Removing Ticks from Dogs Without Hurting Them: A Simple Guide

Some people say that a dog is man’s best friend. If that has proven true in your case, your friend needs tremendous care. Your free-spirited canine, though susceptible to many illnesses from time to time, is likely to pick up ticks along their outdoors journey. This is a concern for dog owners as some ticks have proven lethal to dogs. What do you do when you’ve noticed that your dog is suffering from an attack by ticks? To prevent is better than to cure, but if you didn’t have any preventatives in place to repel ticks from your dogs, here’s how to remove ticks when your dog picks them up along the way.


Note: While you remove ticks from your dog, ensure you’re safe. Ticks do latch themselves to human hosts. In fact, the deer tick is widely known for spreading Lyme Disease to humans.

How to Remove Ticks from A Dog

  1. Use a tweezer. Do not attempt to remove the tick with your bare hands.
  2. When holding the tweezer, resist the urge to twist or jerk while pulling up the tick. Your aim is to ensure that your dog’s skin is not exposed to any substance that is expelled from a tick in case it pops.
  3. Do not act hastily. Try not to be in a hurry. This is to guarantee that the entire tick is pulled up.
  4. After removing the tick, save it. It can be stored in a container with isopropyl alcohol. Label the container with the time and date the tick was removed, along with where the tick was picked up (if possible).
  5. Clean the dog’s wound and the tweezer with antiseptic. Best and safe practice is to wash your hands.
  6. Watch the bitten area. This is to ensure that an infection does not occur.
  7. Unsure of the type of tick you pulled out? Get it tested to ensure your dog isn’t exposed to toxins or pathogens that some ticks carry.

Removing ticks from your canine is not fun, they do hurt your canine. Hence, to ensure your dog is kept safe, use reputable products to repel and get rid of ticks.

Main Ticks Affecting Dogs

There are a smorgasbord of ticks lurking around to feast on your dog’s blood. However, there are 2 main species of ticks that are prone to invade your dog’s personal space. These include the Brown Dog Tick and the Paralysis Tick. For a list of ticks that may affect your dogs, here’s a list we recommend.

  • Brown Dog Ticks – Prefers to latch on to dogs. In fact, to demonstrate their love for dogs, they seldom bite humans. While the Brown Dog Tick relish humid climates and complete its life cycle in houses and kennels, it may also adaptto colder climates around the world. In most cases, they thrive in areas where other ticks find inhospitable. This tick does not pose a threat to humans in terms of transmitting diseases. However, it does bear the organism that is responsible for anaplasmosis and erlichiosis in cats and dogs.
  • Paralysis Tick – This tick is only situated on the East Coast of Australia. The Paralysis Tick is dangerous and can prove lethal to domestic animals through a toxin that causes paralysis. Each year, around 80,000 cases of tick toxicosis is treated in Australia.



What are Hackberry Psyllids?

Hackberry psyllids are tiny, jumping plant lice (family Psyllidae) that infest hackberry trees. Several species of psyllids infest hackberry. The most common is Pachypsylla celtidismamma. They resemble miniature cicadas (about 1/6 inch long) and are a dark, mottled-gray color

Hackberry psyllids are often called hackberry nipplegall makers because nipple-shaped galls about 3/16 inch wide and 1/4 inch high develop on the underside of infested leaves (Figure 2). The gall, an abnormal plant growth on leaves or stems, results from complex chemical interactions between developing insects and plant tissues. As a gall develops, it becomes a “house” where the immature insect resides. Most infested leaves contain several galls, and host trees apparently do not suffer seriously, although galls are normally considered unsightly.

Are you suffering from an infestation by Hackberry psyllids, learn how to get rid of them.

What are Squash Bugs?

Does your vegetable garden include squash, pumpkins, or cucumber? Then, you should beware of squash bugs. These garden pests are known to attack the leaves of these plants, leaving the plants wilted or stunted and eventually dead, especially if the plants are still in their young stage. Squash bugs are best controlled by incorporating different pest control methods, including the use of insecticides.

How to Identify Squash Bugs

Squash bugs are large bugs that are gray-black in color. They measure about 1/3 of an inch and have piercing mouthparts they use to suck the sap from plant tissues. Adult squash bugs have wings that have brown or orange stripes on the cover. These pests are normally seen crawling along the stems and leaves of the plants.

On the other hand, squash bug nymphs are in much smaller size, measuring about a few centimeters only. They have bodies with light gray color and small black legs that they use in crawling across plants. Wings are developed only when they are in their adult stage. Additionally, nymphs in their very early stage are green in color, which gradually darken to a brownish-grey as they mature.

A squash bug egg measures about 1/16 of an inch and is bronze in color. The eggs are most often found in clusters of 20 or more lying on the underside of the leaves of the plant they’re infesting.

The Life Cycle of Squash Bugs

Just like many other garden pests, the life cycle of a squash bug includes a period of overwintering. During this period, an adult squash bug finds cover under rocks, plant debris, or other forms of shelter during the winter season. Come springtime, the squash bugs will emerge. At this point, they will now search for food and mates. When mating has been successful, the female squash bugs will lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves of squash, melon, or pumpkin plants.

The eggs of a squash bug don’t take too long to develop. In just about 10 days, clusters of eggs will hatch, releasing tiny nymphs. The nymphs will further develop and for about 4 to 6 weeks, they’ll be on their adult stage. Each year, there are numerous new generations of squash bugs that cause a serious infestation in one’s vegetable garden.

Signs of Squash Bug Infestation

The most evident sign of a squash bug infestation is the sight of the bugs themselves, be it eggs, nymphs or adults. They can be easily seen when you thoroughly examine the leaves, stems, and base of your plants. Other signs of infestation that you should look out for include:

  • Yellow Vine Decline Disease: Some squash bugs can cause the yellow vine decline disease. When a bacteria-carrier squash bug sucks through the plant tissues with their mouthparts, the disease can easily be transferred. The yellow vine decline disease can lead to yellowing or wilting of the leaves or worse, death.
  • Wilting Leaves: When squash bugs suck sap from the plant’s tissue, they affect the nutrient supply of the plants. Young and weak plants will wilt.
  • Stunted Plants: If you observe your vegetable plants particularly pumpkins, melons, or squash crops have a slow growth rate than the normal, it is recommended to inspect the plants as they can be infested.

 Removal and Preventative Procedures of Squash Bugs

To best control an infestation, early detection is a must. For squash bug infestation, it will be easier to eradicate those who are still in their young stages than adult counterparts. To get rid of squash bugs, follow the methods below:

  • Keep plants properly nourished and fertilized. Healthy plants are less likely to be harmed seriously from squash bug infestation.
  • Crush eggs attached to the underside of leaves: If you see squash bug eggs on the underside of the leaves of your pumpkin, squash or melon crops, make sure to not just remove them but crush them as well to prevent nymphs from hatching.
  • Spray nymphs and adults with soapy water: One effective method in getting rid of squash bugs is by spraying soapy water. Additionally, this method is not hazardous, as it does not contain harmful chemicals.

 Instore or Chemical Removal 

There are insecticides you can easily purchase both from gardening stores and online for the treatment of squash bug infestation. This method is best implemented with the help of a pest control professional



What are Cigarette Beetles?

What are Cigarette Beetles?

 The cigarette beetle-derived its name from eating on stored tobacco. These pests could cause huge financial losses and damaged crops within the tobacco industry. This type of beetle breeds fast and contaminates most types of dried plant products.  Continue reading

How to control caterpillars within the garden

There is a saying that goes; if you build it, they will come. In the case of your vegetable garden, if you plant, it they will come, unwelcomed of course. They are caterpillars, the larvae of moths and butterflies. There are several different types of caterpillars and there are just as many ways to prevent or get rid of them from your garden. Caterpillars can cause major damage to fall vegetables, particularly kale, cabbage, broccoli, collards and cauliflower. Some species of caterpillars are known to kill seedlings and young plants if left untreated, but most species just enjoy munching on the leaves or fruits. If they are detected early it can be easy to control caterpillar infestations.

For caterpillars to infest your garden, first, a moth or butterfly must fly in and lay their eggs on the plants. The eggs may be laid in clusters or singly. A few days later tiny caterpillars will emerge and immediately begin to feed on the leaves. Then they will progressively grow larger and may change color. Most caterpillars feed for two to three weeks, before entering a cocoon. How long they remain in the cocoon is dependent on the type of caterpillar. It is very easy to detect a caterpillar infestation since they leave rugged holes in the plants, evidence of their feeding activity. If you notice holes in your crops then check both sides of the leaves for caterpillars.

To control a caterpillar invasion on your crops, lets start with some preventative measures. There is the option of covering crops with insect barriers. These special fabrics form a barrier, preventing moths and butterflies from landing on the plants and laying their eggs. If possible you could build a frame and place the fabric over the seedlings though a frame wouldn’t be necessary. The fabric is soft and flexible enough to be placed over the plants and, it allows adequate sunlight to pass through. Since most fall veggies are grown for  their leaves, and roots don’t require pollination covering the plants will not reduce yields.

Spraying infested crops with an appropriate insect control product that contains organic and synthetic active ingredients such as pyrethrin, is another way to control caterpillars in your garden. These products are available at gardening centers. Pay attention to the pre harvest interval before applying any pesticides to your crops. This interval is the number of days you’ll have to wait, from the time you spray to the time you harvest. Intervals vary for different pesticide from 0 to 21 days or more. And, if you intend to use it on edible plants make sure it is safe for use on vegetables.

Hand pick them it is quite common for some gardeners to pick the caterpillar out of their garden, but this can be time consuming but each caterpillar pick out means one less moth or butterfly that will later lay eggs. Be careful when picking up caterpillars, some species have spines on their bodies that packs a nasty sting. Take a small bucket with you and put the caterpillars in and feed them as a treat to your pets. Or you could kill them by dropping them in some soapy water if squishing them is not your cup of tea.

Organic pesticides you could use bacillus thuringiensis, this is a naturally occurring bacteria that can be place in the garden. This bacteria is nontoxic to humans but lethal to caterpillars.

Pyrethrin is another organic pesticide that is extracted from the flower of the chrysanthemum, (not the common type grown in fall) pyrethrin will effectively control caterpillar infestation.

Neem oil is derived from the seed of the neem tree, a native of southern Asia. This organic oil can be spray on plants to control caterpillar infestation.


What are Bird Mites

In the high stakes game of sucking the living life out of your local poultry population (not to mention creeping the hell out of you), Bird mites take top spot. These ferocious insects not only like to snack on the blood of birds, but also use the nest of birds and other poultry as breeding grounds. Bird mites can cause the well-being of poultry to plummet, and can also have a negative effect on humans nearby. Mites can also cause skin irritation in humans and birds. But, there is an upside to all of this: cut off their food source and the mites can die off in a matter of days. Bird mites inhabit the nests and roosts of birds and poultry, and can also live in houses that have birds as household pets. The life cycle of the bird mite occurs in four stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult.

You can find them here…

In North America

The two main species found in North America are the Northern Fowl Mite and the D. Gallinae. Commonly found in the tropical parts of the world the Tropical Fowl Mite is another species of bird mites. Bird mites favor humid conditions. Their breeding mostly occurs during springtime or early in the summer. In case these pests infest your home the warm folds of your furniture or bedding material is their ideal breeding site.

Since bird mites prefer humid climates certain states tend to experience more bird mite infestation than others. If you are living in California or Florida you will have more bird mite activity than say Arizona, which is dry and hot. In the case that your home is excessively moist then dehumidifiers and air conditioners can help remove the excess moisture. In essence, no matter where you are in the world bird mites can infest your home.

Recognizing Bird Mites

But what do bird mites look like? They have an ovoid shaped body that is covered with short hairs. They have eight legs, are very small and semi-transparent. As a result, a bird mite infestation may go unseen for quite a while. While in the nymph stage bird mites only have three pairs of legs. In order to pierce through their host’s skin to drink their fill of blood, a bird mite’s mouth is long and sharp. Though these pests are semi-transparent they become reddish or blackish after a hearty meal.

These pests are very small in size. A Northern Fowl Mite in the mature stage is no bigger than half of a millimeter. The D. Gallinae though normally comes in at around .4 millimeter in length. The front legs and mouthpart take up one-third of the total length of the mite, leaving the remaining two-thirds to the main body of the mite. D. Gallinae is lighter than the Northern Fowl mite, making it the harder of the two to see. The nymphs are not as fully developed as the adult mites and are thus also harder to see than the adults and are not readily seen unless magnified under a lens.

Significant Attributes

An invasion of mites can expand exponentially, and the eggs of some species release their payloads in around three days and reach maturity over the course of the following five days. They also stick to a singular host for their entire lives, but will jump to a new blood sponsor if their primary host expires. Blood is a necessary ingredient for reproduction, and the mites may only last a few days without a meal. Roughly 95% of the bird mite population is comprised of female bird mites.

The hosts of the northern fowl mites get little if any reprieve, though, as they spend most of their lives on their hosts. Bird mites not only attack birds and poultry but have been known to assault field mice, rats, gerbils and other rodents. This is bad news, these rodents can easily access your home and bring their bird mite pests with them. An increase in humidity sometimes correlates with an increase in the bird mite population.

Measures to Prevent or Eradicate Bird Mites

Bird nesting sites should be moved or expelled as a key step in their eradication. Governmental and state regulatory guidelines must always be observed if rare or endangered poultry are involved. When an infected nest is found, nearby nesting sites should also be examined for bird mite infestation.

Treat and examine poultry habitats bi-annually. A detailed analysis should preferably be done in the summer and spring, as these times are ideal for bird mite breeding.

Using Chemicals vs. Using Electrical Tools

A professional pest control specialist will always offer the best results. If mites are observed on a pet, a veterinarian should be consulted for treatment. If an infestation has been observed in a household residence or anywhere on or near your property, the professional counsel that a bird mite specialist can provide will prove invaluable in eradicating them from your life with lasting effect.

What are Pirate Bugs?

What are Pirate Bugs?

Pirate bugs, also referred to as “minute pirate bugs,” are very small insects that belong to the group of plant-eating pests like aphids, spider mites, caterpillars, and thrips. These pests are usually unnoticeable insects that spend time feeding on their prey. However, some species uncover themselves by biting humans, usually during summer and autumn.

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Naturally Get Rid of Cockroaches

Get rid of cockroacesGetting rid of cockroaches naturally can be a slow process, but it is worth the wait because you will not be exposing your family or yourself to any harmful chemicals. The items needed to make the solution for killing the roaches are probably already in your cupboard and if not, you can easily run to the store and get them at a low cost. Non-toxic natural options for pest control is especially great for families with children, nosy pets or if you don’t want to hire an exterminator.

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Natural Flea Treatments for Dogs

flea treatment for dogsThe health of your dog is crucial. Undoubtedly, you want the best for your animal, but those fleas seem to always put up a fight! They always come back, don’t they? Treating your dog for fleas is a constant battle; it’s not something done on a single or few occurrences and then forgotten. 

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