"Ticking" Down to the Height of Pest Season

Friday, May 28, 2010

By NPMA Staff



Typically living in trees and shrubbery, ticks are most prevalent in summer months. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns that ticks can cause significant threats to health and property when the temperatures rise across the United States.

Two common ticks are the deer tick and the brown dog tick. Deer ticks, often linked to Lyme disease, become carriers after biting infected animals, typically the white-footed mouse. As infected ticks seek out additional blood meals for sustenance, often from humans, Lyme disease is then transmitted. Brown dog ticks, which can infest a structure, are usually brought into homes by pet dogs. Found in cracks, behind baseboards and in places close to the floor, brown dog ticks can lay as many as 5,000 eggs, therefore increasing the potential size of the infestation exponentially.

"Whether the concern is the deer tick or the brown dog tick, vigilance is absolutely critical," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "If a homeowner suspects a tick infestation on their property, they should immediately contact a pest professional."

The NPMA offers the following tips to help protect homeowners from tick encounters during the summer:

•    Avoid tick habitats such as low-growing brushy vegetation along the edge of the woods or a trail.

•    Wear light-colored clothing; tuck pant legs into socks and shirt bottoms into pants, to make ticks more readily visible.

•    Apply repellents with DEET to clothing and any exposed skin.

•    Check yourself thoroughly after you have been in known/potential tick-infested areas; finding and removing all ticks in a timely manner is critical to preventing disease.

•    If you suspect a tick infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to rid your property of these unwanted pests and prevent future infestations.