The Dangers of Ticks

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lab laying in grass

Ticks can carry a number of diseases, including Lyme disease. Ticks are small arachnids, with adults ranging from the size of a pea to about the size of an apple seed when fully grown. These arachnids can also be responsible for various other problems in the home and garden that you want to avoid at all costs.

Ticks can be found everywhere in the world, but due to their small size and the fact that they cannot fly or jump, most people never notice them. They are parasitic organisms with four life stages: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph, and adult. Ticks have a hard and flat body and do not have wings or antennae. They also feature three mouthparts: chelicerae, a hypostome, and palps. Although they share very similar characteristics, dog ticks and deer ticks are two different types of insects.

Dog Ticks

The brown dog tick is the most common type found in homes and on pets. These ticks are usually no larger than a 1/4 inch long. They are often very abundant inside homes and around areas where dogs roam.

Dog ticks will bite dogs, cats, and humans searching for a blood meal. Dog ticks can spread Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), Tularemia, Q fever, Tick-Borne Encephalitis virus (TBE), and other diseases. Their bites can cause strong allergic reactions.

People are most likely to come in contact with dog ticks near their homes or any outside areas where dogs may roam freely. Deer ticks, however, do not live around houses but instead inhabit forests and tall grasses.

Deer Ticks

The deer tick is responsible for transmitting Lyme disease, which can cause serious complications if left untreated by antibiotics. Deer ticks live in large numbers in forests and tall grasses, especially near woods or areas with a lot of brush. In one deer tick's lifetime, it will only eat three times but remove between 5 to 7 ml of blood from its host each time. This makes deer ticks the second most dangerous blood-sucking arthropods in North America after mosquitoes.

Ticks tend to crawl up grass, plants, and shrubs and wait until they find a host for their next meal. Ticks can stay inactive for years waiting for a potential host, but once they feel body warmth and movement below them, they immediately move to feed.

Here's how to deal with ticks in your yard so they don't cause you problems:

Cleaning Up Your Yard

If you want to eliminate ticks from your yard, you will need to make some changes to the conditions in your yard. Ticks can't tolerate harsh weather, so it's best to remove any leaf litter or brushy areas where they might find protection and breeding sources. As a result, clean up fallen leaves where possible and keep your grass well-cut. You can also get rid of wood like stumps or logs that might provide shelter for ticks in your yard.

Ticks are nocturnal, so they will usually be less active during the day. If you are outside, it's best to go out in the morning or early afternoon when ticks are likely to still be inactive. When working in the yard or garden, take precautions such as wearing long sleeves and pants that have been treated with insect repellant. You can also spray your yard with an insecticide for more protection against ticks and other types of bugs.

Here at Price Termite & Pest Control we are devoted to protecting you and your family from infestations. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about how our certified tick treatments can help you.

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