How Pests Can Affect Your Health

Pest and rodents may have some harmful effects upon your quality of life and your family’s health. It is essential to understand the dangers stemming from these kinds infestations. Do you know that many of the most common pest in homes are cockroaches, rodents and ants? It’s unsettling to think about us sharing our homes with these pests with the serious threats they pose. Below is a more in depth summary of the health risks affiliated with particular pests.

Cockroaches
The National institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) reports that one-in-five children in the United States have severe sensitivities to cockroach allergens, which raise the seriousness of asthma symptoms. These allergens are most commonly introduced in homes through cockroach saliva, droppings along with decomposing bodies of pests. Cockroaches can carry bacteria such as E coli and salmonella on their bodies, which may contaminate food, cooking equipment and food surfaces.

Mosquitoes
Together with the increased prevalence of West Nile Virus during the summer time months, mosquitoes continue to be, not only a summer nuisance pest and also, an important health threat. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), West Nile Virus infections have appeared all over the United States recently, which makes avoiding mosquito nesting/breeding sites and eliminating standing water around or in your house a lot more important to the security of public health. Additionally, to the possibility of West Nile Virus, mosquitoes can cause itchy, unsightly marks together with severe allergic reactions in people.

Ants
Ants are social insects. Therefore, spotting one ant unfortunately signifies there are a lot more to follow. Ants are not simply unsightly- they can also be harmful contaminates to food. The existence of ants and also the chance of food contamination from their presence is a problem that needs to be addressed when thinking about your health and the health of your family.

Fire Ants
Fire ants not only affect your outdoor enjoyment, they are to blame for countless hospital visits every year. Controlling these voracious pests takes additional care and expertise. If you have fire ants present on your property, you can trust a good pest control company to provide a solution designed to safeguard your family and pets.

Stinging Insects (yellow Jackets, Wasps, Hornets & More)
Stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the hospital each year. These pests are aggressive in nature and quite often sting as a way to protect their colonies or larvae from individuals who try to remedy an infestation themselves. This aggressiveness, put together with being disturbed, often means that these pests usually tend to sting repeatedly, which increases the potential for greater skin irritation or serious allergic reaction. A Pest Control Professional provides a level of expertise and expertise in technology which will best rid these stinging insects and stop future infestations.

Ticks
Lyme disease has emerged lately as a major health risk to human beings. Transmitted by ticks, typically between May and October, Lyme disease is basically found in the Northwestern, upper mid-western states of the U.S. However, there’s been a rise in the diagnosed cases of Lyme diseases in the South. It is critical to be vigilant of ticks, notably if you have been in wooded areas. Signs of Lyme disease will include a “bull’s eye” rash about the bite, flu-like symptoms and extreme fatigue.

Fleas
Fleas aren’t just a problem for man’s best friend. These pests, which commonly show up in warmer months, feast upon the blood from a warm-blooded body. Typically biting human beings, fleas can cause itchy, unsightly marks and severe allergic reactions. Fleas are likely to travel with mammals on the move, which often can include not only you and your pet and also rodents. Should you have a rodent problem in your residence, fleas may soon follow. If you think a flea infestation, contact a Pest Control company to rid your home of fleas and prevent future infestations.

Rodents
Rodents can enter a house through any kind of opening or crack. It is very important inspect for rodent droppings, particularly in undisturbed areas such as pantries, under baseboards, in attics and along walls. Rodent droppings frequently cause allergic reactions in human beings but can also cause disease, including the potentially deadly Hantavirus. More often, though, rodents serve as vectors, carrying bacteria, such as salmonella, on their bodies and contaminating food sources, kitchen surfaces and equipment. A Pest Control trained professional can provide the expertise and understanding of rodent biology to best protect your health and rid your home of any rodent infestation.

Gene Therapy: The Ethical Dilemma

When most people think of DNA, they envision it as the inherited substance that has made them what they are. They also see it as something that’s sacrosanct, written in stone, enduring from cradle to grave.

As it turns out, they could be wrong. Modern science can alter the DNA sequence, and it can do this for one cell, for multiple cells, or for an entire organism. Why would one wish to make the effort, though, and what are the implications?

What Gene Therapy Involves

In human beings, two types of genetic modifications are under investigation: germline and somatic. Each involves the introduction of a gene or gene segment into cells in need of adjustment, and neither is yet out of the experimental stage.

Germline Gene Therapy

Human germline genetic modification, or HGGM, aims to correct a malfunctioning or nonfunctioning genetic component by altering the DNA of human eggs or sperm. This theoretical, untried intervention would permanently affect the genetic makeup of future generations while having no effect whatsoever on the donors.

Somatic Gene Therapy

Somatic genetic modification attempts to treat or cure medical conditions by directly targeting the DNA sequence of diseased organs or tissues at the cellular level. Since somatic genetic modification makes no changes to the patient’s eggs or sperm, these updates will affect only the recipient and not pass on to future generations.

How Gene Therapy Is Performed

The practice of gene therapy involves transmitting genetic material into the cells in question. Since direct insertion has proven ineffective, researchers must employ a vector for this purpose. Some of the most effective carriers have proven to be modified viruses that work by infecting the cell to make it more receptive by weakening its resistance.

The means of delivery can also vary. Some methods introduce the vector directly to the patient’s body either intravenously or through inoculation. Others involve removing a patient’s cells and exposing them to the vector in a test tube environment before returning them to the body.

The Future of Gene Therapy

Although still in its infancy, successful somatic gene therapy could conceivably treat or even cure such diseases as:

– Cancer.

– Chronic granulomatous disease.

– Cystic fibrosis.

– Huntington’s disease.

– Parkinson’s disease.

– Severe combined immune deficiency.

– Sickle-cell anemia.

– Thalassemia.

If successful, the introduced gene will generate a working protein that alters the structure of the DNA to correct the genetic malfunction that’s causing the problem.

Ethical Considerations

While somatic gene therapy may someday routinely cure disease and rectify inherited defects, the ability of germline gene therapy to alter the DNA of future generations raises some ethical questions. The prospect of custom ordering a red-haired, brown-eyed child with an IQ of 165 might entice some future parents, but potential legal and moral objections could halt such creativity before it ever gets off the ground.

Pesticides, Herbicides, Insecticides, and Fertilizers, Oh My!

This is not a cute depiction of Dorothy with “lions, tigers, and bears, Oh My”. This is another side to “these chemicals are OK for the environment, people and wildlife”. The manufactures will add “independent scientific study proving the chemicals in this brew are safe for humans, animals, plants, and the environment”.

My assessment on pesticides, herbicides, insecticides & fertilizers is quite different.

I have allergic reactions to pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers. I once worked in an office atmosphere where carpet was in parts of the office. Carpet is bad for my health as carpet tiny fibers cause breathing problems and coughing. Pesticide treatment was applied once per month with the exclusion of the room that I worked in due to past severe reactions. For two to three days after applications as workers walked across carpet and stirred residual particles into the air where all can breathe it, I became lethargic, experienced breathing difficulties and sometimes developed skin irritations including hives.

While I react fairly quickly to exposure, those who noticed subtle clues that they did not feel quite right did not realize that it was the exposure to pesticides causing their symptoms.

Long term exposure to pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers, cleaning agents and general indoor pollutants coupled with outdoor pollutants over the course of one’s lifetime does produce many of the diseases people battle every day. I guess I am lucky in the sense that I remove myself from the cause of my allergies. Most of the time I can find the root cause.

In 2011, I noticed urban lawn applications that made me sick while I was out on walks. I detected a distinct odor that gave me problems many years earlier from a farm area application. This happened in two cities. One city I worked in the other I lived in. I also noticed during 2011 that I had reactions to the same scented smell detected in home improvement and department stores garden sections. The fumes made me dizzy, caused asthma coughing, and caused my lips to be numb. In 2014, the garden center fumes still bothered me but the smell was not as strong and the symptoms were not as severe.

Thankfully indoor pesticides were banned where children are present. This ruling was long over due. What about all of the adults? Are they expendable? Unfortunately, those that work in manufacturing, construction, and many other occupations do not have the option to opt out of the toxic exposure. There are many schools and facilities that house multiple persons either through housing or work that are adjunct to farm fields, “the perfect lawn”, pools of standing water and or landscaped gardens. Long term exposure to a multitude of substances that leach into our air, water and soil are the underlying contributors to cancer, asthma, allergies and a host of other health problems.

Long term exposure also has lasting effects, maybe not immediately as I experience but accumulated over time. The fact that asthma, COPD in children and our elderly is increasing at an alarming rate can be directly attributed to known allergens, chemical irritants, by-product pollution, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers. There are many natural versions of pest control, weed control, fertilizing, cleaning agents, and alternative green means to protect our earth and its inhabitants. Chemically produced toxic pesticides and other toxic chemically produced products are not among those natural versions.

Pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers may be encountered as residues in food, air and water. People may also be exposed to pesticides used in agriculture, applications for pest control at home or at work, applications to roadside right-of-ways to control weeds and applications of pesticides for public health vector control programs. Urban Mosquito spaying operations were designed to protect against mosquito carrying disease. The chemicals used are so toxic that the warnings come days in advance to alert residents not to allow exposure of children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems. Hmm, it can’t be good for the remaining people not listed, animals or the plants we consume either.

None of the previously mentioned takes into account the multitude of industrial accidents, vehicular accidents, the end-user accidents. For an example there is one accident listed in the next paragraph. These accidents happen several times a year in all corners of the world.

8/20/14 From The Mercury News “Lionville Fire Company” firefighters said the farm tractor pulling the 800-gallon tank full of pesticide turned on to its side and roughly 500 gallons of the pesticide spilled.” http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140820/hazmat-team-responds-to-chemical-spill-in-west-pikeland.

Environmentally friendly to Earth and living things is always a better alternative to use in place of harmful, toxic concoctions. There are many formulas of earth friendly ingredients for pests, weed control, fertilizers, fruit trees and bushes, edible garden plants, and lawn treatments. We need only to utilize the many search engines and find them.

Following are links to articles of interest regarding the ill effects of pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers.

http://www.cleanwateractioncouncil.org/issues/toxics-and-waste/pesticides/