Statistically speaking, tick-borne diseases are one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in America. Ticks are a form of ectoparasite, meaning that they must feed on the blood of a host to survive. Ticks are a transmission vector for numerous infectious diseases, the biggest of which is Lyme disease. Other tick-borne diseases include Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Colorado tick fever.
There are thousands of different species of tick worldwide, but in America there are only a few species that we need to worry about. Of those few, the one species that primarily carries Lyme disease is the Black-legged tick, also known as the Deer Tick. Ticks often lay eggs on the ground, and can lay up to 5000 eggs in their lifetime. They are active in warm weather, like in the summer months. Ticks travel from one place to another by climbing up on tall blades of grass and attaching themselves to passing humans or animals. They then travel with the host, feeding on it’s blood and can move to another host when finished. Ticks often find their way into your home via pests like mice, specifically the white-footed mouse, and can attach themselves to pets like dogs and cats.
Checking for ticks in your yard can be a difficult thing to do because of their size. Full grown ticks are difficult to spot with the naked eye and the larva are next to impossible to detect without the use of specialized tools. Since they attach themselves to tall blades of grass, it’s best to cut grass short, especially around the edges of your lawn. Insecticides that kill ticks are also available and can be used on lawns, but usage of these chemicals are controlled. They tend to thrive in unkempt areas, like uncut fields with overgrown vegetation. If you or your pets visit places like these regularly, you should inspect your clothing regularly for ticks, and have your vet conduct a tick-check at every pet examination. Insect repellent for ticks can be applied to clothing, but care should be taken when using it on pets.
If you need help determining if your lawn or home is infested with ticks, contact Horizon Pest Control for assistance. You can call us or visit Horizon’s Yard Guard Service to set a FREE tick control consultation with one of our skilled technicians.