The sobering statistics about mosquito and tick-borne illness in South Carolina

Dread Skeeter for Mosquito SquadLast year, vector-borne illnesses such as Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus reported an all-time high among reported human cases. Mosquitoes and ticks are responsible each year for making thousands of people and pets sick – some even resulting in death. Most South Carolinians think that vector-borne illnesses happen elsewhere in the United States, but in fact they happen right here on South Carolina soil and in more sobering numbers than you might have imagined.Map of SC

The most common mosquito- and tick-borne illnesses in South Carolina are West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Based on data from The USGS disease maps provided through the U.S. Department of the Interior in conjunction with the CDC, the reported number of vector-borne illnesses in humans contracted from mosquitoes and ticks in 2012 was as follows:

Mosquito blood meal

Mosquito-Borne illness numbers for South Carolina 

  • West Nile Virus – The total number of human WNV infections in 2012 was 29, the number for the entire US was 5,674. According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control there were also 4 confirmed cases of West Nile Encephalitis confirmed in our state for 2012. We also had 16 confirmed cases West Nile Fever.
  • Lacrosse Encephalitis – South Carolina had one reported case in 2012 and 78 reported cases nationwide
  • Dengue Fever – South Carolina had two reported cases during 2012, with 545 total reported cases in the U.S.

Tick- Borne illness numbers for South Carolina

  • Lyme Disease – According to the SCDHEC there were 23 confirmed cases of Lyme Disease in S.C. for 2012. We also not the last reported numbers showing state to state confirmed cases of the disease comes to us from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which show in 2011 South Carolina had a total of 24 confirmed cases of Lyme Disease, the total number of confirmed cases for the US was 24,364.
Deer tick or blacklegged tick on leaf waiting for you to pass by

Ticks carry a host of diseases and thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – In 2012 South Carolina had 10 confirmed cases of this illness, and 41 additional probable cases.

These statistics do not include many probable or undiagnosed cases of mosquito and tick borne illness. The SCDHEC Bureau of Disease Control reported in South Carolina, through October 5, 2012, there were 29 people confirmed ill with West Nile Fever or West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease. Three of these persons died. An additional 11 persons with no symptoms of West Nile infection were identified through screening of donated blood. South Carolina experienced more cases of West Nile Disease, in any form, in 2012 than in any previous year.

West Nile Virus is the most common mosquito-borne illness in North America and Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease. When Lyme Disease is left untreated infection it can spread to the joints, the heart and even the nervous system.

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This image shows the bulls-eye rash that is a common symptom of most cases of Lyme disease in the diseases first phase.

Lyme Disease is the most widely misdiagnosed of all the vector-borne illnesses and is commonly referred to as the “great pretender”. This is because the symptoms of Lyme do indeed mimic the symptoms of other illnesses such as arthritis, asthma, depression and even eczema (due in part to the illnesses trademark rash that sometimes accompanies the presence of Lyme).

As you read over the statistics for vector-borne illness, you can clearly see these illnesses are not as uncommon in our neck of the woods as one may think. In order to keep your family safe from the risk of contracting one of these illnesses this season it is crucial to take control of your property to make it less hospitable for mosquitoes and ticks. By exercising smart mosquito and tick control practices on your property and having a licensed professional treat your property, you can dramatically reduce your risk of contracting a vector-borne illness.

The crew at Mosquito Squad of Columbia is here to protect you and your family from mosquitoes and  ticks all season long.

The crew at Mosquito Squad of Columbia is here to protect you and your family from mosquitoes and ticks all season long.

Contact Mosquito Squad of Columbia today to learn more about our mosquito control and tick control prevention programs that are geared towards keeping your and your family safe from mosquito and tick-borne illness and disease. Now is the time to act in order to stay healthy and happy this season! Call us today for a free quote • (803) 345 – 7575 • email:Columbia@MosquitoSquad.com

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Tick-borne diseases are a danger to South Carolinians

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Arm yourself with the knowledge and power to prevent tick-borne illness from striking you or your family this season with help from Mosquito Squad of Columbia.

It is hard to fathom that a creature as tiny as a mustard seed and barely visible to the naked eye can cause such debilitating disease. The dangers of tick-borne illness are very real. Illnesses such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease can not only alter your quality of life but can also prove to be fatal if left untreated.  According to the ( CDC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during 2000 and 2010 South Carolina had 221 confirmed cases of Lyme disease and has seen a gradual incline of cases over the past ten years. Where Lyme disease was thought to be a risk only  in the states that outline the upper eastern seaboard, the southeast is gaining steadily year by year to catch up with these areas.

A recent article released by the Lyme Disease Association concluded that the CDC indicated that the number of Lyme disease cases has exceeded those of HIV. A study set forth by the National Institutes of Health found that the effects of Lyme disease on our health is equal to the severity caused by congestive heart failure.

Some South Carolinians had not even heard of Lyme disease until the disease began to get media attention in the last few years. Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi  that is transmitted to us by the bite of a tick carrying the bacteria. Deer ticks are the most common carriers of the disease. The deer tick uses the deer, as well as rodents such as field mice to perpetuate the cycle of disease and pass it onto us, and our pets. It is a vicious cycle of disease as the tick uses the nests of rodents to feed and mature into a stage called the nymphal stage. Here the soft shell of the immature tick turns more rigid and then the journey begins to find a human or animal host to feed from and spread the disease it potentially carries. Nymph and adult ticks can infect us with the disease, and nymph ticks are in some cases no larger than a grain of sand and very hard to detect until it is too late.

Ticks thrive in damp, moist wooded areas and grassy fields

Ticks thrive in damp, moist wooded areas and grassy fields

Since there is no cure for the disease it is important to protect yourself, your family and your pets from the disease through tick control and prevention. Taking control of your property and tick-proofing your yard is key to reducing your risk of coming into contact with a tick that could be carrying the bacteria that causes the disease. Mosquito Squad has come up with a list of the 6C’s to tick-proofing your yard, which is a simple informative way to ensure your property stays tick free this season.

  • Clear out. Clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers will reduce your chances of coming in contact with a tick. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas. Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic.  Separate them with wood chips or gravel. Don’t position playground equipment, decks and patios near treed areas.
  • Clean.  Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house and lawn edges, mow tall grasses and keep the lawn short.
  • Choose plants.   Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and/or install physical barriers to keep deer out of your yard.  Check with your local nursery to determine the best choices for your area.
  • Check hiding places: Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick walls and patio retaining walls are popular hiding places.
  • Care for family pets.  Family pets can suffer from tick-borne disease and also carry infected ticks into the home. Talk to your veterinarian about using tick collars and
    Picture of deer tick

    The deer tick is the contributing factor for Lyme disease.

    sprays. As with all pest control products, be sure to follow directions carefully.

  • Call in the Pros:  Tick control Professionals utilize both barrier sprays that can kill adult ticks on the spot as well as “tick tubes”.  Strategically placed “tick tubes”, prompt field mice to incorporate tick-killing material in their bedding, effectively eliminating hundreds of tick nymphs found in each mouse nest. Tick tubes are safe for the rodent but deadly to the tick.

Mosquito Squad of Columbia specializes in tick control and prevention by using tick tubes paired with our barrier spray to eliminate the tick from nymph to adult. Contact us today to get on the fast track to protecting yourself, your family and your pets this season. Put the worry of getting sick from a tick behind you once and for all.

Call us today for a free quote • (803) 345 – 7575 • email: columbia@mosquitosquad.com We also eliminate mosquitoes, fire ants, fleas, spiders and flies too.