Are Tick Bites Dangerous?

Image of tick prevention in Seattle WA - United Pest Solutions

With spring in full swing and warm weather rolling in, it’s almost camping season! Though this time of year can be filled with endless outdoor fun, it also puts you and your furry friends at risk of tick bites. A tick bite may not seem like a big deal, especially if you are able to safely remove the pest on your own. However, these small pests can cause a number of serious complications, such as:

  • Tick-borne diseases: Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of their host. By jumping from host to host, they can spread serious diseases between people. Common but serious diseases caused by ticks include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, and tularemia.
  • Allergic reaction: Though most people will only experience a mildly irritating red or itchy spot after a tick bite, some people may have bigger reactions. From hives and blisters to shortness of breath, a tick bite could trigger a serious allergic reaction in some.
  • Infection: Ticks feed by breaking through and burrowing into their host’s skin, where they may remain for up to 10 days. This kind of open wound can leave the body vulnerable to infections that may require medical attention. Improper tick removal could also leave the head behind, which could lead to issues during the healing process.
  • Pet health issues: Most pet owners understand how challenging it can be to keep your furry friend tick-free, especially if they frequently go outdoors. However, ticks are not just itchy and uncomfortable for your pets; these pests can also cause health issues such as anemia, Lyme disease, and canine ehrlichiosis.

Tips for Avoiding Ticks

Avoiding ticks may seem like an impossible task, especially given how small these tiny pests are. Thankfully, though, there are a few precautions you can take to avoid tick bites this spring and summer. To keep yourself and your pets safe, follow these tips for avoiding ticks:

  • Avoid grassy, brushy, or wooded areas.
  • Check your pets, clothing, and gear before coming inside.
  • Shower and change clothes after being outdoors.
  • Consider using an EPA-registered insect repellent.

Top Tips for Avoiding Ticks

Top tips for avoiding ticks in the Seattle WA area - United Pest Solutions

Top tips for avoiding ticks in the Seattle WA area - United Pest SolutionsThough many people assume ticks are only a problem during the summer months, they can be active year-round. Avoiding ticks is important no matter the season, and taking special precautions could keep you and your pets safe from the damage these pests can cause.

Why are Ticks So Dangerous?

Ticks are parasitic insects that feed on warm-blooded animals. Unlike other parasitic insects that leave shortly after biting, ticks will attach themselves to their host and feed for up to 10 days after its initial bite. Not only does this make for an unnerving and potentially painful experience, but it also leaves you vulnerable to a wide variety of diseases and infections. Here are just a few of the problems ticks can cause:

Best Ways to Avoid Ticks

Remaining cautious year-round is a good way to keep yourself and your pets safe from the damage that ticks can cause. Though these insects are small and hard to spot, there are some tricks you can use to avoid them. Here are our top tips for avoiding ticks:

  • Avoid grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. Ticks tend to live in grassy or wooded areas. Walking directly through thick vegetation can increase your risk of encountering a tick. Should you travel through a forest, try to stick to the center of the trail to avoid brushing up against a tick.
  • Before coming inside, check your pets, clothing, and gear. Carefully inspecting everything before coming indoors can help you eliminate any ticks that jumped onto your belongings. When checking your pet, be sure to look in difficult-to-reach areas such as between the toes and inside the ears.
  • Shower and check for ticks shortly after being outdoors. Showering right after coming indoors can help you wash away unattached ticks, and it gives you the opportunity to thoroughly check yourself. When performing a tick check, be sure to check everywhere – including the backs of your legs, your hair, and around your ears.
  • Consider using an EPA-registered insect repellent. Insect repellents approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can be effective against ticks. As with any chemical product, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take extra precautions around pets or animals.

These tips are a great starting point for protecting yourself and your pets from ticks. However, if you have any questions or concerns about ticks and other common pests, the experts at United Pest Solutions can help! Our professionals have extensive experience with all sorts of pests in the Pacific Northwest, and we take pride in keeping households throughout the greater Seattle WA area safe from the damage that these creatures can cause. Give us a call today to get started!

Late Summer Pests in the Pacific Northwest

United Pest talks about the late summer pests in the Pacific Northwest.

Family enjoying a BBQ. United Pest talks about the late summer pests in the Pacific Northwest.

[2021 Update]

Summer brings warm weather and longer days, but it also brings pests. As you anticipate your pest control needs this summer, keep in mind the various pests that invade homes and businesses in the Pacific Northwest during this time of year.

Here are some of the most common invaders and tips to help control them.

Common Late Summer Pests in the PNW

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are one of the most common pests discovered in hotel rooms. Since summertime is a time when many families travel, it’s important to stay on guard. Remember, these pests are great at hitchhiking.

Ticks

Ticks can transmit diseases to humans, some of which are considered harmful. These pests breed in the summer and live in tall grassy, or wooded areas and on pets.

Ants

These tiny pests start to come out in the springtime and stay around during the warmer summer months. You’ll most often see them out on pavement but after a good rainfall, they may make their way into your home seeking dry shelter.

Flies

If you’re having a lot of gatherings outside your home that involve food, you’re likely to see flies buzzing around. They like food and warmth. So summer BBQs are a good recipe for attracting flies.

Stinging Insects

Like flies, stinging insects including bees, hornets, and wasps prefer warmer weather. Since they’re out more during this time of year, the chances of someone coming near a nest are higher.

Mosquitoes

This time of year is famously known for its high number of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so mosquito problems may increase after heavy rain.

Wildlife

As summer turns to fall several critters, including squirrels and raccoons, may start planning ahead to the winter months, looking for warm shelter. This may involve them invading your home, damaging it in the process.

Termites

Subterranean termites and Dampwood termites live in the Pacific Northwest. They will make nests in your soil and in any wood items you may have around your home including old wood stumps.

How to Prevent Pests During Late Summer

  • Eliminate standing water: like previously mentioned, mosquitoes breed in standing water. So eliminating these sources will help reduce mosquitoes on your property. Think buckets, tarps, birdbaths, and flower pots.
  • Keep your grass trimmed: this will help reduce mosquitoes and help
    prevent ticks.
  • Relocate firewood: if you keep firewood on your property, store it away from your home and if possible keep it elevated.
  • Properly seal your home: ensure windows, doors, and garage doors aren’t kept open for long periods of time and install or repair any screens.

Pest Control Seattle

If you’ve tried these methods or already have a pest infestation on your property, we can help! United Pest Solutions is your local source for pest control in the Seattle area. Our certified technicians will identify which type of pest you have and find a solution. So contact us today!