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Tick Control Questions and Answers - Wood Radio- Grand Rapids

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Rose Pest Solution's Grand Rapids District Manager David Popp joins Betsy Thompson and Dan Hansen on Wood Radio in Grand Rapids, Michigan to take listener questions about tick prevention and control!

[Betsy Thompson]  But before we get to that, we want to talk about something that's out there lurking that I heard on the radio the other day. Ticks are going to be a huge probably in Michigan this year.

[Dan Hansen]  Ticks?

[Betsy Thompson]  Yeah. We thought it was bad last year, but apparently, this year is going to be like a bumper crop.

[Dan Hansen]  Oh great. That's the last thing I need.

[Betsy Thompson]  Yeah, I know.

[Dan Hansen]  I don't do well with bugs as it is.

[Betsy Thompson]  Yeah. Me neither. Especially not this kind of bug.

[Dan Hansen]  No. So we've got David [Pop ], district manager of Rose Pest Solutions in Grand Rapids in the studio with us, and he's going to go over all things tick related. David, thanks for taking the time to be here with us.

[David Popp]  You're welcome.

[Dan Hansen]  Now David, ticks are kind of a big concern for me. You know, I've got a large family and we spend a lot of time outdoors. In fact the other day ... Did I tell you this Betsy, that my wife came in from without outside and she noticed, "Oh there's a little spider on me." And then we all realized it was a tick, so there was a lot of screaming, a lot of shouting, and a lot of chaos. All of a sudden this whole tick thing got real for me. So David, what I need to know is, what can I do to keep myself, my family safe, the people that visit? What can our listeners do to keep themselves safe?

[David Popp]  We've got a great state here, and it's nice to be able to enjoy this state. We've got a lot of trails and landscape to be able to see. The important thing is if you're going to be in an area that's known for ticks, like trails, for instance, if you're going down a trail, go right down the center. Don't try to go the edge of it, going into the brush or the grass. It's important to stay in the middle of it because you can pick up the ticks just by doing that. If you're going to go deep into a trail, make sure that you're wearing long pants and that the pants are, as an example, inside boots, that kind of thing.

[Dan Hansen]  Oh really?

[David Popp]  Oh, protect yourself in that regard. Ticks like to be in shaded areas where there's maybe a higher moisture content. So if you're going to be back in those areas, we'll wear long pants and the boots. You can always utilize an insect repellent like DEET.

[Dan Hansen]  Okay. I am itchy right now.

[Betsy Thompson]  Well, I have to ask, your wife. Where was she? Because there are no woods around your house. I mean your house is not in a wooded area. So is this something that they're just in the bushes? I mean ...

[David Popp]  They're ... And I don't know if you're mowing your lawn well, but that's one thing that you want to make sure you're doing is keep the grass down.

[Dan Hansen]  I do a really good job, David.

[David Popp]  That's good.

[Dan Hansen]  I don't know what you've heard.

[Betsy Thompson]  He mows at least once a week. We hear all about it.

[Dan Hansen]  Sometimes twice. And then I like to complain about it.

[Betsy Thompson]  Yes.

[David Popp]  Ticks, like I said, they're going to be in a shaded area. They like the high brush because what they do is they actually put themselves on a, say a tall piece of grass, and they kind of sprawl out their legs. And what happens is, is as you go by or as a rodent goes by, or a deer, or anything like that, they'll attach themselves if you brush up next to them. So keeping that kind of thing down will help out. If you're living in an area where there's a lot of, for instance, a lot of deer, the ticks are going to be there, especially the Black-Legged tick or Deer tick. That's going to be around those areas. And that's the one of importance. Right now, there are five different species of tick that are really prevalent in Southwestern Michigan. You have the American Dog Tick. You have the Black Legged or Deer tick. The Lone Star tick, the Woodchuck tick-

[Dan Hansen]  That one sounds fun. The Lone Star-

[David Popp]  It's got a nice little white spot on it, and it's just called the Lone Star.

[Betsy Thompson]  It sounds really big.

[Dan Hansen]  Yeah. Like Texas.

[David Popp]  And the Brown Dog Tick. The Black Legged or Deer tick is the one that's carrying right now the Lyme's disease. That's the one that's really of importance, that people are really concerned about. But the American Dog tick and a couple of the other ticks do carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

[Betsy Thompson]  Oo.

[David Popp]  And that's of concern as well.

[Dan Hansen]  That's not as fun as it sounds. [crosstalk ].

[Betsy Thompson]  No.

[Dan Hansen]  These are all ... I got to say, I'm sorry, but they are really cool names. They're like country song names. American Dog Tick-

[Betsy Thompson]  They are really cool names, but they're really horrible things-

[Dan Hansen]  ... Rocky Mountain-

[Betsy Thompson]  ... that they give you.

[Dan Hansen]  Yeah, no. But how was that again? Rocky Mountain ...

[David Popp]  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

[Dan Hansen]  It's like something John Denver probably ... So all of these things are really bad. And very prevalent even in our area?

[David Popp]  Well, yeah. The Black Legged tick is about 15% of the tick population. One thing I want to say too, is that if you find a tick that's on your skin, if you find that tick quick enough, and say it's already embedded, the actual bacterium that's in the midgut of the tick actually does not get transferred from anywhere from about 36 to 48 hours. So you have time to be able to remove that tick before any disease transfer happens.

[Betsy Thompson]  Oh!

[Dan Hansen]  How do I remove ... Is this something I can do?

[David Popp]  Yes.

[Dan Hansen]  Is it a do-it-yourself project?

[David Popp]  You can do it. But I would caution the old wives' tales, you know, take a lighted match, fingernail polish, petroleum jelly, stay away from those.

[Betsy Thompson]  Okay.

[David Popp]  The best way to remove a tick is to actually take tweezers, which we had mentioned earlier, take the tweezers as close to the skin as possible, depress the tweezers, and gradually put the pressure on to pull it off. Now if there are some mouth parts that are still in your skin you're still okay because it comes from their midgut, so it's not going to be. Now, after you've removed the tick, put some rubbing alcohol on it or peroxide. And then it's probably important that you still ... Because you may not know how long it was there, but put it in some rubbing alcohol and have somebody take a look at like our company to determine what kind of tick it is.

[Dan Hansen]  Okay. All right. You're listening to the RepcoLite Home Improvement Show, and we're talking about ticks, which is just a lot of fun. We've talked about some of the diseases. Let's talk about prevention. What are the things that I can do to protect my home and my people?

[David Popp]  Well, one of the things that you can do is, is very, very important is to keep the grass always mowed.

[Dan Hansen]  Gotcha.

[David Popp]  If you happen to live in an area where there's a field or woods, what you want to do is try to put like a tick-free zone. And I know that sounds kind of funny, but ticks don't like to be in an area where there's a ... well, let's just say less moisture. So for instance, if you were to put even a thing of mulch or rock out in an area, it's kind of a no-fly zone if you will, or a no tick zone. They don't want to cross over that to get to where maybe the swing sets and things like that. But if you can do that, and keep leaf litter away, because that holds moisture, and if you're in an area where a lot of rodents might be, or rabbits, or woodchucks, or deer, especially with deer, try to keep that away from the house by doing one of those tick free zones if you will. That helps out.

[Dan Hansen]  Okay.

[Betsy Thompson]  Okay. Now you're talking about all these things that you shouldn't have. What happens if you have all of those things, and you can't do anything about it? Because my yard is very shaded, at least three-quarters of it, and there are deer, and there are rabbits, and every kind of critter imaginable. What do I do? I mean I need to protect myself and my dog.

[Dan Hansen]  No, you just give up Betsy. You're done. You're toast.

[Betsy Thompson]  Well, I just try to stay as far away from the trees, and the line as possible.

[Dan Hansen]  Just try to develop a tick immunity. That's your only hope.

[Betsy Thompson]  Yeah.

[David Popp]  Well the one thing, it's just like with a mosquito, utilizing an insect repellent and some DEET. If you're going to enjoy your yard, make sure that when you come in, or the kids come in, that you look and for lack of a better word, inspect them to make sure that there are no ticks on them. Because again, as I said earlier, you have time even if they embed into the skin. There is time. But it's important too, take a look at it, because one of the other things is that if you don't catch it in time, you don't realize that yourself or kids have been bitten, you got to kind of watch for any signs. Like for instance, if it happened to be the Black-Legged or the Deer tick, Lyme's disease I'm sure you may have heard of the bullseye sign where if they've been bitten and Lyme disease is setting in, look for that bullseye.

[Dan Hansen]  What is that exactly?

[David Popp]  Well, it's-

[Dan Hansen]  So I know how to be terrified twice today.

[David Popp]  It's actually right where the tick had embedded itself, there's going to be a red rash if you will. And then another one, on the outside of it going all the way around, it looks like a bullseye. And that's an indicator that there is potentially Lyme's disease there, and please go to a doctor at that point.

[Dan Hansen]  Right.

[Betsy Thompson]  Do you offer some sort of service? Is there a spray or something that you can do to maybe help so that I don't have this problem?

[David Popp]  Well, we'll treat ... A lot of times what we'll do too is we'll do what we call as a tick drag. And what a tick drag is, is we'll actually take and it kind of assimilates you walking out there, our guys actually go in, and their pants are inside their boots, and so forth-

[Betsy Thompson]  So they gear up.

[David Popp]  Oh, they gear up. And then they'll drag a cloth. And it's generally a white cloth to go through the brush area to see, and ticks will attach themselves to this. We'll see if that's there, and then we'll do an insecticidal treatment along by where that brush line leads to the lawn area.

[Dan Hansen]  All right. David Pop from Rose Pest Solutions. If our listeners want to get in touch with you about any of the things you talked about, how do they do that?

[David Popp]  Well certainly they can call us at our telephone number, which is 616-534-5493--.

[Dan Hansen]  Sure.

[David Popp]  They can reach us through our website, which is Also, we have social media, Facebook, Twitter, all the different forms of social media.

[Dan Hansen]  All right. So That's how they get ahold of you. David Pop, thanks for being with us.

[David Popp]  Thank you.


If you suspect you have a pest problem Contact your nearest Rose Pest Solutions service center immediately for an inspection. 

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