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Is Pennsylvania the "Bull's Eye" for Lyme Disease?

Here in West Chester, Newtown Square and Mainline areas, most residents have experienced the perils of Lyme Disease first hand. Whether the disease has affected a family member, a friend, or a friend of a friend, the reality of Lyme Disease is all too common among Pennsylvanians.

As we move into the autumn, ticks and the illnesses they carry, are a primary concern in backyards all over Pennsylvania. While ticks can remain active all year-long if the weather conditions are right, the adult stage of the deer tick is most active during the seasonal weather changes between summer and fall. Adult deer ticks are most common and pose the biggest threat during the month of October in much the same way the nymph deer tick is most active as the weather changes between spring and summer.

There is a misconception that only tiny, nymph ticks are capable of spreading illnesses such as Lyme Disease. This is certainly not true as these ticks are capable of spreading disease during the adult phase.

Did you know that Pennsylvania leads the nation in Lyme disease cases? The fact is, we had 7,351 confirmed cases of the disease in 2015 which accounted for nearly a quarter of all U.S. cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the actual number of Lyme cases is in reality about 10 times higher because many cases go unreported.

Thousands of Pennsylvanians suffer from chronic Lyme Disease, based on statistics from the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS). About 40 % of Lyme Disease patients end up with long-term health problems.

Congress and Pennsylvania’s General Assembly recently passed legislation addressing Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses, but without a cash commitment. However, Pennsylvania spends $2 million a year tracking West Nile Virus and spraying for the mosquitos that carry West Nile. Since the state began tracking the disease in 2000, Pennsylvania in only two years has had 60 or more confirmed human cases of West Nile.

In a recent artlicle from Public Opinion, advocates are urging government to fund research for Lyme Disease. This comes in light of the sheer number of new cases of Lyme in PA, which increases each year. Additionally, the 2017 tick season is predicted to be one of the worst based on the mild winter the area experienced.

With this in mind, One of the best ways to reduce your risk of contracting a tick-borne illness is to reduce your risk of coming into contact with a tick in the first place. When venturing into unprotected, untreated areas it is crucial to exercise common sense practices when venturing into areas where ticks are likely. The CDC provides a helpful guideline for hikers and campers outlining the best way to stay protected.

Here on the homefront, Mosquito Squad of Chester and Delaware Counties offers a combination of techniques to get rid of ticks in your yard and keep them from coming back. First, we treat the entire property with our barrier control application, which eliminates adult ticks on contact. This treatment will last for up to 21 days before it has to be reapplied.

Once the mosquito treatment is in place, we can then place tick tubes in strategic locations throughout your yard to entice mice — the main host for Lyme Disease. The biodegradable tubes are filled with treated cotton that the mice will naturally use to build their nests. Most juvenile ticks get their first taste of blood from mice, so they are exposed to the treatment when they go to feed. Our dual approach to tick control program reduces your risk of coming into contact with a tick that could potentially infect you with Lyme Disease.

Contact Mosquito Squad of Chester and Delaware Counties at (610) 674-0799 for more information about our tick control and prevention service.

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