Is Your Home Ready for Winter?

Winter brings a variety of challenges and issues to any household. The colder weather can be hard on your home, your car and your family. There are steps that you can take to prepare yourself for the winter weather.

Prepare Your Garden and Yard

Clearing out the underbrush and raking up leaves is just one part of getting ready for winter. There are plants that are best planted in the fall, and if you plan on having tulips or other plants from bulbs, you should plant them now. You can lay mulch or straw bedding on your flower beds to protect them for winter. You should also take the time to trim your trees as needed. These steps can protect the hard work you did all summer long and make it easier to maintain your garden in the spring.

Get Your Car Ready for Winter

The cold winter nights can be hard on your car. Be sure to check your battery to make sure it can hold a good charge. If it is older, it might be a good idea to replace it. Check the antifreeze levels in your car. Be sure to top them up and to monitor closely throughout the winter. Check your tires. If you live in an area with a lot of bad weather, you may want to switch to snow tires or consider getting chains for your tires. As a precaution prepare a winter survival box for your car. This should include a way to keep warm, food and water that you can drink if you are stranded for some reason. In the south, there are snowstorms that shut down entire communities and people may be stuck in their cars or forced to hike home to safety. The winter survival kit can help with that.

Get Your Home Ready for Winter

Look for ways that you can reduce your energy bills over the winter. Finding drafty windows and addressing them by applying a thin plastic sheet with heat so that it shrinks to provide a barrier. You can also wrap your pipes and water heater to help conserve energy. Adding extra insulation to your roof is another way you can reduce your power bill.

It is also important to check for any areas that animals may be able to sneak in to find shelter in the window. Look for holes around your foundation and check your attic to make sure there is not a way for rodents or other wildlife to get in. If you find evidence contact a professional to help you deal with the infestation.  The experts at EcoTek can help you trap any wildlife, clean up and install barriers so they cannot get in again.

 

The Life Cycle of Ticks

tick exterminationTicks are a nuisance, and they can carry a number of diseases. In order to understand the best way to treat and prevent ticks, it is important to understand the life cycle of ticks. Ticks have four different stages and can live up to three years. At each stage, the tick will need to consume blood in order to continue to develop.

Eggs

The tick life cycle begins as eggs. A Female will lay up to 4000 eggs at time. Some ticks will lay of all their eggs at once, while others lay them is several smaller batches. The eggs are usually laid in the spring and will hatch at some point during the late spring and early summer.

Larvae

When the ticks first hatch they are referred to as larvae. These are very small ticks and may be difficult to see if they attach themselves to you. Tick larvae only have six legs instead of the eight that the adults have. The larvae will need to feed on blood so that they can mature. If they cannot find a host they will eventually die. Larvae are also known as seed ticks, and most people will not notice them unless they find several in a group.

Nymph

A nymph occurs after the first feeding and molting of the tick larvae. A nymph will have eight legs like an adult tick, but it is still much smaller than the adults. Some species of ticks will look for larger hosts as they get bigger, while others will stick to the same host throughout their life cycle. However, ticks are opportunists and may feed on your or your pet at any stage. Once the nymphs feed, they will molt their shell and grow. Some ticks will only do this once, while other ticks will need to do it several times—they must feed before each molting. Many ticks will not mature into nymphs until the fall.

Adult

Once ticks reach adulthood—often by the spring following their hatching, they will need to feed and then mate. The female ticks tend to feed more in part so they have more protein for laying their eggs. After laying the eggs, the female tick will die and then the cycle begins again.

Ticks will contract a disease if they attach to a host that already have it. They will pass it on to their next host when they bit and their saliva mixes with the blood of the host. It is best to prevent ticks from maturing. The experts at Mosquito Tek can apply a treatment to your yard that will eliminate the ticks at any stage. It is possible to enjoy time in your yard without worrying about bug repellent for you and your family members. This spray can also help protect your pets from contracting ticks in your yard. Contact Mosquito Tek to learn more about tick treatments available for your yard.

Find out about the 3 Ticks in Virginia and the Diseases They Cause