Posts Tagged tick tubes

Protecting your Dog from the Dangers of Ticks

When you think of ticks, what do you think? Gross? Definitely. Hard to see and detect? You bet. Lyme disease? Absolutely? Paralysis? Probably not. These little buggers can be very dangerous to our beloved pets, and it isn’t just Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis, they can cause paralysis too.

IMG_4126My mother and I are dog lovers. That’s my man, Wiley, to the right. I’m a sucker for his ears, but I digress. Recently my mom was telling me about a friend who has a dog. Their dog Buster had always been healthy and active, but in a matter of just 5 weeks had lost nearly 30 pounds and wouldn’t go on walks. After several tests and visits to the vet, they found the culprit. Ticks. The poor pup had 3 or 4 ticks under his armpit, a very difficult spot to see and check. They were causing the issues.

Ticks, when they aren’t noticed and removed quickly can cause paralysis in dogs, and sometimes even humans. Some ticks carry a toxin that is released into their host while feeding. That toxin affects movement control.

It’s important that dog owners thoroughly check their dogs for ticks after spending time in areas where ticks are known to live. The toxin may be released after 3 days of attachment. Luckily, when the tick is removed, the symptoms of paralysis will subside. Buster recovered quickly and is back to his normal self.

Ticks checks are an important piece of protecting your pet from tick-borne disease. To check your dog, pet it slowly while applying more pressure than normal. Many times, you will feel a bump that you can then look closely at. Make sure to check their elbows, inside of their legs and in between toes. Those are often ticks favorite hiding spot on a dog.

At Mosquito Squad, we protect pets with our effective tick control. Our tick services include a combination of our barrier spray treatment and tick tubes. The spray eliminates ticks on contact while the tubes get them earlier in their lifecycle.

If you’d like to discuss reducing the number of ticks on your property, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Can Ticks Transmit Disease in Just 10 Minutes?

Ticks, like mosquitoes, are vectors of disease. When feeding, they transmit saliva and bacteria into their host’s skin and bloodstream. While Lyme disease may have received the most news in recent years, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be extremely dangerous and is the most lethal rickettsial disease.

wood-ticks-spotted-fever

The wood tick is known to transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the United States.

When it comes to transmitting Rocky Mountain, a new study out of Brazil is reporting that ticks don’t need as much time as we thought. Current literature states that the disease can be transmitted in 2 to 10 hours, but there are cases when the transmission could take place in just 10 minutes!

Marcelo Labruna of the University of Sao Paulo led the study where ticks were observed feeding on different animals. They found that if ticks had recently fed and then went to feed on another animal, they were able to transmit disease quicker than when they were first feeding.

The study also found that dogs play a primary roll in the spread of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in Brazil (know there as Brazilian fever). The majority of cases in the area are diagnosed in children and women who have little contact with tick habitats. It’s most likely that dogs are carrying ticks into the home or yard where they are then attaching to family members, meaning that they have previously fed.

A different type of tick, the wood tick, transmits Rocky Mountain in the US than in Brazil. That could result in different findings when it comes to transmission of the disease. Patrick Leisch, entomologist at the University of Wisconsin, explains that the best way to protect yourself from all tick-borne diseases is to avoid tick habitats, protect yourself properly, and educate yourself on the pest.

At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients from the nuisance and dangers of ticks with our tick control services. We use a combination of our barrier spray and tick tubes to greatly reduce the tick population on a property. The barrier spray, applied by trained technicians every 2-3 weeks, eliminates adult ticks on contact. Tick tubes are placed on the property twice a year normally and use mice as a vehicle for the tick control product.

If you have questions on how to protect yourself from ticks and the diseases they transmit, please refer to the Centers for Disease control website or call your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Are the Tick Population and Weather Temperatures Related?

Ticks. They lurk in hidden places waiting for a potential host to walk by. In the spring and summer, it’s best to make a habit of checking yourself and your pets for ticks if you spent any time outdoors. A recent study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Centers for Disease Control evaluated how the tick population is related to weather temperatures.

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracksTicks thrive in warm weather and their activity rises as temperatures rise over 50 degrees. When there is an above average amount of days over 50 early in the year, the population becomes active earlier and the peak tick season, which typically begins in late May, starts earlier. If there is a lot more precipitation than normal, that will postpone the beginning of the tick season.

The changes in weather also impact ticks through their primary blood host, the field mouse. Mice feed on the vegetation in their habitat. When the summer is exceptionally dry it results in less food for the mice, which means less mouse activity and less ticks.

The study explains that a tick forecast could be created each March after looking at the weather in the first ten weeks of the year, but little can be done to forecast when the end of tick season will be.

Ticks are a common concern for many people. Not only are they a nuisance, but they are also dangerous. Thousands of cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year and it is impacting more of the county each and every year. If you ever go for walks or hikes in areas where ticks are known to be active, it’s important to protect yourself. Wear long loose clothing preferably in light colors so ticks can be spotted. After coming inside make sure to do a thorough tick check of your body to make sure that none are hiding out.

At Mosquito Squad we help our clients protect themselves from ticks and the dangerous illnesses they transmit by protecting their yard. We utilize a combination of our barrier spray treatment and tick tubes when appropriate.

Our traditional mosquito control spray is effective against ticks too. The spray will eliminate adult ticks on contact. We suggest having that spray reapplied every 2-3 weeks depending on your mosquito and tick problem to provide continuous tick control. Additionally, we use tick tubes to eliminate ticks in their earlier stages of development. Tick tubes are placed throughout the property in areas where mice would travel. When the mice find the tube, they take the treated cotton that’s inside back to their nests as bedding. Since many nymph ticks get their first blood meal from mice, they are thus eliminated.

If you have questions on how to reduce the tick population on your property, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Where are the Ticks on your Yard?

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:

mosquitoes and ticks

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.

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Are Mice the Perfect Host for Ticks?

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.

Small tick on finger

The tick is a vector of many illnesses and disease, so small yet so dangerous.

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.

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Another Tick-Borne Illness on the Rise

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.

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracksWhen 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.

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VanLaanen to Compete in Sochi after Battling Lyme disease

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.

Tick BiteOnce 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.

tick-tubes

This image shows tick tubes placed in the tick’s environment for optimum results.

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.

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