Ticks are small parasites that suck the blood of warm blooded animals, like cats, dogs, possums and even humans.
There are a number of New Zealand tick species, but the most bothersome to humans are the Paralysis Tick and the Brown Dog Tick. Ticks are related to the spider and thus similar in body shape. They have eight legs like a spider and an oval body, although their body can change once they’re engorged.
Where do ticks live?
Ticks require moist humid conditions for survival. Such conditions limit their distribution and searching behaviour. Outside of the home, you will most likely find them dwelling in long grass. This is why many pets pick up ticks, as while on walks, the tick will hitch a ride home on the furs of your pet. On your property, they will most likely be found on walls, eaves, and pillars of homes. However, Paralysis ticks rarely climb higher than 50 cm.
When are ticks most active?
Ticks are a problem during the warmer months as summer is when their eggs hatch. Female ticks can lay up to 2500 eggs at one time that will hatch within 40-60 days (depending on temperature or humidity). The tick egg casing is impenetrable, so any chemical spray is only effective on ticks that have entered the larvae, nymph or adult stage.
Why are ticks pests?
Ticks are known for harming pets and family members, sometimes leading to serious illness in humans, and death in pets.
For humans, ticks can spread spotted fevers, the symptoms of which include fever, headache, joint and muscles pains, and more. Ticks are also loosely linked to the spread of Lyme disease. There have been recorded deaths attributed to paralysis ticks, but New Zealand is largely free of tick-borne diseases. It is more common for people to suffer from allergic reactions after a tick bite which can either cause itchiness, swelling, discomfort or anaphylactic shock.
Do I need professional pest control?
We offer internal and external sprays for tick infestations. Our tick control treatment is a two-step blanket spray process. It is of the utmost importance that during the treatment period, you properly treat your pet for fleas, and remove or wash their bedding in extremely hot water.
Tick prevention tips:
You can take certain actions to avoid ticks from entering your property and reduce your chances of being bitten. To prevent ticks, you must:
- Avoid long grasses when walking your dog (if you cannot avoid walking in long grasses, wear long pants tucked into socks and a long-sleeved shirt tucked into your pants, and spray your clothes with insect repellant before entering the home)
- Regularly trim your front and back lawn
- If you have a pet, maintain regular visits to the veterinary
- Ensure the sun can access all soiled areas, so clear leaf mounds or mulch piles in your garden
To remove ticks found on your pet or your body, use fine-point tweezers to remove the tick. If tweezers are not available, you may use your fingers wrapped in a tissue. When picking up the tick, do not crush, break or squeeze the tick as you want to avoid getting the blood inside the tick on your skin.
If your home has been infested with ticks, Flick Anticimex can implement a thorough and effective Integrated Pest Management.
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