St Louis Pest Control Blog

How To Remove A Tick Safely

Have you ever had a tick on / in your body?  Most people have had a least one at some point in their lives.  Did you know there is a right way and a lot of wrong ways to remove it?  Unfortunately for me, my parents only knew the wrong  way to remove the tick (which they thought was to correct way – as do a lot of people).  But luckily, it never caused me to have any serious issues like the ones I getting ready to tell you about right now.

The correct way to remove a tick is pinch it softly between a pair of tweezers and to pull outward. Try not to squeeze the tick too hard as you may force the fluids within the tick to be pushed out of its body and back into yours.  Do not do this too quickly though, if you pull to hard or too fast you detach the ticks head and leave it buried into the skin which can cause you to have a bad reaction.  The correct way is to apply steady pressure outward until the tick releases it hold and pops out whole.  This process could take several minutes.  Once the tick is removed, smoother it with cotton ball wet with rubbing alcohol to kill it.  You can then freeze tick in the freezer just in case the person gets sick you still have the tick for the Doctor to check it and make sure it did not carry any diseases like Lyme.

Now let’s cover a few don’ts.

  1. Do not try to burn it out with a hot match.  This can cause the tick to regurgitate into body while it is still attached sending bacteria into your system.
  2. Do not smoother it with nail polish as it may cause the tick to try and dig deeper into your body.  If this happens it may be difficult to remove everything cleanly out.

Check out these links for more helpful tips.


Youtube  instructional video on how to remove

Of course the best way to prevent this is to not get a tick in the first place.  Our mosquito / tick service program does a great job of treating all of the potential harborage areas around your house and yard, and lets you enjoy your yard all summer long.  We apply a microscopic layer of material to all of the leafy surfaces that mosquitoes and ticks will hide during the day.  This in turn will greatly reduce the number that are available to bite you later in the day when you go outside.

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

Ticks – What Is The Best Prevention Treatment For My Yard

What is the best prevention treatment for my yard?  Well, when it come to ticks in St. Louis, there is only one type of treatment that I would recommend.  A full yard service.  Now, there are two ways to have this done. The first way is to spray your entire yard with a residual pesticide labeled to kill ticks.  This type of liquid application would need to be repeated every month or so if the tick pressure is high in your area.  The one good thing about a liquid application is the D.I.Y.’er can do this themselves given they have a good compressed air tank and the time it will require to spray the entire yard.

The better way to treat an entire yard would be to hire a professional pest control company (Blue Chip – St. Louis Pest Control).  Blue Chip uses a gas powered back-pack mister to blow the material into the grass, brush, plants and trees (up to 10-15″ high) where ticks will hang out looking for something to walk by so they can attach themselves to your body or clothing.  The reason the back-pack mister is better than just spraying a liquid is that it has the ability to dispense the material onto the  undersides of  grass and leaves.  A typical liquid application would only get the tops wet leaving the bottom side dry.  The nice thing about this type of service is that it will also take care mosquitoes and fleas.  We make monthly applications May – September, and offer a season long guarantee that we will come back and treat again should you see too many pests.

You are always welcome to call us at 636-343-7900 or go to for more information regarding our service options that can help you deal with mosquitoes.

St. Louis Mosquitoes – How can I tell them I’m not interested?

Our last article focused on what attracted mosquitoes to us, and this article will lay out some things that you can do to prevent them from getting too close.

We last discussed that mosquitoes are attracted to heat and carbon dioxide.  What this means to you and me is that if you are going to be doing some sort of physical activity outside around dusk, you need to take extra steps to preventing mosquitoes as you will be a greater target for them.  This also means that if you are working around a heat source like a grill or camp fire, you may be again more of a target for them.

The first steps we will talk about will involve things that you can do to prevent the mosquitoes from breeding on or near your property.

  1. Look for standing water.  Mosquitoes require water to be still for about a week to make it from egg to the pupal stage.  They can use almost any source of water such as slow stream, clogged gutters, bird baths, pet dishes, kids pools, soda cans, and even downspouts.  Keep the water moving or dump it and change it out periodically to prevent them from maturing.  If this cannot be done there are several larvicides or “mosquito dunks” that can be applied to these areas to prevent mosquito larva from hatching.
  2. See #1.  That is really the only rule in preventing the mosquitoes from breeding as water is essential to their development.  If the area you find is not on your property you can also contact the county department of health to report a breeding site and they can address it with the property owner.


Next we will look at things that you can do to be a bit more transparent to the mosquitoes.

  1. Repellents.  Love them or hate them they do remain the most effective way to prevent yourself from getting bitten by mosquitoes.  There are many varieties, but the truly most effective ones use DEET as their active ingredient.  Other ingredients may work, but only DEET has been shown to be almost completely effective.
  2. Treat your yard.  This is the one thing that we can help with.  Our mosquito misting service, which targets all of the places that mosquitoes hide out during the day is truly an effective way to limit the number of mosquitoes that try to invade your yard.  We use a backpack fogger to treat all of the foliage around your house and yard witha  microscopic material that clings to the mosquitoes when they land.  This type of treatment is very effective and unlike mosquito mister systems you don’t have pesticides floating around the yard while you are trying to enjoy it.
  3. Avoid peak times for mosquito activity.  Just before sunset to just after is when the mosquitoes are most active.  If you can adjust what you need to do by a little you can avoid most of them.
  4. Wear long sleeves or pants.  I understand that this is not really a great option for a St. Louis summer, but it will make it hard for the mosquitoes to get to you.  So if the weather is nice, or you are going into an area that is really infested it may be worth it.
  5. Don’t forget your pet.  They are just as attractive if not more so to the mosquitoes, so let them in for a bit at dusk, or look for a pet safe repellent for them.

Mosquitoes are much more than a nuisance, they are a specific health threat.  Diseases like West Nile, and malaria kill millions around the globe each year, and there are always a few reported cases each year right here in St. Louis, Missouri.  Take every possible precaution and enjoy your yard and summer, because before we know it we will have a “St. Louis” winter to deal with next.

You are always welcome to call us at 636-343-7900 or go to for more information regarding our service options that can help you deal with mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes – Why are they so attracted to me?

April showers may bring May flowers, but in St. Louis they also bring Mosquitoes for the rest of the summer.  A common question that we are often asked at Blue Chip Pest Services is “Why are the mosquitoes all over ME?  Does my blood taste different, is it sweeter?  Is it my perfume?  Should I keep the lights off?  What is it?”

The answer is actually none of the above.  Mosquitoes are really only attracted to a couple of things, carbon dioxide and body heat.  That means that all things being equal a mosquito is going to be a lot more attracted to a cow than the average human.   Since most people don’t have cows grazing nearby to distract the mosquitoes, we offer some easier solutions to let you enjoy your yard.  This also means that beyond you and your kids, make sure to protect your pet if they spend any time outside at dusk as they can often be forgotten about.

Another common misconception about mosquitoes is that they are attracted to light.  This sells a lot of the bug zappers dotting yards all over St. Louis, but they are really only effective at attracting and killing moths and other night fliers.  Another common misconception is that they are attracted to certain scents.  Since they aren’t interested in flowers or foods, only blood, you can wear you favorite perfume.

People often ask us about the mosquito magnet type products.  These has some effectiveness as they use propane to generate heat and co2, but people will often make the mistake of putting the magnet too close to the area to be protected and end up attracting more mosquitoes to the area.  The other problem is if they are placed too far away then the trap becomes irrelevant.  It really is a very fine line as to where these should be placed.

Our next article will discuss some things that you can do to prevent the mosquitoes from being all over you when you step outside.

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