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:
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.
Disclaimer: The following are general guidelines to follow and do not constitute medical advice.
Spring brings with it flowers, pollen, birds and bees! But it also brings pests that are returning from their winter break. For many of us, mosquitoes are a real problem that keeps us from enjoying the outdoors. But more importantly, mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus. They can also cause heartworm in dogs. *Click here for a brief outline on these diseases* These diseases are very serious but fortunately, rarely directly related to mosquitoes.
In general, the problem with mosquito bites is due to an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva and the problems associated with swelling and scratching of the mosquito bite. When a mosquito bites you they inject saliva which helps keep the blood from clotting. The saliva causes an inflammatory reaction which causes the itching and swelling associated with the bite. Most people just get a big irritating lump on the skin which if they scratch becomes more swollen and lasts longer. But some people actually have an allergic reaction to the mosquito saliva and can become very ill.
For the itching and swelling, anti-histamines are recommended. Diphenhydramine (commonly known as Benadryl – TM) can be used orally or applied in creams or lotions combined with calamine. Anti-inflammatory steroid creams may help too – creams like 1% hydrocortisone.
Interesting Fact: Only female mosquitoes bite and suck blood to obtain protein for their eggs; male mosquitoes suck nectar.
Even if you don’t get sick from the mosquito, many people scratch their bites until they bleed. When the skin is open it is susceptible to secondary infection. Children and adults can get a skin infection called impetigo which is a superficial skin infection caused by bacteria called staph and strep. Impetigo causes open sores and crusting (honey colored) and swelling in the areas. Impetigo is usually worse in the summer when children are out playing in the dirt, getting bitten by mosquitoes, and then getting those sores infected. Excellent hygiene (SOAP and WATER) can prevent most impetigo and cure mild cases. Over the counter antibiotic ointments (like Bacitracin) can help too as well as prescription ointments like mupurocin. There may be enlarged glands in the area, fever, and a spreading rash. Usually more severe impetigo needs an oral antibiotic so contact your doctor if you think you have impetigo and need medicine for it.
Man’s best friend can be affected with heartworms which are also transmitted by mosquitoes. So protect your entire family against these pests.
The best prevention is to eliminate mosquitoes from your environment. Since this is virtually impossible to do completely, several strategies should be employed:
- Be sure to get rid of any standing water around your home to avoid breeding areas for the mosquitoes. Old tires are notorious for having water inside of them so be sure to get rid of any tires in or around the yard.
- Call Northwest Exterminating. Their Green Mosquito Control Program is a 7 month program which sprays the shrubs, bushes and plants where mosquitoes and ticks like to hide. This will greatly reduce the mosquito and tick population in your yard and will act as a barrier and repellent for any stray mosquitoes that fly into the area.
- By wearing long pants, long sleeve shirts, hats and socks you can protect yourself from mosquitoes and their bites.
- Also, use of insect repellents is a good idea. There are many products on the market; but the most popular is DEET. DEET contains repellents and comes in many different forms and concentrations.
- Screened in porches, mosquito netting and other barriers are helpful too.
Give your family the best protection against mosquitoes by calling Northwest Exterminating for their Green Mosquito Control Program. Be sure to ask for your FREE inspection!