Three Harmful Insects in Your House and How to Get Rid of Them

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4255/35176667332_c3882fe5bf_b.jpg

In spite of your taking good care of your house, sometimes unwanted invaders such as fleas, mosquitoes and termites will appear inside your living space. These are harmful creatures that will not do you, your family, or your pets any good. These unwanted invasions are frustrating, but don’t worry, there are ways to get rid of them. Keep reading and you will find useful tips to fight against fleas, mosquitoes and termites in this article.

Fleas

https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3463/3404894430_99f0f1463f_z.jpg?zz=1

Fleas are dark brown, wingless insects that cannot fly but that possess strong legs with claws on that enable them to leap remarkably far. Difficult to detect with the naked eye, the insects live as parasites on furry hosts, sucking the hosts’ blood and moving from host to host by using their jumping ability. Their life cycle consists of egg, larva, pupa and then adult fleas. They are dangerous as they can transmit serious diseases such as tapeworm or plague. Their bites also cause terrible itching.

There are many ways to get rid of fleas from your house, but first and foremost, you need to find the source of the infestation. The host is most likely your pets. The first thing you need to do to deal with the problem is to use flea shampoos or combs. Next, clean up and vacuum your house thoroughly. Sprinkling some salt or baking soda onto the carpet before vacuuming can help to kill and remove fleas completely. Pay special attention to any hidden corners as well as under rugs, carpets, or upholstery. In cases of heavy infestation, you may need to resort to using a flea fogger or pesticide. Be cautious while applying these methods because the fumes are toxic to breathe in. Remember that a flea’s life cycle consists of four stages so you’ve got to apply flea treatments on a regular basis until the problem has been dealt with. This could mean vacuuming and shampooing on weekly or daily intervals until all fleas have been removed from your home.

Mosquitoes

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4021/4584117897_dd55fd9595_b.jpg

Hot and humid environments are ideal for mosquito breeding and growth, therefore tropical zones are widely known to be infested with mosquitoes. Nevertheless, they can also survive in many other types of climate, even in freezing locations. Like fleas, the mosquitoes’ life cycle consists of the egg, larva, pupa and adult stages. The main difference is that mosquito eggs and larvae live in water before transforming into mature adults that can fly. The females survive by sucking a host’s blood, and in this way can transmit infectious diseases as dengue, yellow fever, and recently Zika.

Should your house be invaded by mosquitoes, you need to first treat the source by removing their habitat. Most mosquito control experts looks for any stagnant water around the house and removes it. If the body of water is too large to remove, then pour some oil onto the surface to suffocate the larvae. Additionally, you may repel them them by using garlic, or essential oils such as citronella. You can also trap them with special lights. Check your doors and windows to make sure there are no holes or tears where mosquitoes can enter the house. Sleep with a mosquito net over yourself at night or else apply some oil-based repellent onto your skin to protect yourself.

Termites

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/11/Northern_Harvester_Termite_%28Hodotermes_mossambicus%29_%286856939924%29.jpg

As one of the most successful insects on Earth, termites are present in almost every corner of the world, except Antarctica. In their society, the termite queen plays the important role of breeding while the rest of the colony collects food, builds the nest or guards the queen and infant termites. Before turning into adult termites, they undergo the stages of being an egg and then a nymph –  an incomplete metamorphosis.

Termites may not attack humans directly, but they are the number one destroyer of wooden items in your home. You may not be aware of them, but they could be eating up your wooden ceilings, doors and cupboards.

Noticing the presence of termites in your house as soon as possible is the key to getting rid of them. The early signs could be cracked or bubbled paint, hollow wood, or some mud tubes.  When it comes to getting rid of termites, you’ve got to remove their food sources first, which means clearing away firewood piles, debris or lumber around the house foundation. By doing this, you may stop termites from beginning a colony right there. To deal with existing ones, first look for non-toxic measures to treat termites such as building a barrier along the house foundation or using fungi and nematodes. These are available online or from garden shops. Alternatively, chemical products such as pesticides or material treated with termite repellent will definitely help to fight against an infestation.

To sum up

We never expect harmful insects like fleas, mosquitoes or termites to invade our homes, but if you ever face such an infestation you can refer to the above- mentioned guides to help you get rid of them. Keeping your home and garden clean and well-organized will go a long way to reducing the risk of these insects becoming a problem for you.

5 Questions About Seed Ticks

flea and tick controlIn the spring, there is an increased chance of being bitten by a seed tick. Seed ticks pose additional dangers and it is important to be aware of these dangers so that you can take the steps necessary to protect yourself from these ticks. All types of ticks will go through the phase of being a seed tick. Learn the answers to common questions about seed ticks.

What Are Seed Ticks?

Seed ticks are actually tick larvae. They look similar to adult ticks, but they are much smaller than adult ticks. They are still larvae, and they need at least one blood meal so that they can move onto the next stage in their lifecycle. This is the stage after the ticks hatch from their eggs.

What Do Seed Ticks Look Like?

Seed ticks look similar to their adult counterparts. They are much smaller than adult ticks. They can easily be mistaken for a new mole or freckle. Instead of having eight legs like adult ticks, they only have six legs. The seed tick coloring is dependent on the type of tick that it is. Often someone bitten by one seed tick will have multiple ticks on them.

Do Seed Ticks Spread Disease?

Seed ticks can spread a number of tick-borne illnesses. One of these is Lyme’s disease. They can also spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other illnesses that will need to be treated with antibiotics in order for you to recover from them. After mosquitoes, ticks spread the most diseases to people out of all the other insects.

What Time of Year Do Seed Ticks Appear?

Seed ticks are the larva of the ticks, so they will appear when the eggs hatch in the spring. Seed ticks will usually feed on a small animal initially like a rodent and then wait for you to pass by to attach to you or another host. If you are going into a tick heavy area in the spring, you need to take extra steps to protect yourself from ticks.

How Do I Prevent Seed Ticks?

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from seed ticks. If you are going to a tick prone area, you should apply insect repellent.  DEET is one of the most effective options available on the market. Be sure to wear long pants and long sleeves when you are spending time outdoors and to tuck your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants. Avoiding walking through fields with long grasses or in areas where you will brush up against plants. This is how ticks get on you.

Once you leave the area, you should check your clothing and yourself for ticks. Ticks may spend a significant amount of time on you before they attach. Change out of your clothing and shower as soon as possible to stop any from attaching to you and to prevent them from getting in your home. As an added protection, you may want to treat your yard to prevent ticks. This will kill the seed ticks too. This will be beneficial if you live in area that is prone to ticks.

Check for ticks carefully. Seed ticks are smaller, about the size of a poppy seed. You will need to look closely to see if you have any. If you do find one, look for additional ticks. These can be harder to remove because of their small size it can be difficult to use tweezers to grab them. However, this is the best method for removing them. Be sure that you remove the entire tick.

Are There Super Fleas in the Triangle Area?

dog with fleasSuper fleas are fleas that have become resistant to traditional treatments. While some people may feel like they have a case of the fleas that are resistant to treatment. Vets in the Raleigh area recommend regular treatment of fleas to stop your pets from becoming infested with a super flea that is hard to get rid of.

How Do I Tell if My Pet has Super Fleas?

Many doctors will say that fleas have not really become more resistant to medication, rather they are stubborn insects and that a more careful job needs to be done to completely deal with them. If you have treated your pets and your home for fleas, but they keep coming back, you may have a strain of fleas that do not respond to the treatments that are currently available.

How Do I Get Rid of Super Fleas?

The first step is to try to change the flea medication that you are giving your pets. If you were using drops or a flea collar, you may want to visit your vet to get a prescription for an oral flea medication. If the fleas really are resistant to the other treatments, then trying something new should help get rid of the infestation. Many of the oral medications are effective for three months, which means you do not need to worry about applying it as often.

It is also important to change the way you are dealing with the infestation at your home. Flea eggs will fall off of your pet and land in your carpet, and so if you do not treat your entire home effectively, you may have another flea outbreak in a few weeks. If you have tried dealing with it on your own and you are still having issues, call in a professional flea exterminator that can apply an effective treatment inside of your home, as well as a barrier spray outside of your home that will stop fleas from entering your yard and finding your pets that way.

What Can I Do to Prevent Future Flea Problems?

Although there a quite a few home remedies for getting rid of fleas, the best way to prevent fleas is to treat your pets for them. In the past, people would stop flea treatments in the winter months when it is cooler. However, fleas are often able to survive the winter months with the amount of time people are spending indoors and the milder winters. If you treat your pets throughout the winter, you may be able to avoid picking up any fleas.

What Mosquito Repellent Is the Best?

mosquito biteMosquitoes are a serious problem in the Raleigh area during the spring and summer months. It is important to protect yourself from their bites, and the best way to do this is to use an effective form of mosquito repellent. There are a number of different products on the market, but the key is to look for an active ingredient that is good at repelling mosquitoes.

DEET

The CDC recommends products that use DEET as the active ingredient. It is effective at repelling both mosquitoes and ticks. Products with DEET will have different levels of concentration in the product. If you are applying the product to children, you will want to choose one that is less than 30% DEET, but more than 10% DEET. If you are going into the woods in a heavily infested mosquito or tick area there are options that you can choose that are higher. OFF! is one product that is well-known that has DEET.

Picardin

Picardin is a relatively new product that has been proven at effectively repelling mosquitoes. Products may contain about 20%. It is FDA approved, and it has been shown to be effective for up to 8 hours after the initial application. This does not work as well on ticks, and so it should not be worn when going into an area with ticks and mosquitoes. This can be a lotion or a spray. One well-known product is the SSS Picardin spray sold by Avon.

Essential Oil Extracts

Some people swear by using a combination of essential oils to ward off mosquitoes. There are a number of different options including lemongrass, peppermint and cedarwood. Essential oils do not have the same testing done about their effectiveness  and may not last as long.

Protecting Yourself from Mosquitoes

In addition to using an effective mosquito repellent, you can dress in light colored clothing and long sleeves and pants to reduce the chances of being bitten. You may want to have a barrier spray applied to your yard, so that you do not need to worry about mosquitoes when spending time outside at home. Mosquitoes are the most active at dawn and dusk and staying in during those times can also reduce the chances of being bitten.

Read How Do I Keep Mosquitoes Out of My Home?

What Ticks Are Most Dangerous in North Carolina?

dangerous ticksTicks are a nuisance and because of their small size and painless bite, you may not realize that you have been bitten until it is too late. Ticks need to be attached between 12 to 24 hours before they transmit a disease. This means that regular checks for ticks and removing them quickly can help protect you from diseases. Here is a list of the most dangerous ticks in North Carolina.

Dog Ticks

According to WRAL, the most dangerous tick is the dog tick. It is main carrier of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This disease can cause a fever and achy muscles. A few days after onset, a spotted rash will appear on the ankles and wrists. It will continue to spread if not treated. Rocky Mountain spotted fever needs to be treated with antibiotics so if you have symptoms, you should seek medical attention. North Carolina often has the highest number of reported cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever each year.

Blacklegged Ticks

Blacklegged ticks are another serious threat to residents of North Carolina. Blacklegged ticks carry Lyme disease, Powassan disease and babesiosis. Lyme disease often begins with a bull’s eye rash and aches and pains. It will not clear up without treatment and it is important to seek medical attention if you develop these symptoms after a tick bite. Powassan virus is more common in the Northeast, and symptoms include headache, fever and confusion.

Lone Star Ticks

Lone Star ticks carry a number of diseases including tularemia and STARI. The symptoms of tularemia depend on the way that you contract it, if you catch it from a tick bite you may have skin ulcer where the bite was as well as swollen glands. STARI is a disease that causes fever, headache and a rash. It can be treated with antibiotics. A bite from the Lone Star tick may also cause the victim to develop allergies to meat.  The symptoms may take a few months to develop and usually result in a stomach ache and will worsen each time the patient eats meet. It usually starts with beef and venison, and overtime, there may also be allergies to poultry.

Should you, your family, or your pets be bitten by a tick then you should be very vigilant for any related symptoms as described above, but you can also take a proactive role in preventing ticks from inhabiting your yard and entering your home through a comprehensive tick control treatment that will eliminate existing ticks and prevent their return.