Our Target Pests
Deer tick or Black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis)
The unfed female black-legged tick have a reddish body and a dark brown dorsal scutum located behind the mouthparts. Adult females are approximately 3.5 mm in length, much larger than the body of the adult male ticks that range from 2.0-2.7 mm in length. Adult males are dark brown in color. Nymphs of the black-legged ticks are approximately 1.0 mm in length and will feed on humans or other mammals or birds.
The primary host of the adult female black-legged tick is the white tailed deer although they will feed on a variety of mammals and birds. Black-legged or deer ticks transmit the agents of Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis and Babeosis.
American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis)
Adult American dog ticks are reddish brown in color, but can be distinguished from black-legged ticks on the basis of their large size, up to 5.0 mm, and white markings on the perimeter of the dorsal scutum. Dogs, as the common name suggests, are the preferred hosts of adult American dog ticks, but they will feed on other medium to large mammals including humans.
The immature stages feed on small animals, including meadow voles and white-footed mice. The American dog tick may transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia in the Eastern region of the United States.
Lone Star Tick
Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americium)
The female Lone Star tick has a characteristic white or yellow mark on the end of the scutum from which the common name is derived. Both males and females are reddish brown in color and about 3.0 to 4.0 mm long. Tularemia and erlichiosis are transmitted by the Lone Star tick.It has also been linked to a Lyme disease-like illness called Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), which may be caused by the spirochete borrelia lonestari.
The Lone Star tick does not transmit Lyme disease. Lone Star ticks have a non-specific host preference and will seek blood meals from virtually any mammal.
Mosquitoes locate blood hosts by sight, scent and heat. From 50-100 feet away, mosquitoes can smell your scent, especially from the carbon dioxide (CO2) you exhale. Male mosquitoes do not feed on blood. It is the female mosquito that requires a blood meal for development of her eggs.
Both males and females obtain some nutrition from flower nectar, but only the females feed on blood to acquire the extra protein boost needed to produce and lay eggs. In this process, the females can also carry disease organisms and parasites from one host to another and thus may serve as vectors of diseases such as Dengue, Yellow Fever and several forms of encephalitis including EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) and more recently, WNV (West Nile Virus).
Mosquitoes can also transmit the heartworm parasite to dogs. The mosquito ingests immature worms from feeding on an infected dog. These worms develop through three larval stages in the mosquito. After they develop into infective or 3rd stage larvae, the mosquito transmits the worms when the mosquito again feeds on a dog.
It is the Asian Tiger Mosquito that is the most likely culprit of bites you get on your ankles and backs of your legs. They are not an aggressive insect, but tend to "sneak" on you to obtain a blood meal. They spend their time waiting in the foliage for the blood meal to come by. This biting insect can transmit harmful diseases like West Nile virus, Chikungunya and dengue fever.