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Q&A with the Experts

If you have a question for our Expert Panel simply send an email to marketing@insectshield.com and we will get you some answers...
 
Q: Where do bugs (specifically mosquitoes) go in the cold, winter months? Why do they magically re-appear and bother us in the spring?
A: Insect Shield Expert Panel                                                                                                      
We hate to say it… but mosquitoes are able to remain active in the winter – they are just hiding. Usually, they lay their eggs in the late summer or fall, then these eggs hatch when the weather warms. Many types of mosquitoes live through the winter. Only females spend the cold months hidden in protected places. When warm weather returns, the females must first find a blood meal to develop her eggs. This happens when we are all enjoying warm spring weather outside! The newly awakened female mosquitoes moms are out in force…
 
Q: How do ticks bite without you feeling it?
A: Insect Shield Expert – Dr. Thomas Mather, Ph. D.
Because ticks stay attached to hosts, blood feeding for several days, they secrete novel pain killers, called kininases, in their saliva which help them go unnoticed. If you have been bitten previously, you may notice a small red bite mark, which can be itchy. If there is no tick at such a site, you may have already scratched it off without knowing it.

Q: My company recently started recommending insect repellent clothing for their workers living in or traveling to malaria endemic countries. I travel to Africa frequently with my job. Should I buy such clothing even if I’m already taking a malaria-prophylactic medicine??
A: Insect Shield Expert – Dr. Steven Meshnick, Professor - UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health                                                                                                                                    
A malaria prophylactic medicine may not be 100% effective. There are drug-resistant strains, and sometimes people forget to take pills. So anything you can do to avoid mosquito bites (such as wearing insect repellent clothing) is useful.

Q: I found a tick on my dog. It was a big one ... so not to worry - right?
A: Insect Shield Expert – Dr. Thomas Mather, Ph. D.
All ticks (incl. deer ticks, dog ticks, Lone star ticks, etc.) come in small, medium and large sizes. The smallest size, called larvae, are nearly microscopic. The middle stage, called nymphs, are medium sized although most people would call them tiny. Nymphs of all ticks are about the size of a pin head in their un-fed state. Then there are the large size or adult stage ticks. Even the adult stage of black-legged ticks (aka deer ticks) that transmit Lyme disease are relatively large. In the northeastern United States, the most common "large" tick likely to bite dogs, cats, horses, and humans is the black-legged tick, and it can transmit disease-causing agents including Lyme bacteria. Typically, about 50% of adult black-legged ticks are infected with Lyme bacteria.
 
Q: Do ticks die after the first frost?
A: Insect Shield Expert – Dr. Thomas Mather, Ph. D.
No such luck! Some species, like American dog tick and Lone Star tick are just not active in fall and winter months. Others, like black-legged (deer) tick can remain active in their adult stage from fall to spring as long as the temperature is above freezing. Each life stage (larvae, nymph and adult) of any species of tick has a discrete time period when it is most likely to be looking for a host.
 
Q: How do ticks bite without you feeling it?
A: Insect Shield Expert – Dr. Thomas Mather, Ph. D.                                                             
Because ticks stay attached to hosts, blood feeding for several days, they secrete novel pain killers, called kininases, in their saliva which help them go unnoticed. If you have been bitten previously, you may notice a small red bite mark, which can be itchy. If there is no tick at such a site, you may have already scratched it off without knowing it.

Q: The tick biting me was nearly completely embedded under my skin. Does my doctor need to remove it?                                                                                                                                       

A: Insect Shield Expert – Dr. Thomas Mather, Ph. D.
Ticks can only penetrate your skin with their hypostome. Their bodies are never embedded under the skin. Don't wait to see a doctor to remove a biting tick. It is easy to remove a tick safely by using a pointy tweezers. Don't worry if the head stays in, just disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol. You also might want to consider identifying and testing the tick for infection.