Understanding the Zika Virus

zika virus in arizona

What is Zika Virus?

Zika is a disease caused by the Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. In May 2015, the first confirmed Zika virus infection was reported in Brazil.

Zika in America

Experts agree that the Zika virus will come to the U.S., but no one can accurately predict when or where. As of April 20, 2016, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said that 388 travel-associated cases of Zika were reported in the U.S. Of this number, 9 were in pregnant women and 6 were sexually transmitted. There have been no locally acquired cases reported. Looking ahead, researchers say that the vector-borne Aedes mosquito will increase in abundance across much of the southern and eastern United States as the weather warms. Summertime conditions are favorable for mosquito populations along the East Coast as far north as New York City.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes) as well as muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (from exposure to symptoms) is likely to be a few days to a week. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week after being bitten. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital and very rarely die of Zika. Those most affected by the Zika virus are the elderly and pregnant women. If a pregnant woman is infected, it may result in microcephaly, a birth defect causing underdevelopment of the head and brain in newborn children. However, the link between Zika and infant microcephaly is poorly understood at this time. Treatment There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. However, symptoms can be treated with rest, fluids and medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce fever and pain.

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Keep Your Arizona Home Pest Free This Thanksgiving

Keep Your Arizona Home Pest Free This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a day when the family gets together to watch football, eat a lot of turkey and perhaps plan for Black Friday shopping in the Phoenix valley.While you may enjoy having your relatives and friends over to share in the day’s festivities, there may some uninvited guests that you don’t want at the dinner table. How can you make sure that this year’s Thanksgiving stays free from pests?

Make Sure That Food Is Stored Properly

The first step that you need to take is to make sure that your food is stored properly before, during and after it is cooked. Roof rats like to get into cupboards while ants will look for any signs of sugar that they can find. This means that you should keep your turkey in the freezer, the condiments sealed tight and any bag or dough containers should be emptied fully into an airtight container if you are not going to use the whole thing in one sitting.

Don’t Let Your Leftovers Sit Out Unattended

You should make sure that the plates are free from scraps and that any leftover bones or pieces of meat are put in the trash or compacted in the garbage disposal. Dishes should be washed and the trash should be taken out as soon as dinner is over. This will remove the chance that insects or rodents will pick up on a free source of food and go in for a nice meal of their own.

Clean Out the Fridge Once the Leftovers Are Mostly Gone

While having leftovers is one of the joys of Thanksgiving, make sure that you dispose of them within a few days of the big meal. Keeping potatoes or stuffing in the refrigerator for longer than that will make it more likely that the food will start to rot and grow mold and mildew. Furthermore, the strong smell may attract a variety of pests that can make your kitchen and the rest of your home unsanitary to live in.

Ask Friends or Family Members to Take Food Home With Them

The easiest way to get rid of food during Thanksgiving is to have your guests take home some food with them. This reduces the amount of apple pie, turkey and gravy that you have to contend with in your home. Better yet, have guests bring their own meals and have them take home the leftovers when the gathering ends. There is a good chance that there are some teenage relatives who had to work or others who would love to eat whatever you didn’t get a chance to finish during that family dinner.

Mop the Floors and Vacuum the Carpet and Couch

One of the best ways to dissuade pests from entering your home is to make sure that the floors are mopped and the carpets are vacuumed. This will get rid of excess sugar that may make the floor sticky or any crumbs that you may have left behind during any pre-meal snacks. Getting crumbs out of the couch cushions is imperative as this is a prime spot from many insects and even mice to snack if there is food available.

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate your blessings and the bounty of food available. However, you don’t want to offer unwanted pests to enjoy your bounty as well. Therefore, make sure you are keeping food properly stored and keeping sugar and crumbs to a minimum if you want to avoid an infestation this holiday season.

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What You Need to Know about Zika Virus

What You Need to Know about Zika Virus

The recent aggressive spreading of Zika Virus in Brazil and other select regions has been a top news story in past weeks, understandably so since it can have major health effects. The virus carries Zika fever, a disease that can cause such symptoms as fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis and is suspected of being linked to severe birth defects. Notably, people can be infected even if they’re not displaying symptoms, further heightening the concern over the virus’ potential effect on unborn babies if their mothers become infected. Zika virus is transmitted to humans through a bite of a virus-carrying Aedes mosquito.

The Aedes mosquito is found on several continents, including North and South America. This particular species of mosquito has been linked to deadly outbreaks before. In the early 20th century scientists traced its connection to yellow fever outbreaks, however this connection now carries less importance with the creation of the yellow fever vaccine. The Aedes mosquito is now causing concern as a transmitter of Zika virus.

Recent Outbreaks & What it Means to the United States

Last year Brazil experienced a major increase of the Zika virus, with more than one million cases reported, according to NPR. While the symptoms of the virus can be quite mild, there are suspected links between the virus and about 4,000 cases of severe brain damage to babies as a result of their mothers contracting the virus during pregnancy.

It’s important to note that despite this rising outbreak in South America the only recently reported cases of Zika virus in the United States have been in people who have recently traveled to infected regions and contracted the virus while abroad. Zika virus is not contagious. Still, many people in Arizona, where the Aedes mosquito is found, and throughout the U.S. are concerned about this new threat. Aedes mosquitoes are “city-dwelling” mosquitoes and are very common.

Since virus-carrying mosquitoes could travel here from Latin America as a result of people and goods transportation, there is growing concern that the virus could spread to the U.S. – especially with the upcoming Olympics hosted in Brazil. While it’s important not to panic (especially since the virus hasn’t been found in any US mosquitoes to-date), it’s appropriate to monitor the situation and be cautious in areas prevalent with mosquitoes.

How to Prevent the Zika Virus

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in five people infected with Zika will become sick. Because there is no vaccine for Zika yet, those traveling to South America or who live in areas where mosquitoes are a yearly nascence, pregnant women in particular, can follow a few simple suggestions to be more mindful about preventing the transmittance of this, and any mosquito-borne, disease:

  • Keep your body covered while outside, especially in the evening and at night, by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants. Even light weight clothing will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
  • If you have a baby or child, keep them covered in long clothing, as well.
    Furthermore, treat all clothing items with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated clothing items. Permethrin is an insecticide specifically formulated to protect against disease-carrying insects.
  • Use EPA-registered DEET mosquito repellent. Be sure to follow the directions for usage of the repellant, including frequency and application guidelines.
  • Be vigilant about standing water – do your best to rid your property of any standing water (like around a dripping hose) so that mosquitoes do not flourish there.
  • Before the warm weather hits check all the window screens to make sure there are no tears or gaps where bugs could enter your home.
  • If you have a sliding glass door, consider installing permanent or temporary screens for added insect protection.
  • When possible, stay protected in air conditioned or screened-in areas to avoid mosquitoes altogether.
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Spooky Spiders in Arizona

Spooky Spiders in Arizona

spooky-spider-in-arizonaPeople seem to be more afraid of spiders than any insect out there, despite the fact that while a few of their bites can be dangerous, getting a disease from a mosquito such as yellow fever is much more harmful to humans. NC State University entomologist Matt Bertone says their frightening reputation is hardly justified. Bertone comes face to face with countless species of spiders every day. He states that most of the time when people call in thinking they have a spider bite it’s usually some other insect bite or a skin rash. Most spiders can’t bit us because their fangs aren’t big enough to pierce the skin. Even if they do bite us, it is usually no more painful than a minor bee sting.

Even bites from dangerous spiders such as black widows and brown recluses are very rare, as spiders tend to run away from people, only biting when they feel threatened. Just as we tend to stay away from them, they stay away from us. However, we are much closer to spiders than we might think. After doing a study of 50 different houses, Berton found that there was at least one spider, alive or dead, in every room of the houses. But, don’t worry, they stay pretty well hidden.

Are you afraid of spiders? Have you ever come across any of the venomous kind?

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How to Make Spider Pops as Halloween Treats

How to Make Spider Pops as Halloween Treats

spooky-spider-lollipopsSupplies Needed

For Spiders

  • 1 bag Tootsie Roll Pops assorted flavors 10.125 oz.
  • 25 pack fuzzy sticks black or colors of your choice (found at Walmart in the craft section .77cents or your local craft store.)
  • 7mm 30 piece wiggle eyes
  • hot glue gun with glue

Directions For Spiders

  1. Evenly gather four fuzzy sticks and twist around the stick of the lollipop. Shape fuzzy sticks for legs; glue on eyes.

*NOTES*

one bag, 72 pc. wiggle eyes is enough for both projects. I chose to use two different wiggle eyes for each project. One single fat quarter of fabric makes approx. 12 ghosts and one package of fuzzy sticks makes 6 spiders. As you see in the spider photo, I used black and a variety Halloween color pack of fuzzy sticks for the spiders legs found at my local craft store.

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Signs of a Mouse in the House

Mouse in Arizona House

As summer winds down and fall comes into sight, rodents, particularly mice, become more active in seeking new sources of food, water, and shelter. Why is there a rodent surge this time of year? Why might you see a mouse in the house?

Arizona’s dry, hot summer has depleted naturally occurring food and water sources, and this causes rodents to explore their surroundings more aggressively in search of these necessities. And like humans, rodents also look for relief from the elements (i.e., the heat), and they associate cooler locations with water sources.

The house mouse is a curious creature. It will readily explore your home using wall voids, utility pipes and wires, and heating and cooling ductwork to move around in search of its next meal. As the statistic mentioned earlier indicates, wall and cabinet voids near kitchen appliances (e.g., refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves) and the pantry are common nesting sites for mice.

And mice are patient invaders that will wait for just the right opportunity – a door left propped open, a box of off-season clothes brought in from a storage area in which they can stow a ride, an open bag of pet food or a dime-sized opening in the foundation or door frame – to enter your home.

How do you know if you have a rodent problem? Some common signs of a possible rodent infestation include the following:

  • Rodent droppings (usually black in color and ¼- to ½-inch long) and urine (best detected using a black light)
  • Chewed electrical, computer or cable wiring (a major cause of electrical fires)
  • Unexplained chewing or gnaw marks on carpet, upholstery, drapes, furniture, and baseboards
  • Chewed-on food product packaging in your pantry

In addition to the kitchen, what areas of your home are most vulnerable to attracting an unwanted rodent infestation? Bug Guardian has identified the following rodent hot spots in homes:

  • Attached garages, carports, and storage areas above these locations where storage boxes, pet food, and other items are found
  • Bathroom cabinet voids
  • In utility rooms and areas beneath, and within base voids of furnaces, washers, and clothes dryers
  • In wall, ceiling, and floor voids
  • In the insulation of attics and in the contents of the attic (e.g., storage boxes)
  • In basements and crawlspaces near utility openings
  • Firewood stacked next to the house and near a door

Remember, if you think you might have a rodent problem in your home, contact Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today!

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ROACH CONTROL IN ARIZONA

American Cockroach Phoenix Roach Control

Roaches are very small pests that will infest your home if not controlled. They are very small pests that can reproduce very quickly. There are four main cockroaches that will infest a home: the Brown Banded roach, the German roach, the Oriental roach, and the most common; the American roach or sewer roach.

WHAT DOES A ROACH LOOK LIKE?

The four different types of cockroaches will all vary in size and shape. The Brown Banded and German roach are the about the same size; or 1/8 of an inch. The coloring of both cockroaches is very similar. Both roaches are a light tan to light brown color. On the other hand, the Oriental and American roach are bigger in size; about 1 inch long. The coloring is as very similar. They are brown to a dark drown; almost black color.

WHERE DO ROACHES LIVE?

The type of cockroach will greatly determine where a roach will live. The smaller Brown Banded and German roach will live in warm dry places; like where the hot water heater or dryer will be. The Oriental and American cockroach will live more in dark wet areas; like washers, and sinks. When roaches find what they like, they will infest the area and take over if not exterminated.

HOW TO CONTROL THE ROACH PROBLEM?

The best way to control roaches is to have a company like Bug Guardian Pest Prevention come out and treat for them.

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Exterminating Black Widow Spiders in Avondale

Female black widow spider in web

Black Widow Spiders

Female Black widow spiderSpring and summer is when you find an over abundance of spiders around the house. In many instances, at least one of these spiders can be identified as the black widowThe males and females are distinctly different in appearance. The female is shiny black with a bright red hourglass shaped marking on the underside of the abdomen. The female hangs upside down in the web such that the red hourglass faces up. The egg sacs, which contain up to several hundred eggs, are most frequently encountered from May to October. The female typically stays with and guards the sac until the eggs hatch.

 

Control

Periodically check areas in and around the home where black widows may occur. When discovered they can be most effectively destroyed by crushing or vacuuming the web and spiders.

Exterminating Black Widow Spiders

Black windows can be destroyed with direct contact of pesticides. Spiders do no absorb chemicals through their legs or feet as ants, roaches and other insects do. Bug Guardian Pest Prevention has years of experience exterminating black widow spiders and keeping them from infesting houses throughout Arizona’s East Valley. A monthly pest control plan is created to make sure that your home is protected from these dangerous spiders. Call us today (480) 345-2847 for extermination of black widows with 100% satisfaction guarantee.

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10 Ways to Keep Bed Bugs out of your Glendale home

10 Ways to Keep Bed Bugs out of your Glendale home

Bed bugs are a feared problem that can infest your Glendale home quickly if no preventative actions are taken. The most frightening aspect of these little creatures is that they are easily transported from one place to another via exposed luggage and clothing. Every home is vulnerable despite your own efforts to maintain a clean home, thus making it even more important that you follow these 10 incredibly easy steps to keep bed bugs out of your home.

#1 Vacuum Your Floor

Bed bugs can get cozy in anything that protects them well, such as crevices, cracks in the floor, and carpeting. For this reason, it is helpful to vacuum regularly to prevent an infestation in the event that you do bring bed bugs home with you. Pay special attention to the point where the floor and the wall meet, which provides a well-protected hiding spot for the tiny bugs.

#2 Cover Power Outlets

Though it doesn’t seem like an obvious spot, power outlets are actually preferred hiding spots for bed bugs. Because they have small inlets and have very little traffic it is common to find bed bugs hiding away in them until nighttime. Cover the outlets with a simple outlet plug to help deter them.

#3 Store Clothes in Vacuum-Sealed Bags

Vacuum-sealed bags help provide a barrier between your clothing allowing you to keep bed bugs out. These handy bags also remove air from the bag, making the space less appealing to living things.

#4 Cover Your Mattress

An excellent preventative measure is to cover your mattress in a sturdy encasing. Be sure that the material is durable and can withstand tears, which would defeat the purpose of the cover in the first place. Also, check that the cover doesn’t have any folds and has limited seams, which is typically where bed bugs hide.

#5 Clean Your Pets Bed

Bed bugs are not biased toward human beds only! They seek seams and crevices in any place in your home, including the beds where your pets sleep. Check their beds just like you’d check your own and take the same preventative steps there as well.

#6 Clean Up Clutter

An easy way to keep bed bugs out is by having clutter in your home you are essentially providing more hiding space for bed bugs. Keep your home tidy and be aware of possible living spaces for the bugs as you organize your things.

#7 Second Guess Used Items

Buying used household items can offer a lot of benefits but they can also be transport vehicles for bed bugs. Inspect your items before taking them home with you to be sure that they are free of the bugs.

#8 Don’t Bring Them Home from Vacations

Travelers unknowingly spread bed bugs as they contaminate their own clothing and luggage simply by making contact with infested hotel rooms. Keep your luggage and clothing away from possibly contaminated surfaces and to be safe, run your belongings through a high heat dryer when you return home.

#9 Look Out for Bed Bug Signs

Bed bugs leave behind dark fecal spots on mattresses and upholstery along with shell casings and their white, sticky eggs. The telltale sign, though, is actual bites on exposed skin. They are usually red, itchy and appear in rows.

#10 Inspect Your Hotel Room

Before settling into your hotel room inspect the mattress and upholstery for the listed signs above. If you notice evidence of bed bugs then tell the hotel staff immediately and request a room in a different area of the hotel, as bed bugs often spread to rooms nearby as well.

Don’t Fight Bed Bugs Alone

If you discover bed bugs in your home, your first instinct may be to fight them on your own right away. Though there are ways to help rid your home of bed bugs yourself, it can also make matters worse. Often times the home remedies only push the bed bugs away from the treatment and further into your home.

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Detecting Bed Bug In Your Peoria Home

Detecting Bed Bug In Your Peoria Home

Many have heard the bedtime saying, “Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bug bite” but past that don’t ever actually think that bedbugs are a real issue! Scientifically dubbed Climex Lectularius, the name ‘bed bug’ is derived from the pest’s favorite dwelling place. The bed bug like to dwell in warm, dark places where they have easy access to feed off of human blood. Sounds a little creepier than a nursery saying right? You don’t have to fear bed bugs anymore!

Bug Guardian provides the best pest control services and knowledge when it comes to bed bug removal for your Peoria home.

SYMPTOMS OF BED BUG BITES

Bedbugs are often very difficult to detect because they are mostly nocturnal and can feed without being noticed. Often, bedbugs can cause skin irritation and rashes for people that are sensitive to them and that is usually how they are detected. If someone is displaying bed bug symptoms, they are diagnosed once the symptoms have been confirmed and bedbugs have been found in the home. What do bed bugs look like? They are usually small and oval shaped, and at maturity they are usually the size of an appleseed. Adolescent bedbugs are called nymphs and are very hard to detect. They will shed their skin up to 5 times before reaching maturity. An adult bedbug can create 3 or more generations a year!

DETECTING A BED BUG INFESTATION IN PEORIA

Bed Bugs can come into the home numerous ways. They often spread through clothing and luggage traveling from other infested locations. Infested items such as used furniture can also carry the unwelcome pests into the home. Often, bedbugs will travel through air ducts and cracks in the walls in infested apartment buildings and hotels. It is important to know that the cleanliness of a location does not determine whether it is more susceptible to a bedbug infestation. Immaculate homes and hotel rooms are just as liable to bedbugs as filthy ones! Due to their ability to spread, it is important to contact a local pest control company such as Bug Guardian.

Control and remove the bed bugs.

Upon discovering bed bugs in your home, call Bug Guardian Pest Control so we can determine the best bed bug treatment for your residence. If some prep is necessary, be extra careful not to move items from one room into another trying to prepare for treatment. We want to make sure you don’t spread the bedbugs throughout your home. We strongly suggest you wait until one of our expert technician’s arrive to start any kind of treatment to save you time and money.

Bug Guardian has the most effective treatment for bed bugs and it’s environmentally friendly! Once we have established the presence of bedbugs, we will treat your residence with an effective and safe treatment that kills bed bugs without being harmful to the health of you, your family and any pets.

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