When the weather gets warm, ticks are out in full force and can pose a serious threat to both humans and pets. Learn about some of the different types of ticks, the threats associated with these small but dangerous pests, and how to prevent tick bites.
Found throughout the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, southeastern and northcentral United States, black-legged ticks, or deer ticks, are known carriers of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, human babesiosis, and more. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fatigue, headache, fever and a bullseye-shaped skin rash around the bite site.
Found throughout North America, the American Dog Tick is named after its favorite host, the dog. They are known carriers of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Symptoms include chills, muscle aches, high fever, headaches, and sometimes a rash that spreads to the extremities 2-4 days after the fever begins. Exposure is most common during spring and early summer.
Like the American Dog Tick, the Brown Dog Tick is named for its preferred host. They typically attach to a dog’s ears or between its toes. Though not common, they will bite humans in the absence of a canine host. Brown Dog Ticks can be carriers of diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, canine ehrlichiosis, and canine Babesia.
Found mainly in the eastern and southeastern U.S., Lone Star Ticks are named for the single spot located on the female’s back. These ticks target humans more than any of the other tick species. They attach to their host by crawling up the tips of low-growing vegetation, such as grass, and wait for the host to pass by and brush against the vegetation. Lone Star Ticks are known carriers of many diseases, including tularemia, Heartland Virus, and Bourbon Virus. As with all ticks, early detection and removal is crucial, but lone star ticks have long mouthparts that can make removal especially difficult, as they often break off while being extracted, resulting in further infection.
To reduce the risk of tick bites, be sure to follow these prevention tips:
- When outdoors, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed-toe shoes.
- Wear light-colored clothing to make it easier to spot ticks.
- Inspect people and pets for ticks after spending time outdoors.
- Remove weeds and keep grass cut to discourage the presence of ticks.
- Stay in the center of trails, away from vegetation, when hiking.
- Wear repellent containing at least 20% DEET.
- If you find a tick on yourself, a family member, or a pet, remove it slowly with tweezers, being careful to not break off the mouthparts. Flush the tick down the toilet or dispose of it by wrapping it tightly in a tissue and putting it in a closed receptacle. Wash your hands and the bite thoroughly with soap and water.
If you are experiencing a tick problem, contact Complete Pest Solutions today.