Closely related to spiders, ticks are blood-feeding parasites typically found in shaded and protected areas such as wooded lots, forests, or places with low-growing brushy vegetation. Unable to fly, they attach themselves to passing animals or people where they may linger for several days, feeding slowly until they are engorged and then falling off. Like mosquitoes, they transmit disease through their saliva as they feed.
As small as they are, ticks pose a serious health risk to you, your family and your pets by transmitting the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. The best way to reduce that risk is through a combination of personal protection, landscape management and a professional, optimized tick extermination strategy. We call it Western’s Integrated Tick Control Program.
Tick Control Details
Western’s Integrated Tick Control Program begins with a thorough survey and inspection of the surrounding habitat taking into consideration the 2-year life cycle of the tick. From there, your Western Pest Service Specialist will provide tips for your personal protection and tailor an extermination plan to your household, creating a less inviting habitat for ticks in your yard.
Our unique program incorporates habitat-targeted applications to exterminate tick populations by identifying areas where ticks are likely to harbor, quest and feed whether they are on a host or living within the landscape habitat. It is the combination of these tactics – what you do and what we do – that will deliver the greatest possible protection against Lyme disease. According to health officials, more than 75% of reported cases of Lyme disease are contracted from a tick encountered on an individual’s property.
Proactive Tick Control & Extermination
For peace of mind, consider proactive tick control to manage tick populations on your property. Western leverages our knowledge of the tick life cycle to thoroughly inspect and treat your property, tailoring a tick control program to your backyard habitat.
Call Western today and ask about our Integrated Tick Control Program.
More Tick Information
It’s important to be vigilant, as ticks are more than a nuisance: these blood feeders are a known transmitter of the bacterium that causes Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
In a recent release on the tick boom, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) explains the relationship between these dangerous pests and acorns. In brief, the acorn crop from oak trees in 2010 supported a greater-than-normal white-footed mouse population in 2011. In turn, the mice have led to more black-legged deer ticks this year. (The mice provided a large base on which the larval ticks could feed when they hatched, helping them to survive in greater numbers.) See the complete release here.
The worry is that as the mice population declines, ticks will seek humans for their second blood meal, which occurs at the nymph stage. Jim Fredericks, technical services director for NPMA, says in the release that “these hungry ticks will soon be looking for another blood meal, which puts people at risk as they head outside to enjoy the weather.”
Preventing tick bites
- Avoid tick habitats
- Wear light colored clothing; tucking pant legs into socks, shirts into pants
- When returning indoors perform a cursory examination on all exposed areas and clothing to determine if a tick is present
- When hiking, walk in the center of the trail to avoid overhanging grasses, weeds, and brush.
If a tick is found, and it is embedded in the skin:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick firmly by the head and pull directly upward with steady, even force
- Avoid twisting or squeezing the tick, which can puncture the tick’s body, because its body fluids may contain infectious organisms
- After removing the tick, wash and disinfect the site and wash both hands thoroughly
- Save the tick in a small, sealed vial or jar for later reference in case an illness develops
Ticks & Weather
Ticks pose health risks to both your family and your pets. But if you happen to avoid them throughout the early summer, you must keep in mind that they are at their peak in the late summer months.
“Early on in the summer, they are in their larva and nymph state. They tend to stay down low in things like mulch. Toward the end of the summer is when we see them getting on us because they’ll be higher on the grass.” – Hope Bowman, Technical Specialist, Philadelphia/S. Jersey
Tick Safety Tips
Ticks are common in shaded, wooded or forested areas, where they await a passing human or animal that can provide a blood meal. To stay safe, follow these tips to manage tick risk when you’re out:
- Use tick repellent: Clothing repellents are generally better against ticks than skin repellents; however, using skin repellents is also beneficial. When using repellents, always refer to the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations for repellent use.
- Wear Protective Clothing: When hiking, wear light colored clothes to facilitate seeing ticks that may get on the clothing, a large-brimmed hat, long sleeves and long pants tucked into your socks. Keep to the center of trails to minimize contact with adjacent vegetation.
- Keep your property neat: Ankle-length grass provides less harborage for tick populations.
- Tick inspections: After returning from a hike or time outdoors, thoroughly inspect yourself and your pets. Since some ticks that may get on the body are very small, it is wise to have someone help you inspect for ticks. Don’t forget to check your clothing. Even if you don’t find ticks on your clothes, it is a good idea to immediately wash clothing in hot, soapy water and dry at the highest heat setting for about one hour. If you do not immediately launder and dry the clothes, place them into a clear, plastic bag prior to washing and laundering. After laundering, throw the empty bag into the outside trash container. If you find a tick in the process of feeding, remove it carefully, taking care not to puncture or squeeze the tick’s body.