Spring and summer months are the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors. Warm weather brings lots of folks out of their homes and into local parks, campgrounds and their own back yards. Unfortunately, the warm temperatures also bring a few other, less welcome creatures out into the open as well, making pest control even more important.
Ticks are one of the least pleasant aspects of enjoying the outdoors. Ticks catch a ride on unsuspecting animals and people, sink their biting mouth parts into the skin of the host and injecting anticoagulants to keep the blood flowing. Diseases can be transmitted during this process making tick bites a serious health risk. Tick pest control measures should be taken to reduce and eliminate ticks.
Tick bites are painless; they don’t even itch. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. Lyme disease is one of the primary illnesses spread by tick bites. The deer tick (right) is especially well known for carrying the bacterium responsible for causing Lyme disease. About 20,000 cases are reported annually and that is likely only a fraction of the actual number of cases. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado tick fever, babesiosis and anaplasmosis are also spread by ticks. There are no vaccinations for the types of diseases that ticks carry and it’s nearly impossible to avoid ticks altogether.
An exterminator can help minimize the presence of ticks on your residential property. Regularly scheduled pest control services cut down on insect activity and make your property safer. Make sure you keep your pest control appointments and maintain your relationship with your pest control company.
Prevention is just as important as regularly scheduled appointments. There are many things that a person can do to minimize his exposure to ticks and the disease they carry. Common sense will go a long way toward protecting you and your family.
- Light colored clothing. Ticks are less attracted to lighter colors than dark.
- Cover up. Wear long sleeves and pants in tick territory.
- Tuck in your clothes. Keep your shirt tucked in when hiking or enjoying the woods. If you are in tall grass or shrubbery, tuck your pants into your socks to protect you ankles.
- Mind your head and hair. Wear a hat to protect your head and ears from ticks. Keep long hair covered, braided or tied back.
- Wear a repellent. DEET is an effective repellent but not recommended for babies. (Check with your pediatrician for other options for infants.)
- Ditch your duds. As soon as you get home from being in an area that could harbor ticks, put your clothes in the dryer on high heat. The dry heat will make sure no ticks survive.
- Do a tick check. Check your entire body for ticks, keeping in mind that they can be quite small in their nymph stage. Use a mirror for areas you cannot see, like the back of your head, or have someone else check. Remove carefully. Never smash, squash or squeeze an attached tick. Use pointed tweezers to gently lift the tick straight up and off of its host.
You can also help your Granger pest control agent keep your own property tick free by keeping your lawn short and free of debris. Keep the mouse and rodent population low, as these animals also carry ticks that may spread to humans or pets. Cut off their food sources like garbage and bird seed. These preventative measures should help you keep you and your family from contracting a tick-borne disease.