Life has many challenges. The news headlines are filled with stories of couples and families surprised by an unexpected tragedy or illness. A recent story that captivated the country was about a 5-year old girl who became paralyzed after being bitten by a tick. When the little girl woke up, she was unable to walk and could barely speak. This led to a frantic dash to the hospital where doctors were able to bring the young girl back to full health. But this isn't how the story always ends. Oftentimes, tick-related diseases can lead to lifelong health problems as is the case with Lyme disease and alpha-gal allergy, two of the many harmful diseases spread by ticks. That's why it is vital that we take measures to prevent exposure to ticks. One of the most powerful measures we can take is to invest in professional ticks treatments. Here's why.
Reduce Your Exposure
It all comes down to simple math. If there are fewer ticks in and around our homes, there is a reduced chance of being exposed to and contracting tick-borne diseases.
Whenever you go outside, there is the risk that you may pick up ticks. Questing ticks prefer to hide in moist, shaded locations provided by vegetation. So if you go out into your yard to work on the landscaping around your home, you could be exposed to ticks. This is also the case with children playing out in the shaded areas of the yard. By reducing the tick populations around your home, there is less chance of you picking up a tick!
When your dogs or cats go outside to roam around in the yard, they will often rest in shaded locations where questing ticks are often found. This can bring your pets into contact with ticks. Having fewer ticks on your property means that there will be less of a chance of your pets bringing ticks inside!
Invasive rodents are also capable of introducing ticks into homes. When mice or rats invade your home, they have to go through your perimeter vegetation in order to get inside. When they do, they can pick up questing ticks up on their way. The last thing you want to do is give those rodents more ticks to carry into your home!
What is a Questing Tick?
Ticks can't hop onto animals and people the way fleas do. Instead, these pests climb to the top of blades of grass and other vegetation and lift their front legs up, laying in wait for a host to attach to. When a suitable host passes by, the tick will cling to it and climb up its body to find a good area to feed. Suitable hosts for ticks include rodents, wildlife animals, birds, pets, and humans.
When ticks first hatch, they are called seed ticks. At this stage, these ticks will look for smaller animals to feed on such as mice, rats, and small birds. These ticks are extremely small, typically measuring less than a millimeter in length! After they become engorged from their hosts' blood, these seed ticks will fall off, molt, and develop into nymphs. They will then begin the search for another, preferably larger host to feed on. If they do this inside a home, it can put homeowners, their families, and their pets at risk of contracting any diseases that were contracted by these tick during their larval stage.
One way you can reduce tick populations on your property is by eliminating moisture problems and standing water around your home. Ticks require a lot of moisture to survive. To reduce moisture levels, you can:
Clean out obstructed gutters that are allowing water to run down the side of your home.
Fix downspouts that allow water to splash out and soak your foundation perimeter.
Loosen compacted soil that allows rainwater to create pools.
Fix leaky exterior spigots, plumbing, or hoses.
Trim back tree branches and vegetation to allow the sun to dry the ground around your home after it rains.
Rake up leaves and other debris in your yard.
Reducing moisture can have an impact on tick populations but, as you probably know, it can be quite difficult to maintain a dry perimeter, especially if you have lots of flowers and plants around your home that need to be watered regularly. And even if you reduce the moisture levels around your home, you aren’t guaranteed to be protected from ticks. Therefore, the only other solution is to treat exterior areas and make them uninhabitable for ticks. These treatments are most effective when applied by a professional. The pest control professionals know which pest control products to apply, how much to apply, and how frequently to apply them to achieve the proper control of ticks. The professionals can also provide control and exclusion services for rodents which is a key step in tick prevention!
At Keller’s Pest Control, our residential pest control offers control options for ticks and rodents and these services are applied by licensed and experienced service technicians to ensure proper management of targeted pests. If you live in Bradenton or the Greater Tampa area, we can help you reduce the threat of tick-borne diseases. To learn more about our residential services, give us a call today!