Now that the warm weather has set in, tick season is upon us. With the increase in rainfall, they’re out in full force. Despite common belief, ticks are not considered to be insects. They are arachnids that are parasitic. In the United States alone, there are nearly 100 different varieties.
The good news is, only a few of these actually bite humans. They are unable to jump or fly. These arachnids are typically located on animals, in grassy areas, or in wooded areas.
In this guide, you will learn many facts about ticks and their behaviors. Despite the fact that many do not bite humans, it is essential that you learn as much as possible about the arachnids due to the fact that they do pose threats to humans through various tick-borne diseases.
Where Do Ticks Live?
Ticks are known to live in areas that are shady and have a high level of moisture – mostly around ground level. The arachnids will cling to shrubs and tall grasses. They may also be found in trees.
If they make their way into a structure, they will lay eggs near windows, door frames, baseboards, the edges of rugs, curtains, and in furniture.
When Do Ticks Appear the Most?
Adult ticks are known to be most active from the months of March through the middle or end of May. Then again from the middle of August to November.
It is important to note, though, that ticks are capable of being active at any time of the year as long as the temperature is above that of freezing.
The peak of the season for the nymphal ticks is in May and in June.
If a warm winter is experienced, you may encounter ticks even during those months.
What Diseases Can Be Spread by Ticks?
The following diseases are transmitted by ticks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Borrelia Mayonii
- Borrelia Miyamotoi
- Bourbon Virus
- Colorado Tick Fever
- Heartland Virus
- Lyme Disease
- Powassan Disease
- Rickettsia Parkeri Rickettsiosis
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)
- Stari (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness)
- Tickborne Relapsing Fever (TBRF)
- 364D Rickettsiosis
How to Remove a tick
How Ticks – Not Removed – Can Cause Lyme Disease
If a tick gets on the body and remains there for 36 to 48 hours or more, the bacteria from the bite has the capability of entering into the bloodstream. This could cause Lyme disease. If the tick is removed quickly, the risk for developing Lyme disease is very low.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is considered to be the single most common of all vector-borne diseases within the United States. It stems from the bacterium identified as Borrelia Burgdorferi. In some instance – though, rare – it may stem from the bacterium identified as Borrelia Mayonii. It transmits to people from the bite of the blacklegged ticks that are infected with the bacterium or disease.
What are the Symptoms of Lyme Disease?
The symptoms of Lyme disease include the development of a fever, a mild to severe headache, the onset of fatigue, and a skin rash that resembles that of a bullseye. This characteristic rash is called erythema migrans.
How is Lyme Disease Diagnosed?
In most instances, Lyme disease is diagnosed by a doctor through the physical findings on the body, the symptoms being experienced, and the risk of exposure to a tick. There are laboratory tests that may be used to diagnose the disease, too.
What Happens if Lyme Disease is Not Treated?
If not treated right away, the Lyme disease infection can spread to other parts of the body. The most common areas include the joints throughout the body, the nervous system, and the heart. To treat the condition, an antibiotic treatment is usually prescribed over a 2–4-week period – depending on the severity of the infection.
How Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented?
To prevent Lyme disease, individuals should use insect repellent, apply pesticides around the home and on the property where ticks are common, eliminate the natural habitats of ticks, and remove ticks quickly if they make their way onto the skin.
How to Protect Yourself from Ticks
Take the following steps to protect yourself from ticks and their associated dangers:
- If you will be in an area where ticks are present, you should protect yourself with clothing. You should wear light-colored pants that you tuck snugly into your socks. You should also wear a light-colored shirt, ensuring it is tucked into your pants. If possible, ensure that the shirt is long-sleeved for optimal protection. If possible, wear a head covering and some type of cover on your neck. These last pieces are important if you will be working outdoors for a prolonged period of time.
- If you work or play outdoors for long periods of time, you should consider wearing clothing that has been treated with an application of permethrin. This is a chemical that will quickly kill ticks should they come into contact with it. In some instances, you can purchase pre-treated clothing. If you are unable to locate this apparel, you may have outdoor clothing pieces treated by a professional so that you have the highest level of protection while outdoors.
- If you will be outdoors, always use an insect repellent. If you suffer from respiratory issues – such as asthma – only use those repellents that are considered to be light – in terms of scent.
- When outdoors, do not go too far away from the pavement. If you do, you will likely end up in a habitat where ticks reside. Try to avoid these areas. If it is not possible to avoid these areas, at least make it a point to limit your time in these areas.
- When you come in from outside, check your clothing and body for ticks. On the body, look along the hairline, all around the ears, under the breasts and armpits, between the fingers and the toes, the groin and buttocks area, behind the knees, and on the legs. If there’s a possibility that ticks are on your clothes, immediately place those apparel pieces in the dryer set at 125 degrees F or hotter for a period of at least 20 minutes. The tumbling action and the mixture of the very high heat will immediately kill ticks and other insects that could have hitchhiked in on your clothing.
How Do I Get Rid of Ticks?
If you have ticks around your property or in your home, there are over-the-counter treatments available. Unfortunately, many ticks are immune to the substances in those pesticides and may prove to be resistant. Additionally, if not used correctly, store-bought tick killers can be a danger to your health, your children, and your pets. If you have ticks in your home, it is best that you opt for professional pest control treatment that is specifically designed for ticks and similar creatures.
Contact Us Today
We here at All Pest Exterminating offer a variety of services for a wide range of pest problems – including ticks. We will carefully inspect your home – both inside and outside – to determine exactly where the ticks are and where they came from. We will then create a customized treatment plan that will quickly and effectively eliminate the tick infestation that you are experiencing. If we pinpoint the culprit of the infestation, we will let you know and inform you of how to remedy the problem. If you have other pest issues, we can address that in your customized treatment plan, too! For more information or to set up an appointment, you may contact us immediately by calling: 765-259-0043