We’ve finally hit the summer months and the weather is beautiful. Everyone has been sheltering in place, and now parks, beaches and nature walks are starting to open up across the country. People are more eager this year to take nature trips than they have been in a very long time. But what should we be watching out for? What dangers are out there? Ticks. Why are ticks dangerous? Ticks are blood sucking insects that, when they bite, they can cause infections and transmit diseases.
Ticks will target not only you and your family members, but your pets as well. Some tick borne diseases will only attack pets and certain species of pets. This means that caution is advisable. Many things can be done to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our pets from infections and diseases carried and caused by ticks. Oklahoma pest control companies can help as well.
WHAT DISEASES CAN THEY TRANSMIT?
There are quite a few diseases that are transmitted to humans by ticks. Anaplasmosis, a bacterial disease, is transmitted predominately by the black legged tick. Babesiosis is caused by microscopic parasites that attack red blood cells. Lyme disease is also a bacteria that can be identified by the bullseye shaped rash at the bite. Bourbon virus infection is a relatively new virus transmitted by tick. Rocky mountain spotted fever is a bacteria that can be deadly if not treated quickly. Tularemia is another tick born disease and has also been used in bioterrorism.
Your pets are also susceptible to tick born diseases. Lyme disease, Rocky mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis and babesiosis all have canine versions that ticks transmit. Canine Ehrlichiosis is one of the most common and deadly tick born disease that attacks dogs. Often, there are no symptoms for months, and then when it does surface, it can be very severe. Canine Hepatozoonosis can be transmitted to your dog if he eats a tick. This usually happens when the dog is scratching at the tick with its teeth.
WHAT DO TICKS AND TICK BITES LOOK LIKE?
Ticks are flat and round with 6 legs and a narrow elongated head. When they bite, they bury their head into the wound and secrete saliva that numbs the area and stops the blood from clotting. The tick will hang on and continue feeding until the body is engorged. Then the tick will release and leave a small welt much like a mosquito bite. Often, the bite will itch after the tick has left. It is a good idea to refrain from itching, so that the wound is not opened up and left open for infection.
Ticks will often lie in wait in tall grass for people or animals to walk by. Here they latch on to their victim and proceed to bite. They often find hard to reach areas such as behind the knees or under arms or hair. They can stay there for weeks, so it is advisable to do full body checks with another person any time you come out of the woods. Call a Tulsa pest control company for help as well.
Some things that you can do as an individual is to start by doing regular checks of yourself, your family and your pets. Look in hard to reach areas that are warm and humid that ticks like. Wear long pants and long sleeved shirts if possible to reduce the amount of skin that is available for ticks to bite. Bright colored clothing will make it easier to identify ticks on your clothes. When in wooded areas, avoid tall grass, hanging vines and excessive vegetation when possible.
If you find that you have been bitten by a tick and the tick is still in your skin, remove it carefully. The proper way is to use a narrow tipped set of tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull gently up on the insect with out twisting or jerking, since this will possibly break off the head inside the skin. If the head does break off, attempt to remove it with the tweezers. Apply rubbing alcohol to the wound. Dispose of the insect by putting it into a vial of alcohol and flushing it down the toilet.
Pets need protection from ticks as well! Regular checks of your dog or cat will identify any issues. Again, look for hard to reach areas where ticks like to hide. They will use your pets fur to hid in, so be diligent. Provide fenced in areas for your pet to play in when they are outside. This will keep them from wandering off into high grass areas where ticks love to hide.
Veterinarians also have multiple products to keep ticks away from your pets. Collars, powers, sprays, and medications are all available for both dogs and cats. These measures will make your pet less susceptible to getting bitten by a tick. While these treatments are good, it is important to take other steps as well, making sure that you have the most protection possible.
This is where your Oklahoma exterminator can help. There are many services that are available from your exterminator that can reduce or eliminate tick populations in high traffic areas such as your yard. Also, mowing tall grass and eliminating nuisance vegetation will help to reduce breeding grounds for these pests.
Ticks like shaded areas with high moisture content. So reducing these areas is a great way to eliminate them. If you have any unwanted sources of water, such as a ruptured water main, broken sprinkler line or leaking garden hose, make sure to get these things fixed. Reduce unneeded shade and shaded areas to get rid of hiding spots for ticks.
RODENT AND WILDLIFE CONTROL
Ticks will bite and harbor on all different kinds of wildlife. Rats, raccoons, squirrels and opossums are all possible carriers of ticks. So keeping them from being around will keep tick populations down. Make sure that trash receptacles are secured and not tipped over. Put up fencing to keep animals out of your yard. Keep bird feeders away from your home. Birds carry ticks as well. Remove any clutter that rodents can make homes in. And contact a Tulsa exterminator to remove any pests around your home.
Feel free to contact us at TermMax Pest Control. We’re here to help!