When the temperatures start getting warmer, you start seeing more bugs which include ticks. Ticks become more active in the spring. You need to know how to protect yourself, how to identify them, and understand a little bit about a tick’s life cycle. A-Tex Pest Management offers helpful tips below.
How to Identify a Tick
You want to make sure that you know how to identify a tick. If you don’t know what it is, it is time to learn. You do not want ticks on you or your animals. There are two common types of ticks you may see. The black-legged tick– is also known as the deer tick. The easiest way to identify a deer tick is by their scutum. This looks like a dark red shield that covers their back, but this shield is only on female ticks. Adult ticks have eight legs which is also a dark red coloring. The larvae are more of a lighter red color with six legs.
The dog tick– the dog tick has a very similar look to a deer tick with its red coloring, but a dog tick has white marks on their back and legs. No other tick has these marks except the dog tick.
Life Cycle of Ticks
Ticks have a longer life cycle than other types of bugs. Ticks have a two-year lifecycle that starts in the fall. Their eggs hatch in the fall and they start feeding. Once winter comes, the larvae become dormant unless it is a deer tick then they do not go dormant, but they do slow down. Once spring comes, they get very hungry. Spring becomes a very dangerous time, Because they become hungry, you want to be aware and prepared for ticks.
With ticks, becoming more active in the spring, you want to be aware of the habitats that the ticks have. Ticks will hide out until their next meal comes around. A very common place for them to hide is in the woods. This gives them plenty of tree and leaf coverage. So, if you are walking in the woods you want to inspect yourself for ticks when you return home. One may have landed on you or your pets on your walk through the woods. Ticks do not just stay in the woods. They will hide in any areas that have tall bushes, grass, fallen leaves, plants, shrubs, trees, and mulch or in wood piles.
Protect Yourself Against Ticks
The best thing you can do for yourself is protect yourself against ticks. The easiest thing you can do is limit the amount of skin exposure you have when you are out walking in the woods or in places where there are ticks. This means wearing long sleeve shirts, pants, socks, and close-toed shoes. After you get home, always inspect yourself. This means going through your hair and the rest of your body. And of course, check your pets. If you do find a tick remain calm because it takes at least 24 hours before tick-borne disease is passed.