Formosan termite control begins with eliminating sources of moisture both inside and outside of the home. Inside, homeowners should reduce humidity in crawl spaces, attics and basements with proper ventilation. Outdoors, divert water away from the home’s foundation to prevent Formosan termite access with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Homeowners should also store firewood at least 20 feet away from the home and maintain a one-inch gap between soil and wood portions of the home.
Most ticks require a blood meal for each developmental stage. They will insert a barbed mouthpart into the skin and “cement” their mouthparts to the surface where they will feed for several days. They can serve as vectors for several disease organisms. The following information will help you reduce tick habitats.
Actual Size: 1/8″
- Most ticks have hard bodies with dark colors
- They have 2 body regions and 8 legs
- The larva (seed ticks) have only 6 legs
- The body becomes 3 times normal size when engorged with blood
Biology & Habitats:
- Larvae and nymphs will feed on small animals up to 2 weeks until they are engorged. At that point, they will drop off the host and molt.
- The adults will feed on larger animals which include humans.
- Females will lay up to 6,000 eggs.
- Ticks are attracted to animal scents and therefore will be located along roads, paths, and trails.
- Adults will crawl up weedy vegetation, cling to it and wave their legs to grasp onto any passing host.
- They are most abundant in June and July.
- The brown dog tick feeds almost exclusively on dogs and can complete its life cycle indoors unlike most other ticks.
How you can modify your environment to reduce tick habitats:
- Cut grass and trim vegetation regularly.
- Keep pets within the mowed areas.
- Keep items away from the property that may attract rodents and wildlife, such as bird feeders, acorns, berries, woodpiles, decks in poor repair, etc.
- If property is up against a wooded area, create a 1-foot barrier with gravel along the property line to create a ?safe zone?.
- Keep pants legs tucked into shoes, button and tuck in shirts, and wear long sleeves when traveling in wooded areas.
- Apply DEET according to label instructions.
- Continue to check children and pets for ticks especially around the neck and head.
- If a tick is attached to skin, it should be removed immediately.
- Use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull gently.
- Disinfect bite immediately.
- The use of nail polish and Vaseline is discouraged so as to prevent infection.
- The dog should be treated by a veterinarian in conjunction with the home, preferably on the same day.
– Products that contain Amatraz are the most effective.
- Remove all stored items from floors, under beds, and closets to make treatment accessible.
- Comforters and sheets should be washed and dried (high heat).
- Steam clean infant rooms. Pesticide will not be applied here.
- Remove pet food, water dishes; disconnect and cover fish tanks; remove other pets.
- Wash, dry-clean, or destroy all pet bedding.
- People and pets should be out of the house for 4 hours after treatment.
The now familiar bed bug, Cimex lectularius, has a close relative, Cimex adjunctus, the bat bug. The bat bug has similar habits to the bed bug but its primary hosts are bats. Most of the time bat bugs harbor in cracks and crevices near areas where bats are roosting. The bat bugs emerge to feed on their host, then return to their harborage. Bat bugs can feed on humans and other animals, but do so when bats are unavailable. Occasionally, bats lodging in a home or building are excluded by sealing the entrances. The starving bat bugs left behind will search for other sources of blood meals. At one time, reports of bat bugs were more common in the US Midwest than bed bugs. This is no longer the case.