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Tick Control and Removal: a Mosquito Squad Specialty

Give our Southeast Minnesota office a call at 877-239-2483 or fill out the form to the right for more information and to receive a free quote.

Targeted Pesticide Control

Mosquito Squad’s barrier spray is effective for killing immature and mature ticks on the move; however it is only a contact killer and does not effectively treat the “source” of the problem. That is why in our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for mosquito control, we use larval control methods that effectively reduce the “source” of the problem. So, in addition to our barrier spray, we must attack the source of the tick infestation.

The Solution – Damminix Tick Tubes®

Effective against larval and nymph ticks associated with rodents, Damminix Tick Tubes® were developed by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health. They are a host-targeted acaricide consisting of cardboard tubes filled with cotton that has been impregnated with permethrin (7.4%).

Other facts on Damminix Tick Tubes®:

  • Patented and marketed by EcoHealth Inc.
  • Precisely targeted solution to kill deer ticks
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Easy-to-use
  • Provide up to a 10-fold reduction of tick exposure
  • Do not expire
  • EPA registered
  • Made in the USA

How it Works
As cotton is a great nesting material, mice find the impregnated cotton in the tick tubes and take it back to their nests. The cotton then transfers the permethrin to the mice’s fur (the permethrin will not hurt the mice). Ticks that attach to the mice, or enter the bureau, will die from the permethrin.

Note: In many regions where Lyme disease is a problem, each mouse on average is infested with 10-20 ticks daily in the months between May and September.

Do the Math
Likely tick production from mice on untreated property:

15 ticks/day

X 120 days/season
X 18 mice/acre
= 32,400 mouse-dervied ticks per acre* per season.

*Ticks are not evenly distributed across the acre

Proper Tick Tube Application Techniques

Product efficacy is application sensitive. If mice do not find the cotton, no ticks will be killed. To apply is correctly, you have to start to “think like a mouse.”

Application Timing
Apply Tick Tubestwice per season:

  • Once in the spring or early summer when nymph ticks are actively blood feeding on hosts.
  • Once in the late summer, when larvae are active.

Spring Application – Between April 1st – June 15th

  • Southern applicators should aim for the early part of this spectrum
  • Northern applicators should aim for mid to late May

Summer Application Between July 15th – September 15th

  • Adjust according to your latitude
  • Crucial to the success of the tick-control strategy
  • Mice are more plentiful by late summer and nest building activity is on the rise
  • Larvae are at their feeding peak during August and it is these larvae that become next year’s nymphs.

More Information on the Tick

Types of Ticks

There are approximately 900 different species of ticks. The blacklegged (or deer) tick, American dog (or wood) tick, Rocky Mountain wood tick and Lone Star ticks are the most common in the United States.

Blacklegged (or deer) tick
Can transmit several tick-borne diseases, including:

  • Lyme disease
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Babesiosis

Rocky Mountain wood tick
Can transmit several tick-borne diseases, including:

  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Tularemia

Lone Star tick
Can transmit several tick-borne diseases

  • Ehrichiosis
  • Tularemia
  • STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash and Illness)

Saliva can be irritating, causing an allergic reaction at the site of the bite.

Life Cycle of Blacklegged Ticks

Blacklegged ticks live for approximately two years and have three different feeding stages: larva, nymph and adult.

Ticks lay their eggs in the spring and hatch as larvae (plural of larva) in the summer. Larvae feed on mice, birds and other small animals in the summer and early fall. When a larva feeds on an animal that is infected with a disease, the tick takes the bacteria into its body during feeding and it remains infected for the rest of its life.

After its initial feeding, the larva becomes inactive as it grows into a nymph. Source: CDC

A nymph tick will become active in the spring and will seek blood meals in order to fuel their growth into adults. Usually the nymph tick will feed on another small rodent, but sometimes it will be a human. During feeding, the nymph can transmit the bacterium to its new host.

Note: Most cases of human illness occur in the late spring and summer when the tiny nymphs are most active and human outdoor activity is greatest. Source: CDC

Adult Ticks
Adult ticks feed on large animals and sometimes humans. Although ticks often feed on deer, deer do not become infected. Deer are nevertheless important in transporting ticks and maintaining tick populations.

In the spring, adult female ticks lay their eggs on the ground, completing the life cycle. Source: CDC

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is the most significant vector-borne disease in the United Sates and is now a “backyard” threat.

Lyme disease spirochetes are a type of bacteria that are transmitted by the bite of ticks in the genus Ixodes. Ixodes ticks that transmit the disease are commonly called deer ticks and are often abundant wherever there are deer.

The bacterium that causes Lyme disease is called the Borreliaburgdorferi. It resembles a coiled spring and cannot be seen without a microscope.

Lyme disease Transmission
The Lyme disease bacteria live in mice, squirrels and other small animals. It is transmitted through bites of certain species of ticks:

  • In the northeastern and north-central United States, the blacklegged tick (deer tick) transmits Lyme disease.
  • In the Pacific coastal United States, the disease is spread by the western blacklegged tick.
  • Other major tick species found in the United States have not been shown to transmit Lyme disease.

Symptons of Lyme disease
Lyme disease symptoms often imitate other diseases and are frequently misdiagnosed.

Many symptoms of Lyme disease are also associated with the flu, including:

  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue

Other symptoms include:

  • Enlarging rash (60% of light skinned patients)
  • Can appear within a day of the bite or as late as a month later
  • May start as a small, reddish bump about a one-half inch in diameter
  • Can be slightly raised or flat
  • May resemble a bulls eye.
  • Bruise (dark skinned patients)
  • Irregular beats, heart block, myocarditis, chest pain, vasculitis
  • Pain – intermittent or chronic, usually not symmetrical; sometimes swelling; TMJ – jaw pain
  • Mild liver function abnormalities
  • Difficulty breathing, pneumonia
  • Pain, inflammation, cramps, loss of tone
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, anorexia
  • Tenderness, enlargement
    Source: CDC

Deer Tick Harborage Sites

Deer ticks are rarely found in open, sunny areas. Common places where ticks may hide include:

  • Woods – 68%
  • Unmaintained borders – 21%
  • Open lawn – 2%
  • Ornamentals – 9%

More specifically, ticks are likely to harbor in:

  • Shaded areas
  • Brush pile perimeters
  • Base of stone walls
  • Wood piles
  • Brushy edge plantings
  • Wooded areas, especially near stumps or fallen trees
  • Edge of lawns, under over-hanging bushes
  • Deer-bedding areas
    • Protected grassy or leafy areas
    • Overgrown fruit tree “orchards”
  • Rodent-feeding habitat
    • Vegetation near bird feeders
    • Compost piles

These tick “hot spots” require special attention due to rodent and deer activity. Likewise, human activity revolves around these areas – filing the bird feeder, stacking and collecting firewood, discarding brush, etc.

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