Combat the Growing Tick Population in Southern New Hampshire

Despite a cold winter, the tick population is increasing.

Despite a cold winter, the tick population is increasing.

If you haven’t started thinking about tick prevention, now is a great time to do so. New Hampshire station WMUR Channel 9 reported this past week that tick populations may be on the rise. This conclusion is based on information from state entomologists and the CDC. Anytime the tick population increases, there is an increased risk for contractinga tick-borne disease. Such diseases include Lyme disease, babessiosis, and anaplasmosis. To many, an increase in the tick population may seem a little far-fetched since this past winter was so harsh, but it really isn’t.

 

Ticks are actually quite adept at surviving even brutal winter conditions. They can even remain active throughout winter if the ground is not frozen. Of course, our New Hampshire ground was plenty frozen this past winter, but that doesn’t necessarily kill them. Dr. Thomas Mather from the Department of Plant Sciences and Entomology at the University of Rhode Island illustrated on TickEncounter.org (an education project based at this university) that deer ticks can even survive underneath a blanket of snow. Typically, in very frigid conditions, ticks hibernate like bears. They may take shelter in rotten logs or underneath fallen trees to help them survive until spring.

 

Reduce your risk of tick-borne disease by eliminating ticks in your yard.

Reduce your risk of tick-borne disease by eliminating ticks in your yard.

With an even greater tick population in the forecast this season, it is time to start taking precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from tick bites and the diseases they carry. Vigilance is always the best defense against ticks. Be sure that you check yourself, your kids, and your pets regularly, especially after time spent in wooded or grassy areas. Remove any attached ticks promptly because the longer a tick is attached the more likely it is to transmit a disease if it is infected. Use tick repellents during outdoor activity, especially on your shoes. And be sure to treat your yard for ticks. Most of the time you and your family spend outdoor will be in your own yard, so reduce the number of ticks in that environment by calling Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire. Our two-step tick treatment program is extremely effective at eliminating ticks because it targets them two different ways – barrier spray and tick tubes.

 

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

It’s true that winter may not have affected the ticks in your yard, but Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire can. So don’t wait. Call us for a free quote today, and do something to reduce your risk of tick exposure. • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com
Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire

Lyme Disease Impacts Southern New Hampshire Pets Too

Last week, we talked about Lyme Disease because May is Lyme Disease Awareness month. That article focused on Lyme Disease in people, but humans aren’t the only ones who can contract Lyme Disease. Pets can too, and this fact is making news in our area. Parade Magazine recently ran an article indicating that pets in the Northeastern USA, which of course includes southern New Hampshire, are more at risk of becoming ill with Lyme. Why? The population of black-legged ticks (or deer tick as it is commonly called) is larger in the Northeast than in many other regions of the county, and these ticks are the primary carriers of Lyme. In our area, your pets could be exposed to Lyme Disease if they are bitten by a tick, and dogs are more prone to tick bites and subsequent infection than cats.

 

Lyme Disease can affect your pets too.

Lyme Disease can affect your pets too.

Lyme Disease symptoms in dogs are not the same as they are in humans. Dogs do not develop the EM or “bulls eye” rash that is so indicative of the disease. Rather, they often go lame suddenly; experience extreme pain; have swollen, feverish joints; are lethargic; and lose their appetite. The disease is serious though, like humans, pets can recover after antibiotic treatment. A dog’s risk of contracting Lyme Disease increases the longer a tick is attached. So what can you do to help prevent exposure?

 

First, you should check your dog routinely for ticks; daily is best. A black-legged tick in the nymph stage is extremely small (the size of a comma in newsprint), so great care should be taken. If you find any attached ticks, remove them immediately using tweezers and a firm, steady pull. Jerking the tick could cause mouthparts to break off, which can also increase your dog’s risk. There are also many tick prevention products available for pets than can help repel ticks, so talk to your veterinarian about which may be best for your dog or cat.

 

Evidence that the treated cotton in our tick traps is being used as nesting material.

Evidence that the treated cotton in our tick traps is being used as nesting material.

Finally, be sure to treat your yard for ticks. Most of your pet’s outdoor time will probably be in your own yard. Making that area as tick-free as possible will reduce your pet’s exposure. Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire uses a two-step method for eliminating ticks. First, we apply a barrier spray that will kill the ticks currently in your yard. Second, we utilize “tick-tubes”. Tick tubes contain fibrous, tick-killing material rodents like to use in their nests. Ticks proliferate using rodents as hosts, so rodent nests are typically infested with ticks. By utilizing this material, we are able to target ticks in the areas they frequent. Through these two methods, the tick population on your property can be noticeably reduced, and you can get started with our introductory pricing, only a $99 investment.

 

Don’t take chances with your family’s health – the human part of your family or the four-legged part. Contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire today and let us be part of Lyme Disease prevention at your home. We want to keep your dogs happy, healthy, and wagging too.

 

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

 

 

Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com
Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire

Lyme Disease in New Hampshire: No Immunity

Adult and Nymph Deer ticks

This side-by-side comparison shows an adult deer tick (left) , with a nymph deer tick (right). Both are very small.

Like many other serious diseases, Lyme disease is no respecter of persons. It strikes the young, old, male, female, overlooked, and famous. This past week, 80’s pop star Debbie Gibson revealed on her blog that she has been battling Lyme Disease. She details her struggles in this announcement, and she is not alone. Other celebrities to have been diagnosed include Jamie Lyn Sigler, star of The Sopranos TV series; Former President George W. Bush; and actor Alec Baldwin. While these cases have received notoriety because of the persons diagnosed are famous, many people contract the illness. According to the CDC, nearly 30,000 cases are reported each year, and many more cases are suspected.

 

The effects of Lyme Disease on the body are serious. The symptoms mimic flu symptoms in many respects (fever, chills, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes) but also include neurological problems. If left untreated, it can cause permanent nerve damage and arthritis. For these people, Lyme Disease truly changes their lives. Early detection and treatment can prevent many of the more severe complications. However, as with most diseases, the very best treatment is prevention. Since the illness can have such a profound impact, it is important to be educated about it and use that information.

 

Tick life cycle chart

Tick life cycle chart

Lyme Disease is a vector borne illness. It is carried by the black-legged tick, commonly known as the “deer tick”. While cold weather simply causes these ticks to hibernate, they proliferate during the summer months, especially in wooded or grassy areas. You are much more likely to contract Lyme during the summer months. People who contract the illness are often bitten by a tick in the nymph stage of development. This is not because more ticks in this stage carry the disease but rather because these ticks are less likely to be detected. The longer an infected tick is attached, the more likely it is to transmit Lyme to its host. Black-legged ticks in the nymph stage are only the size of a comma in newsprint, so often they remain attached until they let go.

 

The best way to prevent being bitten is to prevent exposure to ticks. This is where Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire can help. Our tick treatments are high effective at eliminating ticks on your property and keeping the population under control all season. Help protect your family, guests, and pets from Lyme Disease this season by contacting us today. (Yes, our furry friends can get it too.) Lyme disease can strike anyone, so don’t allow you or those you love to be a statistic.

 

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

 

 

Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com
Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire

Ticks are Here in Southern New Hampshire

They’re here. Not the supernatural forces from Poltergeist but tiny ticks that have already been spotted in Southern New Hampshire. Despite our not so pleasant weather later, ticks have already started to emerge around our area, which means new cases of Lyme Disease will soon be coming as well. The state of New Hampshire estimates that 60% of the deer ticks here are infected with Lyme Disease and there are additional tick-borne diseases out there as well.

Mosquito Squad of SoNH tiick control

Ticks have arrived in Southern New Hampshire

What you are most likely seeing are the young, nymph ticks that are more active from early spring to late summer. These nymph ticks are also the ones most likely to spread disease and they can be very small and difficult to see. Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire offers some tips, called the 6 C’s, on how to protect your family from the Southern New Hampshire ticks and the diseases they can spread.

1. Clear – Clear out the areas where ticks thrive: moist, shady areas like dead tree limbs and compost piles.

2. Clean– Keep your yard clean, your lawn cut short and the perimeter free of overgrowth. This will prevent ticks from finding places to hide.

3. Check their hiding places – Ticks likes to hide while waiting for their next blood meal to come along. Check your fences, rocky area and retaining walls. They also like wet areas like creek beds and ponds.

4. Choose plants – There are a variety of plants that deter deer, the favored host of ticks. Using these plants in your yard will keep deer and the ticks hitching a ride from entering your yard.

Protecting your pets from ticks is important.

Protecting your pets from ticks is important.

5. Care for family pets – Your pets are just as likely to get a tick bite in your yard and can suffer from Lyme Diseases as well. Make sure you check your pets carefully and frequently and stay up to date with their flea and tick control from your veterinarian.

6. Call the Pros – To eliminate up to 90% of ticks in your yard, call Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire. Our proven 2-step tick control and prevention service utilizes a 21-day barrier sprays to eliminate ticks on the vegetation in your yard and tick tubes that target the younger nymph ticks residing in rodents dens.

If you do find a tick on yourself, family member or your pets, proper removal is important. While there are many techniques and tools out there, the Center for Disease Control suggests using a regular pair of tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and steadily pull upward. Avoid any twisting motion that could leave the mouth of the tick in tact. Follow up by cleaning the area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.

Now is the time to call Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire. The trees in our area are just starting to bud and will quickly become favored areas for the ticks we have already seen. Having our barrier spray and tick tubes protecting

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

your yard is most effective when we start early to prevent ticks from entering in the first place. Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire is ready to stop ticks in their tracks with our proven dual protection tick control and prevention treatment.

 

Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com
Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire

 

Where Do Ticks and Mosquitoes Go for the Winter?

So it’s no secret that those of us who reside in the northern portions of the US love to go south for a break during the winter. If you’re retired, this break is probably a bit more of an extended stay, but even those of us who are in the flourish of our careers love a journey to a warmer climate. And who can blame us? Winters here are harsh. Birds do it; we should get to do it too. Recently, I returned from a rejuvenating trip to sunny Florida. And since I’m thinking of my favorite way to escape winter, I thought you might be interested in knowing how ticks and mosquitoes escape. Obviously, they don’t get away like birds and people, and knowing how and where they spend the winter helps Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire address your tick and mosquito problems in the spring, summer, and fall.

Mosquito Squad of SONH reminds you that all sizes of tick carry disease

All sizes of ticks can carry and spread Lyme disease.

Let’s begin with ticks. The most worrisome variety here in the area is the blacklegged tick (commonly called the deer tick). It is the foremost carrier of Lyme disease, transmits a host of other tick-bourne illnesses, and lives up to two years. The University of Rhode Island supports a large tick research and education program sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture and many health care groups. According to their research, ticks survive winter weather in much the same fashion as bears. They hibernate or become dormant. But they only do this when the ground is frozen; any other time, they are active. Ticks are very resilient creatures and capable of surviving harsh conditions in piles of fallen leaves and fallen, rotting logs.

Mosquitoes – those painful summertime nuisances and carriers of a swath of diseases including West Nile virus – are famous for how quickly they reproduce. Unlike the tick, the lifespan of a mosquito is relatively short, about a month. But they do survive winter, or we would never have to worry about them again. The Center for Vector Biology at Rutgers University maintains that

Mosquito eggs

Reducing the risk of contracting West Nile begins with eliminating areas where mosquitoes breed and lay their eggs.

many mosquitoes become dormant, like ticks, by entering hollow logs, animal burrows, or basements. Some mosquitoes that cannot survive by hibernation lay winter-hardy eggs, which hatch in the spring when temperatures rise in to the 60s, and some mosquitoes hibernate during their larval stage in the mud of swamps and ponds in order to survive the freeze.

So what does this mean for us? Remember that during the winter you can still combat the tick and mosquito populations by getting rid of fallen leaves and keeping the land around your home as dry as possible. Of course now that the weather is warming, it is time to begin planning for spring and summer tick and mosquito control. So call Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire today. We will work with you to set up a control plan that will help protect you, your family, and your pets all summer long.

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com

Mosquito Squad of SONH reminds you that all sizes of tick carry disease

Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire Gives Ticks a Rude Spring Awakening

It is still winter here in Southern New Hampshire. Every couple days, we are getting snow showers, and with temperatures at or below freezing, we are still wearing coats. But it is late February, which means spring is just around the corner. We are all looking forward to milder days, flowers, and new leaves on the trees. The arrival of warm weather will bring cute bunnies and baby birds, but cute animals won’t be the only newbies out and about. Spring will wake a far creepier creature – the tick. Ticks have a life span of two years. In our terms, this is not very long, but it is plenty of time for the tick to be a nuisance and even cause damage by transmitting diseases to our families and pets.

Mosquito Squad of SONH reminds you that all sizes of tick carry diseaseWhile many different species of these insects are a nuisance, the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) is particularly dangerous because of its ability to carry and transmit Lyme disease to humans and animals. During the deer tick’s life cycle, it passes through four stages – egg, larvae, nymph, and adult. A tick is typically infected with Lyme disease when, in its larval stage, it feeds on an infected rodent or bird. During any feeding after infection, it can transmit Lyme disease to its new host. The tick’s nymph stage is actually the most dangerous to humans and pets. During this stage, the tick posses the disease, and it is extremely small, the size of a poppyseed or a comma in newsprint. While an adult tick is still capable of spreading Lyme disease, its size (though still small) makes it easier to discover and remove before infection occurs. The longer a tick is attached the more likely it is to pass Lyme to a host, so the incredibly small size of nymphs makes them the most likely to give humans or pets Lyme disease. Deer tick nymphs are active and feeding during the spring and summer months. Though they are dormant right now, all it takes is a few warm days to wake them.

ticks-warning-signLyme is a disease of concern here in our area. The CDC has reported that, in 2012, 95% of all reported Lyme disease cases occurred in 13 states. New Hampshire was one of these states. Since we are aware that the disease is a risk every year, it is important to act now in order to protect you and your family. Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire is ready to give the ticks from Windham to Candia and east from Seabrook Beach to Portsmouth a rude spring awakening. We combat the tick population with a combination of control methods and by interrupting their life cycle. Our barrier spray eradicates ticks in the adult stage, and tick traps effectively eliminate them in the nymph stage. By using both of these methods, we can reduce your risk of exposure to ticks by 97%, and by reducing the number of ticks in your yard, you reduce the risk of Lyme disease.

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

Don’t give ticks a chance to bite the people and animals you love, let alone infect them. Contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire  to discuss our tick control options. We can put them to sleep forever just as soon as they wake up. Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com

Just in case your worst bug nightmare becomes a reality, Mosquito Squad of SoNH teaches you how to properly kill a tick

This lady is screaming with the thought of having to kill a tick she just found attached to her fancy french poodle!

This lady is screaming with the thought of having to remove and kill a tick she just found attached to her fancy french poodle!

We have covered the importance of  properly removing a tick to reduce the risk of disease and bacteria transmission in previous posts. The question is, once you remove the tick properly what do you do with it? It is highly recommended to keep the tick in a container for a period of time following removal in case you start to show signs of being ill from the bite. The tick may be needed for further testing to help diagnose a possible tick-borne illness. An empty pill bottle or plastic baggie stored in a cool, dry place will do. In many circumstances ticks are still alive following removal. So the question is… what is the proper way to kill a tick?

How to kill a tick

I recently found a tick attached to my dog and realized that even though I deal with ticks on a daily basis with Mosquito Squad of SoNH, when it came to removing the tick I was suddenly all thumbs.

Can you imagine having to kill this?

Can you imagine having to kill this?

The best way to kill a tick and keep it intact enough for testing is by applying rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball and placing it within the container or baggie with the tick. The tick will die within minutes, and will remain intact. Many sources also point out that mouthwash such as Listerine will also work to kill a tick if you do not have rubbing alcohol on hand. A tick should never be handled with bare fingers, to prevent picking up the germs it might carry. Dropping it into rubbing alcohol or a mouthwash like Listerine that contains alcohol should kill it quickly.

It is not advisable to kill a tick by squashing it. Squashing a tick will kill it but will also expose the blood contained by the tick, plus it is just downright gross!  The blood may contain diseases that can be spread by contact. Any surface that comes in contact with the blood may also be contaminated. If a tick is accidentally ruptured during removal from a host, the blood should be immediately wiped up and the area washed thoroughly.keep calm and call the squad

Over the years there have been a myriad of suggestions in regards to killing a tick. Some of these include burning the tick and even microwaving the tick in a plastic bag (can you say baked tick with extra butter and sour cream)?

Of course, the old fashioned way usually entails flushing the tick down the toilet, therein lies the basis of popular folklore which says the tick will proceed to crawl back up through the plumbing. As strange as this seems, according to the Tick Encounter Resource Center at the University of Rhode Island ticks cannot swim, but can be submerged in water for 2-3 days and seem to survive just fine. Since they cannot swim, wrapping them in a tissue and flushing them down the toilet should suffice.

Ticks don't swim from the Tick Encounter Resource Center

According to the Tick Encounter Resource Center at the University of RI – ticks cannot swim!

The ideal way to eliminate a tick is to do so before it has a chance to attach to you, a member of your family or your pet. Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire can reduce the chances of coming into contact with a tick while in your yard so you will never have to worry about removing ticks. When it comes to controlling and preventing ticks in your yard, out of sight is out of mind. Contact Mosquito Squad of SoNH today to learn more about our highly effective and safe tick control program. Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

Please visit our tick identification page to help identify a tick you may come into contact with while venturing into untreated areas this season.

Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire informs residents of how and when to perform tick checks during tick season

May Is Lyme Disease Awareness Month in SONH

May Is Lyme Disease Awareness Month in SoNH.

May is Lyme disease awareness month and Mosquito Squad of SoNH wants all residents to be aware that our state ranks second in the country for the highest amount of confirmed Lyme Disease cases. Deer ticks are the cause of Lyme Disease and our abundant deer and rodent population paired with our natural geography make New Hampshire the perfect home for deer ticks. Not only do these ticks transmit Lyme Disease, they are also responsible for the transmission of Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis.

Southern NH tick protection and control

Ticks that cause Lyme Disease are alll around us, staying tick smart is key to staying healthy.

Not many people realize as they step into an outdoor setting that they may run the risk of not only contracting one tick-borne disease, but two. It is possible, though rare, to contract more than one tick-borne illness from a tick at once. This occurrence is what is known as co-morbid tick disease. Becoming infected with more than one tick illness at the same time can make you even sicker than just one illness will. If you spend any time outdoors, and enjoy outdoor recreational activities during the tick season, it is important to exercise safe tick practices including checking yourself for ticks. It is also important to check your children and following exposure to the great outdoors.

It is important to realize that deer ticks are very small and can be hard to see. The nymph deer tick is about the size of a poppy seed, and the adult deer tick is about the size of a sesame seed. Their small stature makes it possible for the tick to avoid detection and attach themselves to us as we go about our outdoor activities. It is crucial to avert a possible disease transmission by detecting and removing a tick early. Research indicates your chance of contracting Lyme Disease from a deer tick increases the longer the tick remains attached and undetected. Some studies even point out it must remain attached 36-48 hours in order to transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme onto us. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a specific order in which to check for ticks’ properly following trips outdoors into unprotected areas and they are as follows:

Ranges-of-tick-sizes

All sizes of deer ticks can spread illness and disease.

Check your clothing for ticks. Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Placing clothes into a dryer on high heat for at least an hour effectively kills ticks.

Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.

Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, which even includes your back yard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:

  • Under the arms
  • In and around the ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • In and around the hair
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist
proper tick removal

Proper tick removal

If you do find a tick attached, don’t panic, remove the tick using a pair tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and with a firm grasp pull it straight out .Do not manipulate the tick, or attempt to burn the tick. This will likely cause the tick’s mouth part to remain intact.  The mouth part which is called the hypostome is barbed and needlelike. The barbs point back towards the tick, much like a fishhook. When heat is applied to a tick, or you manipulate the tick it cannot quickly remove these barbs, unless it lubricates them. The only way a tick can lubricate the barbs is by emptying the contents of its stomach. When the tick empties the contents of its stomach it raises the risk of any tick-borne illness the tick is carrying of being passed onto you.

Once you have removed the tick, keep the tick in a sealed container such as an empty medicine bottle marked with the date you removed the tick. This is crucial in the event you become sick and the tick is needed to help diagnose Lyme Disease, or another tick-borne disease. Watch for signs of illness such as rash, fever or flu-like symptoms in the days and weeks following the bite. Immediately see a health care provider if these develop. Your risk of acquiring a tick-borne illness depends on many factors how long the tick was attached.

Reducing your exposure to ticks will bring the risk factor for contracting Lyme Disease down significantly. Taking steps within your own environment to create a tick safe zone will allow you to enjoy the outdoors with peace of mind in knowing you and your family are safe. Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire is dedicated to keeping you safe from Lyme disease with our tick intensive control and prevention treatment. We combine safe and effective barrier sprays that kill adult ticks with tick traps (for nymph ticks) interrupt the life cycle of the tick eliminating it before it has a chance to spread infection to you. We’ve had great success with our tick trap program which can reduce the chance of coming into contact with a tick on your treated property by up to 97%. Statistics like this are hard to beat.

Mosquito Squad of SONH

The team at Mosquito Squad of SoNH

If you want to learn more about keeping the most important people in your life protected from the tick that could potentially give them Lyme disease, contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire today. Call us today for a free quote • (603) 373 – 8863 • email: sonh@mosquitosquad.com