By Nicky Gallagher, Technical Services Manager, Syngenta Professional Pest Management
While tick bites can cause annoying inflammation or irritation, being infected with a tick-borne disease can be a major concern. Through tick bites, humans and pets can be infected with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, babesiosis and more. In fact, a recent study found a 44.7 percent increase in the number of U.S. counties that have recorded ticks carrying Lyme disease.1
With a steady increase in the incidence and spread of tick-borne diseases, homeowners, public health officials and the pest control industry must know how to manage or control a tick problem. Additionally, tick control can be an excellent add-on service for your business to help keep these pests out of your customers’ properties.
Reducing incidences of tick bites
Preventing tick bites is the best defense against tick-borne infections. Give your customers the following tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help protect themselves and their pets:
- Apply a tick repellent according to manufacturer instructions
- Repellents with DEET formulations of at least 25 percent are needed to repel ticks
- Wear long-sleeved shirts (tucked into pants) and long pants (tucked into socks)
- Avoid tall grass and weedy areas
- Bathe immediately after coming indoors to find and remove any ticks
- Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror
- Remove ticks right away. For tips, visit the CDC website.
- After coming indoors, put dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill any ticks
- Consult your veterinarian about over-the-counter, anti-tick products for pets
- Consider a Lyme disease vaccination for dogs at risk of black-legged tick bites
- Keep dogs confined to yards or homes and don’t allow them to roam freely
- Keep dogs on leashes during walks, and inspect them for ticks afterwards
Integrated pest management strategies
- Habitat modification: Keep yards mowed and do not allow brush or leaf litter to accumulate. Remove brush, tall weeds and grass to eliminate rodent and other small mammal habitats, which serve as hosts for ticks. Larger mammals (e.g. deer) can be excluded from an area with fencing.
- Insecticidal barrier: An exterior insecticidal barrier is an effective way to reduce tick populations, particularly when combined with landscaping modifications to tick habitats. A microencapsulated pyrethroid insecticide like Demand® CS insecticide will help give extended residual control of tick adults and nymphs. Using an insect growth regulator like Archer® will also help break the pests’ reproductive cycles. These products can be used together as part of the SecureChoice℠ Flea and Tick Assurance Program, which provides up to 90 days of control of outdoor ticks and fleas.
Using Demand CS and Archer, target lawn and woodland edges and perimeter areas near tick habitats. Also, treat groundcover vegetation near the home. Treatment areas should also include grassy and brushy areas around outbuildings and kennels, sites where dogs rest and underneath doghouses.
By following these guidelines, you can provide comprehensive tick prevention tips and control. For more information, visit www.SyngentaPMP.com/Flea-tick or view the CDC’s online resource about ticks.
1 Rebecca J. Eisen, Lars Eisen, and Charles B. Beard. County-Scale Distribution of Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Continental United States. J Med Entomol. 2016 March; 53(2): 349–386.
©2018 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. Archer®, Demand®, For Life Uninterrupted™, SecureChoice℠ and the Syngenta logo are trademarks or service marks of a Syngenta Group Company. Syngenta Customer Center: 1-866-SYNGENT(A) (796-4368).