Ticks are often mistaken for insects, but they are actually arachnids. Regarding tick identification, they are classified into two categories: soft ticks and hard ticks. Soft ticks often feed on bats and birds, while hard ticks feed on humans, pets and nuisance wildlife. Regardless, if you are dealing with an infestation, the removal of ticks from your property should be handled by a professional exterminator. A professional can help you in identifying the type of ticks you are dealing with and the safest and most efficient process for removal.
There are several species that vary in appearance, but all of the adults are small, round with eight legs. All ticks feed exclusively on the blood of vertebrates and are blood feeders. The adult ticks mate on the body of the host animal. After the mating, the female deposits her eggs to the ground. They are called "seed ticks," with six legs when they are in the larvae stage. These larvae seek a host for a blood meal, then drop to the ground and emerge as eight-legged nymphs. Ticks will not jump up life fleas to get a blood meal.
They will grasp the host as they pass through leaves or grassy areas.They are picked up on the lower legs, then crawl up the body for a blood meal. They have to climb places like tall grasses, weeds, fences, and sides of buildings waiting for a suitable host to pass by.
Signs of Tick Infestation
The first signs are usually the pests themselves. Secondary signs can include medical symptoms from diseases or fluids transmitted by ticks. These can vary and are best left to a medical professional for diagnosis. Repairing any crevices or gaps and keeping grass cut short outside may discourage infestations.
Help reduce tick populations by practicing the following:
- Remove leaf litter.
- Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns.
- Place a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to restrict tick migration into recreational areas.
- Mow the lawn frequently.
- Stack wood neatly and in a dry area (discourages rodents).
- Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees.
- Discourage unwelcome animals (such as deer, raccoons, and stray dogs) from entering your yard by constructing fences.
- Remove old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide.
Removing Ticks from your Home
Using tweezers or rubber gloves (avoid touching with bare hands), grasp the tick close to the skin, and with steady pressure, pull straight out. Do not twist or jerk, as mouthparts may be left in the skin. Take care not to crush or puncture the pest during removal — fluids can be infectious. After removal, thoroughly disinfect the feeding site and wash hands with soap and water.
Flushing down the toilet will not kill ticks; it's a sewer theme park ride for them. Do not squish the tick to death with your fingers. Contagious tick-borne diseases are transmitted this way. Instead, drop the tick into a container of alcohol.
Problem areas to check and treat:
Ticks like to reside in crack and crevices, they seek hiding areas for safety. If you own any pets, then there is a higher chance that you may have ticks in your area. These ticks will move to avoid detection. They don't have the same type of larvae, like the fleas; you do not have to broadcast over the entire surface as you would spray for a flea treatment.
- behind baseboards
- window and door frames
- upper portions of structures
- localized areas used by dogs
Prompt Action Pest Control has the tools and knowledge to relieve your tick infestation and give you peace again. Call us at 715-845-6018 today so we can help you.