St Louis Pest Control Blog

Ticks – The Blood Sucker that keeps Sucking

The wet weather pattern in St. Louis this past spring and early summer has also helped ticks get a stronghold this summer.  Ticks can dry out and die if not able to re-hydrate before finding a host to feed upon.  Ticks have the ability attach themselves to a host and start  feeding without being detected for days maybe longer if on a pet.  Ticks use a technique called “questing” to find their host.  Questing is a technique that allows the tick to climb up plant or high grass and sit patiently with their top pair of legs spread open waiting for something to brush up on them so they can then hook their clawed legs onto the unsuspecting host.  Once they have successfully quested the tick can attach themselves to any area of the body but they are more likely to be found in areas that have hair.

The most commonly found ticks in the St. Louis area are the American Dog Tick (pictured first) and the Lone Star Tick (pictured with both a before/after engorged tick).  Yes, we have other ticks but 90% of the ticks most commonly found will be one of these two.  Ticks can also transfer disease such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease.  Like any infestation of insects, the best approach is to attack the problem head on and repeat as necessary.

With that being said, let’s first discuss some none pesticide techniques  that can help reduce chances of having a tick problem.  Having a well groomed yard can deter ticks from “questing.” Remember, in order to quest the tick must have grass  (or another plant) high enough to climb, and a well trim yard is not attractive to a tick.  If you have pets, make sure that are treated for ticks (as well as for fleas).  If your pet is treated, they can still have ticks attach themselves to your pet but they will generally die within 24-48 hrs due to the active ingredient in the tick treatment chemical.  If you and your family live in area that is heavily wooded or plan to go camping or some other activity that has you in an area that may have ticks, the type of clothing you choose to wear can prevent a tick from finding a good place to have lunch.  Wear clothing that covers exposed skin, tuck pants into you socks, put rubber-bands around the end of your long sleeved shirt and apply a mosquito/tick repellent onto any exposed areas as well as onto your clothes.

Now let’s discuss this in a good, better, best, treatment option as it regards to how to apply and as it relates to the results.  A good treatment for ticks is to apply a granular material in the areas of concern.  This will help knock down some of the population but you will will still see you fair share of ticks.  The reason why this is only a good treatment methods is because the ticks still have the ability to move about above the treated area and never come into contact with the pesticide.  A better treatment would be to purchase a very good concentrated pesticide to mix in a one gallon spray tank and apply the material liberally in the infested areas. Use this material and fan spray your entire yard (think of it as painting a wall, you don’t want to leave an area without paint), yes it time consuming but the results will be greatly noticed.  The BEST treatment method would require 99% of everyone out there to hire a professional company that has the ability to use a backpack fogger for this treatment.  The backpack fogger allows pesticides to be disbursed in areas a liquid sprayer couldn’t penetrate.  Using a backpack fogger the applicator has the ability to shoot material up into overgrowth and thick brush where ticks tend to quest, leaving the pesticide in almost every conceivable area that a tick would come into contact with.  So if you are having tick issue, hopefully you have taken some info out this blog to help you and your family have a more enjoyable outdoor life.

Please call us if you have any questions or concerns regarding these pests at 636-343-7900 or go to bluechipexterminating.com for more information regarding our service options.

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