The arrival of warm weather means that you and your family can enjoy hiking, biking, camping, picnicking, and other activities in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, spending time in nature—especially in wooded areas—puts both people and dogs at risk for attracting ticks. Seitz Bros. offers targeted tick control services. Our technicians can assess your lawn and determine where any ticks are breeding, then treat those areas, rather than applying product to the entire area.
All About Ticks
Ticks are plentiful around the globe: there are 850 species total, 90 in the United States, and 25 in Pennsylvania. Chances are, if you do encounter a tick in your yard or local park, it will be one of the four most common types: the American dog tick, the black-legged tick, the lone star tick or the brown dog tick. These species vary in color from brown to a reddish tint, and their sizes range from ⅛ to ¼ of an inch, though they will approximately double in size after consuming a blood meal.
Ticks gravitate towards long, untamed foliage, so you should be wary of them when you venture through uncut lawns, wooded trails, or tall grasses. When you or your pets walk through an infested area, one or more ticks will seize the opportunity to cling to any exposed skin in order to feed. Since they cannot jump, when ticks sense heat and movement from a potential host, they will wait at the edge of grass, leaves, or other vegetation for the host in question to brush up against it in a process called questing.
As you most likely know, ticks have the potential to transmit a variety of diseases whose effects range from unpleasant to fatal. One of the most common is Lyme Disease, which often produces flu-like symptoms along with joint pain, muscle weakness, and an expanding red rash in the shape of a bull’s-eye. The United States’ most serious tick-borne disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), is a bacterial infection that causes vomiting, a high fever (up to 103 degrees Fahrenheit), abdominal pain, muscle aches, and rash. Dogs are especially susceptible to Ehrlichiosis, which attacks white blood cells, leading to soreness and fatigue.
How to Protect Yourself
Before heading out to the woods or the park, decrease your risk of becoming a tick’s next meal by wearing long sleeves and pants as well as a hat and applying tick repellent. Make sure to check yourself and your pets thoroughly once you get home, and have another person check your head and the back of your neck. Keep in mind that dogs are especially vulnerable, since their entire bodies are exposed and they walk lower to the ground than we do.
If you do notice a tick on your or your pet’s body, do not try to remove it with your hands, since you run the risk of squeezing out infectious fluids. In addition, this method makes it all too easy to remove only part of the pest, leaving its mouth embedded. Instead, pull it out with fine-tipped tweezers, applying steady pressure without any twisting or jerking motions. Then, thoroughly disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Dispose of the tick in a sealed container or flushing it down the toilet. If you feel unwell within the next several weeks, or if you notice changes in your furry friend’s behavior, seek medical attention or call your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Since ticks do pose a significant threat to your family’s health and well-being, it is a good idea to call a professional for preventive treatment. Seitz Bros. technicians are well-practiced in tick control, and we will do everything possible to ensure that you can enjoy your lawn safely. Our tick control treatments are easy and efficient: we can help get rid of these pests without treating your entire lawn. Call us at (570) 783-5593 for a free quote, and we will arrange an appointment at a time that is convenient to your schedule.