How Can I Avoid Ticks Outside?

Tick outside

Ticks are all over Michigan, particularly in summer. The fact is, if you go outside at all around this time of year, it will be tough to avoid ticks. That’s why it’s so important to prepare to encounter them whenever you’re planning to spend time outside.

Now, we’re obviously not suggesting you should spend all your precious outdoor time worried about how to avoid ticks. Instead, do a little prep work before and after you go out to minimize your chances of taking on any unwanted hitchhikers. By learning where ticks live and how to prepare to walk through their hunting grounds safely, you can dramatically decrease the chances you’re bitten this summer.

Of course, preparing for ticks when you spent time out and about is one thing. You shouldn’t have to try to avoid ticks just to go out and get the mail or mow your lawn! If ticks are a little too close to home this summer, give Griffin Pest Solutions a call. Our experts can wipe out the bloodsuckers near you and keep them away for good.

How do you remove a tick?

Tick removal

The best way to remove a tick is always to use fine-tipped tweezers to grip the tick’s as close to your skin as possible and pull straight upward, with firm, gradual, and consistent pressure. Don’t try to yank or twist the tick out as you pull and go slowly.

Proper tick removal is very important. If you don’t remove the tick cleanly and completely, you may inadvertently leave behind pieces of its mouth parts of the body behind in the wound. Unfortunately, a frustrating amount of misinformation about the right way to remove a tick has made learning the proper technique somewhat difficult. To set the record straight, here are the definitive “dos” and “don’ts” of tick removal. Next time you have to remove a tick from yourself, your children, or your pets, keep these dos and don’ts in mind:


Tick removal

1. Act fast

Ticks take 24 hours to transmit the diseases they may carry to human hosts. The faster you can pull attached ticks off of you, the less danger they represent. You should prepare to remove the tick from your body as soon as you find it whenever possible.

2. Use the proper tweezer technique

No matter what you’ve heard, the right way to remove a tick is always using tweezers. Get a set of fine-tipped tweezers or specialized dual-tipped tick removal tweezers and follow each of these steps:

a: Grip the tick firmly as close to the surface of your skin as possible. Try to lock the tweezers around the tick’s mouthparts (this may be impossible depending on how far the tick has burrowed).

b: Pull straight up (away from your skin) with steady, firm, and gradual pressure. If you feel the tweezer’s grip slipping at any point, reset.

c: Remove the tick all at once and store it in a jar or cup nearby.

d: If pieces of the tick remain behind in the wound after you extract the body, carefully attempt to remove the pieces using the tweezers. Be careful not to hurt yourself! If you can’t easily remove the pieces, try washing them out or leave them alone until you heal.

3. Preserve or safely dispose of the tick

Preserving the tick in alcohol or a sealed bag can help your doctor or a pest control professional identify it. Consider keeping the tick for a week or two. If you develop symptoms, take the preserved tick with you to the doctor for identification.

If you don’t want to preserve the tick, then wrap it in tape or foil, place it inside a sealed plastic bag, or flush it down the toilet.

4. Wash the wound

After removing the tick, you should immediately wash and disinfect the bite wound. Use a disinfectant such as rubbing alcohol or simply wash thoroughly with soapy water. Take this opportunity to check the bite wound for leftover pieces of the tick.

5. Visit the doctor in you develop symptoms

If the site of the bite swells, breaks out in a rash, itches, or inflamed, or if you develop a fever or other symptoms of illness one to four weeks after you remove the tick, visit a doctor. Tell the doctor when and where you were bitten by the tick, how long the tick may have been attached to you, and how long it’s been since you removed it. If you have the tick, bring it with you to the appointment.

Do not

1. Panic

Even if you don’t know how long the tick has been attached, you should never panic when you find it. Ticks won’t suddenly burrow deeper, detach, or defend themselves in any way as you attempt to remove them. Stay calm and remove the tick as soon as you can.

2. Use an “alternative” removal method

The tweezers technique is always the right way to remove ticks. Do not try “burn” the tick off with a match, “drown” it with rubbing alcohol or water, or “freeze” it with ice. Not only are these techniques ineffective, but they may actually get the tick to burrow deeper into your skin.

3. Twist or yank at the tick

When removing the tick, you should always pull straight and steadily, even if you can’t seem to remove the tick at first. Never yank the tick suddenly, twist it, or attempt to “wiggle” it out of the wound. Doing so could break off pieces of the tick in the wound even if you remove it. These pieces could still transmit disease or infect your skin, and they’re harder to remove than the full tick.

4. Crush the tick

After you’ve removed the tick, you should never crush or squish it by hand. Pieces of the tick could get stuck in your fingers or hands, and it may secrete blood or another blood that could infect your skin or transmit diseases. Instead, preserve the tick or dispose of it safely with a bag or foil.


One last don’t: don’t forget that we’re here to help. If you have any questions about removing, identifying, or preventing ticks, don’t hesitate to give Griffin Pest Solutions a call. We can find ticks near you, identify them, and keep them away for good.

How to Check for Tick Bites

How to check for ticks

Ticks can latch on anywhere, but they’re fond of warm, dark places such as armpits, joints, behind ears or in hair. They will typically try to crawl to your head. After returning from a tick hunting ground, strip and use a mirror to check for tick bites thoroughly.

Ticks can be surprisingly difficult to find, even when they’re attached to your body. Tick bites are painless because the bloodsuckers’ saliva contains a localized anesthetic, so you won’t feel them bite down. After catching a ride on your body, they also like to climb to warm, dark places around your body, which may make them even more difficult to find. In order to effectively find ticks, you have to know when to look, where to look, and what to look for. We can help you learn each of those things:

When to look for tick bites

Michigan’s ticks live in tall grasses, shrubs, brush, and forested areas. They hunt, or “quest,” by climbing to perches on vegetation near footpaths and waiting for prey to wander by. If you get close enough, they’ll simply grab on as you walk by. Tick’s legs are hooked to make clinging to and moving on clothing and fur easier. The longer you spend around their possible perches, the more likely it is that ticks will crawl onto you.

It’s important to check for ticks whenever you spend an extended period of time near their habitats outside. Obviously, this means after camping trips, hikes, walks through woods or grassy fields, or trips to the park. Unfortunately, however, some ticks may live closer to home than we’d like to admit. You should also check for ticks after yard work or gardening, especially in summer time. Any time you’re outside and around vegetation, you could be around ticks.

Where to look for tick bites

tick on skin

Ticks can bite down on any part of your body, but they have a few different favorite spots. First, they seek out areas where they can consume a lot of blood quickly. They’ll look for centers of circulation and heat. For this reason, ticks are most attracted to your head and will make their way up your body to reach it if they can. Consequently, ticks frequently attach themselves higher on your body than you may expect.

Ticks also prefer to attach to areas with thin skin, where they can access blood more easily. They’ll look for areas like your scalp, ankles, hips, knees, and elbows. Finally, ticks tend to like warm, moist, hidden areas where they won’t be bothered. They’ll frequently crawl near armpits, joints such as the back of your knees, your hair, or the underside of your breasts. Remember, though: even if you don’t find ticks in the likely spots, you should still check everywhere else, too.

What to look for to identify tick bites

Removing a tick

Counter-intuitive as it may seem, you want the tick that has bitten you to have remained attached. This makes their bite much easier to find and means they haven’t been attached for too long. Remember that ticks are very small, so you may not immediately recognize them as ticks even if you’re looking right at them. Furthermore, ticks can burrow their bodies further into skin until they become partially buried under the skin.

Basically, when ticks are on your body they may only look like small brown or black spots. The area on or around the bite may turn red, develop a rash, become inflamed, or swell. Unlike mosquito bites, it will not contain liquid, though it may itch. Ticks could stay attached to people for anywhere between 3 and 10 days, depending on several factors. If you’re unsure if you’re looking at a tick bite, try a magnifying glass or feel for a bump.


To summarize: check for ticks after you spend an extended period of time outside and/or in grassy, overgrown, or forested areas. Check all over your body, but pay special attention to your hair and scalp, ears, neck, shoulder blades, armpits, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. Look for small black and brown spots, bumps, rashes, protrusions, and swelling.

If you seem to be having a lot of tick problems this summer, remember that you don’t have to suffer in silence. Just because ticks can live near your home doesn’t mean they should. If you need help getting ticks away from you, give Griffin Pest Solutions a call any time. We can drive off the bloodsuckers for good.

Fall’s Bounty Includes Occasional Pests

Fall’s turning leaves and cooler temperatures make you think of football, hayrides and Halloween but it also marks a rise in sightings of stink bugs and other occasional pests around homes.

Stink bugs, spiders and ants seek to enter homes at the onset of cooler weather looking for overwintering spots. Griffin Pest Solutions encourages Michigan homeowners to take the necessary steps now to deny stink bugs and other fall pests access before they invade in droves.

Stink bugs were truly an occasional pest a few years back but they have quickly spread to more than 40 states, including Michigan. While mainly a significant threat to agricultural crops, stink bugs can be a major nuisance for homeowners.

What gives them their unique name? Stink bugs release a chemical alerting their fellow pests to an area they’ve settled in and they secrete a bad-smelling, bad-tasting fluid when disturbed or when crushed. Stink bugs will gather near windows, lights, TVs or computer monitors that throw off light and warmth.

Web-spinning spiders can be found in many locations in and around a home. And while spiders are quite beneficial to our eco-system – they eat unwanted insect pests – they are aesthetically unappealing and creep people out.

Spider webs – which are often regarded as one of the strongest natural fabrics and can be built and rebuilt overnight – are half as strong as a steel thread of the same thickness and more elastic. Spider webs are found in garages, carports, eaves, attics, sheds, around windows and other places around your home.

Griffin Pest Solutions offers the following tips to keep stink bugs, spiders and other fall pests from gaining access to your home:

  • Suck and Sweep Pests Away – Regular vacuuming or sweeping of windows, corners of rooms, storage areas, basements, and other seldom used areas to remove spiders and their webs. A spider’s soft body does not survive this process. When vacuuming for stink bugs indoors, empty the contents in to a plastic bag and dispose of them immediately.
  • Seal Cracks and Crevices. Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans and light switches. Pay close attention to areas including around siding and utility pipes, underneath the wood fascia or other openings.
  • Inspect Packages and Boxes. Inspect items such as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Plants and firewood are also as modes of transportation for spiders and other pests – store firewood off the ground and away from the house.
  • Maintain Your Landscape. Outdoors, you can eliminate pest hiding places and spider web-building areas by keeping your yard free of trash, leaf litter and overgrown vegetation. Make sure to trim shrubs and plants near the house and other structures to discourage pests from establishing a foothold and gaining easy access.
  • Eliminate Clutter. Spiders seek out secluded, undisturbed areas where they can build a web to catch their next meal. Attics, crawl space and storage sheds are prime locations. Keep these areas clean and clutter-free and seal boxes with tape to prevent spiders from scampering inside.

If you have a problem with or have questions about occasional pests call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@

Protecting Your Pet From Fleas and Ticks


With summer in full swing, everyone wants to spend as much time outdoors as they can and that includes family pets. However, there are threats to pets lurking in the great outdoors that Michigan homeowners need to be aware of.

Like people, pets are also at risk for the serious health complications that can arise from tick and flea bites, and Griffin Pest Solutions reminds pet owners to take the necessary precautions to protect Fido and Tinkerbell this summer.

Fleas are a common pet pest that can cause serious health complications. The itchy red bumps left by fleas can lead to excessive scratching, anemia, dermatitis and tapeworms. Fleas can be found indoors and outdoors and frequent areas where pets and other animals frequent in search of their next meal. Like most insect pests they require moisture to survive and prefer humid climates outdoors.

Once inside a home, fleas can become a problem and huge nuisance since they easily reproduce in bedding, carpets or furniture. And even though fleas are wingless they are prodigious jumpers and have been known to jump up to 6 inches. Fleas will jump on people’s shoes and clothing looking for a new food source if their preferred feeding source can’t be easily located.

Ticks are closely related to insects and spiders, and there are over 20 known tick species in Michigan (the American Dog Tick is the most commonly encountered tick in Michigan). In most cases, ticks feed on wildlife but pets (and people) can be bitten when they venture into popular tick areas including grassy shorelines, wooded areas, or fields near wooded areas. Ticks are rarely encountered indoors unless brought inside on the clothing of people or on the body of a pet.

Pets sickened with Lyme disease may suffer from fever, decreased appetite, painful joints, limping and lethargy, and in severe cases, kidney disease can also occur.

Good landscape management practices by homeowners including clearing leaf litter, keeping grass cut or creating wood chip/stone barriers between lawns and adjacent woodlands that are inhabited by wildlife may prove helpful in keeping ticks in check.

Griffin Pest Solutions recommends homeowners follow these tips to protect their pets from ticks and fleas this summer:

 Check pets frequently for ticks and fleas – be aware of excessive scratching and licking.

 Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where fleas and ticks often hide.

 Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.

 Frequently wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys.

 Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture frequently.

 For on-animal prevention and treatment options, please consult with your veterinarian.

If you have a problem with or have questions about fleas and ticks call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@

Lyme Disease More Common Than Thought

Lyme Disease 10 Times More Prevalent than Previously Reported 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rolled out new information regarding the prevalence of Lyme disease in the US. The report released by federal health executives states that Lyme diseases are over 10 times underreported and claim more than 300,000 victims each year, in contrast to reports which indicate only 200,000 to 300,000 cases anually.

CDC officials who were aware of the under-reporting of Lyme diseases by doctors, reached at the recent figures after collecting information from seven national libraries. An insurance information review was also done, apart from using statistics from a national patient survey before the CDC presented the new, modified figures.

The new figures released in Boston at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and other Tick Borne diseases.

What you need to know about the Lyme disease

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria-infected ticks. The disease causing bacteria – Borrelia burgdorferi spread the infection after a tick bite. Lyme disease is particularly difficult to diagnose since its symptoms hold similarity with several other diseases.

Symptoms include fever, pain and or swelling at the joints or muscles, stiff neck, fatigue and headache. A red rash that continually expands may be present. In some people the rash may develop to look like bulls-eye or a target.

The usual treatment for Lyme disease includes administering a short course of antibiotics. This treatment is effective in most cases but may lead to serious complications of the heart, joints, skin and the nervous system when treated late or left untreated altogether. These complications may become apparent as early as six weeks, may even take a few years.

Prevention of Lyme disease

Though only Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium infected ticks cause Lyme diseases, it is crucial to promptly remove any tick you find, to stay clear of infections of the skin at the bite site or the possibility of Lyme disease.

Tick detection

Carefully check your skin and scalp for ticks whenever you return home after being outdoors in areas where ticks may thrive. Do the same for your pets. Ticks are usually found close to the eyes, ears, neck or the head of dogs and other pets and can be felt through their fur.

Tick removal

Tick removal is easy if you have fine tipped tweezers. Use gloves or cover your fingers using tissue paper to remove the tick in the absence of tweezers. It is important to never attempt tick removal with bare hands.

For potent removal follow the following guidelines:

–          Hold the tick at its mouth, (stuck in your skin) or as close as possible

–          Avoid grabbing it around the swollen stomach region.

–          Accidental squeezing of the belly may result in the fluid coming in contact with your skin and infecting you.

–          Pull the tick outwards and away from your skin gently. Twisting may break off the tick’s body leaving its head on your skin.

–          Seal it off in a dry container and save it in a freezer since it may be required for identification, in case of an infection.

Lyme prevention

After removing the tick, wash the affected area with soap and lukewarm water. Wash your own hands and after drying them, apply an ointment such as Polysporin or bactitracin that is antibiotic in nature. Secure the wounded area with a bandage to prevent outer infections.

Some ticks are particularly small and hard to see. In such a case, if you are not sure whether or not the head has been removed from your or your pet’s skin, be on the lookout for any of the symptoms mentioned above.

Rush to a doctor or vet for prompt scrutiny if you detect the onset of any/all of these symptoms. Additionally, there are a lot of tick removing devices available in the market. Purchasing one is a good idea if you are prone to tick bites outdoors.