Ticks are blood-sucking pests which are efficient vectors of several different types of disease. In fact, they are second only to mosquitoes in spreading human disease. Tick- borne diseases include: Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Typhus, Relapsing Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, Boutonneuse Fever, and Tularemia.
There are three families of ticks recognized in The United States today: hard ticks, soft ticks, and Nuttalliellidae ticks. The terms hard or soft refer to the presence of a dorsal plate on the tick. Ticks look like large mites, with both having eight legs and a disk-shaped body. However, ticks differ from mites in that they have toothed mouths and claws on their palps.
Ticks feed on blood. They look for hosts to feed on by climbing vegetation and passively waiting for an unsuspecting person or animal to brush up against it. The tick will then attack itself to it’s host, and crawl around fro some time looking for a suitable place to feed.
Ticks that are commonly found in the United States include:
- American Dog Tick
- Black Legged Tick
- Brown Dog tick
- Deer Tick
- Gulf Coast Tick
- Lone Star Tick
- Relapsing Fever Tick
- Rocky Mountain Wood Tick
- Western Black Legged Tick
With approximately 48,200 species of mites described, they are among the most diverse and successful, of all the invertebrate groups. Discovered anywhere that the humidity permits, this tiny pest has successfully invaded a vast array of habitats. However, because they require at least 60 percent humidity to survive, they are rarely found in the arid American Southwest.
Mites can cause pest control concerns, when their minute exoskeletons and feces become airborne and inhaled, triggering an allergic reaction in some people. Because mites are most often found in warm and humid locations like beds, it is thought that inhaling the mites during sleep exposes the human body to some antigens, that will eventually induce a hypersensitivity reaction. In fact, mites can cause several forms of allergic diseases, including hay fever, asthma and eczema.
The best way to control mites, is to manage the humidity in the home and to eliminate any dust in the bedroom. Because house dust mite allergens are considered to be among the heaviest dust allergens, homeowners should use a high-performance vacuum machine, with a HEPA filter. As well, thoroughly wash all bedding in hot, soapy water and steam-clean carpets and upholstered furniture.
Common mites include:
- House Dust Mite
- Bird Mite
- Clover Mite
- Spider Mite