What do ticks look like?
Ticks have a flat oval shape, unless they are full from a blood meal. Ticks have 8 legs and are actually in the arachnid family like spiders, scorpions, and even mites. Ticks are not considered insects. There are many types of ticks and all sorts of colors. Ticks can be brown, black, reddish brown, yellow, and even gray in color. Ticks grow up to about 1/8 of an inch long. Ticks have a very tiny head. You coud almost say they look crab-like in appearance.
Having trouble with ticks?
Are ticks dangerous?
Most tick bites are harmless and only cause a red irritated spot. Some tick bites can cause allergic reactions, and sometimes even pass diseases to humans and animals. Some of these can be quite dangerous and even deadly. Ticks bite then dig in and bury themselves into your skin to feed. They can remain like this up to 10 days drawing blood from your body. After they are fully engorged the tick will detach and fall off.
Symptoms to look for if you are allergic:
- redness with an itching rash
- pain and swelling around the bite
- a burning sensation
- if the reaction is really bad there could be difficulty breathing
- red spot or rash around the bite location
- rash all over the body
- muscle and or joint pain
- aching all over
- swollen lymph nodes
If you are displaying any of the above after possibly being bitten by a tick please seek medical attention. If you find a tick on you or a family member use tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skins surface as possible. With even, slow pressure pull up and remove the tick head and all. You need to be careful not to twist with the tweezers as you don’t want to twist off its mouthparts. Leaving the mouthparts imbedded in the skin can potentially cause the tick’s infectious body fluids to escape. Once the tick has been removed clean the bite area with alcohol or soap water. Follow up with your doctor should you continue to have a rash, feel nauseous, or have headaches.
Typically you don’t need to worry about ticks in open manicured grassy areas. Most yards are ok. It’s where the yard meets the woods when you need to worry. Ticks like tall grasses, wooded areas, shrubs, and bushes close to where they can easily climb onto their next victim. Ticks do not jump out of trees. That is a myth. Ticks hold on with their hind legs while they reach out with their front legs and wave them around searching for a host passing by. They sense heat and carbon dioxide with their front legs and grab on when they sense you or an animal.
How do I get rid of ticks?
Remove food sources that will attract deer and rodents. Ticks love to feed on these hosts. Ticks are able to feed on deer until they are engorged and have enough protein supply to lay 1500 – 2000 eggs. Luckily ticks feeding on deer do not contract Lyme disease from the deer. They are greatly boosting the population on your property though.
Rodents do carry Lyme disease and are considered reservoir hosts. This means ticks that feed on infected rodents can contract Lyme disease which can then be passed to humans. Identify plans and shrubs that are attracting these hosts and remove them.
How can I prevent tick problems at my home or business?
Start off with a routine maintenance pest program from a pest control expert like those at Walker Pest Management then follow these tips should help prevent any tick problems in your yard.
- Cut grass short and frequently.
- Trim shrubs and low-hanging branches on trees.
- Place swing sets, patios, and decks away from treeline.
- Create a 3 ft barrier between lawns and wooded areas.
- Use fencing to keep out deer, raccoons, and stray dogs.
- Remove leaf litter.
If you suspect a tick problem contact Walker Pest Management for a free quo
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