Safe Treatments for Outdoor Pests
Mosquito control can be a make it or break it for many residential properties during the warm parts of the year. For many homeowners who enjoy active lifestyles with their family and pets, it’s an annual grievance to dash outside to play in the yard the first warm weekend of the year only to be eaten alive by outdoor pests like mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. Not only are these undesirable bugs a nuisance, but they can also pose a risk to your health with myriad diseases that they can carry and transmit. If you are investing in a lawn service to make your yard a lovely place to spend time, you shouldn’t be forced inside by the threat of blood sucking bugs. Mosquito control is an affordable option to reclaim your lawn and enjoy your yard this summer.
Diseases Carried by Mosquitoes, Fleas, and Ticks
Aside from being irritating to anyone exposed to them, mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks can be dangerous due to the blood borne illnesses they carry and transmit to the people they bite. Most of these diseases are transmitted when an infected person or animal is bitten by the transmitter, allowing for the pathogen to be absorbed and transferred to a new host. Diseases transmitted this way range widely in their pathology and those most at risk.
Mosquitoes are typically of the greatest concern due to the severity and prevalence of the issues they can cause for both people and pets. The two diseases transmitted by mosquitoes that are of greatest concern in Virginia are Zika virus and West Nile virus. While there are no current reports of local Zika virus transmissions and all report cases in the US have been caused by international exposure, it is being closely monitored by the CDC for the severity of its symptoms and risk to pregnant women. West Nile virus, on the other hand, is the leading cause of mosquito borne illness in the continental US, according to the CDC. West Nile can easily lead to potentially fatal complications, and a record high number of cases were reported in Virginia in 2018.
Mosquitoes can also pose a threat to pets as well. Heartworm disease, a fatal illness caused by a parasitic infection transmitted by mosquitoes, is common in the Southeast. Heartworm disease is most common in dogs, but can be found in cats as well. Despite being preventable with different options through a veterinarian, reducing exposure in the first place through professional mosquito control helps give many homeowners peace of mind.
Where ticks are concerned, these nasty arachnids are prevalent in Virginia. Black legged ticks, lone star ticks, and American dog ticks are the three most common tick species in our area. Ticks bite and latch on to their hosts and can be difficult to notice, remaining on skin for up to several days before falling off if left undetected. The longer a tick stays attached, the greater the risk of contracting illnesses such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and more. These diseases can be very serious, chronic, or fatal, and they can infect both people and pets.
Fleas are more of a nuisance due to the severe itching they cause, but they do carry some rare diseases that should be mentioned. Illnesses like bubonic plague, murine typhus, and tularemia are present in the US and transmittable through fleas. For pets, fleas have a greater chance of causing issues. Fleas are a leading cause of dermatitis as well as tapeworm infections in dogs and cats.
Professional Treatments for Mosquito Control
In recent years, professional application of pesticides to kill and deter mosquitoes as well as fleas and ticks has been an increasingly popular service for many homeowners. At affordable rates, families are able to enjoy a convenient service that eliminates most of these outdoor pests without the hassle and flaws of bug spray, citronella candles, or other preventatives. In Virginia alone there are many companies receiving the proper licensing to apply pesticide treatments and offer these services to their clients.
Unfortunately, the default products being used by most mosquito control companies in our area are synthetic pesticides such as bifenthrin. Bifenthrin is effective in its elimination of insects in a treated area, but it comes with many health and environmental risks. This is why applicators for these companies will be seen with heavy protective equipment, making them almost appear to be wearing a hazmat suit while treating a yard. Bifenthrin and many comparable products are labeled as possible carcinogens by the EPA and are known to be highly toxic to bees as well as fish exposed to its runoff. As a result, the cost of the excessive use of this product in more and more communities is higher than what a simple dollar payment can measure. More and more homeowners and applicators alike are taking a serious look at what it implies for our waterways, pollinators, and families.
As a result, great improvements have recently been made to the natural alternatives available for mosquito control as well as the reduction of fleas and ticks in residential yards. These natural products, like the one that PPLM uses for our outdoor pest control services, utilize cedar oil and other organic products that are recognized as being of minimum risk to environments and communities. In fact, these products are so safe that applicators can safely apply them without the hazmat suit commonly associated with mosquito control treatments. While being just as effective as synthetic options in killing outdoor pests on contact and then repelling them for several weeks, these products are also safe for pollinators when applied properly. The icing on the cake? Natural applications like the ones PPLM perform are no more expensive than the synthetic option.
Yes, you have read this correctly. With PPLM, you can have professional mosquito control with the option of flea and tick control as well; you can have this service with no risk to your family or pets; you can have peace of mind that it’s safe for pollinators and the greater environment; you can enjoy the same efficacy as synthetic treatments; AND you don’t have to pay anything extra. It’s a win-win! With spring underway, now is a great time to give PPLM a call to get signed up for our Pest Package that provides regular visits during mosquito season at a flat monthly rate. Take back your yard and enjoy your Picture Perfect investment.