Tick: Small bug; big problem for campers

September 26, 2013

When camping, hiking, hunting, fishing from the banks or other outdoor activity, one should be careful to inspect the area in which you will be spending time. Rake back the straw, inspect in the crevices of bark on trees, under leaves etc. Ticks may be present. Ticks are also a common pest for people with pets living outside especially if they live in a wooded area. They are often associated with Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and a host of other diseases. This disease carrying ability classifies them as a vector pest along with rodents, mosquitoes, fleas etc. There are over 900 species of ticks which feed on a variety of hosts including mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds. Ticks are distributed around the world but are most common in warm humid climates. The best regions for tick populations are ones with: sandy soil, hardwood trees, rivers and deer populations. Ticks are arachnids – not insects. They have 8 legs and two body parts like spiders and mites.

Ticks are usually found from ground level to about 3 feet above the ground. They detect carbon dioxide, body heat, scents, moisture and vibrations to find a host. Ticks are not capable of flying or jumping so they generally sit on leaves or grass and wait for a host brush against the vegetation. This practice is called questing.

Ticks carry many different diseases some of which can take months to show symptoms. In addition, ticks may be carrying and transmitting multiple diseases at one time making diagnosis and treatment even more difficult. It is important to inspect yourself after being in the woods and regularly during prolonged stays in the woods such as when hiking and camping. It is difficult to repel ticks. While deet and other products can be effective, most people only treat their exposed skin. Ticks often get on one’s clothing and crawl to an untreated area. Ticks prefer to feed in areas where they feel protected. These areas are often where there are creases in the skin such as under arms, behind knees, behind ears, private areas, under hair etc. So be sure to inspect these areas thoroughly.

If a tick is found remove it by grasping it as close to the skin’s surface with a pair of fine tipped tweezers. Pull the tick out slowly with a gradual upward force. Do not twist, jerk, crush or do anything that may damage the tick and leave the mouthparts in the skin. Disinfect the area of the bite thoroughly. Time is of the essence with ticks, it generally takes a day or two for the tick to secrete a feeding tube into his host in order to suck blood (and thus transmit disease) – so the sooner preparations are made for their removal the better. A removed tick should be kept in a damp paper towel. This inhibits dehydration and makes identification easier if medically necessary. It is important to monitor the area of the bite. A development of reddish rings (like a bulls eye) are indicative of disease or infection. It is best to consult medical advice whenever you are bitten.

Ticks like most insects lay thousands of eggs so their control is difficult. In addition, they can get moved around from area to area via the host animals. There a few natural predators but their use for control is not advantageous. While large scale insecticide applications are very effective with mosquitoes, they only have moderate success with ticks. In and around a home tick control consists of the following:

  1. Mow the grass, bag the clippings and remove from property.
  2. Bathe animals with a flea and tick shampoo.
  3. Treat the yard and shrubs with an insecticide making sure to treat the leaves and in the bark
  4. Monitor the area closely for a few days.

Ticks can lay dormant for up to a year. It is possible to have a tick get on your clothes, go through a wash cycle, be placed in your drawer or closet and survive up to a year. Hunters have been known to of the trees up a few feet off of the ground.

get bitten and infected by wearing camouflaged clothing which had been in storage since the previous season. It is important to inspect your clothing after being in the woods and to use very hot water, a full dose of laundry detergent, and dry on the highest heat when dealing with clothing that may have come into contact with ticks. In addition wash these clothes separately – ticks could come off in the wash and get on the clothes of other family members. Inspect your clothing before putting it on if you think you may be at risk.

Horne’s Pest Control provides tick control service. It generally cost about $150.00 – $200.00 for the house and yard. The price can vary depending upon the size of the area to be treated. We can come out to your home, give you our recommendations and a price. If you agree and accept the price we will be equipped to perform the service at that time. If you do not want our service there is no charge for the estimate. As with all extermination services – experience and training is the key. At Horne’s we believe it is the aptitude of the applicator not the potency of the product. We regularly send our technicians to schools and training programs offered by the University of Georgia and Clemson University and have them complete correspondence programs from Purdue University. This training enables Horne’s to issue a 4- month warranty with confidence… There is not a better guarantee in the local area.

Click here to see how a tick’s mouth really works!

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