Ticks are arachnids, and fall in the same genetic lineage as spiders. However instead of benefiting homeowners by catching and eating mosquitos or flies, ticks can be a major irritant or even a dangerous backyard or home pest. Aside from a sometimes painful bite, ticks can transfer disease to pets and humans. Because they are ectoparasites, they feast on the blood of larger and small animals, presenting a perfect opportunity for a pathogen or virus to be spread.
Not only is it important to exercise caution when spending time outdoors during tick season, but there are a number of ways to modify your backyard to minimize the risk of a dangerous encounter.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a long list of tickborne ailments that pose a safety risk to humans. Many of these may be relegated to a specific species of tick or a certain region of the country, but regardless, underestimating just how dangerous these little bugs can be is never wise.
One of the most well-known and common diseases that ticks may spread is Lyme Disease. The CDC reported that this may lead to fever, fatigue and headache, as well as a visible skin rash at the site of a bite. Lyme Disease is especially dangerous because without medical intervention, it can spread to the rest of the body and affect the joints, nervous system and even heart.
The other diseases that can be harbored by ticks can also lead to serious symptoms. If you have a confirmed or suspected bite and are suffering from any adverse health conditions, it is wise to consult a doctor.
When hiking or camping, the best bet for reducing your risk of a tick bite is by being proactive. Wear long pants and sleeves, and apply a strong bug spray. Likewise, avoid long grasses or brush whenever possible. After every outdoor adventure, be sure to do a thorough tick-check in the shower. If you do find a bite, remove the entire animal using a pair of tweezers and save it on a piece of tape or put it in a pill vial to give to a doctor should you develop any symptoms.
While it may be impossible to eliminate the risk of ticks out in the wild, there are many ways homeowners can reduce the possibility of ticks taking up shop in the backyard. The Massachusetts government highlighted a number of tick prevention methods.
Invest in proper landscaping, because this reduces habitat for ticks to hide and breed. Long grass or brush piles may harbor these dangerous bugs. Damp, shady lawns are also great for ticks who need moisture and sun protection to survive.
Pest control management is also a critical step in reducing the number of ticks in the backyard. Mice, rats and other mammals may carry unwanted bugs onto your property. For that reason, taking positive steps that prevent small mammals from getting too comfortable in your yard can also bring about a reduction in the number of ticks.
Because of the high amount of traffic and the versatility of the facilities, pests are naturally attracted to long-term care institutions. Many nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and other care facilities include on-site kitchens and cafeterias as well as private rooms and common spaces. All of these places are susceptible to attracting pests because of the presence of food, water and viable habitats.
As the weather cools, you'll probably see fewer pests than you did during the warmer months, but that doesn't mean they're all gone just yet. Some insects can actually come out in full force during the autumn, while others might seek refuge in your warm home. Here are some key tips to keep in mind as fall gets underway:
As the middle of summer approaches, you need to be vigilant about keeping your garden free of pests. Many insects breed during the summertime, which means they're on the lookout for great places to lay their eggs. For many bugs, that means near a source of food. In fact, some species of insects will lay their eggs inside budding vegetables and fruit so their larvae have something to eat as soon as they hatch. That's why you have to keep harmful bugs out without damaging the bugs that could help you, such as bumble bees.
You might have noticed that, with the exception of the kitchen, you find more pests in your bathroom than in the rest of your home. This is because insects and rodents see the bathroom as a convenient watering hole. Pests love leaky pipes and standing water because these offer them a hydrating oasis in the otherwise dry biome that is your house or apartment. And if your bathroom develops mold, all the better for pests, who may eat fungus or use it to lay their eggs.
The kitchen is largest gathering place for pests in a residential home. The reason is simple: pests can grab a bite to eat and take a sip of water while they're here. And when they find such a bountiful place, they will return home to their nests and report the finding - before you know it, your whole pantry is a buffet for ants! The problem could get even worse if a piece of food falls somewhere and begins to rot. Similarly, fruit and vegetables you bring into your home may be harboring unseen pests waiting to hatch.
It's finally here - sweet, sweet summertime at last! But has your time outside already been rudely interrupted by swarms of pesky bugs trying to take a stab at you? This season, let's say no more to swatting, slapping or clapping at these insects who seem to be tormenting innocent outdoors enthusiasts every year. Fortunately, the solution isn't as chemical ridden as you might think. As it turns out, some of your favorite scents are insects least favorite.
Not every creature that visits your property is a dangerous nuisance. Many animals actually offer a number of benefits that keep your yard healthy. Predatory animals, in particular, actually offer natural pest control. Here are five common suburban creatures that can help keep more difficult or annoying animals at bay:
Discovering a mouse is loose in your home can be a real headache, and for restaurant owners, such an infestation can be an even bigger problem. Mice may be cute, but they simply do not belong in the kitchen, attic or anywhere else. If you've noticed any of these signs around your house or business, it may be time to call in a professional rodent exterminator: