Time to Think About Ticks


tick crawling on skin

You may not want to think about ticks yet, but with the improving weather, you may have no choice. You will be spending more time outside, perhaps reading or spending time with the kids. It won’t be long before you’ll want to sit around the campfire, tell stories, roast hot dogs and make s’mores. The nice weather of spring provides the perfect atmosphere for family fun, unfortunately, it also produces an environment for ticks to thrive. This is the time of year they start to become more and more active, it is important to understand the risk involved and how you can limit your exposure to these dangerous pests.

Ticks are parasites that need to feed on blood for both feeding and reproductive needs, they can, however, cause serious health problems for both humans and pets. The most common ticks in our area are black-legged deer ticks and the brown dog ticks. The deer tick is brownish orange in color and can become darker when engorged. They are shaped like a flat oval without a hard shell, and the nymphs and males measure in at about 1/16" long, while the adult female deer ticks are larger at 1/8” long. The brown dog ticks are usually a reddish brown but may become a blueish gray when engorged. They are 1/8" long, and their bodies are flattened, and the male will have tiny pits scattered on his back. Unfortunately, female ticks can lay up to 3,000 eggs in their lifetime, making them reproduce rapidly in as many as 20 days.

Usually, ticks can be located in overgrown areas, tall grass, and shrubbery waiting for a host to latch onto. Once attached to a host, they can transmit organisms through their saliva that can be dangerous to humans and pets. The deer tick contributes to most cases of Lyme disease, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis, in fact, all three could potentially be transmitted at once if carried by the tick. Dog ticks are primarily a problem for dogs and carry a variety of diseases that affect them, but they will rarely feed on humans.

Avoiding ticks is a difficult task and may require a proactive approach that begins with enlisting the help of a professional pest control service. One that can customize a tick control solution that safeguards your family and pets against the diseases that they carry. American Pest in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia offer an integrated tick management program that effectively reduces the tick population in your backyard. We offer options including stand along tick reduction or one of our year-round Preferred Care plan that best suits your needs, including relief from the worry of tick-borne illnesses. Contact American Pest today for more information about our industry-leading pest control solutions.


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