How to Keep Ticks Off Your Dog

Tick stuck in the fur of a dog in Tennessee

Nobody likes encountering ticks. They are tiny, they are sneaky, and they are hungry for blood. Not only can ticks make your dog itchy, but they can also make them seriously ill. Ticks are not just a pain in the neck—they are a pain in the whole body! They can transmit diseases that weaken your furry friend and even kill them. It is more than enough reason you must not let your canine companion become a tick’s next victim. 

You cherish your dog and want them to live a long, healthy life. But you also want them to have fun outside and explore the world. How can you balance these two goals? How can you keep ticks off your dog without locking them up indoors?

Tick Prevention Tips

Here are some simple and natural tips for flea and tick prevention for dogs. These tips will help you protect your dog from these nasty critters without using harsh chemicals.

Check Your Dog for Ticks Daily

Do not let those pesky ticks ruin your dog’s day! Check them for ticks daily, especially after playing in the woods or grass. Use your fingers to feel for any bumps or lumps on their skin. Look carefully at their ears, neck, belly, and legs. If you find a tick, do not be a wimp. Grab some tweezers or a tick remover tool and pull it out gently. Do not squeeze or twist, or you will leave part of the tick in your dog’s skin. Flush the tick down the toilet or put it in alcohol.

Stay Away From Tick Hotspots

Ticks love to hide in tall grass, bushes, and leaf litter. They wait for a host to pass by and then jump on them. So, try to keep your dog away from these areas when you go for a walk or a hike. Stick to well-maintained trails and paths. You can also mow your lawn regularly and clear any debris from your yard. 

Bathe Your Dog Often

Use a mild shampoo safe for dogs, and rinse them well. You can also add some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to the water. These ingredients can help to repel ticks and other pests. 

Buy a Dog Vest

A dog vest is a protective garment that covers your dog’s chest and back. It can prevent ticks from biting your dog in these areas. Permethrin, a chemical that kills ticks on contact, also treats some dog vests. You can find dog vests online or at pet stores, or ask your veterinarian about good options for your pet.

Talk to Your Vet

Finally, it would be best to talk to your vet about flea and tick prevention for dogs. Your vet can recommend the best products and methods for your dog’s needs. Many options, such as collars, sprays, drops, pills, and vaccines, are available. 

Call Russell’s Pest Control

Even if you take all the necessary precautions, there is still a chance that ticks may find their way onto your property. If that is the case, call Russell’s Pest Control for help. Russell’s Pest Control is a family-owned and operated business serving East Tennessee since 1971. They have the experience and expertise to handle any pest issue you may have.

Russell’s Pest Control offers comprehensive pest control services for residential and commercial customers. Using safe and effective methods, they can eliminate ticks and other pests from your home or business. They also offer free inspections, estimates, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Do not let ticks ruin your day or harm your dog’s health. Call Russell’s Pest Control today and say goodbye to those pesky parasites.

How Can I Tell If I Have Been Bitten By A Tick?

How Can I Tell If I Have Been Bitten By A Tick?

In Tennessee, warm weather lasts longer than in some other states. Fall in Tennessee is the perfect season to be outdoors. But if you love picking apples or going on long fall hikes, you need to know about the dangers of black-legged ticks, also called deer ticks. These insects may be small, but they can cause a lot of trouble. You may have heard of Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. And there are several other serious diseases that can come from tick bites. Here are the answers to some common questions you might have about ticks.

When are you most likely to get a tick bite?

Ticks live in nature and travel by attaching themselves to animals such as wildlife or pets. You’re most likely to find a tick bite after spending a long time outdoors. Hiking in wooded areas, camping, or even just playing in fields with tall grass can all be ways of exposing yourself to ticks. Ticks can also bite you in your own home or in your yard. They might get to your yard on your pet or on wildlife such as deer or raccoons. They could even get into your home on squirrels or mice.

Where are tick bites usually found?

Ticks can’t fly. You won’t find them falling on your head as you walk and they won’t jump off branches at you. Instead, they crawl on your feet or legs and travel upward onto your body. This means that you may be able to avoid them by wearing long pants that are light colored so you’ll see a tick when it gets on your leg. If you don’t see it, it will look for a moist, warm area such as your armpits, your groin, the back of your head, or in your hair.  Ticks want to find a protected (which means hard-to-see) place to bite and then they attach themselves to you after they bite.

What does a tick bite feel like?

You might not notice a tick bite. The good news is that it’s very rare for the bite itself to cause any pain. The bad news is, this makes it harder to notice a tick bite than other insect bites. And the longer the tick remains attached to your skin, the more chance you have of contracting a tick-related disease. In some cases, a tick bite will itch, especially once the tick has been removed.

In order to remove a tick, grip the body with a good pair of tweezers as close to your skin as possible and pull directly out. It’s a bad idea to try to remove a tick with your fingers because they can break and get stuck inside your skin. If you’ve been bitten by a tick, it’s a good idea to see a doctor to make sure you didn’t pick up any serious diseases.

What does it mean if you have multiple tick bites?

If you have multiple tick bites, or if you constantly find new tick bites on your skin, you may have ticks in your home. As I mentioned earlier, ticks can come onto your property by riding in on wildlife or by arriving on your pets. They can’t live inside for long, but they’ll survive for a while if they can continue to get blood from you or your pets. If you keep finding tick bites, you should consider professional help.

Why call Russell’s Pest Control for tick management?

Russell’s Pest Control has experience in dealing with these difficult pets. We believe in a full treatment plan, which means that we’ll help you eliminate ticks long-term. To do this, we’ll identify factors that might be attracting ticks to your home. We’ll address a rodent problem or help you cut back on the number of wildlife coming onto your property. This will ensure that ticks don’t just vanish for a day, but that they have a hard time ever coming back to bother you.

Guide To Tick-Related Illness For Knoxville Residents

Guide To Tick-Related Illness For Knoxville Residents

You probably know by now that tick-borne illnesses are on the rise. According to the CDC, Lyme disease alone has doubled over the past twenty years. This can present a serious health threat to your dog, your cat, your children, and anyone else living in your home. Here is a quick guide to help you understand this threat.

Tick-Borne Diseases that Affect Dogs

Dogs are most affected by the diseases that ticks can carry. There are many reasons for this but one of the most noteworthy is that dogs aren’t as hypersensitive to changes in their environments, like cats are. When a tick gets on a cat, it is usually removed quickly, and quick removal can prevent the spread of illness.

Some of the many diseases that ticks can transmit to dogs are Lyme disease, canine ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, canine babesiosis, canine bartonellosis, canine anaplasmosis, and canine hepatozoonosis. All of these come with their own set of symptoms. If you have a dog, take the time to research each of these so you can recognize the warning signs.

Tick-Borne Diseases that Affect Cats

Cats are less likely to contract tick-borne diseases, but they’re not immune. And while they can still get sick from tick diseases, their resistance to illness could increase your exposure to serious illnesses such as cat scratch fever, an illness that can cause blindness if your cat licks you near your eyes.

The key diseases spread to cats are haemobartonellosis, tularemia, cytauxzoonosis, ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis. Spend some time researching these and discuss with your veterinarian some strategies for protecting your cats, and yourself, from ticks.

Tick-Borne Diseases that Affect People

Humans can also be impacted by tick-borne disease. While Lyme Disease gets all the press, there are many diseases that are spread from tick to human. Here’s the short list: Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, Powassan virus, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, Colorado tick fever, and Southern tick-associated rash illness.

Tick Prevention

  • Personal protection: Apply mosquito repellent on your legs. Avoid tall grass. Wear bright-colored clothing so you can see ticks crawling up. Check for ticks after being outside.
  • Pet protection: Make sure your pets have collars and other tick-prevention products.
  • Reduce moisture around your home: Ticks need moisture to live. The drier you can make your landscaping, the fewer ticks you’ll have.
  • Control wildlife: Animals bring ticks into your yard and into your home. Everything you do to prevent wildlife activity will have an impact on tick populations.
  • Treatments: Professional treatments from a licensed pest control provider can destroy ticks and mosquitoes in your yard.

For assistance with tick & mosquito control in the Knoxville area, call on Russell’s Pest Control. Our licensed and experienced service professionals are here to help.

How Fall Wildlife Problems Bring Tick Infestations

How Fall Wildlife Problems Bring Tick Infestations

With fall not far off, rodents and other wild creatures are being pushed into residential areas as they search for a good place to stay sheltered and warm during the colder months of the year. As these warm-blooded creatures rush past thick brush and scurry into our neighborhoods, they often pick up ticks, bringing them along into our yards and homes.

While people seem to think that tick season covers most of the summer, then starts dying off as fall begins, some ticks—such as the black-legged or “deer” tick—are just getting started. Unlike a lot of other parasites, ticks are not able to jump or fly. Instead, these clever little bloodsuckers wait in thick foliage or along fence lines for any mammal to walk by. Then, as that deer, dog, or even human brushes past their hiding spot, they quickly climb onto that host and find a place to latch on and start feeding. Female ticks commonly choose to lay their eggs in leaf litter and dry brush, meaning that when those eggs hatch, they are already in a good hiding spot to wait for a warm-blooded host. The thicker the vegetation around your home, the more likely it is that you or your pet will come into contact with ticks.

Pets that are let outside often are prone to pick up ticks that other pests brought into your yard, and will then bring those ticks from your yard into your home. Ticks also hitchhike on shoes or clothing and will then move on to an area where skin is exposed before starting to feed.

A few tips to remember when attempting to reduce the number of ticks that get into your yard include keeping your lawn neatly trimmed, removing hiding spots for ticks (such as leaf piles or thick brush), wearing long sleeves in heavily wooded areas, and cutting back any wooded areas near your home.

Ticks are often quite difficult to get rid of, due to the fact that wild animals are the reason they are brought into residential areas. Because of this, professional pest control is your best option. Russell’s Pest Control offers seasonal tick control services when ticks are most active. We have several different pest control plans, including Power, Power Gold, and Power Plus protection, which all protect you and your home from 30+ common pests. Contact Russell’s Pest Control for more information or to request your free estimate.

Dangers Blacklegged Ticks Pose To Tennessee Residents And Pets

Dangers Blacklegged Ticks Pose To Tennessee Residents And Pets

Tennessee is a beautiful place to spend time outdoors! When the weather is nice, it makes sense to enjoy everything that nature has to offer. Whether that’s relaxing with a book in your own backyard, visiting your favorite swimming hole, or hitting the trails for an enjoyable hike, it just feels good to be outside!

Unfortunately, there is one reason that spending time outdoors is a bit more dangerous than it used to be. In recent years, there has been a steep rise in the population of blacklegged ticks, and with this increase also comes the increased risk of contracting some serious diseases.

Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, are well-known in the Northeast; in fact, Lyme disease was named after a town in Connecticut! However, they don’t only live in the Northeastern states. Blacklegged ticks are a pest that Tennessee residents need to be aware of and take precautions against while spending time outdoors.

Ticks can’t fly, but that doesn’t mean that they stay in one area; instead, these pests hitch rides on wild animals, which means that they can travel relatively long distances and end up anywhere that rodents, deer, and other wild animals travel, including in your yard!

When you and your pets are spending time outdoors, ticks will wait for you to brush past them as you walk; they will then grab on with their front legs and crawl to a warm place on you or your pet and embed themselves into the skin in order to feed.

Diseases That Blacklegged Ticks Carry

While there are many diseases that ticks can transmit, the most well-known one is Lyme disease. Like most tick-borne illnesses, Lyme is transmitted after an infected tick is attached to the skin for at least 24 hours. This is why performing frequent and thorough tick checks after spending time outdoors is essential in preventing tick-borne illnesses.

It is possible to have a tick embed, feed, and release itself from you without you ever noticing, so just because you didn’t see a tick doesn’t mean you haven’t been bitten! While adult blacklegged ticks are about the size of a sesame seed and are relatively easy to see if you’re looking for them, the nymphs are extremely tiny and must be carefully searched for.

If you have been infected with Lyme disease, symptoms can start to show anywhere from 3 to 30 days after being bitten. The most obvious symptom is the distinct bullseye rash around the area of the bite. However, not everyone who contracts Lyme disease will develop this rash.

Other early symptoms of Lyme mimic the symptoms of the flu. You may contract a fever, feel lethargic and achy, and have a headache. If you develop these symptoms when it isn’t flu season or when you haven’t been around anyone who was sick recently, consider going to the doctor to be tested. When caught early enough, Lyme disease is treatable with a heavy duty dose of antibiotics.

If not caught early, Lyme can cause significant long-term problems. Undetected Lyme disease can cause joint pain and neurological problems, including impaired muscle movement, swelling of the membranes around your brain, limb numbness, and more.

Other tick-borne illnesses spread by blacklegged ticks include babesiosis, anaplasmosis or ehrlichiosis, and Powassan virus.

How to Prevent Tick Bites

As mentioned earlier, checking yourself, your family members, and your pets after spending time outside is very important. However, this is not the only way to protect yourself from tick-borne diseases. Other important preventions to follow are:

  • Keeping up-to-date on tick treatments for your pets.
  • Keeping your lawn well-trimmed as ticks like to live in areas of tall grass.
  • Keeping your lawn free of leaf litter and tree debris where ticks often hide.
  • Wearing light-colored long sleeve shirts and pants when walking in the woods. Wearing light-colored clothing makes it easier to see any ticks that have crawled on you.
  • Wearing tick repellant with DEET when spending time outdoors. DEET is currently the most effective bug spray at keeping ticks and other pests away from you.
  • Getting your property treated by professionals.

Because they travel on other animals, ticks are impossible to completely eliminate from your property. However, by taking the precautions listed above including contacting the experts at Russell’s Pest Control, it is possible to manage the tick populations on your property and give yourself some peace of mind when spending time in your backyard. Russell’s tick control is a seasonal service that is administered between April and September which is when ticks are the most active. Call us today for a free estimate!

Tips To Avoid Ticks

Tips To Avoid Ticks

Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks or bear ticks, live in wooded, brushy areas with high humidity. When you walk through wooded trails or the fringe area between the woods and grass areas, you may become a host for the tick. They wait on low-lying vegetation and shrubs for an animal or person to pass by, and then crawl on to attach themselves for their next meal! Adult female blacklegged ticks and the nymphs can transmit infections and disease through their bite.

Commonly transmitted tick-borne diseases in the United States include Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, tularemia, and ehrlichiosis.

How Can You Control the Tick Population?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to completely eliminate ticks from your yard or wooded areas. But you can make some changes to help reduce the number of ticks around your home as well as take precautions to reduce your risks of getting a tick-borne disease from a tick bite.

To reduce the number of ticks living around your home, you can take steps to change environmental conditions so your yard and property are not as attractive to ticks. For example:

  • Eliminate sources of water and moisture.

  • Trim brush and keep leaf litter away from your home.

  • Mow lawns frequently to keep the grass short.

  • Clear vegetation from the trails or paths in your wooded areas.

  • Use tick control collars or topical solutions for pets.

In addition to cleaning up your lawn and wood areas as much as possible, you can also take steps to reduce your individual risks for getting tick bites by:

  • Using DEET tick repellents.

  • Checking for ticks whenever you come inside after being outside and removing any that you find.

  • Showering after being outdoors.

  • Drying clothes worn outside on high heat for ten minutes to kill any ticks on clothing, or washing in hot water.

Get Professional Year-Round Control for Common Pests and Ticks

Our Power Platinum program provides year-round pest control for over 30 common household pests including ants, spiders, mice, cockroaches and more, as well as wood destroying termites. The program even extends your protection to the outdoors with seasonal treatments for mosquitoes, ticks, bees, and fire ants. It’s the easiest way to enjoy your home and property pest-free* and starts at just $89 per month. With the Power Platinum program, you’re also covered by Russell’s Pest Free Guarantee – if the pests return in between visits, we will come back and re-treat for no extra charge.

How To Avoid Ticks

How To Avoid Ticks

Do you hear it? The tick, tick, tick of a ticking bomb, set to go off this summer? Or, more specifically, a “tick” bomb. Experts are saying there is a good chance we’re going to see a lot more ticks this year. And, when tick populations explode, so do the number of cases of tick-borne diseases. The recent death of a toddler in Indianapolis from a case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (a pathogen spread by ticks) is just one of many tragedies that have come as a result of a disturbing rise in tick-borne diseases in the United States. That is why this summer, it is even more important to take precautions.

Choose Locations Wisely

If you plan to go hiking, camping, fishing, or to engage in some other outdoor recreation, try to avoid bushes and grassy areas unless you have proper protection. Ticks wait on grass and leaves to cling onto you as you go by.

Personal Protection

Ticks don’t fall from the branches of trees to get into your hair. They climb up your body. When you go out into nature, here are a few things you can do to reduce risk:

  • Wearing bright colors will help you see ticks as they crawl up.

  • Tucking your pant legs into your socks or a pair of tall boots, will make it harder for ticks to get to your skin.

  • Many insect repellents work to make ticks fall off, if they get on. Spray repellent on your legs and feet to ward off tick bites on the rest of your body.

  • Always check for ticks when you come back from being in nature.

  • If you have a pet, make sure you consult your veterinarian about tick-control products. Pet owners, especially dog owners, have a higher risk for tick-borne illness.

Pest Control

If you live in a bubble, you don’t have to worry about ticks. But, since most of us don’t live in a bubble, we have to make choices that reduce our risk of contact with ticks. And, simply staying inside the house isn’t enough. Ticks can come into a home on unwanted furry animals. If you have seen mouse dropping in the backs of your drawers or cabinets, you could get a secondary infestation of ticks. A single mouse can have several dozen ticks which they will spread around your home as they search for food. When you have ongoing pest control that works to seal rodents out of your home, you increase your protection against tick-borne diseases.

If you need assistance with pest information or pest services and you live in our Tennessee service area, let the pest control specialists here at Russell’s Pest Control reduce ticks in your yard, and keep ticks out of your home. Together we can protect ourselves from tick-related illness.