Cedarcide

BUGS & PEST CONTROL

5 Tips for Keeping Wasps Out of Your Yard

Notorious predators of annoying insects like flies, wasps can be helpful allies around your lawn & garden. However, they can be a potentially dangerous hazard, too. In addition to the occasional painful sting, wasps can pose a health risk to our children and pets, especially for those knowingly or unknowingly allergic.

Struggling with wasps but don’t want to use toxic chemicals around your lawn, home, or family? We got you covered. Here are 5 tips for keeping wasps out of your yard without harsh chemicals. 

 

Remove Attractants

Prevention is the most effective form of wasp control. Removing or sealing items that attract wasps like pet food, bird feeders, and food scraps is essential.

Similarly, maintaining or repairing common wasp nest locations like broken siding, panels, rain gutters and window sills is crucial.

 

Remove Their Food (Other Bugs)

Wasps feed on smaller insects that commonly live in our lawns. By removing this food source you can substantially reduce the number of wasps near your yard and home.

Using a non-toxic, plant-safe pesticide like PCO Choice, treat your entire lawn, including shrubbery and bases of trees. Repeat monthly, or more often as needed.

 

Grow Wasp-Repelling Plants

Some fragrant plants like mint, citronella, thyme, eucalyptus and wormwood are known to naturally repel wasps. Install them throughout high traffic wasp areas and wherever you and your family spend the most time outside.

 

Essential Oil Spray

Research shows that essential oils like peppermint, lemongrass, clove, and geranium can do wonders for deterring wasps and their nests.

Start by adding a few drops of each essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water and a half teaspoon of natural dish soap. Thoroughly spray the areas outside your home that attract the most wasps to prevent nests from forming.

 

Hang False Nests

Wasps are territorial and so they tend to avoid areas where another colony has already built a nest. Which is why hanging a few false nests can deter wasps or get an active nest to relocate.

Make your own false nests at home by filling a brown paper lunch bag with crumpled newspapers. Tie off the top of the bags and hang them near known wasp trouble areas, such as patios, eaves, and doorways.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 6 Natural Bug Bite Remedies

6 Natural Bug Bite Remedies

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 6 Natural Bug Bite Remedies

Unfortunately, no matter how diligent you are with pest control and applying repellents, bug bites are still going to happen. That’s just the world we live in. Thankfully, just as there are natural approaches for preventing bites, there are natural options for soothing them once they occur. The next time a bug leaves you with a red, itchy bump, try one of these 6 natural bug bite remedies.

 

Oatmeal

Not only is oatmeal moisturizing and soothing, but research shows it’s also an anti inflammatory capable of relieving skin irritation caused by bug bites.

To use: Make a paste by mixing equal parts oatmeal and water and apply it directly to the bite site. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes, then simply wipe it off with a wet cloth.

 

Aloe vera

Bug bites and stings cause your immune system to release compounds called histamines, which typically leads to an itchy reaction. Aloe vera has antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, which can do wonders to relieve this irritation.

For this approach: Cut open an aloe vera leaf and apply the plant’s gel to the irritated skin. Reapply as needed.

 

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm, an herb in the mint family, has natural antihistamine properties, which makes it awesome for alleviating bug bites and stings.

To use: Finely crush fresh lemon balm leaves and spread liberally on affected areas.

 

Lavender Oil

It smells incredible, improves mood, and to top it off, it also helps soothe bug bites.

Take advantage of lavender oil’s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities by diluting it with a carrier like coconut oil and spreading in on bug bites or stings.

 

Ice or Ice Packs

Ice works to calm the itching of bug bites in two ways. Firstly, the cold constricts blood vessels, decreasing inflammation and the body’s natural histamine response. Secondly, the ice will numb the site, reducing the urge to scratch.

Using a cloth or similar barrier, apply the ice or ice pack to the bite area. Remove after 5-10 minutes.

Chamomile 

When applied topically, Chamomile has restorative, anti-inflammatory effects. In fact, one study found that it both reduces pain and helps lesions heal more quickly.

To use: Steep a chamomile tea bag in a glass of water in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Squeeze out the water, and apply the tea bag directly to the affected area. Remove after 10 minutes.

 
 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 5 Tips to Chigger-Proof Your Yard Without Harsh Chemicals

5 Tips to Chigger-Proof Your Yard Without Harsh Chemicals

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 5 Tips to Chigger-Proof Your Yard Without Harsh Chemicals

If you’ve ever encountered chiggers, chances are you’ll never forget the experience. Living in grassy areas during spring and summer, these relatives of ticks feed on the skin of their hosts, causing extreme, often painful skin irritation that can stay with you for months. Also known as red bugs, harvest mites, and berry bugs, chiggers can put a serious damper on summer activities. Here are 5 tips to get a chigger-free lawn this summer without harsh chemicals.

 

Deter Wild Animalscedarcide blog post image, 5 Tips to Chigger-Proof Your Yard Without Harsh Chemicals

Small animals like rodents, turtles, and birds often introduce and attract chiggers to our lawns. Reducing clutter, regularly trimming shrubbery, and sealing trash cans helps deter wild animals thereby limiting the chigger population in your yard. 

 

Protect You and Your Pets 

Chiggers sometimes enter our lawns by hitching a ride on our clothing and pets. To prevent this and avoid painful bites, spray yourself and your pup before exploring wooded areas and spaces with tall grass.


Maintain Your Yard
cedarcide blog post image, 5 Tips to Chigger-Proof Your Yard Without Harsh Chemicals

Chiggers and the wildlife they feed on thrive in cluttered, unkempt spaces. Regularly mowing the yard, trimming bushes, and clearing brush like weeds and leaves helps deny chiggers the shelter and shade they need to survive.

 

Treat Your Yard

Treating your yard monthly with a non-toxic pesticide like PCO Choice is one of the most efficient approaches to killing and repelling chiggers. 

 

Remove Unnecessary Moisture

cedarcide blog post image, 5 Tips to Chigger-Proof Your Yard Without Harsh Chemicals

Without adequate moisture, chiggers simply cannot survive. Removing or repairing sources of unnecessary moisture like leaky hoses and avoiding overwatering can substantially limit the number of chiggers in your yard.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 5 Scary Deets about DEET

5 Scary Deets About DEET

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 5 Scary Deets about DEET

DEET is arguably the most popular bug repellent in the U.S. Each year, millions of Americans spray it directly on their skin before camping, hiking, and cookouts to repel biting insects like mosquitoes. While DEET has one of the safer reputations among synthetic insecticides, it’s still an artificial chemical, and therefore something you should think about seriously before using around yourself, your family and pets. Here are 7 scary details to consider before you reach for another bottle of DEET-based bug spray.


Mosquitoes Are Adapting to It

While some types of mosquitoes are known to have a genetic resistance to DEET-based repellents, it seems now other mosquitoes are developing an immunity, too.

A study examining the host-seeking behavior of mosquitoes found that three hours after an initial exposure some mosquitoes displayed insensitivity to the repellent. Researchers believe this decreased response to DEET after previous exposure indicates that individual mosquitoes can adapt an immunity against the repellent that’s based on something similar to a learned behavior rather than solely genetics.


It’s Been Linked to Seizures

Although infrequent, potentially fatal seizures have been linked with DEET use. In 1998, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pointed to up to 46 cases of possible DEET-related seizures, including, sadly, 4 deaths.

The agency noted “it does appear that some cases are likely related to DEET toxicity,” and also suggested that more seizure cases are probably linked to the repellent but that “physicians may fail to check for history of DEET use or fail to report cases of seizure subsequent to DEET use.”


It Can Increase the Toxicity of Other Insecticides

Did you know DEET can actually strengthen the toxicity of other common synthetic pesticides?

Carbamates, a toxic family of insecticides often used in conjunction with DEET, is one such example. One of the studies that looked at DEET’s toxic interaction with carbamate insecticides concluded, “These findings question the safety of DEET, particularly in combination with other chemicals, and they highlight the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the development of safer insect repellents for use in public health.”


It’s Neurotoxic to Mammals

It was long believed that DEET simply had an olfactory effect on biting insects like mosquitoes, meaning it repelled them simply by smell. More recent studies have discovered that while DEET does repel by scent, it also deters pests through neurological means.

One such study states “We’ve found that DEET is not simply a behavior-modifying chemical but also inhibits the activity of a key central nervous system enzyme, acetycholinesterase, in both insects and mammals”. Commenting on similar findings, researchers of another study concluded, “These findings indicate that DEET has neurological effects on insects in addition to known olfactory effects, and that its toxicity is strengthened in combination with other insecticides.”

 

It Can Melt Plastic

If you knew your bug spray could melt plastic, would you still put it on your skin?

In addition to repelling bugs, you might be surprised to learn DEET is a rather powerful solvent, especially when it comes to synthetic materials like plastic. This is especially relevant to outdoor enthusiasts like hikers and campers, as DEET is known to destroy items like camping gear, plastic bottles, sportswear, and more.

 

It’s Toxic to Pets

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center states that pets exposed to DEET products can experience “significant clinical” side effects. These health complications include skin irritation, eye damage, and respiratory issues, including airway inflammation and difficulty breathing. Gastrointestinal distress and nervous system problems are also linked to DEET exposure, such as ataxia, disorientation, and seizures.  


It’s Said to Alter Mood and Impair Cognitive Function

The Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University reports that in the late ‘80s Everglades National Park employees were studied to help determine the possible health consequences associated with prolonged DEET exposure.

It was discovered that those who used DEET more frequently were more likely to suffer negative side effects, including but not limited to insomnia, mood disturbances, impaired cognitive function, nausea, headaches, dizziness, and more.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 4 ways to protect you and your pets from bug bites

4 Quick Tips to Protect You and Your Pets from Bug Bites

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 4 ways to protect you and your pets from bug bites

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner—which means bugs and bug bites are becoming increasingly more common. Seasonal vacations, backyard partying, and outdoor fun like hiking and camping all expose you, your family and pets to potentially harmful pests like mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, ants, and fleas. Here are 4 tips to help you and your pets enjoy the warm weather without having to worry about troublesome bug bites.

 

Use an Essential Oil Based Repellent

Beaches, road trips, and adventure travel can mean countless bug bites for you and your family. Using a non-toxic repellent like Cedarcide Original does more than prevent these potentially harmful bites, it also ensures you don’t bring any of those nasty bugs back home.

 

Protect Your Pet Without Harsh Chemicals

Dog parks, walks, and backyards are often littered with unseen fleas, mites, ticks, and mosquitoes—which can spread deadly heartworms and cause other potentially life-threatening complications. Applying a pet-safe bug repellent before these activities is essential to your dog or cat’s protection this spring and summer.

 

 

Avoid Harmful Tick and Mosquito Bites with Extra-Strength Protection

For deep woods activities like hiking and camping, avoiding tick and mosquito bites can be a serious health concern. For extended stays in known flea and tick infested areas, sometimes a little extra protection is necessary. That’s why we formulated our extra strength formula Tickshield—it has twice the active ingredient (cedarwood oil) and is perfect for outdoorsmen and animals over 20 lbs.

For optimal protection, apply before and after outdoor activities in tall grass to avoid bites and prevent accidentally bringing bugs back into your vehicle, home, or yard.

 

Apply Monthly Yard Treatments During Warmer Months

Enjoying time outside—from BBQs and warm nights on the porch, to long walks and camping—is one of the absolute best things about summer and spring. The pests that often show up to spoil these fun activities—like ants, mosquitoes, chiggers, fleas and ticks—are the absolute worst.

Applying a non-toxic repellent like Cedarcide Original to family and pets can make grilling out, pool parties, and other backyard activities bite-free. A monthly yard treatment like Yardsafe or PCO Choice will control active bug populations and help repel additional pests from moving into your lawn and eventually your home.


Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

Cedarcide blog post image, What are Fall Armyworms & How to Get Rid of Them

What are Fall Armyworms & How to Get Rid of Them

Cedarcide blog post image, What are Fall Armyworms & How to Get Rid of Them

Imagine this: You wake up, prep your morning coffee, glance out the kitchen window to admire your well kept lawn—and bam! It’s all gone. Where there was once a beautiful stretch of green grass there is now an ugly patch of brown. Unfortunately, if you’re facing fall armyworms this nightmare can quickly become a reality. It’s not unheard of for armyworms to devour an entire lawn overnight. One moment your lawn and garden are intact, the next you’re left with a backyard full of dirt.


What Are Fall Armyworms

Especially problematic in the South, Fall armyworms are the larvae of a small brown moth that lays its eggs in grass, crops and other greenery. Once hatched, these small green caterpillars begin feeding on nearby plant life, and can devastate an entire lawn or field of crops in days, sometimes hours depending on the size of the armyworm population. Unfortunately for your yard, these populations can get out of hand fast, as female months can lay up to 2,000 eggs in a single night. Once matured, these caterpillars change appearance, going from green to brown with white lines running along the side of their bodies. Because several damaging species go by the popular name armyworm, if you spot caterpillars in your yard, regardless of appearance, you need to act fast to preserve the health of your yard.

Here are 6 natural approaches to tackling these nasty pests:


Mow and Water Regularly

For whatever reason, armyworms tend to avoid moist lawns with shorter grass. Keeping your lawn a little shorter throughout fall, and watering soon after each mowing session, can help prevent an armyworm population from flourishing in your yard.


Trichogramma Wasps

These tiny wasps have a long history of use in natural pest control because they attack the eggs of many damaging bugs, armyworm eggs included. Trichogramma wasps can be found at many local garden supply shops and countless online retailers. This approach works best in the early stages of an armyworm issue, as this method will address armyworm eggs only, not recently hatched or mature caterpillars. Green lacewings, minute pirate bugs, ladybugs and other beneficial egg-feeding insects are also effective.

 

Invite Birds to Your Backyard

If your yard has never been the victim of armyworms, chances are natural predators like birds are to thank. Which means If you’re currently struggling with armyworms, you can alleviate the situation by inviting these predators back into your lawn. Bird feeders and bird baths are the most obvious choices and tend to work wonders. This natural approach can be a real time saver and is usually quite effective, given that birds target both the armyworm moth and the subsequent caterpillars.

 

Naturally Sourced Outdoor Pesticides

Naturally sourced outdoor pesticides—like those made with all natural cedarwood oil—can be effective at both preventing and killing active armyworm populations, without using the harsh chemicals associated with traditional pesticide use. Apply at the first sign of trouble, whether that be armyworm moths, eggs, or immature caterpillars.


Bacillus Thuringiensis

This bacterium is a popular and eco-friendly way of naturally ridding your lawn of armyworms. Typically applied to yards as a spray, bacillus thuringiensis works by paralyzing the armyworm digestive system, eventually killing them via starvation. Best of all, this bacterium is not harmful to beneficial insects, humans, pets or other wildlife. This method works best when used in the early stages of an armyworm problem, when the caterpillars are small, green and immature. Bacillus thuringiensis can be purchased from local gardening stores and countless vendors online.


Beneficial Nematodes

As one of the most well known biological pesticides, beneficial nematodes work to combat dozens of unwanted pests. After applied to the yard, these near microscopic roundworms parasitize armyworms and armyworm eggs without affecting humans, plants or beneficial insects.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

Cedarcide blog post image, Mosquito Bites: Facts & Myths

Mosquito Bites: Facts & Myths

Cedarcide blog post image, Mosquito Bites: Facts & Myths

Ever notice how mosquitoes tend to bite some individuals more than others? From the sweetness of your blood to what you eat and wear, the internet is abuzz with rumors about what does and does not attract mosquitoes. Well, we’re here to help set the record straight. Some myths, some facts, here are 5 common beliefs about mosquitoes and mosquito bites.


Mosquitoes Prefer Certain Blood Types

Myth

Although some studies have suggested mosquitoes prefer Type O blood to others, the vast majority of scientists have disregarded these findings as baseless, concluding instead that mosquitoes are fairly non-specific with their victims. For years, rumors have argued that certain types of blood—sweeter diabetic blood, for example—are more likely to attract mosquitoes, but there’s really no reputable science behind such claims. In reality, mosquitoes need the protein, not the sugar, from their hosts, and so the flavor and type of blood really makes no difference whatsoever.

 

Fair Skin Makes You More Appetizing to Mosquitoes

Myth

It’s not hard to see how this old wives’ tale probably got started: mosquito bites are much more obvious on fair skinned individuals than on those with darker skin. In fact, those with fair skin readily suffer more intense reactions to mosquito bites, too, only further complicating the issue. But, no, mosquitoes do not prefer one skin tone over another.

 

All Mosquitoes Transmit Disease

Myth

There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes on our planet, but not all target humans. Of the ones that do, only females bite, which they do in order to gain the nutrients necessary for breeding. All female mosquitoes that bite humans are capable of transmitting disease, but in reality only a small number of these individuals commonly carry disease. Some species, however—such as the tiger mosquito and marsh mosquito—are more likely to harbor disease than other types, especially when it comes to West Nile virus, yellow fever, and malaria.

 

Mosquitoes Prefer Larger People to Smaller

Fact

Research has found that mosquitoes prefer larger individuals to smaller ones, such as adults over children. But why? One way mosquitoes home in on their targets is through carbon dioxide emissions, and bigger humans simply give off more of the gas than their smaller counterparts. Heat also attracts mosquitoes, and—you guessed it—larger people also emit more warmth than smaller folks. This same logic has led some researchers to believe pregnant women might also be more attractive to mosquitoes, as they tend to give off more warmth and carbon dioxide, too.

 

Your Diet Matters

Fact

Studies have indicated that mosquitoes seem to prefer people who have more uric acid in their blood, which is increased by meat and saturated fat consumption. Other preliminary research has suggested that mosquitoes might also target individuals with higher levels of potassium and ethanol. Alcohol consumption can increase ethanol and body heat (another mosquito attractant), and studies have seemed to back up the belief that drinking alcohol makes you more appetizing to mosquitoes, too. Meat, saturated fat, alcohol—no wonder BBQs are notoriously good events for collecting mosquito bites.

 

Your Clothes Matter

Fact

While the details are uncertain, researchers believe darker colors—like black, blue and red—make you more visible to mosquitoes and therefore more likely to be targeted by them. While these colors don’t necessarily make you more attractive to mosquitoes, it’s believed that they do make it easier to find you when other modes of detection—like skin bacteria and carbon dioxide—fail.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

6 Reasons You Can Feel Good About Switching to Cedarcide

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, Why You Can Feel Good About Switching to Cedarcide

Did you know over 1 billion pounds of synthetic pesticides are used worldwide every year? Even scarier, over 95% of these chemicals end up somewhere other than their target destination—such as in oceans, forests, drinking water, our food, and inside our homes, pets, children, even breast milk! By choosing Cedarcide, you’re helping combat this worldwide problem, and taking steps toward a brighter, less chemical-dependent future. Here are 6 reasons you can feel good about switching to Cedarcide.

 

You’re Helping Protect You & Your Family

From flea collars to yard treatments to personal bug sprays, traditional pesticide use can have a serious impact on you and your family’s health, especially in the long term. Not to freak you out, but many synthetic pesticides have been linked to all of the following health conditions:

By switching to a non-toxic alternative like Cedarcide, you’re helping minimize you and your family’s pesticide exposure. Children and pregnant women stand to benefit the most from this switch. Studies show that children with parents who use chemical-based pesticides are at higher risk of behavior issues, brain damage, lower IQs and several types of childhood cancer. Because of their tendency to put their hands in their mouths and proximity to flooring (most floors are tainted with pesticides), children absorb considerably more pesticides from their environment than adults. And because of their low body weight, our kids are much more likely to be harmed by this exposure.

As public health scientist Miriam Rotkin Ellman has said, “with a pesticide it doesn’t take very much to cause effects that will stay with kid[s] for the rest of their lives.”

 

You’re Helping Pets Live Longer, Healthier Lives

Much like children, our pets are extremely vulnerable to pesticide poisoning. Unfortunately, from flea collars to yard sprays, our pets have countless opportunities for exposure. Choosing naturally sourced yard sprays and pesticides over traditional chemical-based options helps limit that exposure.

Think about it: Your pets live and play in your yard (they sometimes eat its grass, too!). Studies have shown that dogs exposed to lawn pesticides have up to a 70% higher chance of contracting potentially fatal canine malignant lymphoma. Other studies have found that bladder cancer is also associated with lawns treated with synthetic pesticides, with even indirect exposure from adjacent lawns raising your pet’s risk of this cancer. Chemical burns, gastrointestinal complications, organ failure, even death—all have been associated with use of traditional flea and tick medications. In addition to using pet-safe bug repellents, we suggest consulting a vet or holistic vet to find the healthiest flea & tick options for you and your pup.

Worried that your pet may have pesticide poisoning? Read Signs and Symptoms Your Pet has Pesticide Poisoning


You’re Not Poisoning Your Home or Yard

A big issue with traditional pesticides is that they contaminate your home and lawn with toxins. Whether used inside or not, pesticides almost always find their way indoors. Pesticides applied to your lawn, for example, are easily introduced inside via windows, vents, shoes, and even your pet’s paws. Studies have found that within a week after outdoor pesticide treatments, pesticide residues are commonly found on indoor surfaces—including flooring, kitchen countertops, and tabletops. By choosing non-toxic options like Cedarcide, you’re helping reduce the levels of pesticides both inside and outside your home, doing a big favor to the environment, wildlife, and your neighbors in the process.

 

You’re Helping Save Wildlife

Wildlife—especially marine life and birds—have been hit hard by traditional pesticide use. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over 72 million birds die in the U.S. each year as a result of pesticide poisoning. Because many types of pesticides are bioaccumulative—meaning small, incremental exposures can can build up to toxic levels within an organism over time—they have the potential to disrupt entire food chains, affecting nearly every living thing on the planet.

But what can homeowners like you do to help minimize the impact of pesticides? A lot, actually! The average homeowner uses ten times more pesticides per acre than farmers do on industrial farmland. So in many ways, it’s in the hands of people like us to start reducing pesticide use for the sake of animals and families everywhere.

 

Your Purchases Support Good Causes

Without you we could not support the causes that inspire us! Animal welfare is one such cause essential to the Cedarcide mission. In addition to supporting animal rescues and founding the Cedarcide Horse Rescue, our team spends a great deal of their personal lives fostering and volunteering for disadvantaged cats, dogs and other animals.

Veterans, soldiers, and first responders also play a big role at Cedarcide. These real life heroes inspire us every day, which is why each year we support and participate in Dallas’ Carry the Load March. This 20-hour walk honors military service of all shapes and sizes, with proceeds benefiting corresponding charities.

 

You’re Helping the Environment

As mentioned earlier, pesticides nearly always end up somewhere other than intended. Wind, runoff, and over-application are the obvious culprits. In addition to wildlife, the environment pays the highest price for this widespread pesticide contamination. But just how extensive is pesticide pollution? According to one study by the U.S. Geological Survey, pesticides were found to contaminate every stream in the United States, and over 90% of all wells researchers tested. Unbelievable, right? By adopting non-toxic pesticides and engaging in responsible pesticide practices—like careful application and avoiding overuse—you can have a real impact on the health of your family and community.

 

What’s your favorite thing about Cedarcide? What do you most enjoy about the switch? Let us know in the comments or head over to our Facebook page and strike up a conversation!

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, What You Need to Know About Mites

What You Need to Know About Mites

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, What You Need to Know About Mites

What Are Mites?

There are over 48,000 species of mites. They can be found in almost every corner of the world, surviving everywhere from tropical environments to arid ecosystems, even indoors alongside humans.

Like ticks, mites are both arthropods and arachnids, but unlike ticks, not all mites are parasites. Some—like house dust mites—are scavengers, feeding off the dead skin and hair of humans. Some mites feed on mold and other plant-life. Some are symbiotic, living on the backs of insects like bees. And, yes, some are parasitic—like bird mites, rat mites and chiggers—which feed on the blood or skin of their hosts.

Do Mites Affect Humans?

You might be surprised to learn that the overwhelming majority of American homes have mites. The good news is that most mites are harmless to humans. However, there are in fact a few species that bite or pose other health risks to people. The extremely irritating skin condition scabies, for instance, is caused by an allergic reaction to the itch mite, which burrows into the skin of mammals to live and lay eggs. Mange is often the result of the same itch mite, along with another species, the Demodex mite (or eyelash mite), which infests the eyelashes of millions of people each year. The Demodex mite has also been linked to rosacea.

The most common biting mites found in the home are rat mites and bird mites. These two parasitic species prey mostly on small animals, but occasionally feed on humans too, causing dermatitis and acute itching. Another common household mite, the dust mite, is not parasitic and therefore does not bite; however, it’s a leading cause of allergies and has been found to cause asthma, too.


How Do You Get Mites?

The two most common biting mites—rat mites and bird mites—enter our homes through wild animals and pests. The former is typically brought into the home by a rodent, while the later finds its way in from nearby bird nests. Dust mites on the other hand live almost exclusively within homes, where they deeply embed themselves in carpets, bedding, rugs and other especially dusty surfaces. In fact, a typical mattress contains tens of thousands of these mites. Even more—around 100,000—can live in a single square foot of rug or carpet.

Perhaps most offputting of all, Demodex mites—sometimes called eyelash mites—make their home in the hair follicles and glands in and around the human eye. People with pets are particularly at risk of contracting Demodex mites, as these insect-like organisms are usually transferred to humans from dogs and cats.


What Are The Signs Of A Mite Infestation?

Because of mites’ near microscopic size, and because they vary so greatly from species to species, it’s extremely difficult to correctly identify a mite infestation. While some mites leave noticeable markings—spider mites spin webs, clover mites are recognizable by their bright red color—most mites leave little to no evidence of their existence.

In fact, the sole sign of an infestation often comes by way of the symptoms mites can cause in humans, such as skin irritation and general allergic reaction. Unless you’re able to capture a mite sample and have it identified by a professional, there’s little to no way to confirm what sort of mite infestation you may or may not be dealing with.

What To Do if You Have Mites

While some mites—like the mostly harmless dust mite—are all but impossible to completely eliminate from your home, troublesome biting mites are comparatively easier to treat. Rat mites and bird mites, for example, can often be solved simply by removing any small rodents, birds and bird nests from your home.

If you have mites, but are unsure of the source, fogging your entire home might be a good option for you. If you believe mites have infested your bedding or other linens, washing and drying them on a hot cycle should rid your items of any remaining mites.

Watch Cedarcide’s Fogging Tutorial Below:

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 5 Household Products Every Pet Owner Should Avoid

5 Household Products Every Pet Owner Should Avoid

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 5 Household Products Every Pet Owner Should Avoid

As pet parents we go to great lengths to keep our pets safe. We seek healthy food options, keep up with vet visits, and never let our fur baes eat dangerous foods. But did you know most households are filled with chemicals that threaten the health of our pets? From cleaners to candles, countless products contaminate our homes with toxins. Because of their small size and close proximity to the ground, pets are far more vulnerable to these toxins and therefore more likely to suffer their negative health effects. For the safety or your cat or pup, here are 5 household products every pet parent should avoid.

 

Toxic Flea & Tick Products

Traditional flea and tick products can seriously threaten your pet’s health, not to mention your own. Whether collars, pills or repellent sprays, traditional pest control products for pets often contain toxic ingredients—including fipronil, imidacloprid, and pyrethroids. Organ damage, seizures, nervous system damage and even death are all associated with these chemicals. Choosing a pet-safe, non-toxic insect repellent is one way to lessen your animal and family’s exposure to chemical-based pesticides. Remember: Always consult a veterinarian when planning your pet’s pest control regimen.

 

Household Cleaners

Indoor air pollution is a common issue in American homes. Whether inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin, common household cleaners are largely at fault. Bleach, ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals feature prominently in these cleaning solutions, including laundry detergents. Cancer, anemia and organ damage are just some of the known health complications associated with these ingredients and their noxious fumes. To avoid exposure, consider switching to natural cleaning alternatives.


Air Fresheners and Scented Candles

From plug-ins and incense to sprays and scented candles, air fresheners are surprisingly toxic. Long term health effects such as respiratory complications, heart disease and cancer have been linked to the harmful chemicals contained within these products. Formaldehyde, heavy metals, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) like ethanol, acetate and acetone are the primary culprits. Studies have shown that in some respects these ingredients can be even more harmful than cigarette smoke.

Considering these chemicals can accumulate in the body over time and usually end up collecting on the floor, pets and children are most at risk. To ensure your pet lives a long and healthy life, we strongly encourage seeking natural alternatives to household air fresheners.

 

Fertilizers, Herbicides and Outdoor Pesticides

Traditionally formulated pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers can spell trouble for your dog or cat. Dogs have been known to ingest fertilizers, which commonly contain toxic mixtures of nitrogen, phosphorus and other chemicals. Pest control sprays and herbicides are arguably even worse. Lying on the lawn, paw-licking or consuming grass are all it takes to receive harmful exposure. Bottom line: Don’t put anything on your lawn or garden until researching its potential impact on your pet’s health. To prevent life-altering side effects and possibly even the loss of your pet, go with a non-toxic lawn and garden alternatives instead.

 

Indoor Insecticides and Rodenticides

The same ingredients that make indoor pesticides lethal to insects and rodents make them extremely dangerous for your pet, too. Avoid illness, a vet visit, or potentially serious health consequences by using only pet-safe pest control products within the home. Plant-based pesticides, DIY essential oil mixtures, and diatomaceous earth are viable substitutes. Adopting basic pest prevention practices will also decrease pest activity.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

 

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