The Ultimate Guide To Protecting Yourself From Dangerous Ticks In Katy
Close up picture of a Tick

The Ultimate Guide To Protecting Yourself From Dangerous Ticks In Katy

It is not a good feeling to discover a tick. When you come back inside after mowing the lawn and notice one crawling on your pants, it can set off alarm bells. Yuck! Or you may scratch your dog and feel a lump on your pet's ear and discover an engorged tick in there. Double yuck! Sometimes, you don't find a tick. You may see a bullseye rash on your skin and realize something got you, and you didn't even realize it. What can you do to guard yourself and your pets? We've put together a quick guide to help you deal with ticks and prevent them from causing trouble on your property. We'll look at how common ticks in Katy spread, what it really means to get a tick bite, how to reduce tick bites, and where professional pest control fits into the tick control picture. If you need help, remember that your Modern Pest Control service team is here for you. Use our Contact Us page to ask about service options for tick control in Katy, the pricing of services, and other important questions. With that said, let's look at how you can protect yourself from ticks in our region of the country.        

How Common Ticks Get Around

When you find a brown tick on your skin, clothing, or crawling on your pet, what kind of tick is it? It is important to know because different ticks carry different risk factors. If you go searching the internet to find out what that brown tick is, you might think it is a brown dog tick, and you might be right. But many common ticks in Katy have a brown coloration, including the four most common ticks: American dog ticks, brown dog ticks, lone star ticks, and black-legged ticks. This makes other visual characteristics important in identifying tick species.

American Dog Tick: This tick is brown with mottled white to gray colorations on its back. Adults range in size from 3/16 to 5/8 of an inch, depending on how recently they have fed. 

Brown Dog Tick: This tick is reddish brown. The males are darker than the females and appear more brown. If you examine a brown dog tick closely, you'll also notice black coloration that is heavier toward the head. It is most prevalently found in males of the species.

Lone Star Tick: This tick is the easiest to distinguish as it has a white dot in the center of its body. Keep in mind that only the females have this dot. It is easy to mistake a male lone star tick for a female brown dog tick because they have a similar coloration and there is no dot.

Black-Legged Tick: This tick has a black rounded upper body, and the end of the body is brown (or brownish red). As the name suggests, the legs are black. If you catch a male black-legged tick, it will not have a reddish-brown color. It will look entirely black.

These common ticks spread in slightly different ways. The greatest example is the brown dog tick. It is the only tick on our list that can complete its entire life cycle within your home. That means it lays its eggs, the eggs hatch, the babies grow into adults, the adults reproduce, the females lay eggs, and the process starts all over again without ever having to venture outside. So, it is possible to get a brown dog tick infestation from someone else. Always inspect furniture, vehicles, and other items when buying them secondhand.

Most of the time, ticks spread from one location by taking wild animals as a host. When wild animals come into your yard, they bring ticks with them. All ticks are carried by furry animals, but one of these ticks is commonly found on birds. It is the black-legged tick. This is also the tick that commonly spreads Borrelia burgdorferi, which is the bacterium that leads to Lyme disease. Keep this in mind as you consider what ticks you're finding on your property.

American dog ticks and brown dog ticks have a preference for domesticated canines. If you have a dog that goes in and out of your home, these ticks can come in with your pet. While American dog ticks can't complete their life cycle indoors, they can still cause lots of problems. You can reduce the issues by keeping your dog inside and applying pet-specific control measures.

Lone star ticks are the only ticks on our list that seem to prefer human hosts. While the others will bite you, lone star ticks have a propensity for this behavior. When they're brought into your yard on deer, skunks, squirrels, raccoons, and certain birds, they will readily attach to the humans that go out into your yard. Moreover, lone star seed ticks can hatch by the dozens and attach in large numbers.          

While each tick is somewhat unique, all ticks spread through contact with wild animals and household pets. When animals bring them into your yard, each female can lay thousands of eggs. While not all of the ticks that hatch will live, the ones that do will present a threat to pets, kids, and adults. 

The Dangerous Diseases Tick Bites Are Known To Spread

Not every tick that bites you will make you sick, and not every tick can carry all the many diseases that are spread by ticks. The risk of illness is lower if you find a seed tick attached to your skin. You can tell seed ticks apart from adults by the number of legs. Ticks start as nymphs with only six legs. But, while the disease risk is lower with these ticks, the serious nature of tick-borne diseases makes it essential to prevent tick bites in Katy.

  • Lyme disease is a disease spread mostly by black-legged ticks. It can develop into a chronic illness with lifelong implications for your health.
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a flu-like disease that is potentially fatal. It is most commonly spread by American dog ticks.
  • Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness is a disease that resembles early Lyme disease, which makes it scary. With STARI, the bullseye-type lesion will only lead to flu-like symptoms, such as muscle pains, headache, fever, and fatigue. Lone star ticks are most known for spreading this disease.
  • Alpha-gal syndrome is a strange food allergy that makes people allergic to red meat. It is a chronic illness that has lifelong implications for your health. It is most notably spread by the lone star tick.
  • Babesiosis is another flu-like disease spread by ticks that can have severe symptoms. It is critical to speak to a physician if you have flu symptoms and you believe you've been bitten by a tick.

Not that you know what you're up against, you know why it is so important to protect yourself. Let's turn our attention to preventative tips that will help you prevent bites, protect your pets, and keep ticks out of your yard.     

Effective Tips To Protect Yourself From Tick Bites

The best possible solution is one that makes your yard a tick-free environment. If there are no ticks out there, your pets won't pick them up and bring them inside, and the humans that go out into the yard won't pick them up either. While it is impossible to make your yard entirely tick-free, there are many ways to reduce ticks using natural tick prevention, including:

  • Remove bird feeders to avoid attracting birds, or move your feeders so that they don't hang next to your home.
  • Trim your grass. Ticks thrive in tall grass.
  • Remove piles of wood or wood debris, which are ideal hiding places for tick-carrying rodents.
  • Attach a bungee cord to the lid on your trash receptacles to prevent raccoons from getting into your trash. They bring lots of ticks into your yard when they do this.
  • Trim down your bushes and shrubs to reduce moisture and hiding places for animals. 
  • Apply hardware cloth around the bottom of your deck to keep rodents out. The void under your deck is not only an ideal place for rodents; it provides the shade ticks require to help keep themselves from dehydrating.

Once you've taken steps to make your yard more resistant to tick activity, it is time to consider your pets. There are many ways to guard your pets from ticks, including:

  • Speak with your vet about tick prevention and see which products suit your pet's needs. Tick collars are often a popular choice, but they don't work for every dog or cat.
  • Check your pets routinely for ticks attached inside the ears and between the toes. Also, feel for lumps on the skin when you rub or scratch your pet.
  • Groom your pet regularly. Brushing and bathing are helpful for deterring ticks.
  • When you find ticks on your pet, use the proper tool to remove them.

After you've addressed your yard and taken steps to guard your pets, what can you personally do to prevent tick bites? There are a few personal steps that work well.

  • While outside, avoid tall grass and wooded areas where ticks are often found.
  • If you go into an area where ticks are likely to be hiding, consider applying bug repellent to your legs and feet.
  • Wear white pants so that you can easily see ticks as they scale your body.
  • Consider tucking your pant legs into your socks. It may look foolish, but you'll prevent ticks from crawling up the inside of your pant legs.
  • Always check for ticks when you come back inside.
  • Trim bushes and vegetation away from walkways in your yard so that you don't accidentally pick up questing ticks as you walk by.
  • Use a proper tool to remove a tick when you find one on your skin.

There you have it. You know how to get rid of ticks in your yard with natural methods, helpful ways to protect your pets, and simple tips to guard yourself personally. At this point, you are almost a tick expert. There is one last topic to consider. When you want to reduce ticks in your yard, there is one option that is head-and-shoulders above the rest. Let's take a look.   

Professional Pest Control Is The Best Tick Control

There is no better way to keep your yard free of tick activity than to get year-round pest control service for your Katy property. A service plan, like Modern PLUS, Signature, or Signature PLUS, provides your property with routine pest maintenance that stops the advancement of ticks in a few key ways. Here are a few facts about our tick prevention process.

  • We perform an inspection to analyze your property and consider areas where ticks may thrive, reproduce, and develop.
  • We share our findings with you to provide insights regarding your tick control needs. There are many layers to tick prevention, and you play a role. For example, a yard that is free of tick habitats is easier to manage. Cutting grass and trimming vegetation is something you may do to increase the effectiveness of your treatments.
  • We provide applications of materials that arrest tick development. These materials are applied using industry-standard protocols to ensure the highest level of health safety. For example, we may suggest that your pets stay indoors for a short time after treatment to allow the product to dry.
  • The general pest control services we provide overlap each other. For example, rat and mouse control will have an impact on ticks and fleas. These animals can bring ticks and fleas into your home and spread them to every floor.

It pays to have ongoing pest management performed by a trusted home pest control service provider. If you're in Katy, Texas, contact Modern Pest Control to learn more about the tick control service plans we offer. We'll help you zero in on what will work best for you and give you expert advice regarding your pest control needs.

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