Category Archives: Tick Diseases

Mosquitoes and Ticks – Don’t Let Your Guard Down

As the end of summer looms, many homeowners may be lamenting the end of the warm weather and outdoor entertaining. While the calendar may be turning to fall soon and summer may be calling it quits, the pests have not! Mosquitoes and ticks are still active until the first sustained frost of the season, which means three or more consecutive days of frost-level temperatures. Depending upon the climate and conditions, this could be well into the fall. So don’t let your guard down yet when it comes to health-threatening pests like mosquitoes and ticks. Read on to find out how to continue to protect yourself through late summer and even into fall.

 

Ticks and mosquitoes do not follow a calendar but, rather, rely on environmental conditions to tell them when it is time to head to hibernation or overwintering. Hibernating mosquitoes don’t die off when it gets colder; they simply seek shelter in places that are protected from the elements, including abandoned animal dens, hollow logs, and even inside your home. These mosquitoes have been known to come out of hiding during warm spells in the winter, before hiding away when temperatures drop once again. Therefore it is near impossible to pinpoint the exact date when we can all stop worrying about these pests. Instead we suggest continued vigilance and following these simple rules for mosquitoes and tick prevention in your own yard.

Mosquito Vigilance –

  • Continue to use insect repellent both on your skin and clothing – DEET or other CDC-recommended sprays for exposed skin, and Permethrin is recommended as protection against mosquitoes for clothing, gear, or bed nets.
  • Reduce the mosquito population in your yard by removing any container that can hold water.
  • Avoid going outdoors during peak mosquito time such as dusk and dawn.

 

Tick Awareness –

  • Stay vigilant by doing daily body checks and looking for telltale signs such as a bullseye bite.
  • Use DEET insect spray and stay away from high tick areas such as tall grasses and bushy areas in the woods.

 

Although the days of summer are quickly dwindling, stay aware and take precautions to avoid tick and mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile, EEE, and Lyme Disease this year. Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733 and visit our website.

 

Interesting Tick Facts

Summer is peak tick season in New England. Since ticks thrive in moist and warm habitats, the high temperatures and humidity we experience here is a tick’s heaven. In past blogs we have discussed “How to Prevent Tick Bites” and signs and symptoms of common tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme Disease. Today we are examining some of the more interesting tick facts  that make them a danger to humans and pets, as well as amazing creatures to study. Here are some tick facts you may find interesting.

 

  • There are more than 850 species of ticks on the planet.
  • Ticks do not fly, jump, or fall from trees. They generally crawl up their hosts from the tips of grasses and shrubs.
  • The size of tick depends on the developmental stage. Larva stage can be as large as a grain of sand, a nymph as small as a poppy seed, and an adult is about the size of an apple seed. Females tend to be larger than males.
  • In many hard ticks, the saliva also acts like cement, helping to anchor the tick in place and making it harder for you to remove it.
  • Female ticks need to double their size before they are ready to lay eggs. They produce around 2000 eggs that are usually laid under the pile of leaves.
  • Some ticks can live for a really long time without food. When a tick can’t find a host to feed upon, it will sometimes go into a sort of stasis until the situation improves.
  • You will find all sorts of tick removal suggestions on the Internet, according to a review in the British Medical Journal. People recommend rubbing petroleum jelly, gasoline, nail polish, or 70% isopropyl alcohol over the tick’s mouthparts, ostensibly to “suffocate” it. Problem is, say the researchers, none of these methods actually work—ticks can survive long periods without air.
  • Ticks can survive without food for 200 days.
  • Sometimes ticks inject anaesthetic into their host’s bloodstream, a sort of nerve poison that contains neurotoxins.
  • Ticks typically require 24-48 hours of feeding before they can successfully transmit infections like Lyme disease, so prompt removal is crucial.

 

Does your yard seem to have a large amount of ticks? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care for treatment options that can solve your tick problem this summer. Reach out to us at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733 and visit our website.

 

Lyme Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks and deer ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (rash or bullseye), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks. Laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.

Steps to prevent Lyme Disease include:

  • Using insect repellent such as DEET
  • Completing tick checks nightly
  • Removing ticks promptly
  • Applying treatment programs to your property
  • Wearing protective clothing
  • Avoiding tick habitats such as woody areas

 

Do you know what to look for when completing your nightly tick check this season? The CDC has put together this graphic to help you realize just how small these pests can be. Compare the size of the dime to the size of the adult, nymph and larva ticks!

be vigilant this tick season. Use both your eyes and your hands to feel for potential ticks in areas such as in your armpits, groin area, behind the knees, along hairline and along the neck.

Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care for questions and concerns you may have about ticks in your yard or the woods surrounding your property. We have treatment options for you and your family. Call us at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

West Nile Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) West Nile is a virus most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. In North America, cases of West Nile virus (WNV) occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. The World Health Organization states that the symptoms of severe disease include: headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of disease. Serious illness can occur in people of any age, however people over the age of 50 and some immunocompromised persons (for example, transplant patients) are at the highest risk for getting severely ill when infected with WNV.

The current data on West Nile Disease can be worrisome. As of January 9, 2018, a total of 47 states and the District of Columbia have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes in 2017. Overall, 2,002 cases of West Nile virus disease in people have been reported to CDC. Of these, 1,339 (67%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 663 (33%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease.

For an incident report here is a county-by-county report from the CDC.

Pro-Tech Lawn Care suggests being especially cautious this mosquito season and follow some simple guidelines that we set out in a recent blog on “Preventing Mosquito Bites.” For more information about West Nile Disease and treatment options for your property against this mosquito-borne illness contact Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

Preventing Tick Bites

Ticks may be tiny, (almost undetectable in some cases), but they sure can cause a heap of trouble. In our region of the United States, Lyme Disease is one of the biggest threats when it comes to tick-borne diseases. Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that are transmitted to humans through a bite from an infected black-legged or deer tick. Symptoms can occur anywhere from 3 to 30 days after the bite and can be wide-ranging, depending on the stage of the infection. In some cases, symptoms can appear even months after the bite. Early signs and symptoms include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes, all of which are common in the flu as well. In up to 80% of Lyme infections, a rash is one of the first symptoms. If this is not frightening enough, a recent CDC study found that cases of Lyme increased more than 80% between 2004 and 2016 — from 19,804 to 36,429. So how can you protect yourself and your family each time you head outside from tick bites?

 

  • Consider treating your yard for both mosquitoes and ticks through a treatment plan at Pro-Tech Lawn Care.
  • Avoid areas where ticks are likely to hang out. This could include woody areas of your yard, hiking paths, or even just being in your backyard. Ticks love wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses and weeds, and leaf litter.
  • Use repellant. Products that contain DEET or permethrin can add a layer of protection when outside.
  • Wear protective clothing. This includes: light-colored clothes, which makes it easier to spot them once you have come indoors, as well as long pants tucked into your socks. We also suggest long sleeve shirts and shoes that cover your toes. A hat is a great idea too since they may be difficult to find in black hair.
  • Always check yourself and family members when you come in and at the end of the night. Ticks especially like hairlines, behind the knee and crux of the elbow.
  • Remove any ticks and watch for signs of Lyme and the telltale bullseye.

 

Are you concerned about ticks in your yard? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care for tick solutions for your property at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

The Dangers of Biting Insects

Spending time out in nature is one of the best things about the spring, summer, and fall months. For New Englanders who must endure long, sometimes brutally cold, winter weather, these months come as a gift from Mother Nature. There is nothing like enjoying the salty sea air along the coast, or the cool air of one of the hiking trails in the many conservation lands in our area. Unfortunately, being outdoors means the possibility of being bitten by one of the many biting insects that make their habitat in our region. What are the potential dangers of these biting insects and what can you do to prevent bites as you enjoy the great outdoors?

 

  • Mosquitoes – These annoying buggers can ruin any day when you are being swarmed and bitten. The dangers of mosquitoes lie not in the bite itself but, rather, in the diseases that can be spread in saliva of the insect. Mosquitoes can transmit Eastern Equine Encephalitis or, most well known, West Nile Virus. West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness that is carried from infected birds to humans via mosquitoes. Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare illness in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the United States each year. EEE can progress from flu-like symptoms to seizures, coma, and even death.

 

  • Ticks – Ticks in our area are known to carry Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is a multisystem inflammatory disease that affects the skin (a bullseye rash) in its early, localized stage, and then may spread to the joints, nervous system and, to a lesser extent, other organ systems in its later, disseminated stages.

Want more information about the dangers of biting insects and how to protect yourself? Visit our website or call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733.

4 Tips to Prevent Tick Bites and Lyme Disease

As the weather improves, New Englanders tend to start spending more and more time outdoors playing, gardening, enjoying the sun, and entertaining. While humans are getting out more, so are the pests and insects, specifically pests like ticks that can transmit disease such as Lyme. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are 300,000 new cases of this tick-borne disease every year. Now is the time to take certain steps to prevent tick bites and potentially Lyme Disease. Here are four tips to help keep you and your family safe this season.

 

  1. Create a Tick-Free Zone – Staying indoors during the height of the tick season is not a viable option, so try to create a tick-free zone around your home. Do this by keeping your lawn, garden, and plantings well-groomed and manicured. This can keep the tick habitat away from your property. In addition, consider a tick barrier by placing wood chips or bark mulch around the perimeter of your property. Some homeowners choose to have their property treated by professionals like our technicians here at Pro-Tech Lawn Care.
  2. Enjoy the Outdoors Safely – If your outdoor plans include being in an area that could have ticks, which is just about anywhere, dress wisely. Wear lightweight long pants and shirts, stay on hiking paths, and protect yourself with tick repellant such as DEET for skin and Permethrin for clothing.
  3. Perform Tick Checks – After being outdoors, make a habit of checking yourself, your partner, and children every evening. Ticks especially like to hide in armpits, along the neck and hairline, in the scalp, behind the knee, and along the waistline. Do not just rely on a sight check; also use your hands to feel for small specks that could be ticks.
  4. Remove Ticks – If you should find a tick, don’t panic! Attempt to remove the tick with tweezers. Getting the tick off in the first 24 hours can dramatically reduce the chance of transmitting Lyme Disease from tick to person.

 

While we encourage people to enjoy the outdoors every spring and summer, we also caution everyone to be vigilant for ticks by proactively treating as well as checking for ticks after each time outside. Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care for more information and help treating your yard this season. Call us at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

When to Worry About Ticks and Mosquitoes

Every summer we hear the warnings about disease-spreading pests like ticks and mosquitoes. If you are like most people, you probably don’t start worrying about these pests until you find a tick crawling on you or you get bit by a mosquito. We are here to remind you that these pests are not just annoying, but can carry disease and should be taken seriously. While most of us equate these pests with the heat of summer, they can, and do, emerge in the early spring months.

When to Worry About Ticks and Mosquitoes

Don’t be lulled into complacency when it comes to protecting yourself from these pests. Early May is usually when New Englanders begin noticing mosquitoes exposing themselves at dawn and dusk, and then eventually all day long. As for ticks, April to September are the most active time for them to emerge and become problematic. However, many ticks emerge as early as March when a quick warm up occurs.

What To Do

Just as you would during the peak of tick and mosquito months, take some simple precautions to avoid these biting pests.

  • Apply proper insect repellant to clothes and skin when necessary. Just because it is spring doesn’t mean that they are not carrying disease.
  • Take precautions like wearing long sleeves, long pants, and socks when heading into the woods.
  • Avoid being out during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are at their worst.
  • Keep standing water away from your property where mosquitoes reproduce.
  • Check everyone for ticks after spending time outside. Take a shower to attempt to wash away ticks that have not bitten you yet.
  • Put dry clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks.

Visit our blog again in the coming months as we will keep you updated on tick- and mosquito-borne disease and how you can prevent them. Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

Protection from Ticks

Over the last few months, we have discussed the potential dangers of tick-born diseases and viruses due to tick bites. Today, we will be discussing methods you can take to protect yourself and your family from these medical events caused by ticks. Spring, summer and fall are peak tick season, so follow these guidelines put out by pest experts and the scientists at the Centers for Disease Control to protect yourself against the hazards of a tick bite.

Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care for treatment options for your lawn and property area from ticks. Our professionals can help you choose an option that is right for your family and pets.

Check – Check yourself and your family members for ticks EVERY DAY. Here are some warm hidden places that ticks like to take hold. Here’s where to look:

  • Inside and behind the ears
  • Along your hairline
  • Back of your neck
  • Armpits
  • Groin
  • Legs
  • Behind your knees
  • Between your toes

Be Smart about your Surroundings and Dress Wisely – If you are going out for a hike or nature walk, stick to paths and try not to rub up against trees, bushes or sit in tall grass. The transfer of a tick can happen fast in these areas. If you are going out, dress smart. Wear long sleeves and pants. Tuck your pants into your socks.

Use Repellent – Repellents that contain DEET can be used on your exposed skin. Permethrin is a product that can be used on your clothes. Always follow the product instructions and use repellents with no more than 30-35% DEET on adults and 10-15% DEET on children. Never use insect repellents on infants.

Remove Ticks and Keep an Eye on the Spot – If you should find a tick remove it completely, including the head from your skin. Circle the area with a pen and watch to see if a rash or bullseye develop. Talk to your doctor about what should be done next if your suspect you have any tick-born disease.

Avoiding Ticks and Tick born Illnesses

Ticks are most active during the warm months of April through September. That means that we are currently in peak tick season. Short of staying indoors and missing all the outdoor entertaining and activities, what can you do to prevent tick bites and protect yourself from tick born illnesses?

  • Pro-Tech Lawn Care Tick Protection Program –  Our Tick Protection Program is an effective way to help protect you, your family and your pets from the spread of Lyme disease and other diseases associated with these pests. Our program includes three targeted applications to your property throughout the course of the season. Tick treatments can begin as soon as the snow melts and applications can continue through the end of the fall.
  • Avoid Direct Contact with areas that are Tick Infested – Obviously avoiding the outdoors is not possible but if you are hiking or playing outside,  stay away from wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter. If you do go for hikes try to walk in the center of trails.
  • Use RepellentUse spray repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours. Use products that contain permethrin on clothing.
  • Dress Appropriately – If you know you will be in a high tick area, wear clothing that can offer you some level of protection. Long sleeves, long pants and sneakers are a good choice. Tuck your socks into your pants so that there is no access to your skin if you are walking through a grassy area.
  • Removal – If you do spot a tick on your skin remove it completely or if you notice a bullseye marking or a rash contact your doctor immediately. Be sure to complete a thorough examination each time after being outdoors to check for the presence of ticks.