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Looking Out for Parasites While Traveling to Warm Climates

A winter escape to a warm climate is a common activity for those of us who reside in places where the cold winters never seem to end. Leaving the cold, ice, snow and wind to lie on the beach, soak up the sun and sightsee in temperatures that seem like perfection is so welcoming and inviting! What you may not know, is that while you are enjoying that warm getaway, you might just be getting more than you bargained for. Packing up to head home, you look around to be sure you have everything you brought with you. Flip-flops? Check! Clothing? Check! Toiletries? Check! Sun hat? Check! Parasites? Check…wait a second…parasites?!?!Not exactly a welcomed travel mate!  Looking out for parasites while traveling to warm climates is a real concern.

Tropical Beach

It’s happens when you don’t even realize it! You might be relaxing in a hammock on the beach between two gorgeous palm trees. You might be holding a local iguana or chameleon (they’re harmless, right?), admiring how unique they are. You won’t even see it happening, but you’ll know it eventually! Mites are easily transferred from a tree, lizard, or by other means to you and your clothing, and you won’t even know until it’s too late, that you are now dealing with a parasite infestation. Having to call a pest control professional is important if you do have an infestation, or problem with having brought home some new “friends” from your vacation, but most would rather avoid the situation when possible. The following is how you can take caution against bringing mites home with you from your tropical destination:

Know what to look for!  Mites tend to group up, so even though they are super tiny and often times you will need a microscope to see them, with lots of them in one group, they can really be seen quite easily if you know what you’re looking for.  Below are some pictures of mite infestation on a gecko, so you can get an idea of what to look for.  Dark brown, or dark red patches of skin is how you can recognize mites on a lizard.

Mites on Lizard

Here is a picture of mites gathered on a palm tree:

Mites on Palm Tree

The effect of the mites on a palm is seen in what looks like the leaves drying out.  They will appear very dry and brittle, and the tree will look unhealthy in general.  Keeping an eye open for these things, and avoiding them is helpful to ensuring you don’t bring mites home with you.

If you do handle lizards, or are around palms, or other plants and trees, it’s really important that you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.  This will help to keep the mites from remaining with you.  Tea tree oil, or melaleuca is terrific for so many things, and putting a few drops on your clothing or rubbing it into your hands is another great way of staving off mites.

Upon suspecting that you do have a mite infestation in your home, as we stated above, it’s incredibly important to call a professional pest control service!  Mites can be brutal to get rid of.  Because they are so tiny, and easily undetected, knowing that you have taken care of the entire problem can be especially difficult.  You might not even be sure that you have a mite infestation to begin with, but itching or irritated skin that occurs right after a trip where you could have been exposed to mites is a good indication.  You will also want to protect any pets that you have in your home from getting a mite infestation as well.  A pest control professional will have sure-fire ways of checking your home, and dealing with the infestation, and if they are reputable, will back up their work, ensuring that you get rid of the entire problem.

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