How Ticks Get Into Pittsburgh Homes

Family of four laying on grass petting their dog

They don't squeeze into your home through vulnerabilities in your home’s exterior. Instead, they hitch a ride inside on you, your pets, and home-invading wildlife pests like mice and rats!

Ticks can get into your home all year long by clinging to you, your kids, your pets when you are spending time out in your yard, as well as other home-invading rodents and wildlife pests as they explore the exterior of your home for a way to get inside. Hot spots for picking up ticks are moist or shaded areas, typically in areas of landscaping or tall grass. This is because ticks require moisture in order to survive. If they don’t have enough moisture, they’ll die. So to gain access to the moisture levels they need, they hide in these damp areas around our properties. Therefore, it is important to be cautious when tending to the plants in your landscaping to avoid picking up ticks. It’s also important to prevent your pets from wandering into these locations. This is one reason to invest in creating a fenced-in outdoor play area. And that fencing plays a dual role on your property. It keeps your pets from exploring shaded spots around your home while also helping to resist wildlife from bringing ticks in and leaving them for your furry family members to pick up.

Fall Tick Entry

When winter sets in, we spend more time inside. Instead, we sit by our fireplaces, warm ourselves by our radiators or wood stoves, or turn up our thermostats and pay little attention to the cold outside. But rodents don't have that luxury. While they can stay pretty cozy cuddled up with other warm rodents in a nest that has been created in holes in the ground or in trees, they prefer to take up residence in your warm, toasty home with you.

As rodents explore your property and your foundation walls for food and possible harborage, they will take notice of heat coming out of any gaps or cracks in the exterior of your home. This could inspire them to use their strong incisors to chew their way inside. If they do, they could easily carry ticks and other parasites into your home as rodents are common catalysts for tick infestations.

Ticks Are Serious

While it is certainly unpleasant to find a tick on your skin and that is probably enough to not want ticks in your home, it is also important to note that they're also very dangerous. Some tick-borne illnesses can even be fatal if left untreated. It’s rare, but it does happen. But, even when they don't take a turn for the worst, they can be very uncomfortable to deal with. Some common symptoms of tick-borne diseases include a fever, rash, muscle aches, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and more. In addition, in their chronic stage, some diseases can even become chronic and lead to lifelong health problems.

According to the CDC, the most common diseases spread by ticks are Lyme disease, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), tick-borne relapsing fever, Colorado tick fever, Powassan encephalitis, Q fever, and tularemia. Each of these illnesses come with a wide range of risks and symptoms. And according to the CDC, tick-borne diseases have tripled since 2004! So when it comes to ticks, we should all take them and the threats they pose very seriously.

Mistakes People Make When Tick Problems Start

Many people who have pets are inclined to believe that their pets are responsible for bringing ticks into their homes, so they focus on ridding their pets of ticks. If they search the internet for the answers to their tick problems, they're also likely to find out that most ticks can't complete their life cycle inside a home and consider their problem solved when they give their pets a tick bath and put tick collars on them. But, rodents can easily complicate matters. Not only can your pets acquire more ticks from the invading rodents that have brought ticks into the home, but those rodents can also spread ticks around from the top of a home to the bottom. Do you see the problem?

If you're dealing with a tick problem in your home right now, it is best to have a licensed professional come to your home and take a look. If you already have service with us Witt Pest Management, it is simple to request a quick check from your pest control technician and get fast answers. If you don’t currently have services with us, maybe now is the time to invest in a residential pest control plan! Ticks and other pests can spread serious illnesses inside your home. But with ongoing pest service from Witt, you'll receive coverage for over 40 common pests that impact Pennsylvania residents, including ticks and the rodents that carry them. This is coverage no residence should be without! For more information, reach out to us at Witt Pest Management today!

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