Educating Residents about Flea-Borne Typhus- Pest Control Orange County

Educating Residents about Flea-Borne Typhus- Pest Control Orange County CA   be careful with your pets and backyard wildlife
Flea-Borne typhus is a bacterial disease spread by flea bites from fleas that live on animals such as feral cats, possums and rats. When we talk about a cluster we are referring to multiple cases in a small geographic area, more cases than should be expected.
A 13 year period had gone by where there were no reports of Flea-Borne Typhus in Orange County Ca. In 2006 cases began to show up in the north county area and since 2006 the number of cases has increased every year. It has also began to spread southward since.
In 2013 a cluster of cases showed up in a Tustin neighborhood. What makes the Tustin situation unique is it was a group of cases in a relatively small area. It was also the third geographic cluster in the North County lately.
It’s important to note that since 2004 the Possum Lovers of Los Angeles started trapping possums, the animal Los Angeles county found to carry the typhus infected flea, in the Port of Los Angeles area and releasing those possums in other areas, there have been sporadic cases of typhus showing up in those release areas ever since. Since possums are one of the main carriers of the infected fleas, and some of the trapped possums were released in Huntington Beach and other North Orange County areas, there have been cases of typhus showing up in Orange County. But when clusters of these cases start showing up it’s a problem that need attention. It’s important because it’s out of the ordinary and means there is something it that neighborhood contributing to a large population of carriers spreading the fleas around.
In Tustin, three people fell ill with typhus in the same neighborhood. According to the Orange County Health Care Agency the cluster was bounded by I-5 and Red Hill, Walnut and Browning Avenue. Another 2 cases, just outside of that area occurred 2 months later.
What do you think is spreading the infected fleas in that area? ANSWER IS COMING SHORTLY.
Other areas in Orange County that clusters of typhus have been reported are Fullerton with 4 cases reported in one neighborhood, Huntington Beach had 6 cases in one neighborhood and Westminster had 4 cases in one small area according to Orange County Vector Control.
It’s reported that 80% of the cases are pet owners. That those pets acquired the fleas from feral animals that visited their backyards picked up the fleas in their yard and then carried the fleas to their owners.
What can you do to keep those feral animals from hanging around in your yard while you are asleep? Don’t leave food and/or water out for your pets or even community pets. Keep from stacking boxes or other things against you home. If you have fruit trees, pick up any fallen fruit that laying on the ground. Keep your pets free of fleas. Try and keep your backyard less friendly to any feral animal.
Here’s the answer to the question posed earlier. All the areas that clusters of typhus cases showed up have also reported an explosion in the feral-cat population. Currently, Orange County is trapping feral cats and checking their fleas for typhus. Don’t provide food, water or shelter to feral cats, they are a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.
Wheeler’s Pest Control carries a State trapping license and can help remove any feral animals from your yard. We can also provide flea control for your house and yard. Just give us a call; we’d be glade to help you with any of your pest control needs.

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