Posts made in July 2019

A comparison chart of different types of ticks

The Dangers of Ticks

When the weather gets warm, ticks are out in full force and can pose a serious threat to both humans and pets. Learn about some of the different types of ticks, the threats associated with these small but dangerous pests, and how to prevent tick bites.

Found throughout the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, southeastern and northcentral United States, black-legged ticks, or deer ticks, are known carriers of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, human babesiosis, and more. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fatigue, headache, fever and a bullseye-shaped skin rash around the bite site. 

Found throughout North America, the American Dog Tick is named after its favorite host, the dog. They are known carriers of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  Symptoms include chills, muscle aches, high fever, headaches, and sometimes a rash that spreads to the extremities 2-4 days after the fever begins. Exposure is most common during spring and early summer. 

Like the American Dog Tick, the Brown Dog Tick is named for its preferred host. They typically attach to a dog’s ears or between its toes. Though not common, they will bite humans in the absence of a canine host. Brown Dog Ticks can be carriers of diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, canine ehrlichiosis, and canine Babesia.

Found mainly in the eastern and southeastern U.S., Lone Star Ticks are named for the single spot located on the female’s back. These ticks target humans more than any of the other tick species. They attach to their host by crawling up the tips of low-growing vegetation, such as grass, and wait for the host to pass by and brush against the vegetation. Lone Star Ticks are known carriers of many diseases, including tularemia, Heartland Virus, and Bourbon Virus. As with all ticks, early detection and removal is crucial, but lone star ticks have long mouthparts that can make removal especially difficult, as they often break off while being extracted, resulting in further infection.

To reduce the risk of tick bites, be sure to follow these prevention tips:

 

  • When outdoors, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed-toe shoes. 
  • Wear light-colored clothing to make it easier to spot ticks.
  • Inspect people and pets for ticks after spending time outdoors.
  • Remove weeds and keep grass cut to discourage the presence of ticks.
  • Stay in the center of trails, away from vegetation, when hiking.
  • Wear repellent containing at least 20% DEET.
  • If you find a tick on yourself, a family member, or a pet, remove it slowly with tweezers, being careful to not break off the mouthparts. Flush the tick down the toilet or dispose of it by wrapping it tightly in a tissue and putting it in a closed receptacle. Wash your hands and the bite thoroughly with soap and water. 

If you are experiencing a tick problem, contact Complete Pest Solutions today.

BED BUG PRECAUTIONS DURING TRAVEL SEASON

Bed bugs are one of the most common pests. According to NPMA’s 2018 Bugs Without Borders survey, 97 percent of U.S. pest control professionals surveyed reported they treated for bed bugs in 2018, with 68 percent saying they treated hotels specifically. 

These pests do not discriminate and can be found anywhere, including 5-star hotels. Most people transport bed bugs back to their home without even realizing it. Bed bugs can wreak havoc if brought home after traveling, so it’s important to take the proper precautions.

Bed bug stats

To help avoid bringing home any hitchhiking pests this travel season, we recommend the following prevention tips:

  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking. Pay special attention to the following areas: behind the headboard, under lights, inside dressers, drawers, sofas, and chairs. Use a flashlight to assist your search. 
  • Pull back sheets and inspect mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. If you see anything suspicious, request a room change immediately.
  • When you return home, vacuum and properly inspect suitcases. Don’t bring them inside until you do so!
  • Bed bugs are not a pest that can be handled with DIY remedies. If you think you’ve brought bed bugs home with you, call Complete Pest Solutions.

WASP OR HORNET?

wasp or hornet

 

Wasps are a family of insects that includes hornets, yellow jackets, and solitary wasps. This means that all hornets are wasps, but not all wasps are hornets. Although hornets are not native to the area, there are several U.S. pests that go by this name. The most common, bald-faced hornets, are not true hornets. They are close relatives of yellow jackets. The European variety, or giant hornets, are the only true hornets in the country. 

Some basic features set wasps apart from other stinging insects. Unlike bees, both wasps and hornets have smooth, glossy bodies and a thin, thread-like waist. They also have two sets of wings.

Despite the ways in which they are similar, these pests can have subtle distinctions or more broad differences depending on their species. Many wasps have black and yellow stripes or bright, metallic coloring. Hornets have a different, more understated look. Bald-faced hornets are black and white, and European hornets are brown, yellow, and black.

Shape is another way to distinguish between wasps and hornets. Most wasps are long and thin. Both U.S. species that go by the name hornet are identifiable by their thick bodies and rounded abdomens. European hornets are the largest wasps in the country, measuring over an inch long.

Most wasps build paper nests of varying size and shape. Bald-faced hornets create football-shaped nests, while paper wasps build smaller, open homes in sheltered places like the eaves of buildings. Still others, the Eastern yellowjacket, build ground hives using abandoned ground burrows dug by rodents and other small mammals.

Finding wasps or hornets in or near the house may lead to harmful encounters. Wasps and hornets can be aggressive. Unlike bees, these insects can sting repeatedly. Hornet venom causes a particularly painful reaction. Often, the stings result in swollen, red, and itchy areas on the skin.  Wasp or hornet stings can be life-threatening for allergic individuals.

While homemade traps are inexpensive and easy to make, they fail to reduce populations to an acceptable level. There are several commercial bait traps available, but they are not attractive to German yellowjackets which are the most common nuisance in  Ohio.  

Because of their unpredictable and aggressive nature, it is best to call a pest control professional to safely handle a wasp or hornet infestation. Complete Pest Solutions has trained experts ready to help.