Protect Yourself From Tick Bites and Tick-Borne Disease

Northwest Exterminating offers tick bite prevention advice for the summer season

As people venture outside to enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather we want to encourage increased public awareness of ticks and their numerous health risks.

Certain species of ticks are capable of transmitting serious diseases to humans when they bite, including Lyme disease, babesiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. We encourage people to take steps to protect themselves and their pets from tick bites when outdoors this summer and decrease the chances of contracting one of these tick-borne illnesses.

Below are some tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests.

Most effective ways to prevent a tick encounter, and tick bite, include:

  • Landscape your yard. Keep grass cut low and remove weeds, woodpiles and debris. Ticks are found in high grass, and yards with shrubbery.
  • Protect your skin. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors, especially in wooded areas or tall grasses. Choose light colored clothing that makes it easier to spot ticks and other insects.
  • Use an effective bug repellant. Always apply an insect repellant containing at least 20% DEET to protect against ticks when spending time outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
  • Regularly check for ticks. Most ticks require 24-48 hours of feeding before they can successfully transmit infections, so it’s crucial to perform a thorough tick check immediately after spending time outdoors. Be sure to check all areas of the body, including the hair.
  • Don’t forget about pets. Check pets frequently for ticks, especially after the animal has been outside. Consult with a veterinarian about prevention and treatment options available to pets and wash pet bedding and toys frequently.
  • Brush up on proper removal techniques. (Read our post “How to Remove a Tick“) Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick, using a slow, steady pulling motion. Wash hands and the bite site thoroughly with soap and water, and flush the tick down a toilet or wrap it in tissue before disposing in a closed receptacle.
  • Contact a professional pest professional. Anyone suspecting a tick bite or experiencing symptoms, including a skin rash, joint pain or fever, should seek prompt medical attention. If ticks are a problem on your property, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and implement a treatment plan to reduce tick populations.

 For more information on ticks, please visit http://www.callnorthwest.com/learning-center/identify-your-pest/ticks/.

Source: NPMA

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

Protect Your Pets From Fleas and Ticks

Simple ways pet owners can keep their animals safe from fleas and ticks

The spring season is a time when all members of the family, including pets, wander outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and blossoming flowers. Unfortunately, it’s also prime pest season, which means pets are at risk of encountering hungry fleas and ticks that are in search of active hosts. Northwest Exterminating encourages pet owners to take precautions against these dangerous pests during the warmer months.

Fleas are more than just an itchy annoyance. Their saliva can cause anemia, dermatitis and can transfer tapeworms in dogs and cats. Ticks can spread bacteria to pets and cause tick paralysis, which occurs when a female tick attaches near a pet’s spinal cord. This condition can lead to muscle weakness, loss of coordination and in some cases, death from respiratory failure as chest muscles become paralyzed.

In addition to the health threats posed by fleas and ticks, both pests are small in size and extremely mobile, making them difficult to detect and get rid of once inside the home. It’s extremely important for pet owners to be cautious of these pests and contact a licensed pest professional if they suspect an infestation.

The National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, offers these tips to keep pets pest-free:

  • Check pets’ coats thoroughly for ticks and fleas on a regular basis, especially after spending time outdoors. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
  • Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where there is a greater chance of encountering ticks.
  • Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
  • Wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys frequently.
  • Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture regularly.
  • Empty vacuum bags in an outside receptacle.
  • Speak to a veterinarian about flea and tick prevention treatments.

Source: NPMA

 

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/

 

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.

 

 

Protecting Your Dog and Home from the Brown Dog Tick

Each warm season brings questions from homeowners and pet owners regarding ticks.  We worry about our furry family members and ourselves if we plan on spending time outdoors, especially in or around wooded areas.

The brown dog tick is one species of tick that should be cause for concern, especially for those who have dogs.  Although they feed on a wide variety of mammals, dogs are their preferred host.  These ticks are unique in that they can complete an entire life cycle indoors.  They feed on the host for about a week before dropping off and laying their eggs…up to 5,000 eggs!!  After she’s done laying her eggs, she dies.  The full life cycle of a brown dog tick lasts just over two months and generally are long living creatures.

Tick Life Cycle - Source

Tick Life Cycle – Source

A brown dog tick infestation can develop in high quantities and very quickly.  Oftentimes, ticks go unnoticed on dogs until the ticks are spotted throughout the home.

To protect your home and your dog from brown tick infestation, here are some brown dog tick control tips:

  • Good house and lawn maintenance goes a long way in keeping ticks and other pests from getting into your home.
  • Take trash out of your home on a regular basis and put in a tightly sealed container outside of your home.  Make sure this container is emptied regularly.
  • Regularly schedule pest control will help to keep ticks and other pests away from your home.
  • Treat your animals, dogs especially, with a tick treatment.   Your veterinarian is a good source of information on the best products for your dog.
  • Regularly check your dogs for ticks and other pests like fleas.
  • Use DEET or other insect repellant when going outdoors.

For more detailed information on the brown dog tick, visit http://www.entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/medical/brown_dog_tick.htm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

Adam Vannest Featured in Pest Management Professional Magazine

AdamDirector of Pest Services at Northwest Exterminating, Adam Vannest, was recently featured in Pest Management Professional magazine.  Adam answered some Q and A’s regarding fleas and ticks and also gave some Do’s and Don’ts for when dealing with these pesky pests.

Read below to get the full story:

Adam Vannest, director of pest services for the Atlanta area’s Northwest Exterminating, has faced plenty of hard-to-solve flea and tick problems. He recently shared tales of some memorable infestations — and his team’s solutions — with Pest Management Professional.

Q: What’s the largest flea and tick infestation you’ve faced, and how did you conquer the pests?
Vannest: One of the largest was in a rural subdivision that backed up into a large wooded area. The customer reported dealing with an intense flea problem and said she’d also noticed multiple ticks on the family dog. Seeing ticks on her children was this customer’s threshold point.

While inspecting the outside we noticed a lot of the areas around the home were overgrown. There were tall weeds and grass up against the house and woodpiles around the exterior. We started looking at the ticks’ harborage sites to figure out why they would be attracted to the location. It was a three-story house on a crawlspace, and once inside we noticed the crawlspace door was already open. There were also other entry points because it wasn’t sealed up very well. We definitely found fleas in the crawlspace. The main floor and upstairs also had fleas.

We explained to the customer that we wanted to eliminate harborage areas around the outside by cutting down weeds and trimming the grass around the foundation. We also educated the homeowner about the crawlspace and how many entry points were visible to stray animals and rodents. We had an exclusion team come out and seal up those areas so that we could treat it with a residual product and an insect growth regulator (IGR).

Next, we explained to the customer that to get our product were it needs to be we’d have to remove everything from the floor for cleaning and vacuuming. We also instructed them to take the dog to the vet for treatment. After that, we applied a broadcast treatment to the floor surfaces and throughout the house.
We had to treat the lawn for ticks as well.

Q:What’s your hardest-to-find flea and tick story. How did you solve the problem?
Vannest: It took place at a ranch house on a crawlspace. When we inspected we noticed that the family pets were pest free. This told us we were dealing with a population in the home that had been carried inside by other means.

Sometimes people forget all of the other things that can be responsible for bringing fleas into a home. Some of the hardest flea problems to solve are ones where a rodent population carries them inside.

We inspected the rest of the house and found pockets of flea activity but no defined area. However, when we got to the attic level we found a roof rat population bringing in fleas from outside, so we applied residual products and treatments there to eliminate the rodent problem. When we placed monitors to determine where flea hot spots existed we found a few more harborage sites that had been egg-laying areas. We targeted those areas and eliminated the problem.

Adam Vannest’s Dos & Don’ts
Do
■ Train technicians to always think outside the box. Every flea situation and every tick situation can be different.
■ Know your products and which ones are best for a particular infestation. Read labels and test the products.
■ Use monitoring to help find hot spots.
Don’t
■ Don’t assume the customer is doing the prep work.
■ Don’t assume every situation is going to be the same.
■ Don’t stop educating your technicians. Give them ongoing training.

You can visit Pest Management Professional magazine by going to www.mypmp.net

Note: We will link directly to the article as soon as it is available online!

 

Organic Pest Control – Companion Planting

Ever wonder how gardens stayed plush and green without modern pest control techniques? Before exterminating companies existed, many planters relied on a method of organic pest control known as companion planting. Companion planting involves placing plants in your garden that have qualities that deter pests that surround and protect your other plants. For instance, planting certain herbs in your vegetable garden can attract beneficial insects while simultaneously repelling harmful ones.

One pest that likes to frequent gardens is the aphid, otherwise known as plant lice. These tiny insects suck the sap from the plant, taking all the nutrients to keep the plant healthy and living. Sometimes as they are feeding, aphids transmit plant viruses to plants such as potatoes and citrus plants, which can kill the plants. Planting chives, coriander or nasturtium around your plants will discourage infestations by these plants.

Nasturtium

Nasturtium

Certain plants can keep larger pests out of your garden. For instance, planting lavender not only deter ticks, but also moths and mice. Mice also do not like the smell of daffodils, which can be used as a colorful boarder for an herb garden. Additionally, rabbits do not like the smell of onions, which can be planted alongside peas, beans, lettuce and cabbage. Lastly, sprinkling cayenne pepper on your plants can act as a deterrent for raccoons.

If companion planting still does not do the job of minimizing pest invasions, Northwest Exterminating offers pest control services that not only takes care of pest, but also does it in a green, environmentally friendly way! Northwest offers many services that will protect your plants, home and office environment. We offer more than pest elimination, but also healthier living and working environments. Check out our website for more info at www.callnorthwest.com

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

http://gardening.about.com/od/naturalorganiccontrol/a/Companion_2.htm

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

http://www.naturalnews.com/035853_companion_planting_garden_vegetables.html

 

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.

 

 

 

NPMA’s Top 5 Pests of Summer

 

The NPMA recently released the results of a survey that listed the Top 5 Pests of the Summer for homeowners.  The results are not too surprising to us here at Northwest Exterminating.

  1. Mosquitoes
  2. Ants
  3. Ticks
  4. Wasps & hornets
  5. Spiders

Along with being an annoyance, these pests can cause health and sanitary issues for homeowners and their families.  Stings, bites, and disease are all risks that come with such pests.  Luckily, with good housekeeping and an exterminator that you can trust, you can rest easy.

The NPMA has offered tips to avoid these pests throughout the summer:

  • Clean out all parts of your kitchen where food products are stored to ensure that there are no crumbs or spills. Keep foods like cereal, crackers and cookies in sealed containers. This eliminates the food supply that attracts ants, mice, and cockroaches.
  • Dust and vacuum regularly to prevent cobwebs and the spiders that weave them.

CLICK HERE to view the rest of the tips to avoid these summer pests.

Do you agree with the Top 5 pest results?