Ticks in Winter

If you’re like me, you may have been trying to wrap up some outside chores before the snow really starts to set in. And even though the temps are starting to trend low, I thought it would be worth mentioning a couple things you may appreciate for your safety.

It’s cold, so we shouldn’t have to worry about ticks and the disease they can transmit, right? Wrong!

The black legged tick (aka: Deer Tick) is the common tick that transmits Lyme disease. This rascal stays active all through winter as long as the temperature is above freezing. So, we shouldn’t let our guard down, even in the winter months. Interesting note: the deer tick doesn’t get the disease from deer. It gets it from small rodents like mice and then subsequently transmits it when feeds on other mammals, like you and me. So, any prevention strategies used to reduce tick feeding on mice will help reduce the risk of tick exposure.

Some believe that ticks can jump out of trees when they sense carbon dioxide. This is commonly regarded as a myth. Ticks will climb tall grass or similar vegetation to find a traveling host. So, any vegetation you can rub against could be a time when they grab on and climb. Regardless, as a general rule, if you spend any time outside on any given day, it’s a good idea to check for ticks, and even shower or bath before going to bed that night to ensure you don’t have an uninvited guest.

Images ref: CDC.gov

Uninvited Holiday Guests

The Holiday season is a wonderful time of year when family and friends visit and share their time together. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year when unwanted guests try to invite themselves into our homes. Mice, spiders, and stinkbugs are just a few of them that never get the invite. This past year was a very busy year for mice and now that it’s getting cold, they are coming in for the winter. Here are a few points to consider about mice:

  1. Mice are limited by the size of their head. Mice make entry into home areas and sometimes people are dumbfounded that they got in. But the fact is that mice can squeeze their bodies through a space like gel limited only by the size of their skulls. Sealing up those cracks and holes will stop their entry.
  1. Mice can’t control their bladder. They will piddle uncontrollably as they move about. If you see droppings, there is likely urine in that area and others. Their urine can be a source of disease. It’s important to clean and disinfect an area where you’ve seen droppings. If you find an area with many droppings, take care not to sweep aggressively and create airborne contaminants that you could possibly inhale.
  1. Mice like the security of a wall next to them when they travel. Mice will most often travel along a wall or baseboard. They don’t like being out in the open where they can be seen or worse, caught by a predator. They have oils on their fur which will come off on the wall surface as they travel. If you see dirty marks along walls or baseboards, you may have uninvited guests.

You work hard to enjoy the company of your friends and family in your home. If you have uninvited guests (the kind with 4, 6 or 8 legs, not 2) and you need help removing them, give us a call. We’d be happy to give you a free inspection and recommendations to resolve your pest problem.

From our home at Garfield Pest Control to yours, we hope you have a very warm and joyful Thanksgiving.