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Hiking in Puyallup: Pest Control Tips

Eagle Creek

Your Puyallup pest control efforts can extend past your home and into your recreational activities. Hiking is a popular activity among Tacoma and Puyallup residents, especially when the weather is nice. When the weather seems perfect, however, you are at a greater risk for contracting a disease from a summer pest.

Disease risks can include malaria, dengue fever, Lyme disease, West Nile virus, encephalitis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. While the chances of contracting any of these diseases are slim, it’s always a good idea to protect yourself against pests when hiking outdoors.

Pests You May Encounter on the Trail


Carriers of the West Nile virus, malaria and dengue.

  • Prevention: Hike during the morning or afternoon on open, sunny trails; use a DEET-based mosquito repellant on exposed skin; wear clothes treated with permethrin.
  • Bite treatment: Wash the affected area with soap and water and resist the urge to scratch the itchy spot. (Use calamine lotion on the bite, if needed.)


Carriers of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

  • Prevention: Avoid areas with a lot of brush and tall grass; avoid shady areas that are damp; wear clothes treated with permethrin; wear insect repellant with DEET; wear long sleeves, long pants and a hat; have your hiking partner check you for ticks.
  • Bite Treatment: If a tick latches onto you, wipe the affected area with alcohol and pull the tick straight out from your skin using tweezers; clean the bite area with an antiseptic. If you’re concerned about Lyme disease, keep the tick in a small canister so a public health lab can test it.


In rare cases, spider bites can be harmful, toxic or fatal.

  • Prevention: Avoid reaching into holes, under rocks or around branches without inspecting the area first; look before you lean or sit; use a long stick to break up webs in your path.
  • Bite Treatment: Wash the affected area with soap and water; use an ice pack over the wound and keep it elevated; if symptoms (swelling, fever, rash, etc.) appear, see a doctor immediately.

Bees and fellow winged insects

  • Prevention: Avoid wearing bright colors, flower patterns, jewelry or scents; keep the food you pack in air-tight containers; look in your cup or bottle before taking a sip; slowly move away from bees and wasps (don’t swat).
  • Bite Treatment: Stay calm; remove the stinger if it’s stuck in you; apply ice to the affected area; don’t scratch the affected area; get medical help immediately if you’re allergic to bees.

Fun Hiking Trails and Parks in Tacoma and Puyallup


  • Snake Lake
  • Spanaway Park
  • Scott Pierson Trail
  • Bresemann Forest
  • Nathan Chapman Memorial Trail


  • Bradley Lake Park
  • Clarks Creek Park
  • DeCoursey Park
  • Grayland Park
  • Manorwood Park
  • Pioneer Park
  • Puyallup Riverwalk Trail
  • Rainier Woods Park
  • Seam Peach Park

If you ever suspect that your home or business is infested with a hitchhiker you picked up along the trail – or any other type of pest – never hesitate to call a pest control company. Tacoma and Puyallup have awesome outdoor adventure spots, and playing it safe can make your future more comfortable.

[ Photo by: sha-put-ski, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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