Ticks & Lyme Disease: What Everyone In Houston Ought To Know
Often, when Houston residents hear the word “tick”, the first thing that comes to mind is “Lyme disease”. Ticks, specifically deer ticks, are notorious for spreading this very serious infection, and the threat of Lyme disease cannot be understated.
There is a lot that people don’t know about this disease, what tick bites look like, or how to prevent Lyme disease. Houston residents ought to know how to keep themselves safe. Let’s discuss what deer ticks look like and this awful disease that they can spread.
Identifying Deer Ticks In Houston
Deer ticks, also known as black-legged ticks, only grow to about ⅛ of an inch in length. They have flat, rounded bodies, small heads, and eight legs. Deer ticks range from orange-brown to rust-colored.
While Lyme disease can be transmitted through multiple pests, deer ticks are by far the most common vectors of Lyme disease. The tick itself doesn’t cause the disease, but ½ of all deer ticks carry a bacteria which is responsible for the disease. Deer ticks feed on animal’s blood, so when a tick bites you, it may also inject the bacteria which causes Lyme disease, unless it is removed quickly, within 24 to 48 hours.
How Deer Ticks Find You
Deer ticks don't usually get into homes. These ticks don’t cause an infestation indoors, but they may crowd around in your lawn, especially if you live near a heavily wooded area. Deer ticks find their hosts by waiting for a potential host to brush past. Often, ticks will try to latch onto their host from tall grasses, outdoor structures, or foliage. The tick will then bite the host to feed on their blood, slowly gorging itself.
Ticks leave a bite similar to that of a mosquito bite. The bite itself is slightly raised and is either pale or mildly red. A tick bite can develop an inch or two of redness around the swelling, and some bites develop rashes, especially those which are likely to be infected.
Occasionally, you might find a tick still in the bite itself. Ticks bite by burrowing their head into the skin; however, many people don’t see the actual tick because they’re only the size of a poppy seed. Although not every deer tick causes Lyme disease, removing a tick promptly is essential to staying disease-free.
Deer Tick Prevention Tips
What should you do when a deer tick bites you, and how do you keep them away from your house? Consider the following:
Trim your lawn and hedges regularly. Unmaintained yards invite all sorts of pests, such as wildlife and rodents that can be carrying deer ticks.
Keep lumber and woodpiles away from your yard, if possible.
When outdoors, tuck your pants into your socks and wear a proven insect repellent, like one that contains DEET.
Walk along paths, not through the brush.
Always check your clothes and body for ticks when you get home safe; try to keep ticks from coming inside.
If you find a tick lodged in your skin, it’s best to remove the tick using tweezers. Remove the tick slowly so that the head doesn’t become lodged in your skin. Save the tick in a ziplock bag in case it needs to be tested, and wash the area where it bit you. Finally, seek medical attention to make sure that the tick didn’t transmit any diseases.
For additional tick control assistance and information about tick bites, contact Houston’s pest professionals at Modern Pest Control. We’ll keep you and your family safe from Lyme disease and deer ticks.