Are you concerned about ticks in your yard? Do you worry about your pets—or the health of your family? If so, you'll find essential tips and facts in this article to help you understand the threat that ticks present and what works best to deal with ticks. We'll cover common ticks in Durham, diseases spread by ticks, five helpful prevention tips, and how to get rid of ticks in your yard. If you'd like to speak with someone about your tick concerns, feel free to contact us by phone at any time. The Eco Man Pest Solutions provides tick control and general pest control in Durham. We can help you find the right solution to address your concerns.
Common Types Of Ticks Found In Durham
We have a few tick species in our Durham service area, but the threat on the mind of most people is the tick species responsible for the spread of Lyme disease. It is called a black-legged tick or deer tick. The latter name was given to these ticks because they commonly target white-tailed deer. It has nothing to do with the coloration of a deer tick. They are not tawny or white, like a deer. A deer tick is reddish-brown with black legs—hence the first name, black-legged tick. It also has a black head and a black spot on the back. If you catch one of these ticks feeding on your skin, you won't see its reddish-brown coloration because it will have a light tan color when it becomes engorged. You may also have trouble noticing its black legs tucked under its fat, engorged body. If you find a fully engorged black-legged tick, you should know that it has been attached for at least a week, and there is a greater chance of disease transmission. It takes time for disease-causing bacteria to move from ticks to humans.
We also have brown dog ticks, American dog ticks, Lone Star ticks, and other species of ticks in Durham. Each is somewhat different in appearance, behavior, and disease transmission. Of the three, brown dog ticks are the only ticks that can complete their life cycle indoors. Fortunately, they don't prefer to bite humans and you'll likely catch them on your dog and deal with them before they present a risk to the humans living in your home. But, it doesn't really matter whether a tick can survive in your home or is prone to bite humans, what matters is that you understand that all ticks can transmit human pathogens.
The Diseases Ticks Are Capable Of Spreading
It is a bit daunting and somewhat scary to look at all the diseases ticks spread. Before we discuss them, you should understand a few quick tick facts.
- Baby ticks, called seed ticks, are six-legged larvae and do not have transmittable diseases because tick-borne diseases are zoonotic. That means they're spread by ticks from animals to humans. Seed ticks aren't likely to have had contact with an animal before attaching to you because after the first blood meal, a seed tick develops a fourth set of legs as it enters its nymph stage.
- Not every adult tick that bites you is infected with a transmittable disease. It is possible for a tick to bite an animal that does not have disease-causing bacteria.
- Not every tick can carry all the diseases associated with ticks. Some ticks are worse than others.
- If you are exposed for only a short time, your body can fight off the bacteria spread by ticks, resulting in no sickness at all.
We point out these facts because we don't want you to fear ticks. Our goal is only to give you a healthy respect for the danger these tiny arachnids present to human health. Here is a quick list of tick-borne diseases spread in the United States as reported by the CDC.
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF)
- Hard tick relapsing fever
- Powassan virus disease
- Colorado tick fever
- Hartland and Bourbon virus diseases
- Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis
We encourage you to explore resources from the CDC regarding each of these diseases so that you may recognize symptoms early and seek treatment. As a licensed pest control service provider, our job is to help you avoid contact with these pests. Medical advice is best left to medical professionals and governmental health agencies.
Five Helpful Tips To Protect Yourself From Tick Bites
When you or your pets go outside, ticks can hitch a ride back inside. The first step is to take steps to reduce the number of ticks in your yard. After you've done what you can in your yard, use the remaining tips to help you with personal tick protection.
1. Deter Wildlife Activity
The primary way to prevent tick bites is to reduce tick populations in your yard. Since furry, hairy, and feathery animals bring ticks onto your property, you need to take steps to deter those animals.
- Keep exterior trash receptacles covered and secure.
- Remove bird feeders or consider moving feeders well away from your exterior.
- Pick up nuts that fall from nut-producing trees.
- Remove yard clutter that certain animals use as hiding spots.
- Guard trees and shrubs that deer prefer to eat.
- Maintain neat landscaping and trim your grass to make your yard feel less like nature.
- Use repellents that deer and other animals prefer to avoid.
It is nice to have animals visit your property, and we understand why deterring wildlife may not be your preferred option. Keep in mind that year-round pest control offers control for ticks but will allow you to continue to enjoy the wildlife on your property.
2. Remove Tick Habitats
Ticks need moisture as they develop. A damp perimeter and dense vegetation will help ticks survive near your home. Here are suggestions to limit moisture and moist habitats.
- Clear obstructions from your gutters or hire a professional gutter cleaning service. Your gutters capture rainwater and channel it away from your exterior to deter perimeter moisture and oversaturation of the ground near your foundation.
- Remove weeds from your landscaping. Weeds not only capture moisture, but they also provide the perfect location for questing ticks to wait for you or your pets to pass by.
- Trim bushes, shrubs, and ornamentals to remove shaded spots. Your vegetation blocks the sun and allows ticks to avoid the drying impact of the sun.
It's hard work to manage your yard, but your labor is not in vain. Well-manicured lawns are not only resistant to ticks, but are also beautiful to the eye.
3. Protect Your Dog Or Cat
Many products can help prevent ticks from getting on your furry family members. We recommend speaking with your veterinarian to find suitable products and helpful strategies. If you have dogs and do not yet have an outdoor recreation area surrounded by a fence, consider installing fencing. A fence will keep your dog(s) from exploring vegetation around your home where ticks hide. It will also reduce wildlife activity in this outdoor zone.
4. Keep Ticks Off
You can take precautions when going outdoors and prevent ticks from scaling your body and biting your skin. Here are a few suggestions:
- Spray mosquito repellent on your legs and feet.
- Consider putting your pantlegs in your socks if you don't use repellent.
- Avoid tall grass where questing ticks wait to cling onto you as you pass.
- Wear bright-colored clothing so you can see tiny, dark-colored ticks as they scale your body.
Tick prevention is simple, but it is often not considered. Take the time to think about tick prevention and you'll avoid getting ticks in grass, wooded areas, and other natural habitats.
5. Catch Ticks Early
Early detection can prevent disease transmission. If you have a dog or cat, check them routinely when they come in from the yard. Feel under their fur or hair with your fingertips and check for unfamiliar bumps on the skin. Check their ears and between their toes where ticks commonly attach. If you find a tick, use a tick-removal tool to get that tick off. If you use tweezers, avoid pinching the tick's body, as it will force more bacteria into the wound. Perform routine checks on yourself and your kids after spending time in nature. Clean and disinfect tick bites after removing ticks.
The Trick To Total Tick Control For Your Yard
If you live in Durham and want total tick control for your yard, contact The Eco Man Pest Solutions for assistance. We can provide your property with routine treatments to reduce tick populations to near zero, as we work to keep a long list of other common pests off your property and out of your home. If you have questions, or you'd like to get started with a year-round pest control service plan, contact us by phone or hop over to our contact page and fill out the short form. When you want eco-friendly pest control you can trust, we're the company to call. We look forward to speaking with you and guiding you toward the right pest control solution for your family and your home.
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