You CAN control TICKS in your home, yard, on your pet and at your place of business! Ask us how… Then do it yourself.

You Will Get Safe, Effective Results!*

General Information

Ticks are nasty, blood sucking, potential disease spreading vectors! They reproduce so rapidly and in such high numbers that treatment is ALWAYS NECESSARY, not only IN THE HOME, but also IN THE YARD AND ON THE PET!! Ticks love cracks and crevices and can infest a home at alarmingly fast rates. Not only is the presence of ticks is annoying to dogs and humans. Heavy, continuous infestations on dogs cause irritation and loss of vitality. Pulling ticks off the host may leave a running wound, which may become infected because of their type of attachment.

When feeding, ticks make a small hole in the skin, attach themselves with a modification of one of the mouthparts, which has teeth that curve backwards, and insert barbed, piercing mouthparts to remove blood. Many a problem have occurred due to the improper removal of ticks from their host causing infection and secondary health issues.

Kinds of Ticks

The brown dog tick is the most common tick that we see, and while it rarely transmits disease to humans, there are some exceptions, noted below, and they often transmit diseases to dogs such as canine ehrlichiosis and babesiosis.

The American dog tick may carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and other diseases from animals to people. Dogs are not affected by these diseases, but people have become infected by picking ticks from dogs. People living in areas where these wood ticks occur should inspect themselves several times a day. Early removal is important since disease organisms are not transferred until the tick has fed for several hours.

The American dog tick is also known to cause paralysis in dogs and children when ticks attach at the base of the skull or along the spinal column. Paralysis is caused by a toxic secretion produced by the feeding tick. When the tick is removed, recovery is rapid — usually within eight hours. Sensitized animals may become paralyzed by tick attachment anywhere on the body.

Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks, but few cases have been reported in Florida. Most transmission occurs in the New England states, and the primary vector is the deer tick. The deer tick is not prevalent in Florida, but species that are close relatives and are capable of transmitting Lyme disease are common throughout the state. The American dog tick and the brown dog tick are not considered important vectors of Lyme disease. In cases of tick bites where Lyme disease is suspected, a physician should be contacted so that appropriate blood tests can be done for the patient.

Life Cycle

The female dog tick lays 4,000 to 6,500 eggs, then dies. The eggs hatch into larvae in 36 to 57 days. The unfed larvae crawl in search of a host and can live 540 days without food. When a small rodent is found, the larvae attach and feed for approximately five days. The larvae then drop off the host and molt to the nymphal stage. The nymphs crawl about in search of a rodent host, attach to it, and engorge with blood in three to 11 days. Nymphs can live without food for up to 584 days.

Adults crawl about in search of dogs or large animals for a blood meal. Adults can live for up to two years without food. American dog tick adults and many other species can be found along roads, paths, and trails, on grass, and on other low vegetation in a “waiting position.” As an animal passes by, the tick will grasp it firmly and soon start feeding on its host. The males remain on the host for an indefinite period of time alternately feeding and mating. The females feed, mate, become engorged, and then drop off to lay their eggs.

The American dog tick requires from three months to three years to complete a life cycle. It is typically an outdoor tick and is dependent on climatic and environmental conditions for its eggs to hatch.

Where to Look for Ticks

Repeat after me: “Cracks and Crevices, Cracks and Crevices!” Not only cracks and crevices indoors, such as baseboards, pet beds, etc., but outdoors as well. Trees, especially Pine Trees that are covered with crevices need to be treated in your entire yard area. There are different strategies and areas of control you need to follow to manage a tick infestation.

People entering tick-infested areas should keep clothing buttoned, shirts inside trousers, and trousers inside boots. Do not sit on the ground or on logs in bushy areas. Keep brush cleared or burned along frequently traveled areas.

Landscape management is necessary to create an environment unsuitable for tick survival. Simple measures that could be taken to provide a tick-free environment are to keep the grass mowed, remove all the leaf litter, brush, and weeds at the edge of the lawn, trim tree branches and shrubs around the edge of the lawn, and manage pet activity by trying to keep cats and dogs out of the woods.

The last two levels of control involve host-targeted treatments and area-wide treatments. Various kinds of insecticidal products are available for this use and are labeled specifically for the control of ticks. Some of these pesticidal products are registered to treat pets directly and some are registered to treat the infested area. If a heavy tick infestation occurs, it is necessary to treat pets, home, and yard at the same time. And it’s not a one-time treatment! You may need to treat 5-7 times to break the life cycle and gain control.

Established brown dog tick infestations of homes and yards are frequently difficult to control. Pets should be treated by using dips, sprays or topical spot-ons. Please be careful not to allow chemicals to get into the pet’s eyes, nose, or mouth. Heavy infestations of ticks on the animal should be controlled by spraying or dipping. See us for products and recommendations for direct pet treatment.

Insecticides should be applied inside the house where ticks are known to be hiding. These can be applied indoors as crack-and-crevice or surface treatments. For heavy infestations indoors, or when egg masses of ticks hatch, space sprays can be applied to give quick knockdown. Outdoors, infested areas should be treated by applying a broadcast treatment of insecticide to the landscape. Special effort should be given in treating areas frequented by pets. Pets should be kept off treated surfaces until dry. Apply products according to label directions. Do not apply these products directly to pets.

*NOTE*
Ticks should be removed from pets and humans as soon as they are noticed. Ticks should be removed carefully and slowly. If the attached tick is broken, the mouthparts left in the skin may transmit disease or cause secondary infection. Ticks should be grasped with tweezers at the point where their mouthparts enter the skin and pulled straight out with firm pressure. A small amount of flesh should be seen attached to the mouthparts after the tick is removed.

*Always read and follow manufacturer’s labels and directions.