Happiest of holidays to you and yours…

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christmascard2016-sAll of us at Insect Shield appreciate the support this past year. We look forward to working hard to keep the critters of you, your loved ones, and your pets in the coming year… This year we are very proud to support the incredible efforts of World Vision and will be placing an Insect Shield World Vision blanket in the hands of those in need on behalf of all of our clients. Enjoy the time with friends and family and we’ll be back to fend off the bugs soon!

worldvisionblanket

 

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Snow Before Halloween! At Least the Ticks Will Die, Right? No Such Luck.

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pumpkinsnow1200Connecticut residents have already seen their first snowstorm of the season. Many are thrilled, Some… not so much. Others are celebrating the notion that it might render the dreaded ticks, in such abundance, frosted!

 


Do Ticks Die after First Frost? No Such Luck, And We’ve Got the Proof

Fall/Winter Protection for Yourself, Families and Pets

Have you been wondering (or hoping) that the recent chill in the air sweeping the nation will freeze the palps off of the ticks that have plagued us and our beloved pets this summer? It’d be nice, right? Wishful thinking… We reached out to tick expert, Dr. Thomas Mather, to find out more about just how hardy ticks are and if they can actually survive in the cooler weather months. Here is his unfortunate response…

“Some species, like American dog tick and Lone Star tick are just not active in fall and winter months. Others, like Blacklegged (deer) tick can remain active in their adult stage from fall to spring as long as the temperature is above freezing,” explains Dr Mather, Director of the University of Rhode Island’s Center for Vector-Borne Disease and TickEncounter Resource Center

Dr Mather and his team have conducted extensive tests to determine if dreaded ticks actually die in the cold weather.

Here is a re-cap.

Indoor testing: Recently, TickEncounter put some adult female deer ticks in their own polar vortex (aka, the freezer), and ticks were killed in 24 hours. The temperature was -2°F. Being attacked by fewer ticks come springtime would be some kind of payback for the extreme heating bills of this winter. However, outside in nature, the ticks borough under leaves, snow and other debris to stay warm. Also over evolutionary time, ticks have experienced their share of frigid polar vortex conditions…and somehow survived them.

Outdoor testing: So, they took more ticks outside to test what would happen. Spoiler alert: watch the video and get prepared to be shocked!

Polar Vorticks
https://youtu.be/5kjxgCdnaQM

Interview with “The Tick Guy”
https://youtu.be/c0PH4uoqytM
tick-WEBDr. Thomas Mather

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#TalkAboutTicks – Insect Shield Proud Supporters of Project Lyme

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14446057_10154906091264381_5603925179743260177_n

Project Lyme Founder, Heather Hearst + Ally Hilfiger

Lyme disease: 300,000 Cases a Year, Yet Still a Silent Epidemic. Project Lyme, Ally Hilfiger, and Leading Doctors met up in New York at the Hearst Tower for a Vital Conversation about Prevention Tactics/Early Detection

It’s time to #TalkAboutTicks. Lyme disease is one of the fastest growing epidemics to date with numbers of US cases reported per year skyrocketing to 300,000 Yet, Lyme and other tick borne illnesses are preventable, with one caveat – awareness. Lyme can begin with a flu-like symptoms, joint pain, headaches, brain fog and sometimes the infamous “bulls-eye” rash or even facial paralysis. When not detected early it can lead to excruciating pain, heart problems and psychological and neurological disorders. Prevention and early detection are vital. Heather Hearst and Project Lyme gathered for cocktails and conversation with top leaders, doctors and scientists in the Lyme community.

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Nearly 30 years ago, a proper diagnosis and antibiotic treatment saved the life of Project Lyme founder, Heather Hearst. Decades later, the patients she meets with and hears about are still fighting a silent battle. Focused on prevention and early diagnosis, Project Lyme, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is putting a spotlight on Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

Insect Shield is excited to partner with the most committed organizations, such as Project Lyme, and shares a common goal of raising awareness about early prevention and early detection of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases on a national and global scale.

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Insect Shield® Repellent Technology Providing Added Layer of Protection for Olympic Athletes and Select Media Groups as they Head to Rio Olympic Games

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Close up of a pin marking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on a mass produced map.

Permethrin-treated clothing, such as Insect Shield®, is a key method of protection recommended by the CDC and other International Agencies for those traveling to at-risk areas.

The world’s attention has focused heavily on the current Zika virus outbreak which has already affected twenty four countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The mosquito-borne disease is also a major concern for those heading to the Rio Olympic Games. The World Health Organization has declared Zika an international public health emergency and predicts the virus will likely end up in every country in the Americas.  Athletes and media communities scheduled to travel to Rio to compete in and cover the Olympic Games have deep concerns about the health risks posed by the virus and are grappling with how to stay protected.

A close up of a medal that is engraved with the year "2016" rests on top of a blue ribbon.

In response, Insect Shield® Repellent Technology is working with select teams and media groups to offer an added layer of protection, through the use of permethrin-treated clothing, as is recommended by the CDC. Because there is no vaccine for Zika, mosquito bite prevention is critical.

Originally developed for the US military, Insect Shield technology bonds the insect repellent permethrin to apparel and gear products to provide odorless, effective and long-lasting protection. EPA-registered Insect Shield is tested and proven to repel mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers and midges (including those that can carry Zika virus and other illnesses such as Lyme disease, Dengue fever and malaria.)
USRowing-logo-2-color-01
Insect Shield®’s program to protect athletes and news organization employees who will be traveling to Rio for the Olympics follows the example of leading health and safety-minded employers and international global health agencies who protect their employees by requiring that they wear Insect Shield protective clothing when traveling to and working in insect borne disease risk areas throughout the globe. Insect Shield currently works with a number of oil and gas, mining, forestry and global health organizations to help protect them from insects and the diseases they carry.

KSL TV out of Salt Lake City, who covered the 2002 Winter Olympics, just reported that an elderly Salt Lake County resident who died in late June is the first confirmed Zika-related death in the continental U.S. The media group is currently deploying a number of additional prevention tactics, including insect repellent clothing, for their team slated to cover the Rio Olympic Games. In order to serve them better Insect Shield is also sending a nationally renowned outdoor survival expert to Salt Lake City to help educate staff about the virus and how to use the permethrin-treated clothing and other protection methods to ward off dangerous insects.

USRowing team athletes, in particular, are taking advantage of the Insect Shield Your Own Clothes program enabling them to get their clothing treated with Insect Shield protection prior to their travels.

“The health and safety of our athletes is our highest priority,” says Liz Soutter, Assistant National Teams Program Manager, United States Rowing Association. “We are grateful to Insect Shield® for providing our athletes with the opportunity to add another layer of protection between them and the mosquito borne disease threats in Rio, allowing them to further focus on the competition.”

About Insect Shield® Technology:  Insect Shield Repellent Apparel and Gear are revolutionary products designed to provide long-lasting, effective and convenient personal insect protection. The durable protection provided by Insect Shield is the result of years of research and testing. In July 2003, Insect Shield Repellent Apparel was registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Insect Shield Technology is utilized by leading lifestyle brands, work wear distributors and International relief organizations across the globe to provide effective protection against insects and the diseases they can carry. Insect Shield is an approved vendor of the US Army and US Marine Corps. insectshield.com

Where to buy Insect Shield protective clothing:
Insect Shield Online store

How to get your own clothes treated with Insect Shield® protection:
Insect Shield Your Own Clothes

Parasite-Proofing Your Home, by Dr. Katy Nelson, DVM

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IMG_1017We hate to say it . . . however, chances are, if you find a tick or flea on your pet, the likelihood of them being in your home is quite large. In this case, simply treating your pet won’t rid the problem entirely, because you risk re-infestation until pests are fully eradicated.Here are some helpful tips to avoid critter infestations this summer and fall.

Vacuum

  • Yes, it is a good idea to do this every day to remove eggs, larvae and adult insects. Vacuuming is one of the easiest ways to prevent tick and flea infestations in your house.
  • Be sure to vacuum everything: carpets, inside couches and under chair cushions, carpet runners, bath mats and along baseboards!

Steam Clean Carpets

  • The hot steam and soap kill fleas in all stages of the life cycle.
  • Steam clean extra carefully where pets sleep.

Flea and Tick Topical and Oral Preventatives

  • Protect pets from fleas and ticks with oral or topical flea and tick treatments. Ask your veterinarian which he or she prefers.
  • Always be sure to carefully follow the instructions when using tick and flea protective products.
  • Set a reminder to administer flea and tick treatment on a schedule year-round.

Buy Products Treated with Permethrin

  • Consider the purchase of pet beds, bandanas, car seat covers, blankets and more that are treated with permethrin.
  • If your pet bedding is not treated be sure to wash it regularly (also your family bedding on which pets lie.) Wash in hot, soapy water often (at least every 2 weeks).
  • If an infestation is severe, discard old pet bedding and replace it with fresh, clean material.

Create Tick-Safe Zones in Landscaping

Modify your landscape to create Tick-Safe Zones. You can make your yard less attractive to ticks depending on how you landscape. Here are some simple landscaping techniques that can help reduce tick populations:

  • Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns.
  • Place a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas and around patios and play equipment. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas.
  • Mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked.
  • Stack wood neatly and in a dry area (discourages rodents and, therefore, ticks that feed on rodents).
  • Place playground equipment, decks, and patios in the sunniest locations on the property away from yard edges and trees.
  • Remove any old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide.

(Tips courtesy of the Center for Disease Control)

Check Pets for Ticks and Fleas

  • Comb: Some adult ticks can be visible to the naked eye, but others can be as small as a poppy seed! So although you might be able to find some on pets with shorter hair, tick detection is that much harder on long-haired animals. Use a comb to help in this case, combing along your pet’s belly and back.
  • Tick Mats: When checking for fleas and ticks, it helps to put them on a white sheet, towel or mat to see if any fall off.
  • Removal: If you find fleas or ticks, immediately get dispose of them in soapy water you should have nearby, at-the-ready!

Veterinarian. Mom. Advocate.

Dr. Nelson is an associate veterinarian at the Belle Haven Animal Medical Centre in Alexandria, Virgina, as well as the host and executive producer of “The Pet Show with Dr. Katy” on Washington, DC’s News Channel 8. The show airs at 11am on Saturday mornings. She’s also known as “Dr. Pawz” on Washington DC’s All News Radio Station, WTOP. Read her blog on WTOP Living every Wednesday morning, catch her live in-studio show every other Thursday at 12:20 pm, talking about timely topics for your pets. You can also find her reporting on animal health topics for WJLA ABC 7.

Dr. Katy is the medical director of pet health for Live In The Now, a leading nutrition and lifestyle company that relies on the latest clinical research to guide them in their efforts to help people and pets to live longer, better lives. You can also read “Ask Dr. Katy” quarterly in the Virginia-Maryland Dog Magazine, or online.

Dr. Nelson is passionate about health and fitness, and she strives to help dogs and cats to live the longest, fullest lives that they can lead by staying fit and trim. Along with Steve Pelletier from SlimDoggy and Krista Wickens from DogTread, she is a founding partner of PetsMove.org, a national health and fitness initiative aimed at getting people healthy alongside their dogs. A lover of fashion and beauty, she envisions a world where all products are cruelty free, not tested on animals, made in a sustainable manner, and free of harsh chemicals that are unsafe not only for us, but for our pets. She is also a passionate advocate for pet rescue and pit bull-type dogs, and speaks ardently on the subjects in many different forums.

Dr. Nelson is a Certified Veterinary Journalist (CVJ), accredited by the American Society of Veterinary Journalists (ASVJ). She is the former President of the District of Columbia Academy of Veterinary Medicine, the oldest and largest veterinary continuing education society in the United States. She is a reporter for Veterinary News Network and a weekly guest on Washington, DC’s News Channel 8’s Let’s Talk Live. Through her consulting business, KJN Veterinary Consulting, Dr. Nelson has served as a valuable source to reporters around the country for the past five years, and has served as a marketing consultant for various pet-related corporations.

Through her production company, Sit. Good Girl Productions, LLC, Dr. Nelson creates original programming for network television. A partnership with Emmy Award-winning producer Judy Plavnick, Dr. Nelson and Judy are committed to producing educational and entertaining film, that you can’t look away from. Their first documentary, telling the story of the building of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in Newtown, Connecticut, is currently in production and will air upon completion.

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Vulnerable Community in Honduras Facing Zika Virus Challenges Turns to Insect Shield® Blankets to Help Protect Children Cared for by FootSteps Missions

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Located in Santa Barbara, Honduras, the FootSteps Missions Garden of Love and Hope facility is in a hotbed location for the Zika virus. The orphanage works with children termed “economic orphans.” They have a mother but she cannot afford to take care of them, so Footsteps Missions provides food, clothes, medicine, and education for all the children. Recently, they have been faced with the added challenges of Zika virus cases in their community. In response, they reached out to Insect Shield® and are now protecting children with protective blankets to help ward off the disease-carrying mosquitoes. FS2
Garden of Love and Hope supports numerous children in their facility. They are also in the process of creating a job training skills center to help older children learn and develop. Their hope is to help shape leaders for the next generation who will be able to thrive and positively impact their communities – education is the core foundation to achieve this goal. According to FootSteps Missions, progress is happening. Children who were once shunned from society are now helping in the community, serving others at the nursing home and kindergarten, and finishing high school and beyond.

Health is paramount for FootSteps Missions to continue helping their community. Because there is no vaccine for Zika, the CDC recommends protection from mosquito bites including the use of permethrin treated clothing/textiles. Insect Shield Protection Blankets repel mosquitoes, ticks, flies and fleas including those that can carry additional dangerous diseases beyond Zika virus such as malaria, West nile virus, dengue fever and leishmaniasis. FS4

Insect Shield blanket pairs well with other vector-borne disease prevention tools, such as mosquito nets, for ultimate protection against insects and the diseases they can carry. Insect Shield protection is effective and long-lasting. Insect Shield blankets are ideal for orphanages since can be used by the entire family with no restrictions for use and offer multipurpose protection – warmth, ground cover and protection from insects. FS3

Insect Shield also works with a number of additional relief organizations such as World Vison® and Medical Teams International to put the Protection Blanket in the hands of those most at-risk. World Vision® includes the Insect Shield Protection Blankets into their Promise Packs for distribution to children living in extreme poverty in Malawi, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Cambodia, Philippines, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Haiti and Nicaragua. Insect Shield and World Vision are also working together on their Gift Catalog offer to help protect children in malaria risk areas.

About Footsteps Missions: For more information about Footsteps Missions and to help support their efforts, please visit www.footstepsmissions.org 1240554_447618262018323_268307180_n

About Insect Shield® Technology:  Insect Shield Repellent Apparel and Gear are revolutionary products designed to provide long-lasting, effective and convenient personal insect protection. The durable protection provided by Insect Shield is the result of years of research and testing. In July 2003, Insect Shield Repellent Apparel was registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Insect Shield Technology is utilized by leading lifestyle brands, work wear distributors and International relief organizations across the globe to provide effective protection against insects and the diseases they can carry. Insect Shield is an approved vendor of the US Army and US Marine Corps. insectshield.com

World Malaria Day 2016

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world_malaria_day_imageCourtesy of the WHO and RollBack Malaria Partnership Web sites

It’s Time to #EndMalaria
On April 25th people across the globe take part in a wide range of activities to mark World Malaria Day. For half the world every day is malaria day – a day to keep up the fight against this killer disease.

No child should have to die from a mosquito bite, yet malaria still kills a child every two minutes. We can be the generation that ends malaria – one of the oldest and deadliest diseases in human history.

Key Facts

  • In 2015, there were 214 million cases, and 438 000 deaths from Malaria
  • 3.2 billion (almost half of the world population) are at risk
  • In 2015, 97 countries had on-going malaria transmission
  • The global malaria mortality rate was reduced by 60% in 2000 – 15, and an estimated 6.2 million lives were saved as a result of a scale-up of malaria interventions
  • US$ 5.1 billion is needed every year, double the funding available

Learn more about the latest innovations leading the fight against malaria:
http://www.malariaconsortium.org/wmd2016-innovations

 

National Heartworm Awareness Month: Tips for Keeping Pets Parasite Free

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heartwormawarenessApril is National Heartworm Awareness Month, Spring is here and so are the bugs. Every year it is a challenge to keep them off our pets and out of our homes. Recently, we spoke with veterinarian, Dr Katy Nelson about the prevalence, risks and prevention tactics we can deploy to keep our pets pest-free in the coming summer months.

We hate to say it… however, chances are, if you find a tick or flea on your pet, the likelihood of them being in your home is quite large… In this case, simply treating your pet won’t rid the problem entirely, because you risk re-infestation until pests are fully eradicated.

Here are some helpful tips to avoid critter infestations in the coming months…
Vacuum!

  • Yes, it is a good idea to do this every day to remove eggs, larvae and adults. Vacuuming is one of the easiest ways to prevent tick and flea infestations in your house.
  • Don’t Forget! Be sure to vacuum everything – carpets, inside couches and under chair cushions, carper runners, bath mats and along baseboards!

Steam clean carpets:

  • The hot steam and soap kills fleas in all stages of the life cycle.
  • Steam clean extra carefully where pets sleep.

Buy products treated with Permethrin

  • Consider the purchase of pet beds, bandanas, car seat covers, blankets and more that are treated with Permethrin, such as Insect Shield for Pets
  • If your pet bedding is not treated be sure to wash it regularly (also your family bedding on which pets lie.) Wash in hot, soapy water often. (at least every 2 weeks)
  • If an infestation is severe, discard old pet bedding and replace it with fresh, clean material.

Create Tick Safe Zones in Landscaping
Modify your landscape to create Tick Safe Zones

  • You can make your yard less attractive to ticks depending on how you landscape.

Here are some simple landscaping techniques that can help reduce tick populations:

  • Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns.
  • Place a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas and around patios and play equipment. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas.
  • Mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked.
  • Stack wood neatly and in a dry area (discourages rodents that ticks feed on).
  • Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees and place them in a sunny location, if possible.
  • Remove any old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide.
    (Tips courtesy of the CDC website)

Check Pets for ticks and Fleas

  • Mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked.
  • Stack wood neatly and in a dry area (discourages rodents that ticks feed on).
  • Comb: Some adult ticks can be visible to the naked eye – but others can be as small as a poppy seed! So you might be able to find some on pets with shorter hair. For long haired pets it helps to use a comb. Use the comb along your pet’s belly and back. If you find fleas or ticks, immediately get rid of them in soapy water you will have nearby, at-the-ready!
  • Itching: In some cases it will be abundantly clear that your pet has fleas or ticks due to incessant scratching.
  • Tick Mat: When checking for fleas and ticks, it helps to put them on a white sheet, towel or mat to see if any fall off.

Always be sure to carefully follow the instructions when using tick and flea protective products…

Dr. Katy is an associate veterinarian at the Belle Haven Animal Medical Centre, as well as host and executive producer of “The Pet Show with Dr. Katy” on Washington DC’s News Channel 8. She’s reports on animal health topics for Washington DC’s All News Radio Station, WTOP News as well as on camera for WJLA ABC 7 News.  She is the Medical Director of Pet Health for Stop Aging Now, Medical Director of Pet Health for BioStem Logics and the Proprietor of KJN Pet Marketing.  She has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, Fox and Friends, The Meredith Vieira Show, CNBC’s PowerPitch, HuffPost Live, to name a few, and is the expert for the second season of the popular show “Unlikely Animal Friends” to air this spring on NatGeo Wild.  She is a frequent contributor to HuffPost Pets, BarkPost and PetMD and you can also read “Ask Dr. Katy” quarterly in the Virginia-Maryland-DC Dog Magazine, or online.  Dr. Katy has been a small animal veterinarian for 15 years, and is a proud graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine.  In her spare time she is an avid traveler, athlete, wife, rescue proponent, and proud mom to three four-leggers and two two-leggers.

New Insect Shield Maternity/Lifestyle Collection in Wake of Zika-Concerns

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According to a recent CDC update, Puerto Rico will be ground zero for the fight against Zika in the United States. Health experts claim that 1 in 5 people could become infected. Also recently, 9 pregnant travelers from the US have laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika. Of the 9 cases, one infant was born with severe microcephaly. There are 10 additional cases of concern and under investigation. In response to strong demand from consumers for a wider assortment of insect repellent protective clothing options for families and pregnant women, Insect Shield is launching a lifestyle collection, including a variety of maternity basics and every day styles for the entire family. The collection will help offer protection to those traveling to Zika-risk areas and also work well to help protect families from ticks and mosquitoes in their own backyards.

The virus, which is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, was first discovered in 1947 in Uganda and lived mostly in monkeys. But this year cases in humans have increased dramatically with an alarming connection noted between infected pregnant women and microcephaly — a severe neurological disorder that causes their babies to be born with abnormally small heads. This causes developmental issues and sometimes death.

Because there is no vaccine for Zika, the CDC recommends protection from mosquito bites including the use of permethrin treated clothing.

Personal Protection Tips:
Use EPA-registered insect repellents
Use topical repellents on exposed skin
Wear pre-treated permethrin insect repellent clothing (such as Insect Shield)

IS-Womens-Maternity-hoody_6_1750Insect Shield Maternity and Lifestyle Collection:
The new Insect Shield Maternity and Lifestyle collection includes a range of every day basics to help protect pregnant women and families. The assortment includes casual tops and bottoms ideal for weekend wear, buggy backyard BBQ’s, gardening and sporting events – all with built-in, Insect Shield protection.

 

Insect-Shield-Boy-Girl_1_1750