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Natural Tick Control

Aug 18, 2007
Spring and summer months bring out a variety of insects and one of the most common is the tick. Ticks are found almost everywhere in North America and all ticks have one behavior in common, they feed on the blood of mammals. The American dog tick is a common variety of these parasites as is the black-legged tick. Ticks can carry several potentially serious bacterial diseases including Lyme Disease and Spotted or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The potential for you to be exposed to these illnesses make control of ticks important you, your family as well as your pets and other domesticated animals and livestock.

In order to effectively control ticks you must first understand how they develop and where you or your pets are mostly to be exposed. The small tick larva usually feed on mice and other small rodents until they mature to what is called the nymph stage, fall off and begin to look for other small mammals to feed on. This process can take anywhere from two to three weeks. When they reach the adult stage of their growth, the ticks will usually look for even larger mammals like dogs and humans.

Ticks will find you any time you are walking through fields and grassy areas, usually during the time between April and August. Your pet can pickup ticks on their fur and bring them into your home as well. Once the tick attaches itself to the skin, it will burrow in and begin to feed.

Since ticks can transmit diseases, you must be careful to examine yourself and your pet after every trip to an area where ticks may be present. If your dog has a thick fur coat the task can be rather tedious but cannot be ignored. A tick who has decided to make a meal out of your blood may not be obvious at first. Finding this parasite may mean looking through your clothing for crawling ticks and even going through your hair and scalp. If the kids have been playing outdoors they must be checked as well.

If you find a tick attached to the skin, there is a necessary but simple way to remove the tick and keep it intact. Since the spread of bacteria is often associated with exposure to the ticks body fluids it is important not to crush the tick. Do not, under any circumstances use a heat source like a hot match head or cigarette to remove it. This method is a popular myth and should never be used. Heating the tick may cause it to burst open, exposing you or your pet to any bacteria the tick may be carrying. The bacteria can enter your bloodstream through the area of the skin where the tick has feeding.

The preferred method is to use a pair of tweezers and grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Without twisting or crushing the tick, gently pull the tick straight back away from the skin. Try not to handle the tick with your bare hands. Once removed you can place the tick in a container of rubbing alcohol, rinse it down the sink or flush it down the toilet. Be sure to clean the bite area with a disinfectant like rubbing alcohol and do not forget to wash your hands. Watch for any signs of swelling around the bite area and always seek medical attention if there is redness, swelling or you experience signs of fever or other adverse symptoms.

Preventing exposing yourself or your pet to ticks involves several things. First, make sure that the grass where you or pets walk is kept cut short. Ticks like it a bit on the humid side and keeping grasses and weeds cut reduces moisture. Clearing the area of leaves and other organic clutter provides a less hospitable place for female ticks to deposit their eggs. Chemical pesticides are an option but should be avoided in areas where kids and animals play.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer for
PestControlIndustry.com. This site provides information how to naturally rid your home and garden of such pests as ants, rats, mice, mosquitos, termites and other noxious pests.
His website,www.PestControlIndustry.com
also has information on how to carefully use other forms of effective pest control.
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