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Your Well Being  

Your Well Being  

What the Home Pros Know with Shaun Henry

It’s cold out there! Maybe it’s all in my head, but my body dislikes the cold increasingly with each passing season. I’m already eager for spring!  

Although some of the usual suspects that our Pest Control Crew deals with seem to disappear over the winter, it might still be a clever idea to share some thoughts about some of our pest issues in Central MO as they can cause adverse health issues for you and your family.  

Mice sit high on the pest list.  

Aside from the physical damage that mice can cause to your home or business, they can contaminate your food and be a source of salmonella and other diseases. Their dander, urine, and feces can also cause problems for allergy and asthma sufferers. On top of all of that, they also can carry parasites into your house. Fleas coming from a mouse infestation are not particularly uncommon.  

Speaking of fleas.  

Fleas tend to prefer biting your pets over biting you, but still, when they do bite humans, they tend to bite around the feet and ankles leaving small red marks where their mouthparts entered the skin — leaving the bite site quite itchy. Both plague and typhus can be transferred to us from fleas — not to me and hopefully not to you.  

And then there are roaches.  

They are another source of salmonella and allergy- and asthma-related issues. Roaches leave a trail of urine, feces, and regurgitated saliva and digestive fluids. The dry particles can trigger an asthma attack and can also cause conditions like E. coli, typhoid, urinary tract infection, salmonella, digestive issues, and sepsis.

Watch for ‘skeeters.  

Even though it’s winter, you can’t forget about mosquitoes. They can carry a variety of diseases such as encephalitis which includes the West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis, and others. Heartworms can be transferred to your pup by a mosquito, too.  

Check for ticks.  

Ticks can carry a variety of diseases and sometimes they’re deadly. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, heartland virus, bourbon virus, alpha-gal syndrome, and others. I’m out and about quite a bit in areas where ticks are prevalent, so I use caution and repellants.  

Brown recluse.  

Don’t forget about the brown recluse spider. It’s common to find them in Columbia homes. Their defensive bites are venomous, even though you may not feel it. Symptoms and reactions may include chills and fever, discoloration at the bite, nausea, headache, weakness, and joint pain. In the worst cases, there are seizures, organ failure, and even death. 

Biting bed bugs.  

Although bed bugs are not known for transmitting diseases, their itchy bites and presence can cause you to lose sleep which then increases stress and anxiety. They are a nuisance pest that you certainly don’t want to live with.  

Atkins has solutions to keep pests away, so you don’t have to worry about them ruining your winter season. We can also relieve some of your stress and worry by doing some of your chores. Whether it is cleaning up your landscape beds, managing your lawn, planting new trees, controlling your household pests, or even disinfecting surfaces at your place of work during flu and cold season, Atkins is the right place to call.  

Shaun Henry

A Columbia native, Shaun Henry found a home at Atkins in 2000 when he started his career as a turf technician. Shaun holds a commercial applicator’s license through the Missouri Department of Agriculture and is a member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the Mid-America Green Industry Council, and the Missouri Green Industry Alliance. Shaun strongly believes in the importance of a great customer experience where the Atkins staff knows their clients and anticipates their needs accordingly. 

Shaun is an MU alumnus and has a degree in plant science.

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