As the days are growing longer and the sun warms the air, more and more people find themselves outside.
Whether it is for a nice walk in the park or an afternoon spent laid out on a picnic blanket. There is something so peaceful and the slow spring days in Dallas-Fort Worth.
But behind those peaceful spring days is a parasite just waiting to latch itself to you and your loved ones.
Why is tick control necessary?
Ticks find their hosts by detecting animals´ breath and body odors, or by sensing body heat, moisture, and vibrations. Once they find their host, ticks latch on to their host and suck blood.
Besides their parasitic attributes, ticks are particularly problematic for the diseases they transfer to their hosts.
Different breeds of ticks carry different bacteria. That bacteria is then transferred to their host upon feeding and can lead to some terrible diseases.
Ticks that carry Lyme disease are active year-round and can survive in below-freezing temperatures, although their peak season of activity begins in April and runs through September. Although Lyme disease is the most common vector-transmitted illness, it is most certainly not the only one.
Ticks can leave their hosts with long-term illnesses long after they have finished their feeding. But they do not just affect humans, the effects of tick bites can be fatal to our beloved furry friends.
What are ticks?
Surprisingly, ticks are not insects, but actually are arachnids. They are much closer related to a spider with their eight legs and thorax. Although most tick breeds cannot jump and rarely are falling from trees, ticks are known to be hunters.
Once a tick gets on your body, they are most likely to make their way toward warm, and mildly moist environments like your armpits, groin, hair and scalp, behind the knees, inside of the belly button, around your waist, and inside and around ears.
Ticks are known to feed for up to 10 days before they detach and most breeds will have a total of three hosts in their lifetime.
Here are the 3 most common ticks in Frisco Texas and the surrounding areas:
1. American Dog Tick:
As the name suggests, dogs are their preferred hosts. They tend to lay at forest edges and in areas with little or no tree cover, such as grassy fields and scrubland, as well as along walkways, sidewalks, and trails.
They will feed on 3 different hosts in their lifecycle and can lay up to 4000 eggs!
For humans, the American Dog Ticks are carriers of the bacteria that causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a serious tick-borne illness with a mortality rate of over 20% if not treated early.
It can be just as deadly for man’s best friend. Canine Tick Paralysis can occur due to the feeding of this tick. Your canine’s first symptoms will present as slow reactions and unsteadiness.
If the tick is not immediately removed, the paralysis can spread to the respiratory system and can prove fatal.
2. Black Legged Tick:
Most often referred to as the “deer tick” this notorious tick is most easily identified by its black legs. Although deers are its preferred host, it does not discriminate their prey.
Black-legged ticks commonly use humans as hosts and have even been found on prey as large as bears.
Contrary to common Blacklegged Deer ticks also crawl; they do not jump or fly. They grab onto people or animals that brush against the vegetation, and then they crawl upwards to find a place to bite.
If you find a Black-legged tick on yourself or a loved one, be sure to immediately remove it. Typically, they spend 4-6 hours migrating to their preferred placement and need to be attached for at least 24 hours before they can transmit Lyme disease.
3. Lone Star Tick:
Despite its name, this tick isn’t just native to Texas. It actually hunts across the entire eastern half of the country. This tick actually gets its name from its most identifiable feature, a single white dot on the body of mature adults.
This tick is a particularly aggressive hunter. It is known for its determination in hunting new hosts, known as questing, and will chase down a potential host. Given that The Lone Star tick is the fastest of its species, this is frightening.
But there is some good news. This tick does not carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, but instead, their bite can lead to other problems. The Lone Star Tick carries the bacteria that causes red-meat allergy known as Alpha-gal Syndrome (AGS).
AGS is more than just an aversion to meat, but can result in life-threatening allergic reactions.
The CDC also warns against southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), which presents with symptoms similar to the first stage of Lyme disease.
Methods for tick control
There are practical means to preventing tick bites. When outdoors, add protective layers. Some species of ticks are easily deterred with bug sprays. But these methods are not foolproof.
After time spent outdoors, it is important to search your entire body for ticks, paying special attention to the tick “hotspots”.
But the risk is not limited to the time spent at trails or parks. In fact, most people with Lyme disease got their bite while playing, gardening, or doing yard work right outside their houses.
It is highly advised to have a pest control service treat your lawn with a pesticide or insecticides to make you and your loved ones are not at risk of being the next host of a tick.
Pest Control with Gecko Green
Gecko Green offers an insecticide application that can bring peace of mind knowing you can safely spend your day on your property. Protect your house and loved ones by treating your lawn with an insecticide.
That way you can spend an afternoon in the sun, or allow your pet the run of the yard with peace of mind knowing the danger has been eliminated. Plus, the pesticide will also help protect against other grass-dwelling pests! Call today!