Tick control begins at home. One of the biggest misconceptions about ticks is that you can only get them trudging through deep forests and areas with high vegetation. Studies have shown the precise opposite. Approximately 70% of Lyme disease transmissions are from tick bites in one’s own backyard. When dealing with ticks in your home, it is best to contact a professional tick exterminator immediately. Cowleys Pest Services offers tick control in New Jersey throughout Edison, Lakewood, Somerset, Woodbridge, New Brunswick, Asbury Park, Fair Haven, Perth Amboy, Trenton, East Brunswick and more.
As larvae, ticks feed from small mammals like white-footed mice and meadow voles. Ticks ingest and store infected blood from these reservoir hosts and then progress into their tiny nymph stage. As nymphs, they inhabit vegetation as low as 4-6 inches, vegetation that can be found in anyone’s own yard. This nymph period is especially dangerous because the ticks are so tiny – the size of a poppy seed -- yet still carry potentially infected blood causing tick-borne illnesses that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Often these ticks bite and fall off without the host even realizing they were there.
For effective tick control and reducing the risk of your family or pets suffering tick bites, homeowners need to implement two related strategies. Both are necessary; one without the other isn’t enough.
The first strategy is outdoor habitat modification. You want to make your lawn and landscaping to be unattractive to ticks. This includes discouraging potential tick-carrying rodents and other hosts from entering your property as well as creating an environment unsuitable for tick survival for those who manage to sneak in. Regularly mow the lawn, trim back overhanging shrubs, limit birdfeeders to winter months, and remove leaf litter, plant debris, and other potential tick harborages.
The second strategy is the prudent use of low environmental impact tick treatments. In residential areas where ticks are abundant, treatments are necessary to reduce tick populations. Tick treatments are quite effective when used selectively and intelligently. You want to specifically time and target treatments to those areas where ticks breed and quest rather than attempting some haphazard application and hoping for the best. A professional pest control firm will maximize the effectiveness of the treatments while using the least amount of product to get the job done.
Also, no tick control method is 100% effective. Personal protection should always be practiced – even in your own backyard. The easiest way to avoid tick bites is to avoid tick-infested areas. If you enjoy outdoors activities, be safe. Reduce your exposed skin where a tick can attach by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants. Tuck your pant legs into your socks. If you go into the woods wearing shorts and a tank top, you’re asking for trouble. Use repellents containing DEET. Be vigilant about inspecting yourself, your kids, and your pets. Wear light colored clothing so it is easy to identify a dark tick against a light background for help with tick control in Bridgewater, Brick, Toms River, Old Bridge, Middletown, Princeton Junction, Piscataway and the surrounding areas.
Deer ticks are tiny. We are talking about something the size of a sesame seed – not dog ticks that swell up like miniature water balloons. If you don’t actively look for them, you won’t find them. Make a habit of thoroughly checking yourself and others for the tiny nymph after outdoor activities and vacations. About 25 to 50 percent of the deer ticks in Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Somerset, & Middlesex County are infected with and able to transmit Lyme disease. Newly hatched deer ticks do not initially carry this disease; they pick it up from an infected animal. Once a tick picks up the bacterium, it will retain it to its next stage, and be able to infect future host animals.