Being bitten by bugs is never fun, but some bites can be downright dangerous. You may notice them on your skin during or after a hike or following a stint out in the garden. If the bites are from a tick, it’s especially important to test for diseases or parasites which they can transmit through contact.
But how do you know if it was a tick that bit you? Where do ticks hide and what attracts them? What can you do to reduce their populations in and around your home? Read today’s blog for all these answers and more.
Common Types Of Ticks
There are several common types of ticks found in Texas:
- American Dog Tick: Also known as wood ticks, these are common home invaders because they prefer to feast on domesticated dogs. Brown with white or gray markings, these ticks are very small, often only a few millimeters long when not engorged.
- Lone Star Tick: These ticks, named after our sizeable state, are nonetheless found all over the Eastern U.S. and Mexico. Preferring wooded areas, these crab-like ticks are brown or a reddish color with hard exterior shells. Adult males have black patterns on their backs, and females have a big white spot.
- Deer Tick: Also called black-legged ticks, these are one of the most common species. These ticks spread fast because they latch onto mobile hosts like white-tailed deer and other forest wildlife. Adult females are known to carry diseases, including Lyme disease, and have orange or light brown arches on their backs surrounding a darker patch. Adult males are more uniform in color, typically dark brown with a lighter colored ring around their back.
Where Ticks Hide & Reside
In Texas, ticks are a year-round problem. To avoid exposure, pay special care and attention to the following:
- Yard Debris: Ticks love piles of leaves, tree limbs and other vegetation in which to hide. Clearing these from your yard takes away these easy hiding spots.
- Trees and bushes: Ticks lie in wait to latch onto people and animals. Keeping trees trimmed back, especially from doors and windows, will reduce the likelihood of them getting inside or having easy access to passersby.
- Animal fur: You probably noticed that ticks are attracted to wildlife. That means that pets can track them into the home easily. Check their hair and fur regularly with a fine-toothed comb.
Tick Bite Prevention & Response
Now, let’s get into the really important stuff — what to do if a tick bites you. Tick bites can be serious since ticks carry diseases. Tick bites pucker and swell like other insect bites, but they have black dots in the center where ticks use their mouths to gorge on blood. You may even notice the remains of their pincers in the wound.
Keeping your skin covered is good for preventing access altogether. Don’t wear shorts for long outdoor excursions if you can help it, and frequently checking the folds of clothing for wayward ticks is a good step. If you, a loved one, or a pet are on the receiving end of a tick bite, you can use some over-the-counter ointments to treat the wound, but it’s also a good idea to get tested by a medical professional for traces of diseases or parasites. The last thing you want is for a bite to get infected or to carry an even scarier problem like disease.
Innovative Solutions By Your Local Professionals
Because of the severity of tick problems, professional solutions are the best thing. Call the experienced technicians at Innovative Pest Control at the first sign of ticks to keep your family safe.