What are ticks?
Ticks are ectoparasites that feed on the blood of people, pets, and wild animals using specialized, piercing mouthparts. Ticks are closely related to spiders; adult ticks even have eight legs. Before feeding, ticks have flat, oval-shaped bodies. After feeding, ticks' bodies expand in a balloon-like manner. The coloring and exact size of ticks are species-dependent.
Two of the most common ticks found in our Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee service area are the brown dog tick and the Rocky Mountain wood tick.
Brown dog tick
Before having a blood meal they are reddish-brown in color and are without any distinguishing markings found on their bodies. After feeding, these ticks turn a gray-blue color. As their name suggests, the primary host of this tick is the dog. However, they will also feed on people and other animals when given the opportunity.
Rocky Mountain wood tick
These ticks gained their name from their preferred habitat of wooded areas. They are brown in color, becoming grayish in color after consuming a blood meal.
Are ticks dangerous?
Ticks are dangerous pests. They carry and transmit many diseases that can make people sick. Rocky Mountain wood ticks, as their name suggests, are the primary vector of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Brown dog ticks are also known to carry and transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and can also transmit diseases to your dog, including canine ehrlichiosis and canine babesiosis.
Why do I have a tick problem?
More often than not, ticks are introduced onto properties by wild animals. Squirrels, raccoons, deer, mice, and skunks commonly introduce ticks onto properties. Ticks thrive on properties that have a lot of dark, moist areas for them to hide in and wait for a host that they can attach themselves to. If there are large populations of ticks on your property, it is only a matter of time before you, your kids, or your pets come into contact with one.
Where will I find ticks?
Ticks hide in tall grass, in wooded areas, at the edges of wooded paths, in thick vegetation, in the grass around ponds and lakes, and along road ditches and fence lines. Rocky Mountain wood ticks prefer wooded areas with low-growing vegetation. Populations of brown dog ticks are often found at campsites, dog parks, and dog kennels.
Most tick species can only breed outdoors and, therefore, do not survive for long periods of time indoors. The exception to this rule is the brown dog tick - their entire lifecycle can be completed indoors. Brown dog tick infestations are common inside homes, kennels, and dog boarding facilities.
How do I get rid of ticks?
To get rid of biting ticks in or on your home or business, seek the help of an experienced pest control expert. At Mid-South Pest & Termite, our knowledgeable professionals provide effective pest control services using environmentally friendly methods. We are committed to our customers and to using advanced solutions to eliminate ticks and other household pests from Memphis, Germantown, Cordova, Bartlett, Lakeland, and Arlington homes. To learn more about the residential and commercial pest control options that we offer, call Mid-South Pest & Termite!
How can I prevent ticks in the future?
To avoid problems with blood-sucking ticks in your home or business here in Memphis, TN, we suggest the following prevention tips:
Place pets on a year-round tick control program under the guidance of their veterinarian.
Place a stone barrier between wooded areas and your property’s lawn.
Keep the grass in your yard trimmed short.
Keep shrubs or bushes well trimmed.
Remove bird feeders from your property that could attract wild animals to it.
Inspect yourself, your children, and your pets for ticks after spending time outside.
Regularly vacuum areas where your pets spend most of their time.
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