J.P. McHale Pest Management, an Anticimex company, has been providing tick service in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for nearly five decades. But Jim McHale, an entomologist and the second-generation president of the Buchanan, N.Y.-based firm, notes that demand has been on the upswing in recent years, particularly in the Northeast. He attributes it to a rise in confirmed vector-carrying populations.
“Our tick service has evolved over the years. We now have more organic treatment options that have yielded great results,” McHale says. “There are also now many improved methods of material deployment, such as backpack misters and better vehicle tank designs, that make the job much easier than ever before.”
The company’s tick strategy consists of a three-pronged approach:
- Educate the clients about how services are performed, and specific target areas of treatment throughout their property.
- Set expectations, and give clients tips on how they can eliminate future tick harborage areas on their property once the infestation is under control.
- Perform treatment, which includes organic and traditional options. McHale says the Tick Box program, which targets rodents that carry ticks outdoors, has been particularly successful.
J.P. McHale Service Manager Shaun Robertson treats a residential property in Westchester, N.Y.
“We are watching the development of more organic options of tick control, and are communicating with our vendors on the latest solutions that hit the market,” says Jim McHale. He adds he was pleased to learn that in August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registered nootkatone as an active ingredient for insecticidal and repellent use. Found in Alaska yellow cedar trees and in grapefruit skin, the compound has been shown to kill ticks, mosquitoes and other biting pests. It is expected to become commercialized by 2022.
J.P. McHale Pest Management developed its own app to provide added convenience and ease of access for clients.
The company is a Tick Box Tick Control System certified installer. As a rodent moves through one of the units, it passes under a small applicator wick containing a low dose of fipronil. A single dose protects the rodent for up to 40 days against any new ticks.