Posts Tagged tick tubes
Just last fall, we at Mosquito Squad surveyed clients for a better understanding of their concerns with respect to mosquitoes and ticks. With more than 7,000 responses, we found that not only are homeowners worried about ticks and the diseases that they carry, but they also aren’t sure where they harbor. Here’s a snapshot of our findings:
According to our poll, 72% of clients are concerned or very concerned about ticks and the concern is rising. 61% say that they are more concerned about tick-borne disease, like Lyme disease, this year than last. With rising Lyme numbers in many parts of the country, it isn’t surprising that people are troubled by their potential exposure to tick bites.
Although people are worried about ticks, it seems that less know where to look for the little buggers. 35% of our survey responded that they have no idea where ticks are found. Knowing where they are will raise your awareness of their presence and allow you to take some tick control measures.
Ticks are normally found in moist, shady areas and normally avoid areas that are dry and sunny. In simpler terms, they sometimes “hide” preferring high grasses and bushes. Along retaining walls and fences also tend to be good spots to find ticks.
When it comes to protecting yourself from ticks and tick-borne disease, there are steps that you can take on your property to decrease your exposure to ticks:
- Keep your grass short. Ticks love long grasses, so keeping it short will move the ticks away from the open grass areas of your property.
- Clean up your yard trash and debris. Instead of taking those large branches and sticks and putting them in a pile, take them to the dump. Grass clippings, leaves and other yard trash make the perfect place for ticks to hide.
- Create a barrier around areas you know ticks are present. Ticks like to stay hiding, so create a “barrier” around fences, compost piles, etc. For example, lay a perimeter of gravel around your compost pile so ticks stay away from your outdoor living spaces.
At Mosquito Squad, we take tick protection seriously, offering services to our clients to reduce the number of ticks on their property. Our barrier spray, which we recommend be applied every 2-3 weeks, eliminates adult ticks on contact, while tick tubes target ticks in their nymph stage.
May is a month when more of us move our activities outside, but it is also Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Ticks are out and about, so please do a tick check after spending time outdoors.
If you have questions on tick control for your yard, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.
I spend a lot of time outdoors in the spring and summer months and I’m also hyper-aware of the presence of ticks. For such a small animal, the tick can cause some serious damage.
Ticks are vectors, or transmitters, of disease. They infect through their bite and have been known to cause devastating damage to humans, moose and other mammals. One animal that it doesn’t seem to impact, however, isn’t what you would normally picture as tough: the white-footed mouse.
A new study from Sarah Lawrence University biologist Michelle Hersh studied the relationship between mice and ticks. Mice displayed no apparent negative affects from ticks and the bacteria they carry. And the number of ticks didn’t matter either. Even when the mice were hosts to a large number of ticks they didn’t seem bothered.
As co-author Richard Ostfeld explains; “they basically thumb their noses at ticks, no matter how many are on them. There is something about these mice that makes them incredibly permissive to infection by the pathogens that make us sick, and also to the ticks that bite them and us.” Source.
At Mosquito Squad, we use mice being a super host for ticks to our favor with our backyard tick control service. Knowing that ticks usually get their first blood meal from a mouse, we use mice as a vehicle for our tick treatments.
Tick tubes are filled with cotton that is treated with a tick toxicant and then are placed in areas of the property where mice are known to travel, for example along fence lines and foundation walls. When mice come across the tick tubes, they take the cotton to use as bedding in their nests. The tick control solution rubs off onto the mouse’s fur. When the tick goes to feed on the mouse, it ingests the tick control solution, effectively eliminating them.
Tick tubes are usually strategically placed twice a year in spring and late summer/early fall. A tick control professional will come out to your property and base the number of tubes on the size of your property and tick population.
If you have questions on tick elimination services for you yard, please contact your local Mosquito Squad.
Many people are familiar with the most common tick-borne disease: Lyme, but another has been on the rise: anaplasmosis.
Anaplasmosis was first found in humans in the mid-1990s. States started to report cases in 1999 and ever since then it has been on a steady increase. While the numbers still remain relatively low nationwide, it’s becoming more common in states with large black-legged tick populations.
Anaplasmosis is transmitted through the bite of an infected black-legged or deer tick. While the symptoms are flulike with the most common being fever, chills and headaches, it actually affects the body’s white blood cells and can be quite dangerous. White blood cells help combat illness in the body, so if the number is decreased, the body can’t fight other infections.
David Letterman, host of The Late Show, suffered from anaplasmosis in 2009 after being bitten by a tick while spending the night outside. He told his audience that it made him feel worse than the heart surgery he had in past.
When diagnosed, anaplasmosis is treated with antibiotics, but one of every 200 cases is fatal.
As spring returns and temperatures rise, we all like to spend more time outdoors. Ticks will become quite active again soon, which means we need increase our awareness and vigilance.
Mosquito Squad offers tick control services for the home through our barrier spray and tick tube applications. For anyone who is spending time outdoors, especially in areas where ticks are known to live, please use these tips:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Lighter colored clothing will make it easier to see the ticks
- Conduct a full body check after coming indoors. Use a mirror or ask someone to help check those hard to see areas
- Place clothes in the dryer, on high heat to eliminate any ticks that remain on your clothing.
- Promptly remove any ticks that have attached to you using tweezers.
If you have questions regarding tick control, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.
Back in December, we talked about Sochi hopeful Angeli VanLaanen and her battle with Lyme disease. Well, she no longer is just a hopeful; she is now on the 2014 Winter Olympic team! Congratulations Angeli!
VanLaanen suffered with some of Lyme disease’s most debilitating symptoms, including fainting, dyslexia and fatigue, for 14 years before being properly diagnosed with the illness. The fact that she is from the Pacific Northwest where Lyme isn’t as prominent could have impacted her misdiagnosis.
Once diagnosed, VanLaanen stopped competing for 3 years to focus on her health. During that time she and director John Roderick filmed her treatment of Lyme disease. The resulting documentary, LymeLight, is Angeli’s way of spreading awareness of what Lyme can do and how it is possible to fight back. The half hour video, can be viewed here. As Roderick explains: “our goal with LymeLight is to educate people about Lyme disease, where it comes from, what the symptoms are and the challenges people face reclaiming their health.”
After taking 3 years off form skiing, VanLaanen dedicated herself to making the Sochi Olympics. She earned the last automatic position by winning the last of five qualifying competitions. 2014 is the first year that halfpipe skiing will be included in the winter games. VanLaanen will be skiing the halfpipe on February 20th.
Lyme disease numbers have been growing over the last decade. Many patients, like Angeli, don’t remember ever being bitten by a tick bite so Lyme isn’t the first illness considered by their doctors. Black-legged ticks that transmit the disease can be as small as a poppy seed aren’t easily seen and They tend to attach to their host in hard to see areas so they can feed without being noticed.
At Mosquito Squad, we urge people to proactively check for ticks after any outdoor excursion. And when it comes to protecting your yard from ticks, considering professional tick control.
Mosquito Squad uses a combination of our traditional barrier spray and tick tubes as a way to control ticks. The barrier spray eliminates ticks on contact while the tick tubes use field mice to eliminate ticks. Most ticks get their first blood meal from mice. Tick tubes are small tubes filled with treated cotton. We place them in areas of the property where mice would be likely to go. When they find the cotton, they take it back to their holes as nesting material. That cotton is treated with tick control product and will eliminate the ticks before they can bite you.
Please contact your local Mosquito Squad if you have any questions on protecting your property from ticks.
Lyme disease can be dangerous and painful, but it hasn’t been associated with many deaths until recently. Of the course of one year, three people died of Lyme. Does this mean we should be worried about a deadly strand of the tick-borne disease?
In short, no. Evidence from the cases doesn’t show that there is a new strand of the Lyme. If anything, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officials want us to use this discovery to illustrate the importance of tick awareness.
The first case covered in this new report happened over a year ago in November of 2012. After a Massachusetts man died, his organs were donated for transplant. Upon analysis of heart tissue, doctors found signs of Lyme carditis. Lyme carditis affects the heart and happens in 1% of Lyme patients. When serious, it can modify the opening and closing of heart valves, resulting in irregular heartbeats.
This one case would not have raised eyebrows in the health world if it had been the only case, but in less than a year, two other people have died from Lyme carditis in the Northeast. Health officials are urging doctors to become more familiar with both the symptoms of Lyme and Lyme carditis that include shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and fainting.
Dr. Joseph Forrester, an epidemic intelligence officer for the U.S. Public Heath Service investigated the cases. The CDC sent the reports on the cases out to health care providers to make them more aware. “Additionally, we are working with state and local health departments in high-incidence Lyme disease states to review available surveillance and mortality data to look for trends, or risk groups in people who develop Lyme carditis,” Source.
Despite three fatal cases in a year, health officials don’t see a cause for panic, just vigilance. It’s important to check for ticks after spending any extended time outdoors and take notice of any changes in your health if you have been bit by a tick. If possible, it does help if you can keep the tick a plastic bag after removal.
At Mosquito Squad, we take protecting our clients from ticks very seriously. We utilize a combination of a barrier spray and tick tubes to decrease the tick population on our clients’ properties. Using tick treatments on your yard is a good first step in protecting against tick bites, and thus, Lyme disease.
If you have questions on Mosquito Squad’s tick control services, please contact your local office. We’d be happy to help.
In the meantime, we at Mosquito Squad would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!