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    Surprising Facts about Chiggers

    Last updated 2 days 5 hours ago

    Chiggers are the larvae of a certain type of mite of the Trombiculidae family. Chiggers are found all over the world, but are most common in forests, grassy fields, gardens, parks, and in moist areas around lakes or rivers. Although chiggers are barely visible to the human eye, they can cluster in groups on the skin and cause itchy bites and rashes. Here is a look at some surprising facts about chiggers and information on how your pest control service can help control chigger populations on your property.

    Chiggers Inject Tissue-Destroying Enzymes
    A common myth about chiggers is that they burrow into and remain inside the skin. While this is not true, chiggers do insert their feeding structures into the skin and inject enzymes that cause destruction of host skin tissue. The hardening of the surrounding skin cells results in the formation of a feeding tube called a stylostome, which the chigger larva then feed through.

    Chigger Bites Can Take Weeks to Heal
    Although a chigger bite itself is not noticeable, the digestive enzymes that cause the destruction of skin cells results in red, itchy areas around the bite. Itching is the most common symptom of a chigger bite, and is due to the presence of the stylostome. Itching can persist for several days, and complete resolution of the skin lesions can take up to two weeks.

    Chiggers Do Not Bite at Colder Temperatures
    If you want to prevent chigger bites, start by looking at the temperature before you go outside. Chiggers do not bite at colder temperatures (below 60ºF). Conversely, chiggers are not found in areas hotter than 99ºF.

    If chiggers are pestering you and your family, contact Atkins, Inc. of Columbia, MO. We provide some of the best pest control services in the state. You can also count on us for our lawn maintenance and handyman services to keep your home looking great. Visit our website or call us at (573) 303-0559 to learn more about our residential pest control and handyman services

    How to Recognize Fire Ants

    Last updated 8 days ago

    Fire ants deliver an extremely painful bite. They are also known to be extremely aggressive. If you have fire ants around your home, you need to contact a pest control company as soon as possible. So, how do you know if you have fire ants or not? Fire ants are red in color, but they vary in size. The best way to recognize fire ants is to look at the mound. Fire ants are known for building large mounds, especially after a rainstorm. Watch this video for more tips on recognizing fire ants.

    Atkins, Inc. is here for all of your pest control needs. No matter what type of pest you are dealing with, our exterminators can take care of them for good. In addition to our pest control services, we also offer lawn maintenance and general handyman services for residents of Columbia, MO and the surrounding areas. If you have any questions, please call us at (573) 303-0559.  

    How to Cope with a Mosquito Bite

    Last updated 16 days ago

    There are about 3,500 species of mosquitoes found throughout the world, and nearly all of them are known to feed on humans. While the risk of mosquito-borne diseases is relatively low in the United States, irritating bites is still a major concern. There are several commercially available anti-itch medications, including pills and topical creams. For more severe cases, corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone and triamcinolone may be used. There are also several effective home remedies for soothing mosquito bites, including calamine lotion and vinegar.

    If mosquitoes are feasting on you and your family, contact Atkins, Inc. We provide pest control services in Columbia, MO and the surrounding areas. From mosquitoes and bed bugs to termites, ants, and cockroaches, no pest is safe from us. Contact us online or call us at (573) 303-0559  to schedule a pest control inspection today.   

    Characteristics of Venomous Snakes in Missouri

    Last updated 21 days ago

    Snakes are incredibly important to our natural ecosystem, as they help control populations of rodents and other pests. And contrary to popular belief, snakes do not go looking for people to bite. In fact, you have an equal chance of getting hit with falling space debris as you of getting bit by a snake. On top of all that, of the 47 species and subspecies of snakes in Missouri, the majority (88 percent) are harmless. Still, you should know what characteristics to look for to identify a venomous snake. If you see a venomous snake in or near your home, call a pest control company right away.

    Characteristic Pit
    All venomous snakes native to Missouri are members of the pit viper family. Pit vipers have a characteristic pit located between the eye and nostril on each side of the head. Pit vipers also have well-developed fangs.

    Pupil Shape and Scales
    If you can see well enough without getting too close, note the shape of the snake’s pupil. The pupils of venomous snakes appear as vertical slits within the iris, while harmless snakes have round pupils. Another noticeable difference between venomous and nonvenomous snakes is the underside scales. Venomous species all have a single row of scales along the underside of the tail, while harmless snakes have a double row of scales.

    Triangle-Shaped Head
    This last “characteristic” is not always true. Although venomous snakes have a somewhat triangle-shaped head, several harmless species such as watersnakes and gartersnakes flatten their heads, which cause them to appear triangular in shape. 

    If you have a snake problem, contact Atkins, Inc. of Columbia, MO. We are Missouri’s trusted pest control provider. We know how to deal with venomous snakes so you don’t have to. Visit our website to learn more about our pest control services, or call us today at (573) 303-0559. 

    What Are the Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites?

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Often mistaken for booklice and carpet beetles, bed bugs are 5mm in length and typically live in mattresses and sofas. They can survive extreme temperatures and conditions, which makes them very difficult to control. In about 20 to 70 percent of bites, the bite leaves no visible effect. But other times, bed bug bites can cause a number of health effects, including skin rashes, blisters, small macular spots, noticeable bullae and wheals, and a central hemorrhagic spot. Sometimes symptoms do not appear until several days after the bites occurred. Other times, bed bug bites cause itching that lasts several days. Numerous bites can cause an erythematous rash or urticarial. Scratching the bites can cause a bacterial skin infection if the skin breaks. Bites are typically found on the arms, legs, and shoulders.

    Bed bugs can reduce your sleep quality and leave red and brown stains on your sheets. To take care of your bed bug problem, call Atkins Inc. at (573) 303-0559. We have 89 years of experience with pest control service in the Columbia, Missouri area. Visit our website for more information about our pest control and lawn maintenance services. 

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