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Ticks

BrownDogTickTicks are blood feeding external parasites of mammals, birds, and reptiles throughout the world. Ticks transmit the widest variety of pathogens of any blood sucking arthropod, including bacteria, rickettsiae, protozoa, and viruses. Some human diseases of current interest in the United States caused by tick-borne pathogens include Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, rocky mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and tick-borne relapsing fever.

The ticks found in the United States are divided taxonomically into two main families– the hard ticks (Ixodidae) and soft ticks (Argasidae). The hard ticks are flattened in the unfed state and the mouthparts are clearly visible. The soft ticks have an oval or pear-shaped outline with the anterior body region broadly rounded. The mouthparts are difficult to see from a dorsal view. Most ticks of economic importance fall under hard ticks, and include the Brown Dog Tick, the American Dog Tick, Lone Star Tick, or the Black-Legged Tick (Deer Tick).

After a blood meal that engorges the female tick, she drops to the ground and lays thousands of eggs in the ground (See the diagram below). The eggs develop, hatch and the larva climb low vegetation to look for a host. Since ticks cannot run, hop, fly, or move quickly, they must climb onto an appropriate object, such as tall grass, vegetation, fences or sides of buildings to wait for a host. When they detect vibrations and chemical cues such as host odors or exhaled carbon dioxide, they fall from their perch and hope to snag or attach onto a passing host. Usually small mammals like mice are the host for these juvenile stages. The larvae feed and molt to become nymphs that will develop and molt to become adults. The adults, once on the host (a larger mammal), climb upward looking for a place to attach. They will generally choose a high point on the host or choose a tight place, like between the skin or collar, to attach and begin feeding.

Control

Habitat modification is considered to be the most permanent approach to tick management. They are most commonly found in grassy, brushy, wooded, and shaded areas. Therefore, by keeping grass well-clipped, removing brush, and pruning trees to allow more sunlight to penetrate to the soil surface will discourage ticks from becoming established in these areas. In addition, it eliminates suitable habitat for the immature (larval and nymphal) tick hosts, which includes small rodents such as the white-footed mouse and the meadow vole. Second, limit access of dogs and children to “tick” habitats. Dog control is important to reduce tick infestations. Dogs should be de-ticked daily by an adult. If necessary, get your pet treated. A number of products are available, and should be used under the direction of a veterinarian.

When treating the exterior, most labels will state to apply to outside surfaces of buildings including, but not limited to, exterior siding, foundations, porches, window frames, eaves, patios, garages, refuse dumps, lawns such as grass areas adjacent or around private homes, duplexes, townhouses, condominiums, house trailers, apartment complexes, carports, garages, fence lines, storage sheds, barns, and other residential and non-commercial structures, soil, trunks of woody ornamentals and other areas where pests congregate or have been seen.

On the interior, apply as a crack and crevice or spot spray to areas where pests hide, such as under baseboards, corners, storage areas, closets, around water pipes, doors and windows, attics and eaves, behind and under refrigerators, cabinets, sinks, furnaces, stoves, the underside of shelves, drawers and similar areas. Do not use as a space spray. Pay particular attention to cracks and crevices.

For broadcast treatments to lawns and such, treat the entire area where exposure to ticks may occur. Use higher spray volumes when treating areas with dense ground cover or heavy leaf litter. Ticks may be reintroduced from surrounding areas on host animals. Retreatment may be necessary to achieve and/or maintain control during periods of high pest pressure.


Best Sellers for Ticks

Insecticide Concentrates

– These concentrates are mixed with water and used in a compressed hand held sprayer to make your application.


Aerosols & Ready to Use Products

These “ready to use” products are convenient and great for a contact kill and great for flushing out insects. Most offer great residual properties as well.


Dusts

Dusts are usually used to treat into cracks and crevices (such as in the crack between the wall baseboard and floor), in wall voids, cavities, attics or crawl spaces. Be sure that there is proper ventilation in the room and that you don’t over dust or dust in areas accessible by people.


Insecticide Granules

These “ready to use” granular crystals are convenient and great for a contact kill and have a great residual properties for the exterior. They fall down into and under landscape material such as turf, rock or mulch to target problem pests.