What are ticks?
Ticks are often referred to as “insects”, but they are actually arachnids. The adults have 8 legs, the same as spiders. Ticks are parasitic pests that feed on the blood of their hosts. Ticks that feed on people, pets, and wildlife are referred to as hard ticks, while ticks that feed on bats and birds are referred to as soft ticks. The coloring and size of a tick are dependent on the tick’s exact species. Species of ticks living in our area include:
American dog ticks: They are a larger species of tick and are brownish in color with whitish-gray or yellow markings on them.
Blacklegged ticks: They are a very small species of tick that are brownish-orange in color with darker blackish-colored legs.
Brown dog ticks: They are red-brown before feeding; after feeding they turn a gray-blue color.
Lone star ticks: They are reddish brown in color and turn a more slate gray color after feeding. A female lone star tick has one white spot on her back while a male has multiple smaller white spots on his back.
Are ticks dangerous?
Yes, ticks are dangerous pests to have living on your property in close proximity to you, your family, and your pets. Ticks are dangerous because of the number of serious diseases they can spread to people and animals. Blacklegged ticks are responsible for transmitting Lyme disease. American dog ticks spread diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. Lone star ticks can transmit ehrlichiosis. Ticks can create significant health problems for people and pets so populations should never be allowed to thrive on any property.
Why do I have a tick problem?
Ticks are often introduced onto properties by wild animals. Squirrels, raccoons, deer, mice, and skunks all commonly introduce ticks onto properties. And ticks thrive on properties that have a lot of dark, moist areas for them to hide out in.
Where are ticks commonly found?
Ticks hide out in tall grasses, thick vegetation around ponds and lakes, in overgrown shrubs and bushes, in ditches along roadways, or in any other place where their preferred hosts live. One of the most common spots to find ticks are where wooded areas meet lawns. Most tick species only breed outdoors and therefore do not survive long indoors; the exception to this is the brown dog tick. Female brown dog ticks will lay their eggs inside homes, allowing for the possibility of an indoor infestation to develop.
How do I get rid of ticks?
If you are dealing with ticks in and around your home, the best thing you can do is reach out to the professionals here at Green Pest Management. We will evaluate your problem thoroughly, identifying species of ticks, hiding spots, and attractants, and provide comprehensive tick control solutions. However large your infestation has grown, be certain that Green Pest Management has a solution!
How can I prevent ticks in the future?
Habitat modification is key to controlling populations of ticks on your property. Keep your lawn cut short, establish a perimeter of crushed stone between your lawn and any wooded areas, and trim back tree branches to allow more sun to hit the ground to dry out the soil. It is also important to remove things from your property that may be attracting wild animals. Remove wild animal feeders, pick up uneaten pet food between feedings, keep locking lids on trashcans, and remove wood piles and piles of debris where animals can hide.
For more information about our tick control options, give us a call at Green Pest Management today!