There’s not much creepier than finding a tick trying to lodge itself in your skin. However, the real danger associated with ticks is the potential for Lyme disease. Hiding in the dark corners of shaded woods and dense vegetation, ticks lurk waiting for the time to sneak up on potential hosts, possibly infecting them with bacteria that will lead to serious long-term ailments. To keep yourself safe from ticks and their diseases, it’s crucial to learn about their habits so that you can confidently keep away. Read on to learn more about ticks and Lyme disease in Eastern & Central VA with the tick exterminators at Loyal Termite & Pest Control!
What You Should Know About Lyme Disease
Deer ticks, also known as blacklegged ticks, are the species of ticks that spread Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease in humans and animals. People usually contract the bacteria when they are bitten by a deer tick nymph, which is a much smaller, younger stage of the deer tick’s life cycle. At only 2mm in length and equipped with anesthetic saliva, ticks (and especially their nymphs) deliver inconspicuous, stealthy bites that can have dangerous repercussions.
The first symptoms of Lyme disease show up as headache, exhaustion, rashes, fever, joint pain, and muscle pain. If you leave the condition untreated, though, these symptoms progress into nerve damage and arthritis. If you are experiencing any of the initial symptoms following a recent tick bite, talk to your doctor right away.
Strategies for Preventing Tick Bites
Ticks will bite and infect our pets with Lyme disease, too, so it’s important to learn how to avoid their bites. They often hide out in shaded and humid areas full of dense vegetation, waiting for small animals or human legs to cling onto. Remember these steps to stay safe from ticks:
Stay on the trail when hiking and prevent your pets from running off
Wear pants and long socks to keep ticks off of your legs while spending time outdoors
Conduct a tick check on yourself and your pets when coming back inside
If you find any ticks on your body or your pets, use tweezers, pinching closely to the skin, to remove them
Tick Control in Eastern & Central VA
You shouldn’t be finding ticks on your pets or your own body often. If this is a regular problem for you, you might be dealing with a high population of ticks around your property. In this case, have the tick exterminators at Loyal Termite & Pest Control take care of them. We can perform a property-wide inspection, set up a barrier treatment to keep them away for months, and help you maintain your tick-free property. Contact us today for a free quote!
People often wait until it is too late to look into professional pest control services. No matter what pest you’re dealing with, trying to take care of an infestation on your own can be tricky. If you don’t approach it the right way, you could end up allowing the pests to multiply without any signs of slowing down. Many DIY strategies fall far short of a long-term solution, and improper use of professional pest control products by untrained individuals can lead to serious health risks.
If you’ve been thinking about hiring an exterminator recently, read on for ten reasons to follow through. Our technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control have seen great success servicing homes and businesses around Eastern & Central Virginia and home to help you, too!
Pest Control and Health Concerns
Hiring certified pest control technicians can eliminate many health concerns that you might expose yourself to without their help. Our first three reasons to hire professional pest control are in the interest of your health:
One: Controlled pesticide use. A professional will only use pesticides as a last resort, and when they do, they will use them safely. Improper or untrained application of pesticides can expose you and your family to harmful toxins.
Two: Decreased chance of illness. Many pests in Eastern & Central Virginia can pass on serious diseases through their bites or droppings. Technicians can help you avoid pest-related illnesses.
Three: Less itching and scratching. Mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, spiders, bed bugs, and more pests in the area can leave you with itchy bite marks. You don’t have to endure the bites every year!
Save Time with Pest Control
Hiring professional pest control can eliminate extra tasks from your life in a more efficient manner. Our next three reasons have to do with saving you time:
Four: Efficient solutions. Licensed technicians have the necessary experience to resolve pest problems quickly and efficiently, much more so than the average homeowner.
Five: Less cleaning. Having pests in your home means constantly cleaning up pest-related debris. Getting rid of them altogether will greatly reduce the time you have to spend cleaning!
Six: Safer structures. If you have rodents, termites, or carpenter ants living in your home, you’re likely inspecting your home constantly for new damage. Take that task off of your plate by hiring professionals to remove the pests.
How Pest Control Helps You Stress Less
Being aware of a pest problem in your home comes with lots of stress. Our last four reasons pertain to your mental well-being:
Seven: Better sleep. Having a fear of bed bugs or spiders in your home can cause you to lose sleep. Get rid of this worry by finally getting rid of the pests themselves!
Eight: Save money. Sticking to DIY remedies can add up after a few unsuccessful attempts. A professional pest control company can come remove your pests in just one session in the right circumstances!
Nine: Learn about the process. Our technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control not only eliminate pests from your home, but teach you about how they did it each step of the way. We aim to give you the knowledge to avoid pests on your own going forward.
Ten: Peace of mind. Once your pest infestation has been dealt with, it feels like you can finally breathe again! Don’t hesitate to get rid of your problems—you don’t have to deal with them!
If you’re ready to take the first step towards a pest-free home, contact your local pest control company. Our expert technicians at Loyal Termite & Pest Control have helped people all across Eastern & Central Virginia live pest-free since 1960. For a free quote, contact us today!
Staying aware of ticks becomes more and more important as the temperatures outside swell into summer. The warmer months of the year come with increasing animal populations and more habitable conditions, working together to provide the perfect environment for ticks. Not only do they target people and our pets, they are also known to carry many threatening diseases, including the dreaded Lyme disease. Learning the most trusted method of tick removal will keep you and your family safe from diseases this summer.
Types of Ticks in Richmond VA
If you can tell apart different tick species in your area, you will be better off in your efforts to avoid Lyme disease and other serious illnesses transmitted by ticks. Here are the kinds of ticks to look out for in Richmond VA:
Black-legged tick: These are the smallest ticks in the region at just about ⅛” in length, and unfortunately, they are carriers of Lyme disease. You are most susceptible to contract this disease from black-legged ticks in their nymph stage. They can be told apart from other tick species by their size and darker coloration.
Lone star tick: These ticks are larger, lighter in color, and rounder than black-legged ticks. Female lone star ticks have long mouthparts and a white-spotted back. They thrive in densely vegetated areas.
American dog tick: Also called wood ticks, American dog ticks look very similar to the lone star tick. Both the male and female have white markings along the back, and their color is more of a reddish-brown than a pale brown.
Lyme disease can only be contracted through a black-legged tick bite – American dog ticks and lone star ticks are not known to carry the disease.
Pinch the tick as close to the skin as you can with a pair of tweezers.
Steadily pluck the tick out of the skin. Twisting the tweezers while pulling away can leave the tick’s mouthparts lodged in your body. In this case, just use the tweezers again to take the mouthparts out of the skin.
Clean the bitten skin with rubbing alcohol or soap and warm water after removing the tick.
Do not crush the tick with your fingers. Properly dispose of the tick by tossing it in a sealed trash bin, placing it in alcohol, or flushing it.
Be sure to consult a medical professional if you develop a rash or experience a fever during the next 2-3 weeks following a tick bite.
How Loyal Termite & Pest Control Can Help with Ticks
Contact your local pest control company if you’ve been noticing a rising number of ticks on your property. Our tick specialists at Loyal Termite & Pest Control can help to eliminate ticks in your area and inform you of the best ways to keep away from ticks where you live. For a free tick control estimate, contact us today!
Entomologists from Loyal’s 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.
It’s likely you are spending more time outdoors than ever this year. You’d also likely enjoy your outdoor living space more if you didn’t have to deal with pest problems! Pests may enjoy the Virginia summertime weather as much as you do, but that doesn’t mean you have to share your space with them.
At Loyal, we know how frustrating pests can be—especially when they ruin your backyard barbecue or gardening session. Following our commitment to keep our customers pest-free, our experts are here to share top tips for a pest-free patio and outdoor living area.
What Pests are Common in Your Backyard
The warm weather and longer days invite all types of insects to be out in full-force. Some pests are more of a nuisance than others, and some insects are more dangerous for you and your family! Here in Virginia, the most common pests you’ll see in your yard are mosquitoes, stinging insects (bees, wasps, and hornets), ants,spiders, ticks, fleas, and flies. Ticks and mosquitoes are especially concerning for their ability to transmit dangerous diseases to humans. For that reason alone, it’s crucial to learn how to keep pests away from your property.
Top Tips to Achieve a Pest-Free Patio
Everyone wants to be able to enjoy their time spent outside to be pest-free. This is harder than it sounds, especially this time of year. There are a few ways you can make your property less appealing to pests. Our best tips for a pest-free patio are:
Remove any standing water. Stagnant water is one of the biggest attractants for mosquitoes.
Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed. Ticks and mosquitoes will shelter in overgrown vegetation or tall grass.
Be on the lookout for ant hills. Even a tiny mound can contain thousands of ants inside.
Inspect all wood structures. Wood-destroying pests (carpenter ants and termites) will damage your wooden decks or porches.
Use an insect repellent. Most store-bought repellent containing DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
Clean your patio or space regularly. Spills or leftover food will surely bring ants around.
Need Help With Outdoor Pest Control?
Pests and insects are to be expected when you’re outdoors. However, there’s no reason to let them ruin your time spent in your own backyard! The exterminators at Loyal are committed to keeping customers pest-free not just inside their homes, but outside as well. Call our team today to learn more about our residential pest control services.
At Loyal Termite & Pest Control, we understand how distressing and uncertain times are right now during COVID-19. We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation to stay educated and to keep up-to-date. As always, our focus is our dedication to the safety and health of our communities here in Henrico and Richmond VA. With new information on the hour, there are endless questions surrounding the nature of the virus, including how it is spread. As of now, there is no evidence or proof to suggest that mosquitoes and ticks transmit coronaviruses. These two insects are certainly responsible for some of the world’s worst diseases, but COVID-19 is not one of them.
Using information from the CDC, we’ll explore on the differences between vector-borne diseases and COVID-19 to help dispel myths about transmission in this blog post.
Do Insects Spread Coronavirus?
From what we’ve learned, mosquitoes and ticks do not transmit COVID-19. It’s important to learn how this new virus is understood to be spread:
The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that, to date, is spread through person-to-person contact.
COVID-19 spreads through droplets from saliva or nasal discharge, often generated when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It can also be transmitted via contact with a contaminated surface and is increasingly considered to be an airborne virus.
Coronaviruses are best avoided by avoiding exposure with infected persons. Studies have shown that COVID-19 may be spread by asymptomatic people, making social distancing a must.
Mosquito-Borne and Tick-Borne Diseases
What exactly are vector-borne diseases? Vectors are organisms that transmit diseases to humans through bites. The most common vector pests are fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Two insects in particular are infamous for their roles in the transmission of critical and serious diseases around the globe: mosquitoes and ticks. Mosquitoes are tied to some of the world’s most dangerous diseases including malaria, Zika virus, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, and more. Ticks are most known for their ability to spread Lyme disease, which is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States.
What to Remember
Mosquitoes definitely are capable of spreading diseases, but from what we know, COVID-19 is not one of them. At Loyal, we understand mosquitoes are still a threat. 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 biting insects. Our team continues to provide essential pest control services to our communities during these uncertain times.
As the COVID-19 situation unfolds, we encourage our customers to seek more information and follow guidelines released by the WHO, CDC, as well as your state and local public health agencies.