September 11, 2018
There are plenty of creepy crawly bugs that can be found in Katy, Texas. And while a lot of these pests can give us a shiver when we encounter them, there are few that pose serious threats to the health of our families and pets. One that does pose a serious health threat is the tick.
Here in Katy, Texas, there are four main species of ticks:
Lone Star Tick - Lone star ticks are brown with a distinct white spot on their back. After feeding, they become a more slate gray color.
Black-Legged Tick - Black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks, have oval-shaped bodies that are orangish-brown in color. After feeding, they turn a more rust brown color.
American Dog Tick - American dog ticks are brown with white or yellowish-gray markings.
Brown Dog Tick - As their name indicates, these ticks are brown before feeding. However, they turn a bluish-gray color after feeding.
Ticks are very small, most measuring about ⅛ of an inch when fully grown, though some can grow up to ½ an inch after a meal. Since ticks are so small, it is possible for these pests to climb onto you without you even realizing it. If these pests simply crawled around on us and then left you alone, they would be nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, that is far from the case.
Ticks survive and move from one stage of development to the next by having blood meals. These pests will feast on wild animals, domesticated animals, and humans alike, embedding themselves into the skin of their host and remaining there for over 24 hours while they feed. When they are done, they’ll back out of the host’s skin, drop off, and begin the search for a new host.
Tick carry a multitude of diseases that they can transmit to their hosts while feeding on their blood. These diseases include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, Powassan virus, and Lyme disease to name a few. While the symptoms and severity vary from disease to disease, some of the common early symptoms are fever, muscle aches, headache, and other flu-like symptoms. If these diseases go untreated, they can cause chronic joint pain, neurological problems, and even death.
If you have pets, there is an increased risk of ticks ending up in your home, which poses a greater threat to both your family and your pets. Anytime your pet goes outdoors, there is a possibility that it will pick up a tick and bring it inside. If your pet spends time in the woods, near brush piles, or in areas of tall grass, the likelihood of ticks climbing onto them is even higher. Questing ticks hide in all of these places and stand with their front legs in the air, waiting for any passing body to brush past them. When a host passes by, they climb onto them and are then free to walk around until they find a suitable place to feed.
There are several things you can do to keep the probability of your pet picking up ticks lower.
- Keep your pet up-to-date on its flea and tick treatments. Whether you use the chewable tablet, the drops, or even a collar, some protection is better than no protection.
- Some flea and tick shampoos contain permethrin, which will kill ticks. Consult your vet before using to make sure the listed dosage is safe for your pet.
- Use pet-safe bug spray on your pet.
- Consider restricting access to areas in or around your yard that might have higher tick populations, such as the woods or brush and leaf piles.
- Keep your yard well-trimmed and free of debris.
- Reduce excess moisture around your home by keeping gutters clear, diverting water away from your home, and creating good drainage systems.
Keep the inside and outside of your home uninviting to rodents. Rodents often carry ticks from place to place, so even if rodents have not invaded your home, it’s likely that your pet will walk in an outdoor area where rodents have been.
Even after taking these steps, you won’t completely eliminate the tick populations in your yard. Due to the way these pests travel, there will always be the chance that your pet could pick one up, even if you’ve taken precautions. However, by partnering with us at Modern Pest Control, we can help you take your prevention methods to the next level! We offer a range of pest control services that work to protect your home from not only ticks, but also many pests that could introduce them onto your property and into your home.
Ticks are dangerous, disease-spreading pests that you definitely don’t want to ignore. Call Modern Pest Control today for the best line of defense against these pests!