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Effective Green & Conventional Solutions for Tick Management

Ticks can make it difficult for homeowners and their pets to enjoy their outdoor space. Offering a tick control service can provide you with a revenue opportunity and allow your customers to spend time outside worry-free. Ticks adapt well to environments and can easily stay hidden and move around, making infestations challenging. However, an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach can help to provide lasting control for your customers, prevent re-infestation, and reduce callbacks.

Tick Overview

Ticks are mainly a problem outside, unless they sneak into homes on a person or a pet. These pests require a human or animal host, and most species feed on mammal blood. Ticks are members of the arachnid family, and they vary in size and color, depending on the species. They have a flat, oval or pear-shaped body. Adults and nymphs have eight legs, while larvae have 6 legs. These pests can be found throughout the United States, but they thrive in warm and humid climates. They are most often spotted in wooded areas near animals or in areas with overgrown vegetation.

Common Tick Species

Some ticks are more likely to target humans and pets than other species. Common tick species include American dog ticks, deer ticks, brown dog ticks, and lone star ticks.

American Dog Tick

 

These ticks are also known as wood ticks. They are brown with gray markings. American dog ticks range in size from 5mm-15mm. As their name suggests, these ticks prefer dogs as their host. They harbor in grassy areas where animals can easily pass through. American dog ticks can survive 2-3 years without a meal.  

Deer Tick

 

Deer ticks are small, 3-5mm in length. They have a brown body with a reddish hue. They are also called black-legged ticks because of their dark legs. White tailed deer are their preferred host. These ticks prefer to live near thick grass, shrubs, and wooded areas.

Brown Dog Tick

Brown dog ticks are reddish brown and have no distinct markings. After feeding, they turn a bluish-gray. They range in size from 3mm-12mm, depending on if they’ve had a recent bloodmeal. These pests prefer dog hosts. They can complete their life cycle indoors and will lay eggs in cracks and crevices.

Lone Star Tick 

  

These ticks are reddish-brown. After feeding, they can turn gray. Females have a silvery-white spot on their shield. Males have white streaks or spots. They grow between 4-6mm. When fed, they can grow up to 16mm. At each stage of their life, they require a different host. Lone star ticks prefer shaded areas and won’t survive indoors. 

Tick Prevention

Ticks live in shady, moist, cooler areas, usually at ground level. Tall grass, ground cover, low-hanging shrubs, and leaf litter are some of their favorite places to rest. Ticks avoid heat and direct sunlight.

Preventing and controlling tick infestations begins with eliminating conducive conditions. Educate your customers on the importance of implementing preventive measures to reduce pest populations. Encourage customers to:  

  • Mow lawns frequently and remove clippings
  • Trim foliage
  • Clean up brush and leaf litter
  • Remove weeds
  • Keep firewood stacked neatly, off the ground, and away from the house to discourage rodents that ticks feed on
  • Add a fence to keep out animals that could be carrying ticks
  • Add a border of woodchips or gravel 3-feet wide between their yard and wooded areas or dense vegetation to prevent tick migration into their yard
  • Reduce shaded areas by trimming bushes, trees, and shrubs
  • Talk with their pet’s veterinarian about preventive tick medications

                     

Managing Ticks: Outdoor & Indoor Pesticide Application

After you have worked with your customers to identify and remove tick harboring sites, pesticide application will be needed. Rockwell Labs offers several green and conventional pesticides to help control and prevent future infestations.

Green Products

EcoVia Botanicals are the most advanced botanical insecticides available. They are classified as “minimum-risk”, EPA exempt FIFRA 25(b) products. The multiple modes of action are fast acting and excellent for resistance management. The botanical components are highly repellent, which provides residual protection. They have no pyrethroid or neonicotinoid use restrictions, can be applied up to the water’s edge, pose minimal risk to pollinators, and do not require notification in most states (be sure to check your state regulations).

  • EcoVia MT Mosquito & Tick Concentrate: EcoVia MT is a FIFRA 25(b) exempt botanical insecticide specially formulated for tick control and repellency. For ticks, it is best to apply as a heavy wet spray using a backpack sprayer or a power spray rig. EcoVia MT can be mixed at a rate of .33 to 1.0 fl oz per gallon of water per 1,000 sq ft. For deer ticks, the lowest rate is effective. If treating for larger ticks, use the higher rate.
  • EcoVia G Granular Insecticide: EcoVia G is a broad spectrum botanical granular pesticide. It provides quick control and residual protection against ticks and other pests. It contains a higher level of active ingredients compared to other botanical granules, resulting in lower use rates. It can be applied at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per 1,000 sq ft with a hand-operated or power spreader, duster, or shaker container. Apply EcoVia G granules to the perimeter of your customer’s yard and home, ground cover vegetation, wooded areas, landscaped areas, or turf.
  • EcoVia WD Wettable Dust: EcoVia WD is a versatile product that can be applied as a dust or mixed with water and sprayed as a wettable powder. It provides quick control and residual protection. EcoVia WD’s unique formulation provides extended residual protection with the amorphous silica carrier. For outdoor treatment of ticks, we recommend liquid applications. Mix 1 to 4 oz of EcoVia WD per gallon of water to treat 1,000 sq ft. Apply as a coarse, low-pressure spray to shrubs, brush, vegetation, grass, and other areas where ticks are likely to harbor.
  • EcoVia EC Emulsifiable Concentrate: EcoVia EC can also help to control ticks. It is a broad spectrum product that contains a potent blend of botanical oils that are effective against ticks and other pests. EcoVia EC should be mixed at a rate of 2 to 4 oz per gallon of water (use the higher rate for heavy infestations). Apply EcoVia EC as a coarse fan spray to vegetation brush, branches, rock walls, and other areas where ticks harbor.
  • CimeXa Insecticide Dust: CimeXa is an amorphous silica dust that is odorless, non-staining, and very low in toxicity. It is a desiccant dust that breaks down the waxy cuticle of pests, causing rapid dehydration and death. When undisturbed, it lasts up to ten years in dry areas. For indoor treatments, you can apply CimeXa under pet beds, upholstered cushions, in cracks, crevices, voids, and in other areas where ticks may frequent.

Conventional Products:

Quality, time-tested, broad spectrum insecticide concentrate formulations with the proven potency of lambda-cyhalothrin and esfenvalerate, labeled for indoor, outdoor, and turf uses. They are manufactured by LG Chem, a supplier of high-quality active ingredients and formulated products.

  • FenvaStar EcoCap: FenvaStar EcoCap is a micro-encapsulated formula with 3.5% esfenvalerate. It provides quick control and long residual protection against ticks and other pests. It can be mixed at a rate of 1 to 2 oz per gallon of water. Apply thoroughly to areas where ticks are likely to inhabit. FenvaStar EcoCap can be used as a perimeter barrier spray. FenvaStar EcoCap can also be used indoors to control ticks. Mix at a rate of 1 oz per gallon of water and apply as a fine particle broadcast spray. Apply to cracks, crevices, along and behind baseboards, window and door frames, and infested rugs and pet resting areas.
  • LambdaStar UltraCap: LambdaStar UltraCap is an innovative capsule suspension formulation with 9.7% lambda-cyhalothrin. It is potent against ticks and other pests and provides long residual protection. Mix at a rate of 0.8 fl oz per gallon of water. Apply LambdaStar UltraCap using a coarse fan spray to vegetation brush, branches, rock walls, and other areas where ticks are likely to be found.

Tick infestations can be difficult and worrisome to your customers. Implementing the right strategy can help ensure your control efforts are successful and your customers are happy. To control and prevent re-infestation, the most effective solution is an IPM approach that includes pesticide application and the reduction of tick harboring sites.