How To Reduce Ticks In Your Cypress Yard
Tick on a skin

How To Reduce Ticks In Your Cypress Yard

For many, spending time outside is essential. Whether hiking, fishing, working in your garden, taking your children to the park, or walking your dog, the outdoors has much to offer! Studies have also shown that spending time outside can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall mental health. When most of us are inside, whether it be for work, school, or we need to stay close to the Wi-Fi signal, going outside might be just what we need! The best time to engage in the outdoor activities we love is from spring to fall. Unfortunately, this is the same time when most pests are also most active.

One of the more problematic pests that are most active from spring to fall is ticks. If you have been living in Texas for some time, you are probably aware of these external parasites as we have several species, but you also may not know that ticks are arachnids like spiders, meaning they have eight legs, no antenna, and no wings.

 The four most common types of ticks in Texas are:

  1. Lone star ticks are brown, and the females are about 1/8 of an inch long, with the males being slightly smaller. Females have an identifiable white spot in the middle of their back, where their name is derived. After this species feeds, they will engorge and become a slate gray color. This species is found in most eastern United States, excluded in northernmost states, but has a heavy southeast concentration. 

  2. Black-legged ticks are also known as deer ticks as they prefer deer as the host and are in the eastern United States. They are about 1/8 of an inch long, with males smaller than females. They are orange-brown, but they will turn a rust-brown color after feeding and become more prominent.

  3. American dog ticks are brown and have either brown or yellowish-gray markings. Females are more significant, about 1/4 of an inch long, but grow up to 1/2 of an inch after feeding. Males are about 1/8 of an inch. Their choice host is domesticated dogs, and they are east of the Rocky Mountains and along the Pacific coast, mainly in California.

  4. As their name suggests, brown dog ticks prefer dogs as a host. They are about 1/8 of an inch long and are a brownish-red color. After taking a blood meal, they will turn a grayish-blue color. This species is found all over the globe.

Ticks are not a pest you want living on your property. Below, you can learn the dangers the different types of ticks in Texas pose, how to protect yourself, and how to prevent them in your yard. You will also learn about the Cypress pest control services offered by Modern Pest Control for ticks and other unwanted intruders.

The Problem With Ticks

While not all ticks spread diseases to people, the most common ones in our area do. Because of this, a tick bite isn't always just a bite. Some tick species are vectors of dangerous diseases transmitted to animals and people. The most well-known illness that ticks transmit is Lyme disease, spread by black-legged ticks. The tick must attach between 24 to 48 hours to transmit this disease. Symptoms and their timeline vary drastically from person to person, but early intervention is necessary for effective treatment. Lyme disease can result in life-long chronic complications if not treated early.

The size of a tick may indicate how likely it is to be carrying Lyme disease, as the larger they are, the more they have fed. However, this is not something you should rely on and instead should always seek medical attention for black-legged tick bites. Saving the tick in a sealed container can assist doctors in testing for Lyme disease as the blood tests may be negative for the first few weeks after the bite.

Ticks are known to carry the following tick-borne illnesses:

  • Lone star ticks can cause ehrlichiosis, Heartland virus, tularemia, southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), and alpha-gal syndrome.

  • Along with Lyme disease, black-legged ticks can spread anaplasmosis, Borrelia miyamotoi, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and the Powassan virus.

  • American dog ticks can spread tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF).

  • Brown dog ticks are known to spread RMSF in southwestern states.

These illnesses are serious, and we recommend that you always seek medical assistance if bitten by a tick. More information about the diseases listed above:

  • Ehrlichiosis has similar symptoms to Lyme that start five to 14 days after being bitten. Symptoms can be mild but may also be severe, requiring hospitalization. It is essential to receive a proper diagnosis and antibiotic treatment soon after being bitten.

  • Heartland virus can look like ehrlichiosis, but you can't treat it with antibiotics; you can only treat the symptoms. 

  • Tularemia symptoms vary but include pneumonia. This disease can be fatal if left untreated and can result in complications, including meningitis. 

  • STARI symptoms and its rash look similar to Lyme disease, making proper testing crucial.

  • Alpha-gal syndrome can cause a severe but rare allergy to red meat, which may not develop until months after the bite. This allergy can result in anaphylactic shock in extreme cases.

  • Anaplasmosis must have the tick attached to the host for at least 12 to 24 hours to transmit this bacteria. Symptoms can be severe, especially for those that are immune-compromised.

  • Borrelia miyamotoi's most common symptoms are chills, headache, and fever, and antibiotics can treat these symptoms.

  • Babesiosis symptoms can go away if untreated, but they can be severe, especially for immune-compromised and older adults.

  • Powassana virus can have many people showing no symptoms or only experiencing mild ones. However, it can result in encephalitis and meningitis. 

  • RMSP symptoms appear as fever, headache, rash, and nausea and can come on abruptly. This disease can be fatal.

Again, seek medical attention for any tick bite you experience as it is impossible to tell if a tick is carrying diseases.

Ways You Can Protect Yourself

While ticks don't usually infest homes, they can be a real problem in any natural outdoor space, so you should know proper tick protection methods for spending time outside.

Ticks cannot fly or jump, so they wait in tall grass and foliage for an animal or person to brush past to get on a host. It would help if you took the following tick protection measures:

  • Wear long clothing and tuck your pants into your socks when in areas of tall grass, on footpaths, natural trails, and near the water's edge. 

  • Inspect yourself, your children, and your pets before getting into your car or going inside.

  • Once you get home, shower and check again for ticks, it helps if you have someone to inspect areas you cannot see, such as your back and head.

If you find a tick on you, someone else, or a pet, you must carefully remove it.

Proper tick removal: Use clean, fine-tipped tweezers.

  • Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and slowly pull up with steady, even pressure.

  • Twisting or jerking the tick can leave mouthparts under the skin. If this happens, use tweezers to remove them. 

  • To dispose of the tick, put it in alcohol or a sealed container or bag. You can also flush it, but it is often best to save the tick for testing.

  • Once done, wash your hands and the bite area thoroughly with warm water and soap or rubbing alcohol.

Never cover the tick in petroleum jelly or nail polish. And do not wait for the tick to detach naturally, remove it as soon as possible. If you have pets, you should get them on a preventative with the assistance of a veterinarian. 

Tick Prevention Tips For Your Yard

You don't have to be out in nature to cross paths with ticks as they can be in your yard. The most common way ticks get onto residential properties is by falling off wildlife or rodents. Ticks aren't picky about where they lay their eggs, so they can be found in leaf piles and other similar locations once they are in your yard. To keep ticks out of your yard, focus on deterring wildlife and rodents.

You can do this by using the following tips:

  • Repair any damaged fencing.

  • Install fencing around your property and gardens.

  • Never leave food out for wildlife or strays.

  • Remove bird feeders, pick up fallen fruit, and harvest gardens before anything over-ripens.

  • Use garbage bins that cannot be knocked over quickly and have tight-fitting lids.

  • Ensure there are no openings for these animals to get into your home.

  • Use outdoor lights to keep nocturnal critters away.

While they are not a cure-all solution, chickens can aid in keeping tick populations under control on your property when used alongside other prevention methods!

If your property touches wooded or tall grass areas, you should create a three-foot-wide barrier using rocks or wood chips to prevent ticks from making their way from these hotspot areas. Regular yard maintenance is also necessary to keep ticks away. It includes keeping the lawn and shrubbery trimmed short, removing debris like leaf litter, keeping gutters clear, and emptying standing water.

These tips we have provided here are essential in reducing the tick population in your yard; however, they are not always 100% effective. Animals that carry ticks are opportunistic and will find their way around or under fences and even into your home. You may want to consider the benefits of ongoing professional pest control for ticks and the animals that carry them. 

Tick Control In Cypress

So we have established that ticks are nasty. They are vectors of dangerous diseases, so why can't we eradicate large populations? Like mosquitoes, which are also vectors of hazardous conditions, ticks play several essential roles in the ecosystem. One purpose of ticks is to serve as food for animals. The most prominent predator of this pest is ground birds like turkeys and chickens. Another purpose is to help scientists assess environmental conditions. Scientists use ticks to monitor how ecosystems and animal populations are doing worldwide. Lastly, because they feed on animals and transmit diseases, they help control populations and natural selection.

Although they are essential, you don't have to let ticks live on your property. If you want to keep populations from living in your yard, you should rely on our experts at Modern Pest Control.

We offer three different customizable protection plans to help keep you and your family safe from pests like ticks year-round:

  1. Modern Plus Service starts at $34 a month; this is our basic pest control plan.

  2. Signature Service starts at $62 a month; this plan covers general pests and termites.

  3. Signature Plus Service starts at $92 a month; this plan covers general pests, termites, and offers seasonal mosquito control.

We can assist with any wildlife issues you are experiencing. Our wildlife trapping and exclusions services aim to remove the factors that attract these animals to your property in the first place. To do this, our technician will perform a complete and thorough inspection, which will allow us to tailor treatments to your needs.

We provide personalized pest control that is quick and effective. Call us at Modern Pest Control to talk to one of our pest management professionals about how we can help you remove and prevent ticks from your Cypress yard. Get your free quote today!

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