What To Do If You See Ticks In Your Home
It is never fun to find a tick crawling on you while you're relaxing in front of the television. Not only do you immediately consider the health threats ticks present, but you have to wonder whether or not you brought that tick inside, or if it was already living inside your home. The good news is that most ticks have a hard time living inside our homes with us but, under the right conditions, they can become a serious and ongoing issue for your family. If you find a tick in your home, the first step is to determine how the tick got there.
Finding a tick on your clothing or, worse, on your skin, doesn't mean you have an infestation. If you've recently been outside in a location where a tick could have gotten on you, you may be able to discard the one tick and be done with it. Here are a few factors that are an indication that this is more than just a single isolated event:
- Do you have pets? If you have a dog or cat that goes in and out of your home on a regular basis, it is less likely that your tick encounter is isolated. Check your pet(s) for the presence of ticks. When ticks get on an animal, they will usually work their way to the ears or hide under your pet’s collar. They may also feed in the groin area or between the toes of your pet.
- Have you been seeing signs of rodents inside? Mice, rats, and other wild animals can bring ticks into a home. If you have critters in your home, it is likely that you have more than one tick as a single mouse can have as many as a hundred ticks on its body.
- Do you have a brown dog tick? Of all the ticks that can get into a home, the brown dog tick is arguably the worst because these ticks are able to complete their entire life cycle indoors. That means you can have an infestation of brown dog ticks take root after just one or two ticks invade your home. These ticks could be brought into your home if a visitor brings their pet with them or if you have pets living in your home. Brown dog ticks prefer to feed on dogs, as their name suggests. But, they will turn to humans if they can't find a canine host.
Okay, so you have ticks in your home. Now what? If you suspect or know you have ticks in your home, it is best to call a professional to deal with the problem. Ticks aren't nuisance pests as they are able to transmit serious diseases to humans. Some of the diseases spread by ticks can lead to lifelong medical complications.
Common Ticks And The Diseases They Carry
This is the tick primarily responsible for the spread of Lyme disease. This disease is often associated with a bullseye rash at onset, but this does not always occur. Acute symptoms include fatigue, lethargy, mood changes, and joint pain. Chronic symptoms resemble the symptoms of diseases such as MS, ALS, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's.
This tick commonly feeds on humans and is the primary vector for Rocky Mountain spotted fever in the United States. These ticks can also spread tularemia, tick bite paralysis, and other tick-borne diseases.
Brown Dog Tick
Since this tick prefers to feed on dogs, the diseases that are most commonly associated with it are canine ehrlichiosis and canine Babesia. Brown dog ticks will bite humans if they can't find a dog host, however. When these ticks bite humans, they can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever and several other tick-borne illnesses.
This tick is linked to the transmission of ehrlichiosis, Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI), and the development of a rare meat allergy called alpha-gal allergy. Alpha-gal allergy can present an ongoing reaction to sugar molecules in red meat such as pork and beef that can sometimes be severe.
For assistance with tick control in DC, Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the surrounding states, contact us at American Pest to receive a free estimate. With over 90 years of experience, American Pest is experienced and knowledgeable in solving pest problems. But, you don't have to believe us. Just take a look at what our customers say about us on Yelp, Google, and other review resources! When it comes to protecting yourself and your family from tick-borne diseases, don't settle for anything less than the best!
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