Even if the current pandemic has you staying home instead of planning your traditional summer camping trip, you still need to watch out for ticks. These small parasites can inhabit any area that provides sufficient hiding places and a plentiful supply of blood, either from pets or from humans.
It pays to understand tick infestations, from why they occur to how proper pest control and preventative measures can eliminate them. Here are some key points to help you protect yourself and your loved ones this summer.
Why Ticks Love Summer in Chicago
Ticks require a combination of humidity (which keeps their bodies hydrated) and sufficient warmth to encourage breeding. Chicago’s summertime climate satisfies both of these conditions. Additionally, relatively mild winter conditions have helped more ticks in the Chicago area survive into the spring and summer months.
Deforestation may have also contributed to a rise in the Illinois tick population. As larger predators die off due to insufficient food, they fail to control the population of another common pest. Rats have grown in numbers, offering blood-sucking ticks plenty of mammalian hosts on which to feed.
Where Ticks Hide and Breed
While ticks prefer warm weather, they also require shade to protect them both from direct sunlight and from potential enemies. They often infest overgrown yards, shrubs, and gardens, as well as piles of dead leaves, lawn trimmings, and other organic debris.
Adult ticks will latch onto an animal’s body and remain there indefinitely (or until something forces them to detach from their host). Both pets and people can track ticks from outdoor spaces into their homes. The ticks may then lay eggs on upholstery, pet bedding, carpeting, and other surfaces that help hide their presence.
What Ticks Can Do to Your Family’s Health
Despite the fact that ticks can blow up like balloons when their bodies fill with their hosts’ blood, they don’t usually draw enough blood to produce anemia in either humans or pets. However, they can cause anemia indirectly. Their bites may transmit microscopic parasites that infect the host with a form of anemia called babesiosis.
The bite of a tick can transfer numerous infectious diseases as well. Ticks infamously spread a debilitating condition called Lyme disease, but they may also infect hosts with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasma.
How Pest Control Experts Deal With Tick Infestation
With luck, you can detect and remove the occasional tick from your pet or another loved one by gently pulling the tick off of the skin with tweezers. A serious tick infestation in or around your home may require the aid of professional pest control. Large-scale tick removal usually involves spraying yards with pesticides.
Once your pest control team has eliminated the bulk of the infestation, ongoing tick control methods may revolve around periodic inspections of your home, lawn, garden, and other popular hiding places. Spot treatment as needed with smaller, more targeted pesticide applications can then eliminate pockets of infestation.
How Preventative Care Can Keep Ticks at Bay
Your pest control team can provide you with valuable advice for preventing future tick infestations in and around your home. For instance, they may advise you to start cutting your lawn shorter or get rid of any debris piles that might harbor ticks. If you take away the areas that ticks can live you can eliminate the tick problem on your property. Recognizing areas that could harbor ticks away from your home, and avoiding those areas, you can avoid bringing ticks into your home. If this is not possible then chemical applications will be needed.
Don’t forget the value of protecting your pets against tick infestations, for if you want to prevent ticks in your home you must address your pet as a vector of tick relocation. Your veterinarian can put dogs or cats on a program of monthly medication that disrupts the tick cycle and repel ticks from your pets. This measure not only keeps ticks from harming your pets, but it also means that your pets will bring fewer ticks into your home from outdoors.
A-Alert Exterminating Service, Inc., has the necessary skills, tools, and techniques to kill tick infestations, allowing you to enjoy a peaceful, tick-free summer at home. If you have a tick problem that requires urgent professional attention, contact us today.