Tips to Keep Ticks Away

Tips for preventing ticks in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

Summertime in Albuquerque brings with it a number of pest problems: mosquitoes, termites, wasps, and more. One of the most dangerous pests to keep an eye out in the summertime, however, is the tick. According to a study, tick populations are on the rise as the global climate continues to get warmer and warmer. These tiny parasitic pests are feared for a number of reasons, mainly their ability to transmit Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. While not every tick bite results in illness, it’s still crucial to learn how to keep an eye out for ticks. The best form of tick control is prevention. The experts at Pest Defense Solutions are here to help you learn how to keep ticks away from your property for good.

Ticks in Albuquerque Yards

Ticks are common in heavily wooded or tall grassy areas. So how do they end up in your backyard in the first place? Ticks love to hitchhike by latching onto clothes, people, and animals. They will also gladly take up residence in your yard if there are areas for them to hide. Hiking in nearby trails, especially off the beaten path, can increase your risk (or your pet’s risk) of a tick bite. Another common way ticks get onto your property is when infested rodents or nuisance wildlife carry them into your backyard or home.

Top Tips to Keep Ticks Away

Ticks may be tiny, but you can still put preventative measures in place to keep them out of your yard.

  1. Reduce the clutter in your yard. Not only will this prevent ticks, but also the animals that commonly carry them. Reducing the number of potential hiding spots for ticks can discourage them from sticking around.
  2. Install barriers. A barrier made out of gravel or wood chips that is at least 3 feet wide can deter ticks. This helps create a natural barrier between wooded or grassy areas and the recreational areas in your backyard.
  3. Check your clothing and shower. After being outdoors, inspect your clothing for ticks. Toss your clothing in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes, or wash them in hot water. A shower after being outdoors also decreases the chance of contracting a disease if you were bitten by a tick.
  4. Take care of your yard. Ticks love tall grass and unkempt shrubs. Maintain your backyard by regularly mowing the lawn, placing barriers around your property, and trimming back hedges or trees as needed.
  5. Keep wildlife and rodents out. These pests infamously carry and contribute to the spread of ticks. Wildlife exclusion tactics, such as installing secure fences or screen doors, can help prevent ticks in your yard.
  6. Learn how to identify ticks and tick bites. Your best defense against ticks is learning how to inspect for them. After being outdoors or after a hike, use a handheld mirror to look for tick bites on exposed parts of your body. Check under your pet’s fur for potential ticks as well. If you spot any, it’s smart to know how to remove a tick properly.

Need to Get Rid of Ticks?

If you’ve done all you can to prevent ticks and still notice them in or near your property, it’s best to team up with your local pest control experts. The team at Pest Defense Solutions will thoroughly inspect your yard and implement prevention tactics to keep ticks and the animals that carry them away for good. Contact us today to get started!

How to Safely Dislodge a Tick

American dog tick found in Albuquerque - Pest Defense Solutions

As you prepare for another hot spring and summer, it’s important to keep in mind that ticks are coming back to bite us. Warm weather means more habitable conditions for ticks, as well as more animals to feed on. Ticks have the capability to transmit many serious diseases, including the infamous Lyme disease. Learning how to remove ticks in the safest way possible can prevent you and your family from contracting diseases this summer.

What Kinds of Ticks Live in Albuquerque?

Here in Albuquerque, we most commonly see cases of the American dog tick biting our residents and their pests. These ticks have oval-shaped bodies with reddish-brown coloration and small white markings on their backs. They are usually about 5mm in length but can grow up to three times larger when engorged with blood.

Fortunately for us, Lyme disease can only be contracted through a deer tick bite – American dog ticks are not known to carry the disease. Deer ticks live primarily in the eastern half of the United States, but there have been some reported cases of Lyme disease in New Mexico over the years.

Tick removal guide - Pest Defense Solutions in AlbuquerqueRemoving Ticks Safely

If you’ve been bitten by a tick, try to remove it as soon as possible to minimize your chances of contracting a disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have set out a course of four steps to remove ticks from your skin as safely as possible:

  1. Using a pair of fine tweezers, grab the tick at the closest point to the skin that you can.
  2. Pull the tick out of the skin using a slow and steady motion. If you turn the tweezers while pulling, the tick’s mouthparts might break off in your skin. Just use the tweezers again to remove the mouthparts if this happens.
  3. Clean the area of the bite with soap and warm water or rubbing alcohol after dislodging the tick.
  4. Do not squish the tick with your bare hands. Get rid of the tick by throwing it away in a sealed trash bin or flushing it down the toilet.

If you’re experiencing rashes or fever that you believe to be related to a recent tick bite, talk to a doctor about your symptoms and the location and time of your bite.

How Pest Defense Solutions Can Help with Tick Control

If you want to take preventative measures for a tick-free summer this year, reach out to your local pest control company. Our tick experts at Pest Defense Solutions are well versed in tick issues around Albuquerque and can tell you all about the best ways to avoid bites in your area. Contact us today for a free estimate!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

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Entomologists from Pest Defense Solutions’ 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.

6 Tips to Prevent Pests in Your Patio

Tips to stay pest-free in your Albuquerque NM backyard - Pest Defense Solutions

Whether you’ve had mosquitoes near your pond or ants covering your barbecue area, you know how frustrating pests in your backyard can be. This time of year, you’re likely looking to spend as much time outdoors before the weather and time changes. Pests can quickly ruin your time spent outside, which is why it’s so important to learn how to make your property less attractive to pests in the first place. At Pest Defense Solutions, we know that pest problems are common year-round here in Albuquerque. With our commitment to ensuring our customers are pest-free both inside and outside their homes, we’re sharing our top tips to prevent pests in your patio.

Tips & Tricks to Prevent Pests in Your Backyard

Pests can be a nuisance, but they can be dangerous, too. Mosquitoes, ticks, and stinging insects are three of the most common pest problems in backyards this time of year. To help pest-proof your property, implement the following tips:

  • Trim your lawn and shrubs. Overgrown grass or vegetation provides mosquitoes and ticks with shelter.
  • Learn to identify ant mounds and wasp nests. Even the tiniest nest can contain thousands of stinging insects.
  • Check wood structures. Termites and carpenter bees will damage your wooden decks or porches.
  • Remove standing water. Mosquitoes only need a half inch of standing water to breed.
  • Use an insect repellent. Insect repellent containing DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
  • Clean your patio or space regularly. Crumbs or spilled liquids will attract ants and other insects.

Pests to Lookout For in Your Outdoor Living Space

If you have an outdoor living space, you can be sure pests are going to explore it! Many pests are a nuisance to deal with, but a few can be more dangerous for you and your family. The 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 this reason, always be cautious about pests in your backyard and enlist the help of a professional when needed.

How to Get Rid of Pest Infestations in Your Backyard

Whether you have spotted a nest forming on your deck, an ant-hill near your garden, or mosquitoes breeding nearby, it’s best to contact your local exterminator for help with existing pest problems. At Pest Defense Solutions, we are dedicated to providing you with pest-free outdoor living. Contact us today to learn more!

Protect Your Pets From Ticks This Summer

Out of all the common summertime pests, ticks pose a big threat. These parasitic insects are infamous for transmitting the most common vector-borne disease in the United States: Lyme disease. In Albuquerque summertime, the warm weather brings about all types of insects, ticks included. And because people spend more time outdoors this time of year, the probability of having a tick problem at some point is high. Due to the danger associated with these pests, it’s extremely important to learn how to protect your pets and family from ticks this summer. The team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to provide expert tick prevention tips. Keep reading to learn more!

How Dangerous Are Ticks?

The main concern with ticks is that they can transmit Lyme disease to not just you, but your pets as well. Cats don’t normally deal with ticks as much as dogs do, but they can still latch onto their skin. Ticks can latch onto pets for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. If your dog begins to show odd symptoms after noticing a tick on their skin, the tick could have transmitted disease. Some of the most concerning symptoms to look for include depression, fever, shortness of breath, lameness, loss of appetite, or swollen nymph nodes and joints. If you notice any of these, immediately take your pet to the vet.

6 Ways You Can Keep Ticks Away

Your pets can easily pick up ticks when they are outdoors. Even worse, they can bring them into your home! To keep your pets and family safe from ticks, there are 6 main things to do:

  1. Clean your yard on a regular basis. By mowing your lawn regularly, you can make your yard less attractive to ticks. Cover your trash cans to discourage rodents that could carry ticks.
  2. Rodent-proof your home. Rats and mice commonly carry ticks into residential yards and areas.
  3. Get tick prevention for pets. Talk to your veterinarian about prevention or treatment options, including heartworm protection and more.
  4. Inspect your pets daily. Focus on areas under the legs and around the neck and ears. In addition, look out for excessive scratching, licking, or grooming behavior.
  5. When outdoors, avoid areas with high brush. Ticks are known to be in areas with high grass, be careful to stay on trails when hiking or walking.
  6. Conduct inspections for your entire family. During the summer, regularly check yourself and family members for ticks after being outdoors. They may pass to your pets.

Long-Term Tick Protection

Ticks are common in the summers here in Albuquerque, and many people or pets get them when they spend time outdoors hiking and walking. In general, it’s important to always be on the lookout for ticks. If you need more information on tick prevention, contact our team for more information today!

Is COVID-19 Transmitted by Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes do not transmit coronavirus. Pest Defense Solutions in Albuqueque NM

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the team at Pest Defense Solutions is prioritizing the health and safety of our communities here in Albuquerque NM. New data is being released every hour about the nature of this virus, but there are still a lot of questions about who and what spreads COVID-19. We’ve seen a lot of inquiries about the possibility of mosquitoes playing a role in the spread. As of now, the CDC sites no evidence to date that suggests that mosquitoes and ticks are transmitting the coronavirus. These insects may be vectors for some of the world’s worst diseases. Thankfully, coronavirus is not one of them. Keep reading to learn more.

Infectious Diseases & Insects

There is currently no scientific evidence that mosquitoes and ticks transmit COVID-19. From what we know from the CDC, COVID-19 is likely being spread from person to person. This most likely happens from 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. From what we know, coronavirus is best avoided by avoiding contact with infected persons. The diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks are different, making it important to learn how.

How do Mosquitoes & Ticks Spread Diseases?

Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are vectors for infectious diseases, meaning they are organisms that transmit diseases to humans through bites. Ticks and mosquitoes are infamous for their roles in the transmission of historically deadly diseases around the world. It’s important to know what diseases these two insects can cause:

  1. Mosquitoes transmit a number of extremely dangerous diseases, from malaria and Zika virus to West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, and more.
  2. Ticks transmit Lyme disease, which is currently the most common vector-borne disease in the United States.
  3. If these vector pests feed off a diseased host, they can transmit pathogens that will infect other hosts it subsequently bites. This is how humans are exposed to the diseases mentioned above.

Pest Defense Solutions is Here for You

Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about mosquitoes transmitting COVID-19. Regardless of the pandemic, pest problems are still abound in our communities. It’s increasingly important to take caution in the presence of pests and to always enlist the help of a professional exterminator to prevent dangerous insects. Our team is proud to continue being able to provide essential pest control services during these trying times.

With information about COVID-19 changing every day, we want to encourage our customers to seek more information and follow guidelines released by the WHO and the CDC to better navigate this pandemic.