Autumn Brings Out The Ticks

 In Blog, Homeowner Tips, Pest Identification

Tick (Photo credit: John Carleton)

As autumn arrives, the threat of some pests generally decreases. Unfortunately, for southern states still experiencing warmer weather well into November, many pests remain active. Ticks, common insects that feed on small rodents, animals, and even humans, are among these annoying pests.

Burrowing their way into the skin, ticks will feed off the blood of their hosts until removed. Most active during warm weather, these little nuisances will inhabit gardens, yards, and even warm areas of the home.

The Year of the Tick

Ticks extract the nutrients they need to survive by feeding on blood, whether it be from wild animals or humans. More often than not, ticks attach themselves to rodents and other small animals, including household pets. They thrive in warm conditions, and will continue feeding until there is snow on the ground. Due to the unseasonably warm autumn and winter months experienced by parts of U.S. in recent years, many southern states are fighting ticks nearly year-round.

Not only do these insects cause itching and skin reactions, but they can also carry deadly diseases. Lyme disease and a variety of fevers, including Colorado tick fever and relapsing fever, are just a few of the illnesses that can be spread through ticks, and in sever cases the result can be lasting damage.

Protecting Against Tick Bites

If you are bitten by a tick, you may remove the insect by pulling it out with tweezers. However, because tick bites may cause lasting harm, preventing tick bites is important. Keeping your home cool may help to discourage these pests from entering. However, this may not be energy efficient, and often does not prove to be a long-term solution for fighting the insects.

Many pest control companies can handle tick infestation, and will use safe and effective pesticides or insecticides to control their numbers. Reducing the number of rodents around the area through trapping and extermination methods may also be a helpful way of deterring ticks, as rodents are one of their primary sources of food. Also, keep your pets indoors, if possible, so that your dogs and cats do not inadvertently bring ticks indoors.

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