If you live on the East Coast or in the Great Lakes region you may be feeling uncomfortable with the rising number of Eastern Equestrian Encephalitis cases that are gaining attention in the national news. The good news is that it is extremely rare, and it is preventable with proper precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The distressing news is that once a person is infected with EEEV, there is no specific treatment, cure or available vaccine and one-third of infected people die from the virus. Many who survive are left with brain damage. Horses are notably susceptible to the EEE virus and affected horses typically die within three days with a fatality rate of over 90 percent. There is no effective treatment, however there is a vaccine available for horses. The best way to protect yourself from EEE virus is to reduce exposure to mosquitoes in swampy hardwood areas or where cases have been recorded and avoid mosquito bites. The CDC says the only way to limit your risk of EEE virus is to prevent mosquito bites. Recommendations include using an EPA approved insect repellent containing the active ingredient Picaridin, such as PROVEN, or DEET, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and clothing, wearing long sleeves and pants, and avoiding exposure to mosquitoes. Here are 10 facts from the CDC about EEE. EEE is a rare cause of brain inflammation or encephalitis in people infected with EEEV EEEV is transmitted to humans and some animals, notably horses, by mosquitoes from birds who are carriers but are not affected by the virus. EEEV cannot be passed from person to person or from animal to person. Symptoms typically present 4-10 days after the mosquito bite. There are two types of illness: systemic or encephalitis. Systemic symptoms include abrupt onset of chills, fever, headache, vomiting and malaise, and last for one to two weeks if the central nervous system is not affected. Encephalitis symptoms include high fever, chills, headache, irritability, diarrhea, disorientation, seizures and coma. There is no cure or specific treatment for EEE. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses and there is no known effective anti-viral drug. The fatality rate in humans has been reported to be approximately 33 percent. Many of those who survive have mild to severe brain damage. People over age 50 and under age 15 appear to be at greatest risk for developing severe symptoms when infected with EEEV. There is also no vaccine or preventative drug available. The best prevention is to avoid mosquito bites by using an EPA-registered insect repellent, wearing pants and long-sleeves, and avoiding outdoor activities in early evening hours when mosquitoes are most active. Most cases of EEE have been reported form Florida, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina. EEEV transmission is most common in and around freshwater hardwood swamps in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states and the Great Lakes region. As of late September, 28 cases of [...]
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By DALE HILDEBRANT For Farm & Ranch Guide Farmers, ranchers and their family members will now be spending more time outdoors with the advent of spring weather. But leaving the safety of indoors, means exposure to ticks, which according to NDSU Extension entomologist, Janet Knodel, is a subject everyone who goes outside needs to be concerned about. Lyme disease “We have seen an increase in Lyme disease and you can now pick up Rocky Mountain spotted fever, out west mainly,” Knodel said. “Ticks do vector these diseases, and we are always concerned about that.” Data from the North Dakota Department of Health indicates the growing Lyme disease problem in the state. In 2004, there were no reported cases of Lyme disease in the state, however, since then the number of cases has increased, and in 2017, 56 cases were reported, the highest on record. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that each year more than 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease, and if not treated, serious health problems can occur. Lyme disease can cause circular reddish rash around the tick bite. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, muscles and/or joint pain. If not treated, more serious health problems can occur, such as meningitis, paralysis of facial muscles or heart problems, and swelling and pain in the large joints. Black legged tick Lyme disease is vectored by the black legged tick, which is also commonly known as the deer tick, Knodel noted. These ticks are very small – about the size of a pinhead when they come out in late spring and early summer, which makes them very hard to see. In the Extension publication she authored, Knodel had the following suggestions: 1) Minimize direct contact with ticks by avoiding woody and high grass areas and walking in center of trails, if possible. Ticks are most active in May through August in North Dakota. Avoiding them sometimes isn’t possible, since growers need to scout fields with tall vegetation or do tasks on range and pasture land. 2) Use an insect repellent. 3) Quickly find and remove any ticks from the body by using a tweezers. Grasp tick close to skin and pull straight up to avoid breaking off the tick’s mouthparts in the skin. Clean bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. 4) Inspect and bathe yourself within two hours after coming indoors to find any ticks crawling on you and to remove them before they attach to feed. Ticks like to hide in hair, armpits and other areas that may be difficult to inspect. 5) Wash any clothing that you were wearing soon and then dry in high heat for an hour to kill any ticks. Otherwise, ticks can attach to you later after hitchhiking on your clothes into home. Insect repellents Most insect repellants have used DEET as the active ingredient. However, a new range of health conscious and highly effective insect [...]
Glamping You love the outdoors AND you love charming boutique hotels. You love nature AND you love your bed. You want to indulge in the peace and solitude of the local environment but don’t exactly want to rough it. You may just be the perfect “Glamper”. Glamping is growing trend of upscale accommodations while experiencing the authenticity of nature or glamorous camping. Glamping destinations are popping up all over the world in some truly spectacular scenes. There are glamp sites to suit every outdoor interest from fly-fishing, canoeing, hiking and rafting to unique experiences like dog-sledding, safari, ranching and yoga retreats. Glamping accommodations go well beyond a nice tent with a bed. In the serenity and solitude of spectacular scenes, you can stay in a yurt, an airstream, a teepee, an eco-friendly pod, a repurposed shipping container or channel your Swiss Family Robinson and stay in a treehouse. No matter what sort of experience you are looking for, there is a unique glamping destination waiting for you. Many of the upscale glamp sites offer luxurious amenities like solar power, mini kitchenettes, indoor bathrooms or showers, and even heat or air conditioning. To find your unique glamping experience, check out sites like glamping.com, glampinghub.com and undercanvas.com. For those who want to create their own glamping experience, here are a few essentials you’ll want to bring to create the perfect aesthetic and a few comforts of home. And now we send you down the Pinterest rabbit hole to style your dream glampsite. Glamping Essentials 1. Spacious Tent - Glamping is all about creating your dwelling and aesthetic and the tent is your anchor. A spacious tent with standing room creates enough space for your bed and living space. As the glamping trend is going there are tent options to suit a variety of preferences, including semi-permanent to permanent structures and multi-room tents. Of course, the look is part of the appeal. We love the dreamy Stout tents: https://stouttent.com/social-gallery/ 2. Accent Lighting – Lighting brings the magic to your glampsite. Luckily there are many options for solar powered twinkle lights and lanterns. 3. Air Mattress – comfort and luxury separate glamping from camping. So you must have a comfortable bed topped with cozy luxurious bedding. If you won’t have your car near to power an electric pump, be sure to bring a battery powered pump. We love the Coleman Queen Airbed with a Battery pump. Reasonably priced investment for a whole lot of comfort and style. 4. Rugs – A rug is the cherry on top, or well, the bottom. It ties everything together and provides the ultimate homey feel. There are endless options to fit your style, but we recommend an indoor /outdoor style. 5. PROVEN Insect Repellent – after creating the perfect glampsite, don’t let it all be ruined by those pesky mosquitoes buzzing in your ear or wake up to ticks on your legs. Pack the PROVEN [...]
The 9 Best Bug Sprays for Travel Proven Insect Repellent This DEET-free Picaridin spray offers long-lasting protection for up to 14 hours. The brand's repellents have been tested to effectively repel mosquitos, ticks, black flies, biting flies, stable flies, ants, gnats, chiggers, sand flies, and no-see-ums. To buy: amazon.com, $13 Or order on our website: shop Proven. Read the whole article here.
Whether you are a mountain type of person who likes nothing more than to completely disconnect from civilization in nature. Or a beach bum who can’t wait to slide into a bathing suit and work on your tan on a faraway island, don’t forget that bug spray is just as important to pack as your sunglasses and sunscreen. While Zika may not be in the news anymore. It doesn’t mean that the danger from the mosquito-borne disease is over. The Center for Disease Control’s list of affected countries still includes all of the Caribbean plus most of South America and Africa. Yellow fever, dengue fever, and Lyme disease are just three more extremely dangerous bug-transmitted diseases that are common and cannot be treated with a vaccine. And while clothing should always be your first line of defense — bugs can't bite through two layers — an effective insect repellent is a must-have, as well. Related: 5 human scents that attract mosquitoes and how to make yourself less attractive to bugs Just like you choose your face moisturizer according to your skin’s needs, you should always consider two factors when picking the most appropriate bug repellent for you and your family: your skin’s sensitivity and how dangerous the insect situation is where you’re going. The CDC, Environmental Protection Agency, World Health Organization, and Environmental Working Group all recommend DEET-based products for heavy-duty protection against a wide range of pests. While the chemical concentration may vary by product (usually between 10 and 98 percent), formulas that contain at least 30 percent DEET are the most effective. A higher DEET concentration doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get better protection, it just means you’ll be protected for a longer period of time. Recommended: How to choose the best hiking boots? Picaridin- and IR3535-based products are also EPA-approved options that provide long-lasting protection against bugs. Picaridin is actually considered more effective than DEET. And finally, there are natural and organic bug sprays that are made with synthesized plant oils such as oil of lemon eucalyptus and natural plant oils such as soybean, lemongrass, citronella, and cedar that are good for people with sensitive skin. It’s also important to note that, of all of the options we just mentioned, only natural plant oils are not registered with the EPA, which means that they are safe to use, but are not as effective as the other three ingredients. PROVEN belongs to the nine best insect repellents that will keep the bugs away this summer. Read here the whole article on Travel + Leisure. To order PROVEN on Amazon, click here.
Non-Toxic Bug Protection Keep pesky bugs away on for instance camping, hiking, and other outdoor excursions with Proven. Proven is a non-toxic, DEET-free repellent recommended by the World Health Organization, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Safe for use by children (ages 2 months and up) and pregnant women. Proven’s new lightly scented or unscented sprays and lotions repel mosquitoes, ticks, black flies, biting flies, stable flies, ants, gnats, chiggers, sand flies, and no-see-ums for 12 to 14 hours. The active ingredient is Saltidin. It is patented with low acute toxicity and low skin absorption. As a result making it safe for the environment and non-toxic to fish and other wildlife. Available in a two-ounce travel-friendly size, as well as regular and family sizes. $7.95-$12.95. Click here to order Proven - Non-Toxic Bug Protection. Click here to read the whole article.
Review by Treeline Backpacker August 15, 2018 I’m yet to meet anyone who wants to be harassed by a mosquito. I’m also yet to meet anyone who wants to smell like bug spray. Luckily, there is something that helps with both of these problems. ‘Proven’ now makes an odorless 14 hour lotion designed to deter a wide variety of insects, without also deterring people. They sent me over some to test, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised. It’s pretty straightforward as far as products goes. It relies on Saltidin (picaridin) as a repellent, but unlike other sprays and lotions that have a very strong scent, this one seems to be barely detectable at all. I’m not exactly sure how they pulled that off, but it applies easily and is completely invisible. It also holds up well under sunny, sweaty conditions. It’s formulated with aloe for a little moisturizing boost, which I found nice, but it doesn’t come across as greasy like some others I’ve tried. It does do a decent job of softening the skin, although I wouldn’t use it as a fully body solution (wrist and ankles is how I tested it and also how I recommend using it). It’s non-toxic, but still works against mosquitoes, ticks, gnats, flies and more. It’s also DEET free, so it won’t dissolve nylons or other backpacking gear. I definitely recommend the lotion as it seems like last for several hours, but it does also come in a spray format. There is also a lightly scented versions if that’s your thing (not my thing), but I’m yet to try that one. Overall, it works, it doesn’t stink, and doesn’t make me feel all slimy when I wear it. It’s priced pretty well too, at between $8 and $12 depending on the size and format, which is pretty standard. More information For more information on Proven and their wide range of products check out their website, https://provenrepellent.com/ (not an affiliate link) For information on our rating system and our testing procedures, check out our About us/ Contact us page. I want to extend a huge thanks to Proven for providing this product for review. We couldn’t do it without their help. Our full disclosure can be found here. Read the full review here.
5 human scents that attract mosquitoes and how to make yourself less attractive to bugs Have you ever felt like every mosquito within ten square miles comes buzzing straight for you as soon as you step outside? We are often asked why mosquitoes prefer some humans over others. Well, it all comes down to how good you smell (or bad, depending on your perspective). Mosquitoes have very acute receptors in their antennae and heads that can detect human scents up to 100 feet away. Scents are one of the primary indicators mosquitoes use to identify their prey. It’s actually only female mosquitoes bite. The females need the protein found in blood to produce their eggs. Some species have a preference for human blood like the Anopheles gambiae, which can carry and spread Malaria. Other species prefer bird blood, but most of them will accept any blood they can find. And we humans are big, slow and smelly targets that are easy to find. Here are the top 5 human scents that attract mosquitoes and tips for minimizing your scent to these blood-thirsty pests. 5 human scents that attract mosquitoes Carbon dioxide – mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale, both the scent and the amount. There are many sources of CO2 in nature, so it isn’t just the carbon dioxide that attracts mosquitoes. Every time we exhale, we release chemicals like lactic acid, octenol, uric acid and fatty acids that combine with CO2 to form our own unique carbon dioxide cocktail. This combination of scents is what clues mosquitoes that there is a human target nearby. And some of these particular combinations are more attractive to mosquitoes. Additionally, the more CO2 we emit, the easier we are to recognize. The scent and amount of carbon dioxide you exhale is unique to you and your genetics, and unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to change your attractiveness other than mask your scent. Larger people exhale more CO2, which is why adults are more likely to be bitten than children. Pregnant women also exhale above average amounts and are therefore more attractive to mosquitoes. Body odor – Bacterial colonies combined with sweat generate that sweet (if you’re a mosquito) human scent we call body odor. Without the bacteria, our sweat would be odorless; with the bacteria, our sweat is one of the more attractive scents for mosquitoes, particularly the malaria-carrying Anopheles gambiae, which prefers to bite humans. There are measures you can take like washing regularly to reduce body odor; however be careful of fragrant perfumes and scents that can also draw mosquitoes. Fresh sweat is not as attractive because it has not combined with bacteria. Secretions – About 80% of us are “secretors” or people who secrete compounds known as saccharides and antigens through their skin and indicate blood type. Mosquitoes are magnets for secretors. Once again, your classification as a secretor or non-secretor is determined by [...]
As the Zika virus continues to spread through the Americas—and with hundreds of imported cases here in the United States—here’s what every American needs to know about the virus and their risk. 1. Why is there no treatment for Zika? There are no approved drugs or vaccines for Zika, mainly because scientists long assumed the virus was so benign that it wasn’t worth the resources required to investigate treatment. Zika has not been widely examined, and while some early research noted that the virus could infect brain cells, the connection between Zika and microcephaly—a severe neurological birth defect—is relatively new. Even now, many people who get infected will never know it, and if they start showing signs of infection, such as a rash, red eyes, fever or joint pain, doctors have little to offer other than advice to stay hydrated or take Tylenol as needed. 2. How can I find out if I have it? Right now there are no commercial diagnostic tests for Zika, so unless you’re pregnant or are a traveler with symptoms, your doctor may not test you. That’s because of the high volume of blood samples already waiting to be tested, which right now can be done only by state and federal health authorities. Getting results can take weeks, and tests for people who have traveled to Zika-affected areas but do not have symptoms will likely be considered low priority. An exception is pregnant women who have traveled to one of the 44 countries where Zika has spread—all of them should be tested, according to the CDC. For each test, a doctor will send a sample to a state or federal lab. There’s also a test that looks for antibodies in blood that show whether a person’s immune system has ever fought the virus, but it’s imperfect; it can mistake Zika for similar viruses like dengue and chikungunya. 3. Who is most at risk? Pregnant women who live in or have traveled to Zika-infested regions are vulnerable to the most serious complications from the virus: birth defects. Zika can also be transmitted through sex, though, which spreads the risk of infection to the bedroom. People living in Southern states and Hawaii—where the climate, geography and the presence of A. aegypti mosquitoes make eventual local transmission likely—are not currently at high risk of getting the virus in their home states, according to the CDC. “The one exception is that if their partner has been traveling to an area of Zika transmission, there is a risk of sexual transmission,” says Margaret Honein, chief of the CDC’s Birth Defects branch. Over time that risk may be enough to encourage U.S. women of childbearing age to consider using birth control. 4. What should I do to protect myself from Zika? Use Proven Insect Repellent spray or lotion. Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to prevent Zika, and while that may seem obvious, it can take some work. If [...]
No one wants to think about ticks. They’re creepy, hideous, and spread diseases. That’s the reason why you should be aware of to them. In the United States, ticks are responsible for spreading potentially-life threatening infectious diseases, some of which can trigger not just chills, nausea, and a fever, but also neurological problems and even death. The most infamous of these infections is Lyme disease—according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. And while the rates have steadily increased since the 1990s, thousands of Lyme disease cases may go unreported. Please be informed how ticks look like, where they are located, and what to do if one bites onto you. 1. Ticks are not insects They are actually arachnids, which means they’re more closely related to spiders than they are to flies or mosquitos. Ticks even look a lot like spiders: They have four pairs of legs, no antennae, and—importantly—don’t fly or jump. Instead, ticks camp out on blades of grass or other foliage, where they wait for a human or animal to come to them. It’s a strategy called “questing”: By using their third and fourth pairs of legs for stability, they stretch out their first set of legs and latch onto the unsuspecting host; from there, some ticks might crawl around until they find a thin area of skin near a small blood vessel, where it's easier to extract blood. 2. Only a few types of ticks spread diseases in the U.S. Scientists have identified thousands of tick species across the world, but only a handful or so really cause us trouble in the U.S. The blacklegged tick (or “deer tick”) is infamous in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest because it spreads Lyme disease, an infection that can eventually cause joint pain, inflammation of the brain, and more. The Rocky Mountain woodtick is another dangerous critter that gets its name from its natural habitat; it, along with the American dog tick and brown dog tick (both found across the country) can infect people with a potentially fatal disease called Rocky Mountain spotted fever. 3. If a tick bites you, it’ll probably stick around for a few days “It’s not like a mosquito, which stays on you for a few minutes,” says Peter Krause, MD, a senior research scientist in epidemiology and microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. The first thing the tick will likely do is look for a good spot to find blood. Since some ticks are relatively small, there’s a good chance you won’t notice one’s on you. Next, the tick burrows its creepy little head into your skin, and spits out a cocktail of blood-thinning, skin-numbing, human-immune-system-fighting saliva. Then it’ll likely feed for about 2 to 3 days, and, if it’s a female, can swell up to nearly in double its normal size—which is useful for when it [...]
Sharks, grizzly bears and big cats may strike fear into your heart and brain, but they do not even come close to being the deadliest animals on earth. The world’s deadliest animal is the Mosquito. As you can see mosquitoes are not just annoying little buzzing, biting bloodsuckers, but they also transmit very deadly diseases. In fairness, it is not actually the mosquito that kills you with its probing proboscis, but rather the pathogens that enter your body when the mosquito feeds. Every year about 830,000 people die due to mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria; and we hope to bring increased global awareness of the deadliness of mosquito-borne illnesses. The large number of mosquitoes adds to the risk they pose to humans. Unlike many other dangerous animal, they can be found in nearly every part of the world at various times of year, and at peak breeding season they outnumber every other animal except ants and termites. Related: Introducing Proven Repellent
Why do mosquito bites itch so badly? And why do they swell?! If you are wondering how such a small insect can cause such incessant itching and swelling, the first thing to know is that mosquitoes don’t actually bite you. Instead, mosquitoes have a long tube attached to their mouth called a proboscis that they stab into their host and use to suck out blood like straw! Mosquitoes also have special hematophagous arthropod saliva in their proboscis. Hematophagous arthropod saliva is a scientific way of saying “spit from a blood-sucking creature with an exoskeleton.” This specific type of saliva has chemicals and proteins in it that prevents blood from clotting. So what do mosquitoes do with their hematophagous arthropod saliva? They inject it into their victim before they start sucking its blood to prevent any clotting while they slurp. Therefore, the itching that you experience after a mosquito bite is your body reacting to the mosquito’s saliva. After detecting the saliva in your system, your body immediately sends antibodies to fight this foreign substance. In essence, you experience an allergic reaction to the mosquito saliva, causing itching and inflammation. Depending on how allergic your body is to mosquito saliva, the swelling and itching can last anywhere from a few hours to a full week. Actually it's better to prevent any mosquito bites by using Proven! Related: Why do mosquitoes like me?
Mosquitoes are confusing little creatures. But there is some science behind their madness. Below you will find the 6 most frequently asked questions about mosquitoes, and ways to avoid them (not the questions…the mosquitoes)! 1) Are mosquitoes attracted to water? Yes. Mosquitoes both live in water, and rely on trips to water to eliminate carbon dioxide and inhale a fresh supply of oxygen. Female mosquitoes lay their larvae in pools of water. Those larvae spend their first two stages of life in water. This also means that mosquitoes are attracted to humidity. Eventually, they are attracted to you because when you breathe, you exhale water vapor. Since you can’t give up breathing, Proven is here to help keep the mosquitoes away! 2) Why do mosquitoes bite? Actually only female mosquitoes bite. They need blood to provide the protein for egg development. Females produce one to three batches of eggs during a lifetime. When they are ready to produce eggs, they go in search of blood. While rather unpleasant to think about, female mosquitoes have a sophisticated system of six “stylets” they use to pump your blood. Four of the stylets have serrated edges for sawing into tiny capillaries just under the skin; the fifth injects saliva to allow blood to flow freely; and the sixth facilitates pulling in the blood. 3) Is there a good time to go outside in an effort to avoid mosquitoes during the summer months? The best time to go outside to avoid mosquitoes is during mid-day. Mosquitoes are mostly out from sundown to sunup, but can be present at all hours of the day. To be safe, just use Proven and enjoy the outdoors! 4) Are there ways to attract mosquitoes? Yes. There are several surefire ways that you will be bitten by mosquitoes. Factors such as body odor, wearing dark colors, jogging, wearing perfume or cologne, breathing (CO2), body heat, type O blood type, and secreting lactic acid have all proven to attract those pesky mosquitoes. Oh, and always remember to wear clean socks. Mosquitoes seem to love your sweaty socks! 5) How high do mosquitoes fly? You may want to stay on your balcony this summer. According to the American Mosquito Control Association, in general, mosquitoes that bite humans prefer to fly at heights less than 25 feet. The greater distance between you and the ground, the less likely you will be bitten. That being said, there are a few mosquito species that like to fly with the birds. To be safe, make sure to use Proven! 6) What is the best ways to treat a mosquito bite? For starters, do not itch! But we know that is easier said than done. There are both over-the-counter and home remedies to help treat a mosquito bite, including the itch. An antihistamine ointment will help for those extreme bites. If you are looking for a more natural approach, there are a few ingredients that will help take the bite out [...]