‘Ticks The Season
While we all enjoyed a mild winter in our neck of the woods, it could be bad news from the standpoint of pest control. Freezing temperatures generally kill off arthropod pests and their eggs, while mild temperatures let them survive. Even worse, mild temperatures enable insects and arachnids to emerge early from hibernation – and make an equally early start on producing the next generation of pests. Mild weather, therefore gives pests a longer time to reproduce – and that means there will be more ticks and mosquitoes throughout the spring, summer and fall.
Types of Ticks in Westchester and Fairfield
In the United States, ticks actually transmit Lyme disease and other illnesses, affecting tens of thousands every year. The most common disease transmitted by ticks in our area is Lyme Disease with New York having the highest number of reported cases according to the CDC. Ehrlichiosis, which is transmitted by the Lone Star tick, is a potentially dangerous disease and last year we saw a the rise of a relatively unknown tick-borne illness, the Powassan virus.
Ticks are arachnids, not insects, and there are hundreds of species. Fortunately, only a few can transmit diseases to humans. The Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum), dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) and deer or black-legged (Ixodes scapularis) tick are the most harmful ticks in the United States. The dog tick is the chief carrier in the eastern United States of the bacteria that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Learn more about tick born illness from Westchestergov.com.
What Can You Do To Prevent Ticks?
Ticks prefer living in wooded, shady, moist areas over sunny or dry places. A simple way to prevent tick infestation is to avoid wooded areas and keep one’s dog or pets out of such areas. Cleaning up leaf litter to placing gravel or woodchip borders between one’s lawn and the woods. Lawns should be kept short, for ticks also like high grass. Professional tick control services can definitely help at Mosquito Squad, we use a combination of a barrier spray treatment and tick tubes. Our traditional mosquito spray kills adult ticks instantly and typically needs to be applied every three weeks. Another service is the “tick tubes,” which relies on the natural nesting instinct of mice to deliver the insecticide to the nest.
Tick Testing Resources
- Lyme Disease Diagnostic Center
Westchester Medical Center
Lyme Disease Hotline
(Free testing to ID tick to see if it is the kind that carries Lyme or the new Borrelia bacteria)
- For CT Tick Testing – Contact your local Heath department who will submit the request to the state department. You can find the form on ct.gov or click here to download.