Pesky bugs like mosquitoes and flies are commonplace with family outings to the beach or park, but other insects like ticks and fleas are often forgotten or not even considered, especially if the family travels with no pets.
As miniscule as they are, fleas and ticks will find their way around you regardless if you have a pet or not. They live in tall grass and other less-landscaped, wooded areas. They will latch on to your clothes or skin when you brush up against the plant or area where they are living.
Contrary to some beliefs, ticks are harmful. Most of the time, there is not a lot to worry about, but some ticks do carry diseases, which may be harmful or even deadly. Lyme disease is the most common of these tick-transmitted diseases. Lyme disease can be noticed by large “bulls-eye” like lesions on the skin. Fatigue, headaches and fever are some common symptoms an infected individual might notice.
Ticks behave similar to a mosquito. They use their head to burrow into the skin of the host and draw blood. Their saliva, which contains the diseases like Lyme, keeps the blood from coagulating. They continue to feed until they have reached the next stage of their life cycle. There are four cycles to a tick’s life, eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults. After at least one blood meal, the tick will molt into an eight-legged creature, which most people can recognize. For some species, it may take several years for the tick to mature into an adult.
In this part of the nation, it would be very hard to contract Lyme disease. It is more common in the northeastern part of the country and near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. However, they are living in this area and in some places like the residence of Glenda and Cody Settle, they are like a member of the family.
On their property, located in the Canton area, ticks have become an epidemic. Even straying just feet off of a paved area will result in hordes of ticks swarming your every move.
In February, Settle first began noticing the problem when he counted the number of ticks he picked off of himself after doing some yard work. On February 27, he picked off 43 ticks.
“It was the beginning of the infestation,” he said.
Since then, Settle has tried to rid his yard of the arachnid, but to no avail. The grass has grown rather high because there are so many around. Mowing is out of the question, he said, because he would never be able to get all of the ticks off of himself.
Settle’s dog has already fell victim to the tiny pests. He is covered from head to toe with the insects and is not allowed in to the house for fear of infestation.
There are several chemicals that can be use on their yard to keep these pesky pests out. Sevin, for example, is a powder-like product, which is spread on the yard. One 10-pound bag can cover as much as 4,300 square feet. The cost is $10.99. BugBeater, which is a concentrated liquid, is applied using an average garden hose. It is a replacement for diazon, another pesticide. The cost for the BugBeater is $7.99 for a pint. One other hose-applied chemical is Permetrin II. The chemical is pyrithian-based which is the active ingredient. This chemical is effective for both fleas and ticks and was recommended by the workers at Southern States Hopkinsville Petroleum. The price for Permetrin II is $13.99 per quart.
If you are having problems with ticks or fleas contact your local exterminator or Southern States Petroleum, which sells insecticides and other chemicals to help in your fight against ticks and fleas.