TICK SEASON IS IN FULL SWING
Rose Pest Solutions urges vigilance against ticks
After one of the heaviest tick seasons on record last year, Rose Pest Solutions Northfield, a pest management company servicing Chicago’s North Shore and Northwest suburbs, advises anyone spending time outdoors to take precautions against tick bites and the spread of tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
“Whether hiking in the woods this summer or simply taking the dog for a walk through the park, it’s crucial for people to take steps to protect themselves from ticks when outside,” said Steve Ishii, Rose Pest Solutions Northfield Branch Manager. “Once indoors, personal inspection is important because immature ticks are extremely small and hard to spot.”
Ticks, especially blacklegged deer ticks, can be dangerous to humans and pets. They can transmit Lyme disease to humans, as well as dogs and cats. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes the symptoms of Lyme disease as fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans, which forms in the shape of a bull’s eye. According to the CDC, Lyme disease can also affect joints, the heart and the nervous system if left untreated.
Black Legged Deer Tick
Areas of the Midwest, including parts of Illinois near the Indiana border, Wisconsin and Minnesota are high-risk regions for tick activity. When these bugs are thriving, they breed rapidly and can quickly infest properties if precautions are not practiced.
Protect your pets!
Did you know that ticks are the most common pet pests? Protecting our furry “kids” is just as important as protecting ourselves. A lot of times, the pests that attack our dogs and cats end up affecting us when they bring them into the house. And once they’re in the house and off the warm-blooded host, they’re so hard to control. Here are some things you can do to make sure your pets are protected during the season where biting pests are thriving:
- Check your pet frequently for fleas, flea dirt and ticks, especially after the animal has been outside. Keep an eye out for excessive scratching, licking and nibbling grooming behavior in your pet.
- Avoid walking pets in tall grass where there is a greater chance of fleas and ticks hitching a ride.
- Eliminate sources of standing water in the yard, as these can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
- Talk with a veterinarian about prevention and treatment options available to pets and inquire about heartworm protection.
- Treat the animal’s environment. Wash pet bedding and plush toys and vacuum carpets frequently.
- Contact a pest professional to prevent potential or current infestations.
7 Tips on How to Avoid Ticks and Disease
Experts at the National Pest Management Association(NPMA), recommend the following tips on how to avoid ticks and disease:
- 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.
- Wear a bug spray containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin or IR3535 when outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
- When hiking, stay in the center of trails, away from vegetation.
- Keep grass cut low and remove weeds, woodpiles and debris, which can attract ticks and other pests.
- Be on the lookout for signs of tick bites, such as a telltale red bull’s eye rash around a bite.
- Learn the symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, and consult with your doctor immediately if you believe you have contracted it.
- If you find a tick in your home or suspect you have ticks on your property, contact a licensed pest professional who can inspect and recommend a course of action to combat the pest.
How to remove a tick
This advice comes on the heels of a new NPMA survey, which found 62 percent of Americans are using improper methods to remove ticks, increasing their chances of contracting a serious illness. If a tick is found, remove it with a slow, steady pull. Then, wash your hands and the bite site thoroughly with soap and water. Ticks should be flushed down a toilet or wrapped in tissue before disposing in a closed receptacle.