Professional vs. DIY Tick and Mosquito Control: Pros, Cons & Options

Summer in southeastern Massachusetts brings more than just sunny days and relaxing outdoor activities; it also marks the return of pesky and potentially dangerous ticks and mosquitoes. As homeowners in this beautiful region, protecting our families and furry companions from these pests is a top priority. In this article, we’ll describe the differences between professional and DIY tick and mosquito control, and why a professional service is not just a convenience but may be a necessity for your family’s safety.

Key Takeaways

  • Act Early: As soon as you notice ticks or mosquitoes, consider professional control to nip the problem in the bud.
  • Know the Signs: Frequent sightings of these pests or evidence of breeding grounds are clear signals to call in the experts.
  • Timing Matters: Schedule professional services in early spring or after weather events that could create new breeding sites.
  • Use Personalized Strategies: Every property is unique; professional pest control services can customize their approach to your specific needs.
  • Stay Informed: Understanding pest behavior and prevention can help maintain a safe outdoor space year-round.

DID YOU KNOW? Lyme disease, transmitted by ticks, and West Nile virus, spread by mosquitoes, are significant health risks in southeastern Massachusetts. These diseases can have long-lasting impacts on your health, emphasizing the need for effective control and prevention measures.

The Prevalence of Ticks and Mosquitoes in Southeastern Massachusetts

From the deer tick to the Asian tiger mosquito, these bloodsucking pests are more than mere nuisances in southeast Massachusetts; they are a persistent and growing concern. In recent years, we’ve seen a noticeable increase in their populations due to factors like climate change and urban sprawl.

  • Ticks: The area has seen a significant rise in tick populations, particularly the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), known for spreading Lyme disease. Studies indicate that the incidence of tick encounters in our counties is higher than the national average.
  • Mosquitoes: Mosquito surveillance reports have shown an upward trend in the number of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). This is particularly concerning in areas close to water bodies and densely vegetated regions.

Health Risks Associated with Ticks and Mosquitoes

deer tick on a leaf

Blacklegged ticks, also called deer ticks, are prevalent throughout Massachusetts.

Tick-Borne Diseases

The most common tick-borne disease in southeastern Massachusetts is Lyme disease. Perhaps the most well-known, Lyme disease cases have been on the rise in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. According to recent health department data, the number of confirmed cases has increased significantly over the past few years.

Borrelia miyamotoi, Powassan virus, and Lyme disease are found throughout Massachusetts, while Babesiosis, Tularemia, and Anaplasmosis are most often found on Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard.

In southeastern Massachusetts specifically, we see cases of the bacterial disease Ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia chaffeensis) and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Each of these diseases presents unique and severe health risks and, in some cases, can be fatal.

These diseases can be transmitted by different species of ticks found in the area, such as blacklegged (deer) ticks (Ixodes scapularis) and American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis). Ehrlichiosis is transmitted by the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) which, so far, has only been found in southeastern Massachusetts.

Celux Mosquito feeding on human bloodon a green background.

Mosquitoes in southeastern MA transmit debilitating diseases such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Mosquito-Borne Diseases

West Nile Virus, primarily spread by Culex mosquitoes, has seen sporadic outbreaks in our region. Recent health reports suggest a steady presence of West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes in southeastern Massachusetts.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), though rare, is a serious concern due to its severe impact on health; about half of the people who contract EEE die from the infection, while those who recover are usually left severely disabled. The EEE virus is transmitted by Culiseta melanura and Coquillettidia perturbans mosquitoes which are most often found in and around freshwater, hardwood swamps. The majority of cases typically have been from Bristol, Plymouth, and Norfolk counties.

Although mosquito-borne diseases like Zika virus and Dengue fever can also occur, they are not prevalent in our region.

>> Learn more about common mosquitoes that spread disease in Massachusetts

PRO TIP: Awareness is key! Stay updated with local health department alerts and advisories about tick and mosquito activity in your area.

Understanding these risks underlines the importance of proactive and professional pest control measures. Regal Tree & Shrub Experts are committed to using the latest data and best practices to keep your property safe from these pests and the diseases they carry.

burning citronella candle with three ones unlit in a blue background.

Professional vs. DIY Tick and Mosquito Control

In the battle against ticks and mosquitoes, homeowners often weigh the options between DIY methods and professional control services. Understanding the differences and effectiveness of each approach will help you make an informed decision about which option is best for you.

DIY Methods to Prevent Tick & Mosquito Bites

  • Keep your lawn mowed and bushes trimmed.
  • Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes breed. This includes dumping out water that can collect in trash cans, flowerpots and saucers, bird baths, discarded car tires, or other containers.
  • Use window and door screens to keep pests out.
  • Use EPA-approved repellents that contain DEET or permethrin when outdoors and always follow instructions on the product label. Natural and plant-based products have not been proved to be ask effective for repelling ticks or mosquitoes.
  • Check yourself and your pets daily for ticks.
  • Educate your family about avoiding tick- and mosquito-prone areas.

Limitations of DIY Methods

While DIY solutions like citronella candles and over-the-counter sprays might seem convenient, their effectiveness is often limited and short-lived. Moreover, they don’t provide a comprehensive solution to the problem.

Most DIY methods, like sprays and bug zappers, offer only temporary relief. They might reduce the number of mosquitoes or ticks for a short period, but they don’t address the root cause or the breeding sites where these pests are produced.

Home-based solutions often fail to cover the entire property effectively, especially in hard-to-reach areas like high tree branches or dense shrubbery where these pests thrive.

To effectively target ticks and mosquitoes, you’ll first need to identify pest hotspots. This requires expertise and understanding of pest behavior, which most homeowners lack. Plus, there’s a risk of misusing pesticides or applying them in a way that’s harmful to the environment, pets, and even family members.

Benefits of Professional Control

Professional tick and mosquito control services, like those offered by Regal Tree & Shrub Experts, go beyond temporary fixes. With specialized knowledge, commitment to safety, and highly effective, long-lasting products, these experts can identify and treat problem areas effectively, ensuring a safer environment for your family and pets. All in all, a professional service is an investment in your property’s health and your family’s well-being.

Comprehensive and Targeted Treatments

  • Expert Assessment: Professionals from companies like Regal Tree & Shrub Experts conduct thorough inspections to identify the extent of the problem and the specific species of ticks or pests involved.
  • Customized Solutions: Based on the assessment, they devise a treatment plan tailored to the unique needs of your property.

Safety and Sustainability

  • Safe Application: Professionals are trained in the safe application of treatments, ensuring minimal risk to your family, pets, and the environment.
  • Eco-Friendly Options: Many professional services now offer eco-friendly pest control options, which are effective yet gentle on the ecosystem.

Long-Term Prevention

  • Beyond Immediate Relief: Professional services don’t just eliminate the current pests; they also implement strategies to prevent future infestations.
  • Education for Homeowners: A part of professional service is educating homeowners about ongoing prevention, like landscaping changes and practices to reduce tick and mosquito habitats.

DID YOU KNOW? A professional pest control plan can be more cost-effective in the long run. While DIY methods might seem cheaper, repeated applications and the potential cost of ineffective control can add up.

A tick control professional from Regal Tree & Shrub Experts in Easton, MA applying treatment to cracks in a stone wall where ticks may be hiding.

When to Call in the Pros for Tick and Mosquito Defense

When ticks and skeeters start to overrun your backyard, it’s time to call in the big guns – it’s a game-changer for keeping these pests in check. Get to know the signs that it’s time for the pros to step in, ensuring your yard remains a safe haven for family fun.

Signs of a Serious Problem

  • Increased Tick or Mosquito Activity: If you’re plagued by more ticks or mosquitoes than you can swat, you likely have a significant infestation that DIY methods may not adequately address.
  • Mosquito or Tick Breeding Sites: If your property has one or more prime pest breeding sites, such as stagnant water for mosquitoes or dense, shady areas for ticks, it’s a good idea to have a professional site assessment.
  • After a Tick or Mosquito Bite: If family members or pets regularly get tick or mosquito bites, especially if they become ill afterward, it’s high time to consult professionals for a comprehensive control strategy.

Timing is Everything

Get ahead of the game and line up professional services before peak season (late spring to early fall) to preemptively reduce pest populations and prevent them from becoming a larger problem.

Following heavy rains or storms, you may find that your yard has turned into a bug breeding ground as mosquitoes seemingly emerge from every puddle or damp patch of ground. Professional pest services can help put a stop to it.

PRO TIP: Early intervention is key. Scheduling a professional consultation at the first sign of an issue or as a preventive measure in early spring can save time, money, and ensure a pest-free environment.

Enjoy Your Summer with Professional Tick & Mosquito Control Services

Ticks and mosquitoes are more than just nuisances; they’re health hazards that require professional attention. Regal Tree & Shrub Experts is your trusted partner in creating a safer, more enjoyable outdoor environment for your family and pets. Don’t let these pests ruin your outdoor fun – contact us today for a consultation and take the first step towards a pest-free summer.

Call Regal Tree & Shrub Experts at 774-719-2450 for expert tick and mosquito control services in southeastern Massachusetts and Providence, RI. We’re here to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces safely and comfortably!

Kevin Johnston

Kevin is the owner of Regal Tree and Shrub Experts and holds a degree in Urban Forestry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has more than 20 years of experience in tree care and is a Massachusetts Certified Arborist. Learn more about Kevin Johnston
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