Despite their tiny size, ticks can be a serious nuisance. Their bites result in discomfort and irritation, but ticks can also potentially transmit serious diseases to both animals and humans. That's why it's important to know how to identify ticks and prevent them from getting into your home.
Ticks are quite small compared to other common insects. At their largest, they are often no larger than 1 centimeter long, and tick larvae can be less than 1 millimeter in size. That makes them hard to spot before they're on you. Ticks can also vary in color according to their species; the most common types of ticks in the U.S. are typically dark brown or reddish in color. They have eight legs at the adult stage and an oval-shaped body.
Ticks tend to live in moist, heavily vegetated and wooded areas. Compost piles, leaf piles and overgrown parts of your yard are all common areas to find ticks. They feed on blood from mammals, reptiles and birds. Unlike other insects, which feed quickly from a host, a tick might feed over the course of several days, becoming engorged with blood. During this time, a tick that is carrying a disease can transmit it to the animal that it is feeding off of. The most common disease transmitted by ticks is Lyme disease.
If you feel a tick bite or see a tick on your body or the body of your pet, it does not necessarily mean you have an infestation. When ticks are found in the home, it is usually because a single tick has been brought in on a pet, a person or a piece of clothing. However, there are some situations in which ticks are able to thrive in a crawl space or attic by living on suitable hosts (such as rodents) that have made a nest there. Most ticks do not survive and reproduce indoors on their own, through there are some exceptions (like the brown dog tick).
If you find a tick, remove it carefully with tweezers to reduce the risk of infection. Don't crush the body of the tick as this may spread bacteria and disease. If you are having an adverse reaction to a bite, seek medical attention.
If you find more than one tick in your home, it should be cause for concern. Call our team of expert pest control specialists at MosquitoNix® and we'll ensure that your home is tick-free once again. This can include both indoor and outdoor treatments on your property. By reducing the number of ticks in your yard, you're less likely to have one hitch a ride into the house. Learn more by getting a quote online or contacting us today.
What do ticks look like?
Ticks vary in appearance depending on the type of tick. In the U.S., most are small and reddish brown in color. They have eight legs at the adult stage and an oval-shaped body. After a blood meal, a tick will become engorged and the body will take on a grey color.
What do ticks eat?
Ticks eat blood. They feed on mammals, reptiles and birds. Ticks are common on wild animals like deer and turkeys. They also feed on humans and domesticated pets.
How can I get rid of ticks in my home and yard?
Treating your yard for ticks can help keep them out of your home. If you have pets, they should also be treated for ticks each month to protect them and keep them from bringing ticks inside. If you spend a long time outdoors, particularly in the woods or in heavily overgrown areas, check your clothing carefully for ticks before coming in to keep from bringing ticks inside. Knowing how to get rid of ticks before they enter your home will help prevent an infestation.
What do you remove a tick?
If a tick bites you, remove it by using a pair of tweezers to firmly grasp the head as close to your skin as possible, then pull upward with steady, even pressure.