Why You Should Invest in a Flea and Tick Yard Treatment

Fleas and ticks can be incredibly harmful to dogs, cats and humans, too. But it’s only part of the reason you should consider a flea and tick yard treatment. From the diseases they transmit to the allergic reactions they can cause for you and your pets alike, fleas and ticks need to be kept out of yards, as this is often where infestations start.

With warming temps approaching, summer is prime time for flea and tick infestations. They thrive in warm, humid climates and can find their way to your pets in the most common environments — on a walk, a trip to the park, and in your own backyard.

Let’s take a look at some flea and tick yard treatments that can help protect you and your pets all summer long.

Where Flea And Tick Control Starts

flea and tick control

If you see an occasional mouse running through your yard, you should be on alert. Rodents are big carriers, and it’s not just mice. Rats and those cute little chipmunks are carriers, too. Their passengers will attach themselves to you and your pet, and then they’re inside your home.

You’ll want to pay attention to your dog and outdoor cats. If you see them scratching constantly, there’s a good chance you’ll start finding fleas and you’ll need to treat your yard. Remember that very few flea and tick infestations will come directly from your pet. The vast majority of them usually start outside your home. This is why it’s critical to not only treat your pet for fleas but also your yard.

Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional?

Like anything in your yard, you can chose a DIY solution or go with a professional.  If you chose to do it yourself, one of the first things you might want to try to curb your tick and flea infestation is an over-the-counter yard spray. This ready-to-spray, hose-end treatment kills fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other listed insects. Manufacturers claim they can kill adult fleas outdoors for up to 12 weeks.

 

Another options is cinnamon oil, which is a highly concentrated essential oil that kills ticks on contact by smothering them. For best results, you should apply it in early spring. You spray the diluted solution and spray it on your lawn, but beware. While cinnamon oil is a safe, non-toxic choice for tick control in your yard, always use caution when working with or mixing this product. In some cases, humans and pets who come in contact with cinnamon oil experience contact dermatitis.

You also have to make sure that your lawn is properly hydrated and not under water stress before applying cinnamon oil. If you don’t, you could damage your turf.

While both of these solutions do work, the treatments can be challenging to apply correctly to achieve good results, and they do not last as long as treatments professionally applied.

This is why the safest, most effective route to take is a professional flea and tick yard treatment, like a dormant oil spray. It can be applied to trees around your yard, they don’t leave behind a toxic residue and dissipate quickly.

Professional Flea And Tick Yard Treatments Are Best

Flea and tick control in Southeast Michigan can be challenging. That’s why investing in a professional flea and tick yard treatment works best. This integrated pest management approach involves inspection, then targeting eggs, tick and flea larvae and adults with the appropriate insecticides.

If you’re a pet owner, you need to be extra vigilant about flea and tick control for both yourself and your pets. A professional treatment will help keep your family and pets safe from these harmful insects and help you to feel more comfortable in your outdoor space.

Safari Tree flea and tick treatments attack your infestation at the source. And without the onslaught of bugs, you’ll be able to use your yard regularly, instead of running for cover.

 

Your Guide to Oak Wilt & How to Defend Against It

Strength, beauty, longevity. These are the types of positive attributes often used to describe oak trees. Yet, like other trees, the unique qualities of oaks are paired with unique susceptibilities — an example of which is oak wilt.

What Is Oak Wilt?

Oak wilt (or Bretziella fagacearum) is a fungal disease that infects the vascular system of oak trees, and — as the name suggests — causes leaves to wilt, become discolored and eventually die.

The roots of this disease can be connected to one of three transmission methods:

  • Insect transmission: Beetles and other insects feed on the fungal spores on infected trees and carry these spores to healthy trees.
  • Root graft transmission: As the roots of two oak trees meet and merge together, the disease can move from infected trees to healthy ones.
  • Firewood transmission: When firewood is moved from an infected tree to a new area, the fungal disease spreads.

 

Among the oak species, red oak trees are most susceptible to oak wilt, often dying within 1-2 months of being infected. This can be attributed back to the fact that they are often the site of fungal spores, and their symptoms are not always as apparent as in other oak species.

While oak wilt was first recognized as a harmful disease in 1944 in Wisconsin, it has now been confirmed in 24 states across the U.S. — one of which is Michigan. On a statewide scale, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has identified oak wilt in 61 Michigan counties.

How to Put a Stop to Oak Wilt Before It Appears

With the majority of red oaks unable to recover from oak wilt, the need for proactive measures is clear. Here are some simple yet effective ways to prevent the spread of this damaging disease.

Prune Your Trees in the Winter

Trimming away weak or dead branches from trees — otherwise known as pruning — is one of the most effective ways to keep them strong and healthy. Like other trees, oak trees should be pruned in the winter months. Not only is it easier to identify branch patterns during this time, but there is also less insect activity and subsequent infections to worry about.

In the case of sap beetles, these insects are most likely present between mid-April and mid-July. (Note that some types of beetles can be active during the summer and into the early fall.) These are the times when the risk for infection is highest, and thus pruning should be avoided.

Keep Firewood in One Place

Firewood can be moved many miles from its original location, whether it’s to a vacation property or a campsite. With this transport comes an assumed risk that the firewood may carry a disease that can harm subsequent trees.

If trees infected with oak wilt are cut and used to make firewood, make sure it remains in one area to avoid transmission to healthy trees. A tarp with no holes should cover to firewood so as to prevent beetles from feeding on the sap of the wood and picking up fungal spores.

Safari Tree’s Tree Care Program Can Help

At Safari Tree, we recognize that trees have unique needs and face unique threats. That’s why we’ve developed a comprehensive care program that ensures trees can effectively resist and recover from any number of health issues (oak wilt included).

If you’re a Michigan homeowner in the market for tree care, we encourage you to reach out to the Safari Tree team and request a free quote.