Have you ever been outside of your Houston home only to come in and discover a tick has latched onto your skin? Ticks don’t just feed on the blood of people, but our pets, too. That’s why you should take the necessary precautions to ensure your property is as tick-free as possible. You and your family’s health could depend on it.
Identifying Common Area Ticks
All ticks have oval-shaped bodies with eight legs, however, their more identifiable characteristics depend upon which species they belong to. Around Houston, there are four tick species that you are most likely to encounter. They are American dog ticks, black-legged ticks, brown dog ticks, and lone star ticks.
- America Dog Ticks are large ticks that are brown in color and feature whitish-gray or yellow markings. The female and male ticks of this species feature marbled markings on their fronts and upper bodies. As their name suggests, they often feed on the blood of dogs, though people are also at risk of being bitten by these ticks.
- Black-legged Ticks, or deer ticks, are a dark brown color, but their legs, as their name suggests, are an even darker brown or black. They grow to be about the size of a sesame seed and their preferred hosts are deer. However, these, too, will feed on humans and pets if given the opportunity.
- Brown Dog Ticks are reddish-brown in color and feature no distinctive markings. They also prefer the blood of dogs. Brown dog ticks do not often feed on humans, though they will if no other host is available.
- Lone Star Ticks are a reddish-brown color. The females feature a whiteish-yellow spot on their backs while males feature several smaller spots. They also have a distinctive white line around their bodies. They will feed on larger mammals such as humans, dogs, and deer.
The Dangers Of Ticks
When it comes to ticks, the primary threat they pose has to do with the various bloodborne diseases they can transfer as they feed on a variety of hosts. Moreover, their bites are not painful so you may not even realize you’ve been bitten by a tick until well after the fact. The means by which ticks latch on to hosts is by hanging out on tall grass or shrubs and waiting for a host to brush up against them. Then they will latch on, usually without the host knowing.
Some of the diseases that ticks in Texas have been known to carry include: anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, spotted fever group rickettsioses, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick-borne relapsing fever, and tularemia. It’s important to take the necessary precautions and limit your exposure to tick bites.
Tick Prevention Techniques
Knowing some useful prevention techniques can go a long way in keeping the tick populations in your yard to a minimum, thus keeping you and your family safer.
- Keep grass, shrubs, and bushes well-maintained and trimmed back.
- Remove any overgrowth from around your property.
- Remove bird feeders, animal feeders, and any other food sources that could attract wildlife to your property.
- Move oft-frequented areas such as playsets, seating areas, and dining areas away from trees and bushes.
- Inspect yourself, your family members, and your pets for ticks after returning from spending time outdoors.
- Talk to your vet about tick-prevention methods for your pets.
For The Best Tick Prevention And Control.
If you are dealing with a tick-control problem on your property, call the professionals here at Romney Pest Control right away. With our ongoing professional tick treatments, we will ensure your property is safe from ticks so that you and your family can get back to enjoying the great outdoors worry-free. Give us a call today.