Ticks and mites can be dangerous carriers of human disease, so it's best to inspect for these pests after spending time in their habitats, and to treat any bites promptly.
The most well-known of these diseases is Lyme Disease. Ticks generally transmit the disease to humans, with Black-legged Ticks, otherwise known as Deer Ticks, acting as the primary source. These ticks live in wooded areas of most states in the Eastern U.S. They can feed on any mammals they come into contact with, including humans. Once on a host, the tick will imbed its mouthparts into the host and will inject an anti-clotting agent that allows it to feed. With this injection sometimes comes the Lyme Disease bacterium, which will then infect the host.
In humans, Lyme Disease manifests much like the flu, with body aches, fever and fatigue. Many people who contract the disease think they are in fact fighting the flu or some related illness. But the key indicator is a spreading rash that typically begins at the bite site, then moves to other areas of the body. Left untreated, Lyme Disease can escalate into cardiac or neurological problems, then eventually cause arthritic-like problems in a few or many joints.
The severity of Lyme Disease is the main reason why it's so important to check for ticks after any excursion into the woods. They can be hard to find, particularly if they implant on your back or under your hairline. If you do find one attached to your skin, gently remove it with tweezers, wash the area with soap and water and call your doctor. Also be sure to inspect pets after they've travelled in tick-infested areas.
Terminix professionals can help treat your outdoor areas for ticks via a treatment solution for the white-footed mouse, the primary carrier of black-legged ticks. The solution doesn't harm the mice, but kills any ticks that may be attached to them.
Mites are another problematic pest, but generally aren't as dangerous as ticks. Mites tend to feed on birds and plants only, but can infest homes when either host is introduced indoors. Bird Mites can bite humans, and are therefore, worthy of treatment. Removal of bird infestations is the first step. Only then can a pest control professional be brought in to treat the infected area.
Clover mites feed strictly on plants and vegetation, and therefore, live mostly outdoors. They can be found indoors during the spring months when flowers and plants are in bloom, and if annual infestation does occur, homes can be treated by sealing cracks and holes in foundation, and by chemical solutions administered by a professional pest control company, such as Terminix.
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