Washington D.C.'s Ultimate Tick Bite Field Guide


tick crawling on leaf

It’s never a bad idea to check yourself for ticks, because once these parasitic pests take a bite of you, serious medical complications can arise. Tiny and inconspicuous, you might not even notice a tick crawling on your body. Tick bites can happen to even the most cautious folks, so it’s important to know how to deal with tick bites in Washington D.C.

About Ticks In Washington D.C.

Broadly speaking, ticks can be separated into hard tick species and soft tick species. Combined, there are nearly 900 unique tick species recognized in the United States. However, there are a few that you are most likely to encounter in Washington D.C.

  • American dog ticks – These ticks are common throughout the U.S. American dog ticks have a brown color with white or gray-ish markings and measure about 3/16 of an inch before feeding. 
  • Lone star ticks – No, these ticks don’t just belong to the Lone Star State. Lone star ticks can be recognized for their single silvery “star” pattern on their backs. They measure about 1/6 inch or less before feeding.
  • Blacklegged ticks – These ticks have brown bodies with darker legs, from which they take their name. Before feeding, most blacklegged ticks measure about 1/8 of an inch. 

These ticks can cause a number of diseases from tularemia, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, among others. They can be incredibly stealthy and may be brought onto your property by pets, wildlife, or visitors.

How To Deal With Tick Bites

Tick bites aren’t necessarily common for most of us and it can be hard to know what to do when these parasitic arachnids sink their heads into your skin. But there is a certain procedure you should follow if bitten by a tick. 

  • Grasp firmly – If a tick is already feeding, grasp the body firmly with a pair of fine tweezers. Avoid crushing or puncturing the tick.
  • Remove carefully – DON’T twist or jerk the tick. It may resist removal, but applying steady force straight upwards will extract it.
  • Sterilize the wound – Use rubbing alcohol or warm soap and water to clean the area of the bite. 
  • Get rid of it – Place the tick in tissue and flush it down the toilet to eliminate it. Or, if you need assistance to properly identify the tick, you can preserve it by placing it in a container filled with rubbing alcohol.

Problems Caused By Tick Bites

Not every tick bite is guaranteed to result in contracting a debilitating illness, but the signs of medical complications may not appear right away. It’s incredibly important to monitor signs of illness if recently bitten. If left untreated, tick-borne illnesses can severely impact quality of life and may even be fatal. 

A rash in the shape of a bullseye around the bite is often the first sign of trouble. Other health symptoms like nausea, fever, cramping, and headaches are known to result from tick bites. If you notice any of these signs or a departure from your everyday health after being bitten, contact your doctor right away.

Tick problems can be difficult to deal with. Since these pests are so tiny and elusive, it can be almost impossible to properly treat your property for ticks on your own. That’s why the best thing you can do to get rid of tick problems on your Washington D.C. property is to call the pros at American Pest.

With our tick control services, we’ll perform a targeted treatment of tick zones in your yard to eliminate ticks at the source. We even offer one-time tick treatments for your outdoor events! So, if you’re sick of ticks, get in touch with us today.


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