When wildlife enters an attic or basement during winter, it is not just the animal seeking shelter that you have to worry about, but the diseases and parasites that they bring with them. Tick and fleas are known carriers of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick paralysis, Lyme disease, Q-fever, tularemia and other diseases that can infect people, your pets, and wildlife. Once these ticks and fleas settle in together with the wildlife in your home, your home, your family, and your pets are going to be in danger.
Do Ticks Die during Winter?
One might say these pests will die out because it is winter. Nope! They do not! Some ticks are not just active during the fall and the winter months, such as the American dog tick. Other species, like the Blacklegged (deer) tick can also be active during the cold months, especially when they are well-sheltered away from the frost. And, if they have gained entry into your home, it is likely that these pests can survive and even multiply. And, even during the freezing months, these pests can still go out to look for their next host.
Lyme Disease and Winter
One of the biggest concerns for many homeowners when it comes to ticks is the possible transmission of Lyme disease. But, is it really possible for these ticks to transmit diseases during the frost?
Well, the feeding diapause of ticks may vary. Some may feed in the autumn while others, like the deer ticks may begin feeding during the first frost, which is during the early October and onwards. This parasite may even latch itself onto a larger host, such as a cat, dog, or even to a human once the temperature is near or above freezing.
Although the transmission of Lyme disease made by an infected adult female deer tick is 40 to 60 percent, these ticks will still need at least 48 hours to stay attached to its host before they can even transmit the disease to their host through their saliva. So, even if it is winter, it is still advisable to check yourself, your household, and your pets for possible ticks.
Wildlife and Pests
It is not just the ticks that you have to worry about entering your home with wildlife, but fleas and mites are likely to be with them too. When a wild animal comes into your home uninvited, it is important to remove that animal and put it back outdoors where it belongs. Once the animal is gone, make sure to check the vacated area for possible pests that they might have left. Carefully check your children and your pets since these pests can easily crawl up and attached themselves to their next living host. Even during winter, if you think there is a possibility that deer ticks, fleas, and/or mites have already infiltrated your home, because of the wildlife that trespassed it, be extra careful and use insect repellents on your clothing and skin whenever possible.
Attics and basements should also be checked and cleaned, if these were the areas that the wildlife entered. Once the wildlife is gone, make sure to repair and close the entry points where the animals came in. Also be sure to eliminate ways for these animals to gain entry into your home in the future to help eliminate the chances of having different pests getting inside the home.
Protect your home and your loved ones from wildlife, ticks and other pests. Call Horizon today for affordable and effective Residential Pest Control.