washington dc man with a tick in his stomach

What are blacklegged ticks?

Blacklegged ticks are commonly called “deer ticks” because of their affinity to feeding on white-tailed deer. However, these parasitic pests will also happily feed on livestock, other wildlife, people, and even amphibians. The adult tick has an oval broad shaped body and is orangish-brown in color; the “blacklegged tick” has much darker colored legs as compared to the rest of their body.  After feeding they will become a rust brown color and increase in size.  Before feeding adult ticks are about the size of a sesame seed or about 1/8th of an inch in length.

Why do I have them?

Blacklegged deer ticks require a humid environment to live in, because of this they are usually found hiding in tall grasses, dense vegetation, along wooded areas, and along fence lines. Like other species of ticks, because they cannot fly or jump they tend to hide in dense vegetation waiting for a new host to happen along and brush up against them. When these ticks are found living and resting on your property there is a good chance that you, your kids, or pets will come into contact with these, dangerous blood feeding pests. At first sight of these pests living on your property you should contact a professional tick control expert.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, blacklegged ticks are a dangerous pest and contact with them should be avoided at all costs. Blacklegged deer ticks can carry and transmit many bacteria and diseases including anaplasmosis and babeosis, but are most commonly associated with transmitting Lyme disease. Lyme disease is caused by the corkscrew shaped bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.  An infected tick can transmit this disease to each host that it feeds on causing the disease to quickly spread through an area. Untreated Lyme disease can overtime lead to complications with the heart and nervous system, cause joint swelling, and cause the erosion of cartilage and bone.

How do I get rid of blacklegged ticks?

Eliminating blacklegged ticks from a property can be very difficult because they can be continuously introduced by wild animals. To control blacklegged ticks on your property, you need the knowledge and experience of a trained professional. The highly trained exterminators here at American Pest understand the habits and habitats of blacklegged ticks and can control them through our seasonal tick control services or residential Preferred Care programs. Give us a call to learn more about controlling ticks on your property through our professional and comprehensive services!

Can I do it myself?

There are many DIY products on the market to “eliminate ticks”, but the truth of the matter is that these products are mostly ineffective, to truly control ticks on a property areas infested by ticks need to be  treated and maintained consistently. Also, many of the products at big box stores can be very harmful to people and pets if not used or mixed correctly. The best solution to a tick infestation is to contact the tick control experts at American Pest; our professionals can control tick populations on Washington, D.C. area properties and keep them from becoming a nuisance and danger to you, your family, and pets.

How soon can you get here?

At American Pest, we pride ourselves on our speed and level of service. For that reason, we make every effort to make sure we can be with you the same or the very next day.

Is the treatment safe?

Every product used by American Pest has first been extensively tested by the EPA and is registered for pest control use. Only then do we apply it following a strict set of guidelines for use around humans and pets.

How can I prevent this in the future?

Blacklegged ticks and ticks, in general, are very difficult pests to prevent from being introduced onto your property. However, in addition to putting into place a seasonal tick control service or a year-round pest control plan from American Pest, there are some steps that you can take around your property to help prevent a blacklegged tick infestation.

  • Dogs and cats that spend time both inside and outside of your home should be treated with a tick preventative under the guidance of their veterinarian.

  • Pets should be inspected daily for the presence of ticks on their body.

  • Make sure that wooded areas or areas of heavy vegetation on your property are cut back away from your lawn.

  • Keep the grass on your property mowed short.

  • When spending time outside in areas that may harbor ticks wear long pants, sleeves, and closed toe shoes.  Inspect yourself and your children for ticks before coming inside.

  • When spending time outside in areas that are known to harbor blacklegged ticks consider using an insect repellent that contains DEET; contact your doctor for the best tick repellent to use for children.

  • Consider removing bird feeders and other wildlife feeders from your property that may attract wild animals to it.

 
 

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