Our Mild Winter Leads
to a Bounty of Bugs!


Spring is a time for new life. Often baby animals and birds are born in the spring so they can take advantage of plentiful harvests and longer days in which to find food. Bugs are a part of the spring party as well, and are already out in a big way. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recently released its bi-annual Bug Barometer that forecasts pest populations based on each U.S. regions’ winter climate.

pestDefense_tickWhile many pests are beneficial, extra precaution must be taken with insects that carry disease. The NPMA has warned, “Tick populations are expected to be extremely high in many parts of the country this year.” Ticks are cold blooded and very affected by temperature, so they were able to survive our mild winter. Now their threat is more significant. The University of Rhode Island Tick Encounter Resource Center also listed a high tick encounter index across the Eastern states.

What most are worried about are black-legged and/or deer ticks; these are known to carry and transmit Lyme disease to both humans and pets. Symptoms of Lyme disease are typically a rash in the shape of a bull’s eye on the skin, along with headache, fatigue, and joint pain. If left untreated, neurological or cardiac issues may arise with Lyme disease; if found early it is very treatable, antibiotics can knock the bacteria right out. Deer ticks will be rampant this spring and summer, but the lone-star tick and the American dog tick will be out as well. The lone-star tick is capable of transmitting many diseases including Lyme, and the American dog tick can transmit diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Let’s all enjoy the outdoors this spring and summer, but keep aware of ticks and try to avoid them.

Here are some tick prevention tips from the NPMA:

  1. Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent designed to repel ticks.
  2. When hiking, stay in the center of trails, away from vegetation.
  3. To have a tick-free yard, keep grass cut low and remove weeds, woodpiles and debris that can attract ticks.
  4. After outdoor activity, take a shower and check your body for ticks.
  5. If a tick is found on the skin, use a slow and steady pull to remove it and not break off the mouthparts and leave them in the skin. Wash hands and the bite site thoroughly with soap and water. To dispose of the tick, kill it first, then flush it down the toilet or wrap it in a tissue before placing it in a closed receptacle (if not killed it will crawl right back out).
  6. Learn and be aware of the symptoms of tick-borne illnesses. Consult with your doctor immediately if you believe you are ill following a tick bite.

If you would like to learn more about ways to protect your home and yard from unwanted pests, contact your local HomeTeam Pest Defense branch: 877-461-7378 or visit www.pestdefense.com.

AccuWeather: https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/tick-populations-may-surge-above-normal-across-eastern-us-this-spring/370427/amp




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