January 31, 2019
Concern is growing in regards to the threat ticks pose to people. This increase in concern has folks asking, "Do I still need to be worried about ticks?" While winter is not the time of year when ticks are most active, their connection to rodents could have them getting into your Texas home this winter. Here's what you need to know about ticks in Houston during the winter months.
Most ticks go through four stages of development. In its first stage, a tick is safe and sound inside its egg, which is often laid on a large host animal, like a deer or a cow. The eggs roll off the host animal and lands on the ground. There, it hatches into a six-legged larva. This larva attaches to a tiny animal, like a mouse, rat, chipmunk, or squirrel. On this first host animal, the larva gets the blood it needs to develop to the next stage. This next stage is the nymph stage. Like it did in its larval stage, the nymph seeks a host. Usually a mid-sized animal, like a rabbit, dog, or cat. If it takes a medium-sized mammal out in nature, it will eventually molt and look for a large animal to take as its host, lay its eggs, and begin the cycle again. Within this story of reproduction, there is one point that is a particular threat to us inside our homes.
If a six-legged larva takes a rodent as a host and that rodent gets into your home, you will have a blood-eating creature in your home that is wired to leave that first host and seek another. It could get on your pets or it could even attempt to feed on you.
In the Houston area, we don't have harsh winters. But a cold winter night that dips down into the 50s could be enough incentive for a rodent to try to get into your home. If a mouse or rat is exploring your foundation wall and comes across a gap in the weather stripping of one of your doors, it may try to squeeze in. Most mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime and most rats can fit through a hole the size of a quarter. If they find a hole that isn't quite big enough, they may be tempted to use their strong teeth to make it bigger.
Rodents can get into your Texas home any time of the year, but this increased incentive to enter when it gets cooler outside makes rodents, and the ticks they carry, a year-round problem. This is cause for worry since ticks are linked to Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, STARI, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and other scary diseases. These diseases can cause fevers, rashes, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms or develop into serious symptoms that can threaten internal organs, and even become fatal. Some of them can go from acute symptoms to a chronic condition that can lead to lifelong misery and health complications. And these chronic forms are untreatable. But, there is something you can do to protect yourself.
We often think of pest control as something we get when a problem arises but the best pest control is proactive. It stops pest problems on the outside of your home before they take root on the inside. At Modern Pest Control, we have powerful residential programs that address a wide range of harmful pests including ticks and rodents. You don't have to wait till you see one in your home.
All of our programs come with rodent protection, but you decide how much protection you need. You can start with Modern PLUS and have routine inspections of your attic spaces to monitor for nests and other signs of rodent activity or you can move up to Signature or Signature PLUS service and step into ongoing rodent surveillance, capture, and removal services.
These programs also come with barrier protection. This is an application of EPA approved products around the outside of your home to take down harmful pests that try to invade. During this exterior treatment process, a product can be applied that addresses ticks. So you'll have fewer ticks hiding in your landscaping, getting on your pets (or you), and getting into your home.
Protecting yourself, your family, and your pets from tick-borne diseases doesn't have to be reactionary. With routine visits from the friendly professionals here at Modern Pest Control, you can stop those ticks and those rodents on the outside of your home. That is definitely the best way to go.