The Best Way To Keep Dangerous Ticks Away From Your Spring Property
Have you had a slow-draining sink at home but didn't know what to do? You go to the computer and type in, "What's the best way to fix a slow-draining sink?" Within a split second, images, videos, and articles addressing your problem are at your fingertips; after scanning the articles, you pick the one you believe has the best information that fits your situation. When addressing problems, we want the best way to fix the issue to avoid future problems; this also applies to ticks. We want to know how to keep these dangerous creatures off our property.
When removing ticks in Spring properties, we understand that our community members want the job done right because no one wants to battle ticks around the house. No one wants to tenuously experience a stroll in the yard for fear of coming back into the home with ticks on their body.
If you want to remove ticks, you need the Spring pest control professionals at Modern Pest Control. We have removed ticks from Spring properties for over 70 years. Using our decades of experience coupled with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques ensures we do the job right. In this article, we share some necessary knowledge to help you identify and understand tick behavior; we provide some of the best ways to deter ticks from returning once we treat your property.
How Common Ticks Get Around
Before we discuss tick transportation methods, we need to know the basics about these creatures. Contrary to popular opinion, ticks are not insects but are arachnids. Ticks are in the same scientific classification as spiders, scorpions, and other invertebrates. These arthropods have eight jointed legs, a two-part body consisting of a head (capitulum), and an idiosoma, the flat oval part of their bodies.
Ticks have two body types; hard or soft. A hard-body tick has a plate on its back (dorsal), known as a scutum. The scutum on the females covers only about 1/3 of its dorsal region, but it protects the entire surface of the males. Like other arachnids, ticks do not have wings or antennae.
Ticks hatch from eggs in the summer and progress through three stages; larva, nymph, and adult. Although adult ticks have eight legs, they only have six when they emerge from their eggs. Known as "seed ticks," the newly-hatched larva immediately seeks out a host, usually a small mammal, to get nutrition to progress to the next stage. Once a seed tick engorges with blood, it detaches, sheds its exterior skeleton (exoskeleton), and grows into the nymph stage. The first growth cycle usually happens in the fall; during the winter months, the tick is dormant.
The following summer, having progressed from the larval stage to the nymph phase, it finds another host to supply its nutritional needs. At this phase, the nymph attaches to humans, dogs, turkeys, rabbits, or similarly larger hosts than the previous year. Once the maturing tick has fed, it detaches, sheds its skin (molts), and enters the adult stage. In the fall of the second year, the now-adult tick attaches to larger animals and humans. During the second winter, the adult tick is dormant.
Let's answer the question of this section; "How do ticks get around to their hosts?" Since ticks do not have wings, we can rule out flying as a transportation mode, which leaves us with dropping, crawling, or jumping onto prospective hosts. Although often lumped into the same group as fleas, ticks do not have powerful hind legs to jump like fleas. Surprisingly, ticks don't crawl or drop onto people. How do ticks transfer to hosts?
Ticks move to hosts through a process known as questing. When the tick seeks a host, it will use its hind legs to anchor to a leaf or twig while extending its two front legs outward. When an animal or human passes nearby, the tick uses its front legs to grab onto the perspective host. Of course, this raises another question, "How does a tick know if a host is coming nearby?" Like flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and other creatures, ticks sense the presence of a host by vibration, carbon dioxide, and body heat.
Modern Pest Control provides the best yard treatment for ticks. Our pest management professionals are certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture, so they know how to solve a tick problem on your Spring property.
The Dangerous Diseases Ticks Are Known To Spread
A tick's head (capitulum) contains two mouthparts: the chelicerae and the hypostome. When a tick finds a host, it uses these body parts to attach to the host, pierce its skin, and draw blood. During the feeding process, the tick secretes fluids that act as an anesthetic and prevents the blood from coagulating. Ticks spread diseases to hosts during the fluid exchange or when they contract pathogens from infected hosts.
There are four types of ticks in Spring that are problematic:
American dog ticks
Blacklegged (deer) ticks
Lone star ticks
Let's briefly examine each tick species and the dangers each one presents to homeowners.
American dog ticks (wood ticks) have a flat, 3/16-inch brown body with white or grey markings; when they eat a blood meal, their bodies swell to 5/8 inches in length. These ticks prefer tall grasses near roads and trails. Perhaps the most famous bacterial infection spread by this tick species is Rocky Mountain spotted fever. A high fever, muscle aches, headaches, and occasionally a rash accompany this disease. Fortunately, this condition is treatable with antibiotics; however, if left untreated, this infection can result in death. American dog ticks often contract tularemia from rabbits, squirrels, and other rodents. An ulcer at the bite sites, fever, tender lymph nodes, and chills accompany this bacterial infection. Tick paralysis is not a bacterial infection but is from the neurotoxins in the tick's saliva. Although uncommon, those who react experience difficulty breathing and muscle weakness. If left untreated, tick paralysis can cause death.
As their name suggests, blacklegged ticks have black legs. These orange-brown ticks are also called deer ticks due to their propensity to bite white-tail deer. When not engorged with blood, female blacklegged ticks have a 1/8-inch flat, broad body, but the males are smaller. These ticks prefer to live along unmowed fence lines next to mowed lawns and in other transitional areas where tall and short grasses meet. They also live in nests and dens of skunks, opossums, raccoons, and the white-footed mouse. When a blacklegged tick attaches to a human, it prefers to feed behind the head at the base of the neck.
Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, B. miyamotoi disease, and ehrlichiosis are bacterial infections spread by blacklegged ticks. Lyme disease is infamous and produces a unique skin rash (erythema migrans), fever, headache, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms. The rash, which occurs in 70% to 80% of people, appears an average of seven days after infection, expands outward, and is warm to the touch. Powassan virus is a virus spread by blacklegged ticks to humans. In most people, flu-like symptoms accompany this disease; in rare cases, severe infections produce confusion, seizures, and difficulty speaking.
Brown dog ticks are another hard-bodied species that primarily bite dogs. When not fed, these ticks have a 1/8-inch reddish-brown flat body, but after they eat a blood meal, their body swells to 1/2-inch and becomes grey-blue. Unlike most ticks, brown dog ticks can complete their life cycle indoors and are known to infest houses. Inside the house, they live in baseboard cracks and around window and door frames. Rocky Mountain spotted fever can spread by brown dog ticks to humans, but since their preferred hosts are dogs, they are more dangerous to them than humans. Canine ehrlichiosis and canine Babesia are the diseases they transmit to dogs.
Lone star ticks are so-named not because they are from Texas but because the females have a silvery white spot on their backs, and the smaller males have several horseshoe-shaped white spots on their backs. While other ticks are prone to attack animals before humans, lone star ticks do the opposite. An unfed adult female lone star tick has a reddish-brown 1/6 to 1/4-inch body that grows to 1/2-inch and turns bluish-grey when engorged with blood.
A bite from a lone star tick may produce a circular rash from a southern tick-associated rash infection (STARI) within three days of the attack. The rash has a bullseye appearance; the disease causes muscle pain, fever, and fatigue. Lone star ticks spread ehrlichiosis and tularemia; these ticks also transmit the Heartland and Bourbon viruses. These produce similar flu-like symptoms as well as gastrointestinal issues.
Modern Pest Control protects your family from all types of ticks in Texas. We will work with you to remove tick infestations inside and outside your home.
Five No-Nonsense Tick Prevention Tips For Around Your Yard
When ticks are on your Spring property, family members and pets may contract diseases with symptoms that require medical attention. Once Modern Pest Control has resolved your pest problem, you don't want to risk another infestation. Here are five tick prevention tips to deter ticks from residing on your Spring property and home:
Mow the grass short
Remove overgrown vegetation
Build a fence around the property
Eliminate wildlife and rodent attractants
Apply veterinarian-approved tick treatments
Ticks prefer tall grasses and overgrown greenery, so keep the lawn mowed short and remove overgrowth. If your property butts against woods, or another property with tall grasses, create a barrier between the two properties with no vegetation or short grass.
Ticks use rodents for hosts and transportation. Fencing your property will deter rodents from entering. Removing water attractants such as bird baths, baby pools, undrained plant trays, and old tires will help keep rodents away. Be sure to close outdoor garbage containers and keep the areas around animal feeders clean to keep from enticing rodents onto your Spring property. Seal cracks and gaps in the foundation and cover the attic and crawlspace vents to keep rodents from entering your Spring home.
When you contact Modern Pest Control for tick removal, a trained pest management professional can provide additional tips and modifications based on your situation.
The Most Effective Tick Control For Your Property
When you contact our friendly team at Modern Pest Control to schedule your free, no-obligation inspection, we listen to your concerns, take notes, and dispatch a highly-trained and certified pest management specialist to your location. Once on-site, we inspect your property to discover attractants and tick hot spots. Using the information from our investigation, we will develop a strategic plan using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques to address the situation. The IPM approach targets the problematic species, ensures the minimal use necessary of environmentally-conscious products, and works to eliminate attracts to prevent future infestations.
As one of only a small percentage of pest control companies that have earned the QualityPro designation from the Foundation for Professional Pest Management, you can rest assured that we can remove the different kinds of ticks in Spring and help you to protect your home against a future infestation.
Contact Modern Pest Control today to learn more about our tick control plan options and to schedule your free, no-obligation inspection. Don't go through another summer season and put your family and pets at risk from ticks on your Spring property. Call us today!