Zika Virus- “Let our family PROTECT your family”

pregnant women

“In addition to the illness associated with the virus, there is great concern about the virus’ potential effect in pregnant women as there is mounting evidence of a link to microcephaly, a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development in infants.”

Zika Virus in the U.S.

 

Background

Zika virus: a disease causing pathogen spread to humans through mosquito bites, being found in the U.S. is quickly gaining momentum and receiving national attention from the media as human cases are being confirmed in states across the country, including FL, TX, NY, NJ and more.
Zika baby

10 Essential Facts about the Zika Virus

1. The Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes and people BUT spread by mosquitos!

2.Symptoms of Zika Virus infection are usually mild (Joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes, itchy red eyes)

3.Unborn babies are most at risk from Zika virus complications.

4. There’s no vaccine to protect against the Zika virus.

5. Zika began in Africa and spread Rapidly.

6. Zika has reached Puerto Rico’s mosquitoes and map keep traveling north.

7. All U.S. cases of the Zika virus disease are travel-related.

8. Travelers probably won’t bring the infected mosquitoes home with them.

9.  You can prevent Zika infection by using the insect repellents when traveling.

10. Mosquito control can help prevent Zika,

How can I prevent mosquitoes?

Seitz Brothers offers a program to help prevent mosquitoes! We come to your home and spray the perimeter and all the landscaping once a month. This service is $55.00+ tax per month (price may vary for larger properties)

Mention this article and get 10% off each service!

PLEASE NOTE: We are NOT experts in discussing the virus, nor can we speculate on its potential to spread.


 

Source: NPMA, Everydayhealth.com

July Pest of the Month | Roaches

 Cockroach – American cockroach

Common Name: Cockroach – American cockroachcockroach-01
Latin Name: Periplaneta americana
Common Family Name: Blattid cockroaches
Latin Family Name: Blattidae

Origin: Possibly from northern Africa or Asia, but found worldwide for many centuries now. It occurs throughout the United States as a common indoor and outdoor cockroach, and in some areas may be more common than the German roach.

Biology: This species is common outdoors in landscape plantings, in sewers or storm drain systems, and in lower areas of buildings where moisture may be greater. It may inhabit storm drains in huge numbers, emerging though man-hole covers at night to invade buildings. They will feed on most carbohydrate or protein based materials, including human hair or finger and toenails. Each female produces around 10 egg capsules, carrying the capsule for a day or two and then carefully placing it in a protected location. Each egg capsule has an average of 15 eggs in it and these hatch in about 45 days. Development to the adult stage averages about 450 days, but may take well over 2 years in colder climates. Adults live an average of around 1 year, but potentially can live almost 3 years.

Roach2Identification: The American roach adult has fully developed wings and is capable of some flight, usually from an upper location to a lower surface. It is reddish brown with a yellow ring around the prothorax. Adults may be up to 1.5 inches long from head to tail, with extremely long antennae. The cerci are long and thin, a character that separates the nymphs of American roaches from those of Oriental roaches.

 

 

Characteristics Important in Control: Since this species is abundant outdoors, control begins withcockroach-american habit management in the outdoor areas. Removal of harborage sites under debris or piles of wood and discarded materials will reduce populations near a structure. Control of food and moisture sources outdoors and indoors are important. Granular insect baits are well accepted, and the use of a perimeter treatment with a residual insecticide will intercept many individuals that attempt to access a structure

 

Source: pestweb.com

Bed Bug Questions, Answered

 

It’s bed bug awareness week | And if you’ve got questions? We’ve got answers!

 

Q: What are some of the most common places to get bed bugs??
A: Well bed bugs can come from anywhere. But some of the most common places they are found are (but not limited to):
  1. Hotels
  2. Public Transportation
  3. Movie Theaters
  4. Retail Stores
  5. Medical Facilities
  6. Home
  7. Friends’ Home
  8. Work Place
Q: Are bed bugs more attracted to dirty homes?
A: No. This is a common and incorrect stigma. Sanitary conditions DO NOT affect the ability to get bed bugs or add any kind of attractive factor when it comes to them. Anyone can get them, regardless of sanitation.
Q: Years ago I rarely ever heard about bed bugs, why does it seem like they’re everywhere now?
A: There are a lot of factors that play a role in bed bug population, but a lot of it has to do with the increase of travel. Years ago people weren’t as likely to just hop on a plane and head overseas for vacation or across the country hitting up a hotel after hotel. Also there has been a significant increase in college education. Now more teenagers pack up their stuff and head into dorm rooms and study abroad programs all over the world.
To add to the interaction between people and places, the bed bugs themselves have become adaptive to many pest control products. The University of Kentucky released a study on bed bugs proving that their genes have developed a resistance to pesticides alone…
The Scientific American reported, “The high number of resistance genes in all populations examined by Palli and his colleagues is ‘horrifying,’ says Rajeev Vaidyanathan, an associate director of vector biology in the Center for Immunology and Infectious Disease at SRI International, who was not involved in the study. That the bugs have multiple ways of undermining the effects of pesticides is ‘devastating,’ he adds.
Q: I did my research and the internet has a lot of “do it yourself” ways to get rid of bed bugs, do any of them work?
A: This is not a pin it on Pinterest kind of ordeal… if you have bed bugs, you have a serious problem. The longer you wait, the worse the infestation is going to get. We’ve heard it all…dryer sheets, rubbing alcohol, garlic, kerosene heaters, over the counter sprays, and even complete clean outs. The truth is, the only proven and effective way to remove bed bugs is by a professional who offers heat treatment. There are certain steps you  could do to help your situation: wash clothing and linens in hot water and dry on high in your dryer, use a steam cleaner or hairdryer for shoes and other non-washable items to stop from spreading the eggs, and stay out/off infested areas within your home. Bed bugs, like stated before, are resistant to certain professional products, but heating a facility with the proper equipment and at the right temperature is the most proven method to remove and rid your home of these pests. This is not a DIY project; this is a call a professional matter.
Q: My couch has bed bugs, should I just throw it out? Will it get rid of my problem?
A: No. We realize that everyone’s first instinct would be to remove the item that is infested. It seems simple: remove the couch and then the bed bugs go with it. However, doing that has the opposite effect. When you take that couch or mattress through your home to throw it out, those bed bugs go everywhere but ‘out’. By doing that you are now spreading them and their eggs throughout your home. They could now be on the carpeting, the walls, the stairs, the legs of your pants and the bottoms of your shoes. Keep the item in your home, heat treatments now allow us to kill the bed bugs without removing all your belongings.
Q: My husband has bites but I don’t. How are these marks from bed bugs when we both sleep in the same bed?
A: This is a common occurrence and is often a misdiagnosis when it comes to bed bugs. In these situations the bit marks are actually misconstrued for a rash. The truth is that two people can sleep in a bed with bedbugs and only one will be visually bitten. Those who are visually bitten are actually having an allergic reaction to the anesthetic injected by the bed bug. You see, when bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant (blood clotting deterrent) that prevents a person from realizing they are being bitten. Most people do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite. Some people never develop any sign of being bitten at all.
Q:I have pets, can they get bit?
A: Bed bugs prefer to bite people and will not seek out animals unless a human host cannot be found. Pet bedding and fur can carry bed bugs, but they will travel to humans to actually feed.
Q: Can bed bugs carry diseases?
A:Bed bugs should not be considered as a medical or public health hazard. Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep along with allergic reactions.

 

Remember, Seitz Brothers always offers free estimates and provides the most advanced heat treatment to eliminate bed bugs. If you think you’re having an issue with bed bugs, call us today for information or to set up an estimate. If you have any other questions regarding bed bugs, please don’t hesitate to call your local office, we’d be happy help!

New Tick Virus| Get The Facts

Deer-Tick1Recently the social media scene has exploded with stories of a new virus that can be carried by the dreaded deer tick. We’ll all familiar with them carrying Lyme Disease but now there could be another more dangerous and severe virus associated with them known as Powassan Virus.

What is Powassan Virus??

– Powassan (POW) virus is transmitted to humans by infected ticks

-The Northeast and Great Lakes region have had the most cases

-Signs and symptoms of infection can include: fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. Also long-term neurological problems may occur.

-Powassan virus has no specific treatment. People with severe POW virus illnesses often need to be hospitalized for respiratory support, intravenous fluids, or medications to reduce swelling in the brain.

– “Unlike with Lyme and the other big infections from this tick, there is virtually no ‘grace period,’ ” he said. “It is transmitted much faster, and it can be fatal in about 10 percent of actual cases.”-Thomas Daniels, Entomologist

gty_deer_tick_ll_130820_16x9_992

New Outbreak???:

-This virus is NOT new

-Within the last 10 years there have been 60 cases of the POW Virus

– An infection rate of this virus is below 3 percent in adult ticks (lower in nymphs)

-Any increase in the virus can be due to the increase in tick population and is dependent upon factors such as weather and geographical location

 

787449How to Prevent

-You can reduce your risk of being infected with POW virus and Lyme Disease by:

-use tick repellents, like DEET

-Avoid wooded areas

-Wear long sleeves and pants, and high socks with covered shoes

-Always do thorough tick checks after spending any time outdoors

There is no doubt that these little insects can lead to big problems, especially when it comes to our health. The best thing is to stay informed, take the right precautions, and always keep an eye out for bites and symptoms. If you’re concerned that you may have an issue this year at your home, call us. We do free estimates and we can treat your property for ticks and other harmful insects. We’ve been specializing in keeping your family safe since 1975, call us today to treat the ticks away!

References:

www.lohud.comhttp://www.cdc.gov/powassan/

Asbestos Awareness

asbestos-sign.2Asbestos Awareness Week has come to a close, but it’s important to stay safe and alert all year long. Seitz Brothers specializes in the abatement of asbestos and is a certified in the removal of this dangerous material.

What is Asbestos??

-Asbestos is known a a human carcinogen (substance that cause cancer) by the U. S. Department of Heath and Human Services, the EPA, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

– Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that became a popular building material in the 1950s. It is still found in many buildings, including hospitals, schools and homes.

-Asbestos was widely used as an insulation and fire proofing solution. In particular, it found its way into products like ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, boilers, sprayed coatings and garage roof tiles.

 

Hear-Asbestos-Think-Prevention-GAAW-Square-450x450Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure:

-Increase risk of lung cancer

-Increase of throat, kidney, esophagus, and gallbladder cancer

-Mesothelioma (rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen)

-Asbestosis (an inflammatory condition affecting the lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage)

 

 Factors affect the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease:

  • Dose (how much asbestos an individual was exposed to).
  • Duration (how long an individual was exposed).
  • Size, shape, and chemical makeup of the asbestos fibers.
  • Source of the exposure.
  • Individual risk factors, such as smoking and pre-existing lung disease.

What if it’s in your home??Asbestos-in-your-home

-Don’t Panic

-LEAVE IT ALONE (disturbing asbestos is extremely dangerous, if it’s wrapped around pipping or in other areas of your home, avoid any irritation to that area)

-Call a PROFESSIONAL as soon as possible (do not try to to remove any potential asbestos yourself, it’s a hazardous material that needs to be handled by certified professionals only)

 

Keep your family safe and remember, Seitz Brothers offers free estimates and is qualified to do asbestos abatement. If you have any questions regarding asbestos, don’t hesitate to call our environmental office located in Tamaqua, Pa at 888-467-1008

 

References: http://www.cancer.gov/ http://www.take5andstayalive.com/

Let’s Get Real About Rodents

17lmkyj2gut49jpgWe keep talking about the warmer weather and the potential pests that are coming our way. But in these transition months between the dead of winter and the dog days of summer, we have some present pests that are still dying to get into our homes even though we are itching to get out. Rodents are attracted to structures for warmth and food during the colder months and continue to be a problem long after.

 

It’s true that nobody wants to share their home with a rodent or worse, a family of rodents (who after 30 days of age can reproduce a litter of 5-6 young) but what a lot of people aren’t aware of are the health hazards these pests pose. When it comes to rodents, there are more than 35 diseases they are known to spread. The spread of these diseases can reach humans directly from contact with rodent urine, saliva and feces, through bites, and  through handling them alive or dead. Indirectly, they can be spread through mites, fleas, and ticks that have fed on an infected rodent. Allergies and  airborne illnesses like salmonella can be caused by droppings alone. To put it in perspective: one rodent can excrete up to seventy times a day…

I know, not something any of us want to think about. But the truth is, 21 million homes are invaded every year by these vermin and their welcome sign can be as small as a nickel.

Have a rodent issue and this it’s not a big deal? Think again…

Some of the most common and dangerous diseases rodents carry include tularemia, plague, hantavirus, and lymphocytic choriomenigitis.

TULAREMIAHealth-Symbol-1024x1015

Tularemia is a disease of animals and humans caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Rabbits, hares, and other rodents are especially susceptible and often die in large numbers during outbreaks. Humans can become infected through several routes, including tick and deer fly bites; skin contact with infected animals; ingestion of contaminated water; and through laboratory exposure or inhalation of contaminated dusts or aerosols.

The signs and symptoms of tularemia vary depending on how the bacteria enters the body. All forms are accompanied by fever, which can be as high as 104 °F. Although tularemia can be life-threatening, most infections can be treated successfully with antibiotics.

The most serious form of tularemia is oneumonic infection. Symptoms include cough, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. This form results from breathing dusts or aerosols containing the organism. It can also occur when other forms of tularemia (e.g. ulceroglandular) are left untreated and the bacteria spread through the bloodstream to the lungs.

PLAGUE

Plague is infamous for killing millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages. It is a disease that affects humans and other mammals and is caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Humans usually get plague after being bitten by an infected rodent flea or by handling an animal infected with plague.

Plague bacteria are most often transmitted by the bite of an infected flea. If an infected rodent dies, hungry fleas will seek other sources of blood – including humans., although dogs and cats may also bring plague-infected fleas into the home. Flea bite exposure typically results in bubonic plague.

Pneumonic plague typically develops after a person breathes inbacteria-containing droplets. Patients develop fever, headache, weakness, and a rapidly developing pneumonia with shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough. The pneumonia may cause respiratory failure and shock. Pneumonic plague is the most serious form of the disease and is the only form of plague that can be spread from person to person

Plague is a very serious illness, but is treatable with commonly available antibiotics. However, without prompt treatment, the disease can cause serious illness or death. The earlier a patient seeks medical care and receives treatment that is appropriate for plague, the better his or her chances are for a full recovery. Close contacts of patients with pneumonic plague may need to be evaluated and possibly treated as well.

HANTAVIRUS

People become infected with Hantavirus through several routes, but rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk. The virus is mainly transmitted to people when fresh rodent urine, droppings, or nesting materials are stirred up, become airborne and are breathed in by people. In addition, if an infected rodent bites someone, the virus may be spread to that person. Researchers also suspect people can become sick if they eat food contaminated by urine, droppings, or saliva from an infected rodent.

Typically, symptoms of Hantavirus develop between one and five weeks after exposure to fresh urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents. Infection with Hantavirus can progress to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), a severe respiratory disease which can be fatal. Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches in the thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. The infected person may also experience headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal complaints, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Four to ten days after the initial phase of illness, the late symptoms of Hantavirus infection develop and HPS may appear. These include coughing and shortness of breath and progression to respiratory distress and failure. HPS has a mortality rate of 38 percent.

LYMPHOCYTIC CHORIOMENINGITIS (LCM)

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, or LCM, is a rodent-borne viral infectious disease caused by lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). The primary host of LCMV is the common house mouse. It is estimated that 5 percent of house mice throughout the United States carry LCMV and are able to transmit the virus.

Transmission of LCMV infections can occur after exposure to fresh urine, droppings, saliva, or nesting materials from infected rodents. Infections are more common in the colder months when mice enter homes seeking warmer winter habitats. Transmission may also occur when these materials are directly introduced into broken skin, the nose, the eyes, or the mouth – or  presumably, via the bite of an infected rodent. Person-to-person transmission has not been reported, with the exception of vertical transmission from infected mother to fetus, and rarely, through organ transplantation.

Most patients who develop neurological disease due to LCMV survive. However, as in all infections of the central nervous system, particularly encephalitis, temporary or permanent neurological damage is possible.

Women who become infected with LCM during pregnancy may pass the infection on to the fetus. Infections occurring during the first trimester may result in fetal death and pregnancy termination. Infections in the second and third trimesters may result in serious and permanent birth defects, including vision problems, mental retardation, and hydrocephaly (water on the brain).

SeitzBuilding copyThe good news? Pest management professionals, like Seitz Brothers, are qualified to treat and remove rodents and their diseases your home. If you’re having an issue, don’t wait for the problem to get worse, call us today for a free estimate 888-467-1008.

 

Reference: pestworld.org

The Mold Basics

Mold Basics

mold spores

Mold Spores, Magnified

The key to mold control is moisture control.

If mold is a problem in your home, you should get a professional to clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.

It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

Why is mold growing in my home?

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

Can mold cause health problems?

Molds are a problem indoors, when mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.

This [guidance] provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.

 

Moisture Control is the Key to Mold Control

Condensation on Glass

Condensation on Glass

  • When water leaks or spills occur indoors – ACT QUICKLY. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow.
  • Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
  • Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
  • Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
  • Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores.
  • If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.

Actions that will help to reduce humidity

  • Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to the outside where possible. (Combustion appliances such as stoves and kerosene heaters produce water vapor and will increase the humidity unless vented to the outside.)
  • Use air conditioners and/or de-humidifiers when needed.
  • Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dishwashing, etc.

Actions that will help prevent condensation

Mold growing on a wooden headboard in a room with high humidity. Click on the image for a larger version.

  • Reduce the humidity.
  • Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows, when practical. Use fans as needed.
  • Cover cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, with insulation.
  • Increase air temperature.

Remember, Seitz Brothers offer free mold estimates, if you’re having an issue with mold in your home, set up an appointment today!  

Reference: http://www.epa.gov/mold