Checking for Ticks

Checking for Ticks

tickThe weather is warming up which means it’s prime time for outside activities.  Among the fun that can be had in the great outdoors there are also some concerns.  One being TICKS.  Ticks are found in high vegetation areas, usually in tall grass.  They await a host (human, dog, deer, etc) that they can latch on to and consume a blood meal.  Checking for ticks is important if you’ve recently spent time outside.

Ticks have 4 life stages, egg, larva, nymph, and adult.  To go from one life stage to another they have to get blood from a host.  Most ticks need 3-4 hosts to complete their life cycle.

Once a tick is fully engorged, weighing 200-600 times what it did before the meal, they drop off the host, digest, molt, and then find another host to feed off of.

Ticks bites can cause irritation to the skin of people and pets.  In some instances they can cause allergic reaction, transfer Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.  If you, your kids, or your pets have spent time outdoors it is important that you thoroughly check for ticks on the body, especially the hair.

For more information on ticks:

http://www.callnorthwest.com/learning-center/identify-your-pest/ticks/

http://www.callnorthwest.com/tag/ticks/

http://www.callnorthwest.com/2012/03/dr-goos-corner-ticks/

http://www.callnorthwest.com/2012/05/tick-prevention-from-the-epa/

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

Lyme Disease Cases Much Higher Than Previously Reported

According to new information gathered by the CDC the number of lyme disease cases is 10 times higher than the 30,000 cases each year that has previously been reported.  Because not every case is reported, recent efforts have uncovered that the number of lyme disease cases is about 300,000 each year.  The CDC is conducting 3 complimentary studies to improve their count of lyme disease cases.

how to remove a tick

How to Properly Remove a Tick
Source

To prevent tick bites:

  • Avoid thick areas of vegetation.
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, and shoes that cover your feet when going outside.
  • Use insect repellant such as DEET.
  • Bathe as soon as possible when returning from being outside.  This allows you to find ticks easier.
  • Check yourself for ticks from head to toe, especially in your hair.  Make sure to check your children when they return from being outside.
  • Check any jackets, hats, bags, etc. that may have come into contact with ticks.
  • Dry clothes on high heat to kill any ticks on clothing and/or accessories.
  • Talk to your veterinarian on the best solutions to keep ticks away from your pets.
  • Check your pets when they come in from being outside.
  • Immediately remove ticks if found on a human or a pet. Find out How to Remove a Tick.
  • Keep grass cut and vegetation trimmed to reduce areas for ticks to call home.

For more information on Lyme disease visit the CDC.

For more information on how to control ticks visit Northwest Exterminating.

 

 

 

August Pest of the Month: Ticks

It’s important to protect yourself and your pets from ticks this season!  Keep reading for more information on the little suckers!

tick

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

  • Size varies depending on the species and type.
  • More closely related to spiders than insects.
  • Can have either a soft or a hard body.
  • Usually brought into homes by animals.
  • Feed on animals and humans for their blood meal.

HABITS

  • Live in low lying areas such as grass, shrubs, and bushes while waiting for a passing host to attach themselves on to.
  • Female ticks have about 3,000 eggs in the spring time.
  • Ticks feed on humans, mice, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, dogs, and birds.

SPECIES

  • American dog tick
  • Blacklegged/deer/bear tick
  • Brown dog tick
  • Lone Star Tick
  • Rocky Mountain Wood Tick

THREATS

  • Ticks attach themselves to animals or humans to obtain their blood meal by biting the victim.
  • Can cause irritation around the site of the bite, allergic reaction, or cause the mouth parts to get stuck in the skin when the tick is removed.
  • Known to transfer Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis.

PREVENTION

  • When in wooded areas or tall grass, wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed toed shoes.
  • Use a bug repellant that contains DEET.
  • Keep grass and other vegetation on your property properly cut and maintained.
  • Inspect yourself for ticks after being outdoors.
  • Inspect your pets for ticks after being outdoors.
  • If you find a tick, use tweezers to remove the tick with a slow, gentle, upward pressure.

OTHER PESTS TO LOOK OUT FOR

Call Northwest Exterminating for information on how to protect your home and loved ones from ticks.

 

 

Keeping Pets Healthy from Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes

sick dogThey don’t call him Man’s Best Friend for no reason.  Dogs, and cats (we can’t forget our beloved cats) are truly part of the family.  We treat them and take care of them just as we would any other member of the family.  That’s why it is important that we protect them from outdoor pests that can cause serious health risks to our furry friends.  Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are all predicted to make a heavy appearance this season as the weather warms up.

Ticks are most commonly found on our pets.  Ticks can carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and cause tick paralysis.

Fleas can cause itchy, red bumps that cause animals to scratch.  Fleas are also easily brought into the home where they can invade your living space and reproduce.  Fleas can cause anemia, skin issues, and even tapeworms for our pets.

Heartworms and West Nile Virus are some of the more serious issues that come along with mosquitoes.  A bite can manifest into a full heartworm in 6-7 months in a dog, and 8 months in a cat.

Keep your pets healthy by following some of these tips to controlling ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes:

  • Regularly scheduled pest control service in and around your home will help keep pests away that can cause risks to your pets.  (Call Northwest Exterminating for our NorPest Green Pest Control service.  Our program is kid and pet friendly while keeping the bugs away.  Our Green Mosquito Program also keeps mosquitoes away while using Earth friendly solutions.)
  • Check your dog and cat on a regular basis.  Check for excessive scratching, bumps, fleas, and ticks.
  • Keep vegetation cut and trimmed.
  • Bathe pets regularly.
  • Remove standing water in yard where mosquitoes breed.
  • Vacuum frequently.
  • Ask your veterinarian about Flea and Tick prevention and heartworm prevention.

Contact Northwest Exterminating if you think you have a problem with fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes.  Keep your pets healthy!

 

Diseases Caused by Pests

With our commitment to healthier living and working environments, we at Northwest understand the importance of good pest management for personal health. Living in a hygienic environment and minimizing exposure to unwanted pests can literally save lives. For instance, the lives of twenty-five million Europeans during the Late Middle Ages were claimed by fleas that had spread the bubonic plague. They managed this feat by using another pest as a host – rats! Modern improvements on hygiene, sanitation and pest management have dramatically reduced the impact of this disease.

 

Another more common disease brought on by insects is Lyme disease. This disease is carried by the deer tick in the form of a bacterium called Borrelia bugdorferi. If a deer tick bites you, the bacterium enters the bloodstream and will lead to skin rash and in extreme cases, paralysis. When caught early, antibiotics can eliminate the bacteria before it causes furthermore harm.

Mosquitoes in particular can carry a host of diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, pogosta disease, and West Nile virus. They carry similar traits in that when infected, a person will experience a fever indicating that more serious effects are on the way such as meningitis or arthritis.  All these diseases can lead to death if not caught or treated properly. For some of these diseases, the best form of prevention is pest management. Northwest Exterminating provides solutions to reduce the presence of mosquitoes in and around your home or work environment.

If you come in contact with a pest and feel you may have been exposed to any disease, be sure to immediately seek medical attention. Many of these diseases, as well as others such as malaria or rabies can be treated when caught early.

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmnh/buginfo/diseases.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_diseases_caused_by_insects

 

 

WebMD’s Bad Bugs Slideshow

We know that bugs are gross and unsanitary but did you also know that they can be bad for our health.  WebMD discusses some of the worst bugs and the potential harm they can do to our health:

  • Ticks –Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and allergic reactions.
  • Black Widow Spiders – Poisonous.
  • Brown Recluse Spiders – Poisonous, can cause serious wounds, infection, and in some cases can be deadly.
  • Head Lice – Itchiness can lead to infection, loss of hair.
  • Fleas – Itchiness can lead to infection.
  • Bee, Wasp, Hornet, Yellow Jacket – Painful sting, and can cause allergic reaction.
  • Fire Ants – Painful sting, venomous, red bumps that burn and itch, and can cause allergic reaction.
  • Chiggers – Itchy red welts.
  • Scabies – Itchiness, sores.
  • Bedbugs – Itchy, red bumps,  can develop infection from scratching, and can cause allergic reaction.
  • Puss Caterpillar – Poisonous, painful sting, rash, fever, vomiting, and muscle cramps.
  • Scorpions – Poisonous, painful, and can be deadly.
  • Deerflies – Infection, and Tularemia.
  • Mosquitoes – West Nile virus, dengue fever, other diseases, and scratching can cause skin infection.
  • Houseflies – Carries more than 1 million bacteria, intestinal infections by contaminating food.
  • Cockroaches – Salmonella and other diseases, dead carcasses can trigger allergic reactions and asthma.

Tips to prevent feeling the sting of these health issues:

  • Make sure your home is treated by a professional exterminator.  A professional can diagnose current problems, and prevent new issues from coming into your home efficiently and effectively.
  • Wear long clothing when outdoors.
  • Wear DEET repellant when outdoors.
  • Keep a clean, sanitary home and yard.  This will prevent insects from seeing your home as a place for them to call home.

For more information on these insects and their health hazards, visit WebMD: Bad Bugs Slideshow: Identifying Bugs and Their Bites.

 If you think you may have been bitten or stung by any of the insects above, please take note of  your body’s reaction and seek medical assistance immediately.

 

 

 

Tick Prevention from the EPA

Protecting ourselves and our pets from ticks are a big concern this year.  The EPA has put out information through the NPMA on tick bites and Lyme disease prevention:

An ounce of prevention

It is important to know about tick habitats and personal protection techniques because most people are exposed to ticks in residential areas. Here are a few ways to prevent ticks:

1. Keep the lawn mowed to make your property unattractive to ticks. Ticks are found in high grass, yards with trees and shrubs.

2. Keep backyard grasses set back from the woods around a home by eight feet. Place a three-foot wood chip, gravel or mulch border area between grassy edges and tick-prone zones. Ticks prefer moist areas like leaf litter and the edge of woods. Ticks don’t like the sun and wait in shady areas on brush and grasses.

3. Practice personal protection. Personal protection involves using repellents, wearing appropriate clothing and checking for ticks on one’s person, which is the most effective practice of all. In tick habitats, wear long, light-colored pants tucked into socks or boots, and long-sleeved shirts. This keeps ticks from reaching the skin and makes them easier to see. Ticks like places on humans that are warm and moist, most commonly the backs of the knees, armpits, the groin, the scalp, the back of the neck, and behind the ears. Attached ticks should be removed as soon as possible using fine-point tweezers since risk of disease transmission is increased the longer the tick is attached.

To read the full article click HERE.

To protect your home and loved ones from ticks, call Northwest Exterminating.

 

Dr. Goo’s Corner: Ticks

Disclaimer:  The following are general guidelines to follow and do not constitute medical advice

Ticks like to “hang out” in low lying shrubs, bushes or plants waiting for animals to come by to supply them with the blood meal that will help them complete their life cycle. Ticks then climb on the animal or human and attach themselves to obtain the blood from their victims. In the process they inject saliva and suck blood from the host, much like mosquitoes.

In general, most tick bites do not transmit disease. More commonly they are associated with infection around the site of the bite, local irritation, allergic reaction, or the cause of retained mouth parts when the tick is removed. The sooner you can remove the tick, the less likely they are to transmit diseases, so get them off quickly!

How to remove a tick

Most of the time, a pair of tweezers and slow, gentle, upward pressure will get rid of the tick. Burning the tick off may not work and may cause a burn to the patient.  For a nice diagram and instructions please see the CDC website about how to remove a tick:

http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html

If there are retained parts, please see your doctor so they can recommend options for getting the head out or letting it come out on its own.

Tick Borne Diseases

There are some serious diseases associated with tick bites. Usually they are associated with fever, feeling ill, and a rash. A few of the more common illnesses are:  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, Erlichiosis, and Tularemia.  Please contact your doctor immediately if you develop a rash, fever, or are feeling sick after a tick bite.

To avoid ticks, know where to expect them and use a bug repellant.  Ticks live in areas that are grassy or near woods.  They are often found in bushes and shrubs and can become a big problem when grass is too high.  A bug repellant, such as DEET, can protect you for several hours.

If you find ticks on you, someone in your household, or a household pet, call Northwest Exterminating to speak to someone about a way to get rid of ticks.

Thanks,

Dr. Goo