Lyme Disease on the Rise

As you head out into the outdoors and woods this fall, remember that Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are a few of the states with the highest rates of Lyme disease in the country. Lyme disease is a multisystem inflammatory disease that affects the skin in its early, localized stage, and then may spread to the joints, nervous system and, to a lesser extent, other organ systems in its later, disseminated stages. Infected ticks, which draw most of the nastiness from infected mice and deer, transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Untreated, the disease can cause problems in joints, the heart and the nervous system. Always remember to cover exposed skin with protective clothing like long sleeves and long pants when you enter woodsy areas. Keep in mind that most ticks need to feed for 24-48 hours before they can successfully transmit infections. So, it is very important that after hikes you do a full body check (including in the hair) to look for ticks. If ticks are removed promptly, before they become engorged with blood, infection is unlikely.

Pets are also carriers of these insects, so protect your pets with flea and tick control, and examine them after coming indoors, too.

Call Reardon at 302-792-9300 if you suspect an infestation on your property. Leave it to the experts!

Four Delawareans Test Positive for West Nile Virus

Four people in Delaware have tested positive for the West Nile Virus. Three were in New Castle County and one in Kent County.

Mosquitoes have been bad this summer because of early, heavy rains and are expected to spread the virus until cold weather arrives.

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Where Do Honey Bees Go During the Winter?

Honeybees have a very interesting method of winter survival. Honeybees stop flying when the weather drops below 50 degrees. When the temperature drops below that, the bees all crowd into the lower central area of the hive and form a “winter cluster.” The worker bees huddle around the queen bee at the center of the cluster, shivering in order to keep the center around 80 degrees. The worker bees rotate through the cluster from the outside to the inside so that no bee gets too cold. The outside edges of the cluster stay at about 46-48 degrees. The colder the weather is outside, the more compact the cluster becomes.

Hibernating honeybees have been studied and shown to consume up to 30 pounds of stored honey during the winter months, which helps the bees produce body heat. Heat energy is produced by the oxidation of the honey, and circulated throughout the hive by the wing-fanning of worker bees. Note the diagram at right.

On warmer days, bees will venture out for short flights to eliminate body waste. The flights do not last long nor do the bees travel very far because if their body gets too cold they might not be able to return to the hive.

Stinging Pests More Active as Winter Approaches

As summer slowly begins to wind down, please use caution when dealing with stinging insects. Be aware that these stinging pests are entering into their most active time of year as they forage for food that will sustain them during the winter. Those spending time outdoors need to remember that stinging insects, such as bees, wasps and hornets, remain a threat even as the days get shorter.

While some stinging insects are beneficial in that they pollinate plants and eat other harmful insects, they also send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year. For the majority of Americans, stings cause localized swelling and pain. However, 3 percent of the population experiences severe allergic reactions such as rashes, hives and shortness of breath.

If you suspect an infestation or notice a hive or nest on your property, DO NOT attempt to move it on your own. Contact our pest professionals at 302-792-9300 to safely remove the threat.