How Do You Remove a Tick?

How to remove a tick in El Paso - Pest Defense Solutions

Here in El Paso, pests are in full force in the spring and summer. None is potentially more of a threat than the tick. These tiny pests are infamous for transmitting a number of diseases, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and, more infamously, Lyme disease. Although the chances of getting Lyme disease are relatively low, it’s still important to learn what you can do to prevent tick bites. Even more important is the knowledge of how to remove a tick in a safe and timely manner. With May being National Lyme Disease Awareness Month, the experts at Pest Defense Solutions are here to share all you need to know about removing ticks.

What Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

Not all tick species carry and transmit Lyme disease. In fact, deer ticks (also known as blacklegged ticks) are the type most known for their ability to transmit this dangerous disease. The transmission most often happens when a nymph deer tick bites a person. The good news is that when a tick is safely removed within the first 24 hours, the chances of contracting a tick-borne illness is low. It is only when an infected tick has been attached for 36–48 hours can the bacterium be transmitted. Knowing how to promptly and safely remove ticks, then, is essential to stopping the transmission of Lyme disease.

Tick removal guide - Pest Defense Solutions in El Paso

Instructions to Safely Remove a Tick

With a fine-tipped pair of tweezers, you can safely remove a tick right at home. In fact, the following method is backed by the CDC and the ASPCA. Here’s how to remove a tick:

                • Use the tweezers to firmly grasp the head or mouth of the tick, as close to the skin as possible. Avoid grasping the tick’s body to the best of your ability, as this could inject the tick’s blood into the skin.
                • Firmly and steadily pull the tick outward in a straight motion. Try to not twist the tweezers, as this could dislodge the head, leaving it embedded in your skin.
                • As soon as the tick is removed, carefully clean the area of the bite, as well as your hands, with soap and water.
                • To safely dispose of the tick, place it in a sealed bag or jar with alcohol. Another option is to flush the tick down the toilet. Do not crush the tick.
              • In the rare case you develop a rash or other symptoms after getting bitten by a tick, it’s important to see your doctor immediately. If the tick was saved, your doctor may wish to see it for inspection.

                Tick Control and Removal in El Paso

                Ticks are one of the most dangerous pests due to their ability to transmit disease. For this reason, it’s crucial to learn not only how to prevent ticks but also how to remove them if you’ve been bitten. The tick control experts at Pest Defense Solutions are here to help—contact us today for help with tick removal!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

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Entomologists from Pest Defense Solutions’ parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

How to Be Pest-Free in Your Outdoor Living Space

Prevent pests in your El Paso TX backyard - Pest Defense Solutions

Pests and insects are a completely normal part of outdoor life. Whether you spend your time in your backyard barbecuing, doing yard work, or playing with your kids, you’ve likely dealt with pests from time to time. Mosquitoes in the birdbath or ants on your barbecue area can be frustrating to deal with, which is why it’s important to learn what you can do to lessen the risk of pest problems outside your home. At Pest Defense Solutions, we know that pests are common year-round here in El Paso. But we don’t believe they have to ruin your time spent outdoors! Our expert technicians have gathered info on how to be pest-free in your outdoor living space.

5 Steps to Be Pest-Free Outdoors

The last thing you want during a barbecue or family picnic is a pest problem. Chances are, there are several things in your backyard that could be attracting pests. The key is to make your yard less attractive to pests in general. Our top tips are to:

  1. Keep a clean environment. Crumbs and spills will attract ants and other insects.
  2. Remove any standing water. Stagnant water is one of the biggest attractants for mosquitoes.
  3. Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed. Ticks and mosquitoes will shelter in overgrown vegetation or tall grass.
  4. Inspect all wood structures. Wood-destroying pests (carpenter ants and termites) will damage your wooden decks or porches.
  5. Use an insect repellent. Most store-bought repellent containing DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.

What Pests are Common in El Paso Backyards?

If you’ve lived in the area for some time, you know that pests and insects are common during most months of the year. However, pests are more common than ever this time of year, and are likely right in your backyard! The pests you’ll see in your yard are mosquitoes, stinging insects (bees, wasps, and hornets), ants, spiders, ticks, fleas, and flies. While most of these pests are a nuisance to deal with, ticks and mosquitoes in particular are more dangerous. Because these pests can bite and transmit diseases, it’s very important to learn how to keep them away from your property altogether.

Year-Round Outdoor Pest Control

A pest problem outside your home can quickly become a pest problem inside your home. By preventing pests in your backyard, you can lessen the risk of those pests coming indoors. For expert help on staying pest-free, the residential pest control pros at Pest Defense Solutions can help. Contact us today!

5 Ways to Prevent Summer Ticks in Pets

Tick prevention for pets in El Paso TX - Pest Defense Solutions

Summertime brings about many types of insects, including ticks! These parasitic pests are feared for their ability to transmit Lyme disease to humans and animals alike. Unfortunately, they’re common in El Paso in the warmer months, making it important to know how to prevent these blood-sucking pests on your pets and people. Although cats are rarely affected by ticks, they can be dangerous for your dogs. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to keep your family safe from ticks. The team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to share their top 5 ways to prevent summer ticks.

Threats of Ticks

There are several concerns when it comes to dealing with ticks. In some pets, ticks have been known to cause anemia. The main danger is, of course, contracting Lyme disease. Cats aren’t as affected as dogs by ticks, but ticks can easily latch onto any pet and bring them inside. Ticks may feed for anywhere from a few hours to a few days, making it important to check your pets every time they’ve been outside.

Dogs can be seriously affected by Lyme disease and will begin to show several symptoms if affected. Always be on the lookout for signs of depression, loss of appetite, fever, lameness, or swollen joints and lymph nodes. If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately take your pet to see a veterinarian.

Tick Prevention Tips

To keep ticks away, it’s important to stay wary of the situations in which they may be encountered in the first place. Some of the things you can do to prevent summer ticks in pets include:

  • Investing in tick prevention
    • Consider speaking to your veterinarian about tick prevention methods. Some may have suggestions or solutions for keeping your pets safe.
  • Keeping a tidy, pest-proof yard
    • Mow your lawn regularly and trim bushes or trees on a regular basis. In addition, implement pest exclusion to keep rodents out as they often carry ticks.
  • Inspecting pets and family members
    • Whenever you take your pets outdoors, make sure to inspect them for ticks. Pay close attention to areas behind the ears, neck, and under the legs. In addition, check your children for ticks after hikes.
  • Avoiding areas with tall grass
    • Ticks are known to be in areas with high grass or vegetation. Be careful to stay on trails when hiking or walking.

Year-Round Tick Protection

In general, always be careful about ticks in the summertime. They are more common than you think! For more information on keeping ticks away, the pest control experts at Pest Defense Solutions can help.

Is Coronavirus Transmitted by Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes and ticks do not spread coronavirus. Learn more from Pest Defense Solutions in El Paso Texas.

The team at Pest Defense Solutions understands how uncertain times are right now during the current pandemic. With a dedication to the health and safety of our communities here in El Paso, we are closely monitoring the information coming out each day about COVID-19. We understand there is a lot of misinformation spread about the nature of the virus, and we are here to set one of those myths straight. From what we know according to the CDC, coronavirus is not transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks. These two insects certainly play a role in the transmission of some of the world’s worst diseases, but COVID-19 is not one of them. Read on to learn what we know so far.

Do Mosquito Bites Cause Coronavirus?

As of now, there is no scientific evidence that mosquitoes or ticks transmit COVID-19. Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that is spread to pass from person to person. Droplets from saliva or nasal discharge are often the cause of transmission, often generated when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Studies show that it can be spread through contaminated surfaces, and it  is increasingly considered to be an airborne virus. From what we know, coronaviruses are best avoided by avoiding exposure with infected persons. Diseases that are caused and spread by mosquitoes and ticks are entirely different from this current virus.

Deadly Diseases from Mosquitoes and Ticks

Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are considered vectors for some pretty serious infectious diseases. Vector pests are organisms that transmit diseases to humans through bites. More-so than fleas, ticks and definitely mosquitoes are infamous for transmitting dangerous diseases:

  • Malaria, Zika virus, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, and more are just a few of the dangerous diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.
  • Lyme disease, which is currently the most common vector-borne disease in the nation, is spread by ticks.
  • If these vector pests feeds off a diseased host, they can transmit pathogens that can infect other hosts it subsequently bites. This is why so many people are exposed to the above diseases.

Pest Defense Solutions is Here to Help

Even though mosquitoes do not transmit coronavirus, they can still be dangerous. As always, it’s important to take caution in the presence of pests and to always enlist the help of a professional exterminator to prevent dangerous insects. We will provide essential pest control services to our communities during these times and all year long!

As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, we want to encourage our customers to seek more information and follow guidelines released by the WHO and the CDC.