Zika Virus: 5 Things You Should Know

One of the biggest health scares of 2016 is the Zika virus. Previously found in other countries, cases are beginning to pop up across the United States.

To keep you and your family safe, here’s five simple things you need to know about the virus:

1. Zika Virus Is Transmitted By Mosquitoes.

The most common way people are infected by the virus is by being bitten by a mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person.

Mosquito bites are annoying, and usually harmless. However, you should never go outdoors without protection with the confidence that you can stand a few nibbles. There are many mosquito-borne illnesses, including malaria, West Nile Virus, and Yellow fever. Why risk it?

Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, even in hot weather, can shield your skin from mosquito bites. You’ll also want to use a repellent. Cedar oil spray can be applied directly to the skin, clothing and pets. Make sure to get all exposed areas of your skin, including your face, neck, and behind your ears. If you’ll be using sunblock, apply it before using the insect spray.

2. Most People With Zika Virus… Don’t Know It.

With the hype surrounding the virus, you might be surprised to learn that many people who contract it do not actually show symptoms. Those that do may experience a fever, rash, red eyes and joint pain for just a few days. There’s currently no vaccination or treatment for Zika – doctors typically tell their patients to manage symptoms with over-the-counter aspirin.

Since so few people affected actually see a doctor, it’s not uncommon for the virus to go unnoticed. That’s not necessarily a good thing. If people do not realize they have it, they will not take steps to prevent others from being affected.

A small percentage aren’t so lucky. Zika virus can result in serious complications, such as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) – which causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune condition that attacks nerve cells. These patients suffer short and long term symptoms including numbness, loss of vision and cognitive difficulties.

3. Travelling Puts You At Risk.

While hundreds of Zika cases have been reported in the continental United States, most of them involve travel to affected countries. In Florida, however, some patients were infected despite not having traveled – instead having been infected by a local mosquito.

Zika united states

Zika virus cases are found in most of the United States, but a majority of states’ cases are travel-related, with the exception of cases in Florida. Courtesy of CDC.gov.

Be very careful when travelling to affected countries. The virus is widespread in many countries in North, Central and South America, as well as some parts of Africa and South East Asia.

Map of countries affected by the Zika virus, courtesy of ecdc.europa.eu.
Map of countries affected by the Zika virus, courtesy of ecdc.europa.eu.

4. Pregnant Women Should Be Extra Careful.

baby
A Brazilian baby with microcephaly, a condition that causes the child to have a small head due to irregular brain development.

Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant need to be extremely careful. The Zika virus is known to cause miscarriages, stillbirths, microcephaly and other fatal birth defects if transmitted from mother to baby.

5. Not All Mosquitoes Carry It.

Fortunately, only certain types of mosquitoes can carry the virus, Aedes aegypti. This type of mosquito exists in most of the United States, though the Southern states are considered a “high risk zone,” with higher concentrations of the species.

Even so, other types of mosquitoes can carry other diseases. Your best bet is to avoid getting bitten, regardless of where you live.

Avoid standing pools of water, cover up exposed skin, and use bug spray to treat your family, your pets and your home and garden. Stay safe!

How To Stop A Flea Infestation… Naturally!

What started as a few black dots skipping through your pet’s fur has become a full-blown pest population taking over your home.

You know you have options: harsh sprays, bug bombs, an exterminator – but you’re worried that the same chemicals that will annihilate your flea population will also cause harm to your family and your pets.

Not only can you stop a flea infestation naturally, but also, you can keep bugs out of your home for good using products that are completely safe for humans and domestic animals.

Here’s how you can stop a flea infestation naturally:

Step #1: Know Your Enemy

By now, you’ve probably spotted the tiny black adult fleas crawling through your pet’s fur. As you reach for them, they can hop up to 4 feet in the air. These adult fleas make up fewer than 5 percent of the flea population.

Adult, female fleas lay up to 40 eggs per day, usually on your pet. Everywhere your pet goes, flea eggs fall. They’re just barely visible, tiny white specks, making up 50 percent of the population. You might not notice them resting in your carpet, on your pet’s bed, and around your home.

Larvae hatch from the eggs two days to two weeks after they are laid. Adult fleas suck blood from your pet and pass it in the form of dark, dusty “flea dirt,” which looks like black pepper sprinkled throughout your pet’s fur. It’s really your pet’s blood, predigested by adult fleas and consumed by flea larvae as their first meal.

Flea larvae form cocoons within 5-20 days of hatching. Cocoons make up 10 percent of the population. They are sticky, and may rest below the surface of your carpet – they’re not easily vacuumed out. They emerge when they sense the presence of a host, where they feast and lay eggs of their own.

What does this all mean? It means that fleas are the least of your worries. Their offspring are everywhere in your environment, so even if you get rid of fleas, within a few weeks their larvae hatch and start the life cycle again. That’s why you need to take this 5-step approach to getting rid of fleas for good.

The lifecycle of the #flea. It can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months - meaning your infestation can come back even when the adult fleas have vanished. You need to destroy fleas at every life stage to get rid of them for good. For natural, safe, affordable solutions, check out DGCedaroil.com.

Step #2: Treat Your Family

Before treating your home, treat yourself and your family members to stop the biting in the meantime.

You can use our all-natural cedar oil personal and pet spray to topically treat both humans and animals. This formula also soothes itchiness and irritation due to existing flea bites. It’s safe to spray on your skin, bedding and clothes, and on dogs and cats.

Step #3: Evict The Fleas

Now, it’s time to kick the fleas out of your home. Our indoor cedar oil formula destroys your indoor infestation in multiple ways.

The silica content corrodes the flea’s exoskeleton. This makes them vulnerable to cedar oil’s dehydrating properties. The cedar oil also makes it difficult for fleas of all life stages to breathe.

Have you ever seen a trail of ants marching across your floor? That’s the power pheromones in action. Ants, fleas and many other pests follow the scents of each other’s pheromones to feed, mate and conduct other life-sustaining activities. Cedar oil covers the pheromone scent, leaving these pests too disoriented to do anything.

Those that don’t come in direct contact are repelled by the scent, and quickly flee your home. Best of all, unlike many chemical treatments, fleas do not develop resistance to natural cedar oil solutions.

Spray every area of your home. It’s safe for virtually all surfaces, won’t stain or discolor wood or fabrics. Repeat as needed.

Vacuuming will remove many of the eggs and cocoons in your carpets. Just be sure to avoid emptying or discarding the bag contents indoors.

Step #4: Spray Outdoors

Unable to sustain life in your treated home, some fleas may remain outdoors. Spray the perimeter of your home, plus any dog runs, kennels, gardens or sheds.

For fast application, use Nature’s Defender. The bottle is equipped with a convenient hose end sprayer so you can easily treat your entire yard. This formula also keeps your yard free of mosquitoes, mites, grubs, ants, flies, and many other pests – without harming your lawn or garden.

Do not use the indoor formula on your lawn. It can be harmful to plants, and shouldn’t be diluted with water.

Step #5: Follow Up

Spray your pets monthly or after baths, and before walks in fields and wooded areas. Treating your pet regularly is often sufficient to keep a flea infestation from recurring. Treat the indoor areas as needed, and outdoor areas after rainstorms.

Flea infestations are the most common from Spring to Fall, because they thrive when it’s warm out. However, they can also move into your warm, toasty home during the winter. Keep up with flea prevention year-round, you can keep your home pest-free for good.

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