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With reports of the Zika virus being discovered in a growing number of U.S. states, it is become even more important to understand it and how lawn care and pest control professions can assist in stopping the spread of the disease.

Zika gets its name from the Zika Forest of Uganda, where it was originally discovered way back in 1947. It is closely related to West Nile virus, yellow fever and others viruses. Zika is just one of many potentially dangerous diseases spread by mosquitoes. It is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected, daytime-active Aedes species mosquito. These type of mosquitos peak during most human active hours, between early morning and late afternoon/evening hours.

In spring, southern-border states were vulnerable as Zika-infected mosquitoes had invaded most of Mexico and were expected to migrate toward the United States. Now, most of the U.S. is at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 1,850 infection cases have been reported in the U.S.

The most common symptoms of a Zika infection last between two to seven day and include mild fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). Other symptoms may include:

  • muscle pain
  • joint pain
  • headache
  • discomfort/feeling sick

People with compromised immune systems, the elderly, children, and pregnant women are at risk for more severe symptoms. Infants and fetuses infected with Zika virus can develop defects of the eye, hearing deficits, impaired growth, and poorly developed brain structures. It is also linked to a rise of the Guillain-Barré syndrome, an immune system disorder where the peripheral nervous system is rapidly attacked and deteriorated to the point of muscle atrophy, total paralyzation or even death. Diagnosis of Zika can only be confirmed through laboratory tests. As for treatment, there is currently no vaccine available.

Prevention is considered the best defense. Lawn care and pest control companies can help prevent the spread of this and other potentially dangerous diseases. Lawn care technicians should spread the word to current customers while in the field and offer mosquito applications, especially to those who are elderly or have children under 18 years of age. Pest control professionals should engage communities and educate them of the risks of Zika and health benefits of mosquito control applications.

Real Green has the perfect solution to educate your audience as well as and incentivize them to call for mosquito control service. It’s direct mail! Whether your company specializes in lawn care, landscaping, pest control or some other service industry that is effected by Zika, getting your message in the hands of many people is important to stopping the spread of this potentially deadly disease. And direct mail is the most effective tool to accomplish this task. Companies can choose the solution that best fits their need such as letters, postcards, and Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). Let Real Green partner with you to stop the spread for this new threat in our own backyard.