Ticks

(Order: Ixodida)

Identification

Ticks (Order: Ixodida) are small and vertically flattened arachnids, consisting of two body regions which are fused together. They are usually 3mm or more in length, and like all arachnids do not possess antenna. All ticks are parasitic and, depending on the species, feed on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. Ticks find their hosts utilizing a behavior known as ‘questing.’ When a tick is questing, it will climb to the top of tall grasses or brush and hold its front pair of legs out, waiting until a host passes by. Once it does, the tick clings onto its fur or skin with its outstretched legs, and will begin looking for a suitable spot to feed.

Habits

Check yourself and your pets frequently for the presence of ticks. Ticks usually attach themselves to the body near constricted areas such as belt lines, socks, shoes, in between toes, or climb to the head. At certain times of the year they may gather in large numbers on exterior walls or enter the home through cracks around windows and doors.

Impact

In addition to creating annoyance and discomfort, ticks can vector many diseases to humans or our companion animals, and are the number one cause for disease in domestic animals. Disease associated with ticks include: Lyme disease, rocky mountain spotted fever, typhus, rickettsia pox, relapsing fever, and others.

Prevention

Avoiding tick-infested areas is the best approach, but precautions can be taken by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats in these areas. Light-colored clothing should be worn to make ticks easier to see, and pants should be tucked into socks or boots to prevent them from getting under the pants leg. Insect or tick repellants can also be applied to the outside of clothing, particularly the pants leg.

Keeping grass or weeds mowed and reducing brush and small trees in rural areas is beneficial to reduce the ability of ticks to ‘quest’ and attach to their hosts.

Cook’s Pest Control offers expert treatment for the control of ticks, and our pest management professionals are thoroughly trained to address your tick issues.

 

About Ticks

  • Ticks enter a home mainly through dogs and cats that play in wooded areas.
  • Ticks consume blood through their entire life span, which can cause them to swell in size.
  • They can carry disease, so it’s best to eliminate them before medical problems arise.