Ticks in the workplace? It doesn’t need to be a pet store, kennel, or veterinarian’s office to have a tick problem. The everyday workplace is becoming more pet friendly. So, this pest may appear anywhere that man’s best friend goes and is a vector of disease to our canine friends.
In the U.S., the brown dog tick is the species most commonly found inside a structure. In fact, it can complete its entire life cycle indoors. This tick prefers to feed on dogs, but will take a blood meal from other mammals, including humans, when a canine host is not available. This reddish-brown pest is a member of the spider family and, when engorged, can measure up to 1/2 inch long. The tick may live for long periods without a blood meal. In fact, an adult may survive for up to 200 days without feeding. This facts speaks to the need for follow-up visits to ensure that the dormant ticks do not reemerge.
Inside the structure, the tick hides behind baseboards & window casings, on curtains & textured indentations in wall surfaces, in picture framework, moulding, bookcases & cabinets, in tufts & seams of upholstered furniture and even under the edges of a throw rug. Frequently, a customer doesn’t even know he has a tick problem until he sees them climbing up a wall or other surface.
It begins with a customer interview, followed by a thorough visual inspection for pest IDENTIFICATION and DETERMINATION of a course of action.
When inspecting, it’s critical that the pest professional ask the customer where he has found ticks, especially dead females. Why? Because she dies after laying her eggs, so those eggs were likely deposited in close proximity to her carcus. There may be seed ticks lodged under baseboards and/or in wall surfaces in that room. The pest professional can sparingly use a pyrethrin flushing agent with a crack & crevice tip to force some ticks out of their hiding places.
Caution: The customer and any animals should not be in the room when using a flushing agent.
The pest professional makes thorough notes of all findings and always invites the customer to participate in the inspection process. He then develops a graph and site plan that outlines his findings.
The pest professional discusses with the customer which areas require preparation before treatment.