virus has rapidly spread into the Caribbean and Central and South Americas, with cases in the United States as well. In the past, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would only see an average of 28 cases of chikungunya in the United States brought by travelers who had visited affected countries (primarily in Asia), but so far in 2014 there’s been over 1,900 recorded cases stateside. While rarely fatal, the disease can be painful with joint pain, high fever and muscle pain.

If you are traveling to a country where chikungunya is transmitted by mosquitoes, take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Wear long sleeves and avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active (dusk and dawn).  As always Mosquito Joe will keep you updated on all new information when it comes to Chikungunya, and travel safely this holiday season!

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Julie Green

Chikungunya: An Update

Posted by Julie Green

It is hard to miss the headlines in the news when it talks about a new virus spread by mosquitoes, and even harder when those news reports have titles such as Third Case of Chikungunya Reported in Dallas County and Locally Acquired Chikungunya Has Arrived in Florida. It is enough to worry anyone who faces mosquitoes and let’s face it – that’s just about everyone.

We told you all about chikungunya virus in our blog post back in July and how until late 2013 the virus was only found in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Then it made its way to the Caribbean, where travelers began bringing it back to the United States. We wanted to give you an update on the virus, and remind you that while it is not lethal – it is something to be aware of because the virus has reported cases in 47 states.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of September 30, a total of 1,211 chikungunya virus disease cases have been reported in the United States. Eleven locally-transmitted cases have been reported from Florida, and that means the virus was not brought in from another country – it was acquired in Florida. When we discussed numbers in July, they were significantly lower.

The CDC assures us that Chikungunya is not lethal like other mosquito borne illnesses such as West Nile, but it is something we would of course like to avoid. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.

If you are traveling to a country where Chikungunya is transmitted by mosquitoes or in a state that has a high number of cases such as New York, New Jersey or Florida, take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Wear long sleeves and avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active (dusk and dawn). If you’re interested in avoiding mosquitoes here at home, our barrier treatment sprays are a great way to keep your yard itch free. As always Mosquito Joe will keep you updated on all new information when it comes to Chikungunya. Have you mastered the pronunciation yet?

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Julie Green

Women of Mosquito Joe: Serife Norfleat

Posted by Julie Green

If there is one thing we have learned it is that there are many misconceptions about women in the pest control industry! So while we could write a blog post about the pest control industry and why women are a good fit for Mosquito Joe, we thought there were a few people who could do a better job. In our blog series the Women of Mosquito Joe, we highlight the incredible women that are a part of the MoJo family and why it is no longer a man’s world!

This month we chatted with Serife Norfleat of Mosquito Joe of Cape Coral, FL. Serife and her fiance Buddy own their franchise together. Serife oversees the day to day operations of the business but is never afraid to get out there with her technicians. Mosquito Joe allowed Serife and her husband-to-be to relocate to Florida earlier than anticipated, so they’re enjoying the warmer weather. In the news these days in Florida it is hard to miss the articles about Dengue FeverWest Nile, and even the new (to the United States) virus from the Carribbean, Chikungunya. The services provided by Buddy and Serife make sure their customers are not only itch free, but also help protect them from these mosquito transmitted diseases.

What motivated you to get involved in Mosquito Joe?
We had just purchased a house in Cape Coral, FL and on our flight back home to Maryland we came across an article about Mosquito Joe in the Southwest Airlines magazine.  Mosquitoes love me and if there is one around it will make sure it attaches itself to me and bites!  This franchise sounded like the perfect opportunity for us, and it allowed us to move into our new home faster.

What’s your typical day during the season?   
I answer phone calls and schedule service for new customers. I make phone calls to current customers that we have recently sprayed to follow up with them on their service.  I always follow up with each new customer 1 week after the initial spray.  I send out reminders to customers who have an upcoming spray and call those customers that don’t have an email address.  At the end of the day I make sure that all invoices have been sent and then the very important job of having the routing optimized for the technicians for the next day of spraying.  Throughout the day I am answering questions that come in and looking for new ways to promote our business.

What are some of the most common questions you get asked by customers or potential customers?
People always want to make sure that it is safe for their pets, and since we target fleas and ticks too, we help get rid of pet itches too! They also generally ask how long they have to stay inside before going back out in their yard (only 30 minutes!) and how soon will they notice the results. I love being able to tell them they’ll see a difference in their mosquito population in just 24-48 hours.

Why is a Mosquito Joe business a good fit for women?
I love the fact that you are able to work from home.  You have flexibility which is very important if you have kids or loved ones that you also need to take care of.

What do you find most empowering about your job?
I love being that initial contact and explaining what we do and how we can help.  Then getting that phone call or seeing a review that is thanking you for helping them be able to enjoy the outdoors again is an awesome feeling.

Thanks Serife!

We’re so proud Serife and  Buddy are a part of the Mosquito Joe family. If you would like more information about Mosquito Joe of Cape Coral and their mosquito treatment services in Florida, be sure to check out their website and read more about what they offer. And if you’re interested in the Mosquito Joe franchise opportunity, we’d love to hear from you. You could be the next Woman of Mosquito Joe!

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