Throughout Texas, many locals enjoy outdoor spring and summer activities. Getting some fresh air, connecting with nature, and absorbing the sun’s rays, quite a few take advantage of the outdoors. But when it comes to planning the fun, it is important to keep in mind that from the middle of March through the end of August, the ticks are even more active, looking for hosts and reproducing. A-Tex Pest Management would like to expound on ticks in Texas in an effort to help you, your loved ones, including the furry ones, avoid the potential health risk they pose.
Where Do Ticks Mostly Live & What Diseases Do They Spread?
In general, when ticks are not already attached to a host, they linger in tall grass, wooded areas, and some low hanging branches patiently waiting for a host to ambush on. They do not fly or jump, but rather, ticks are impressive climbers. While ticks feed on the blood, the odds of transmitting or causing tick-borne diseases and ailments are fairly high. Some of these diseases can even be life threatening if not promptly treated. More common health issues include tick paralysis, Lyme disease, Erlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Common Types of Ticks
In Texas, the most common ticks are American Dog Tick, Blacklegged Tick, or sometimes referred to as Deer Ticks, and the Lone Star Tick.
American Dog Ticks: As their name implies, American dog ticks are prone to dogs, but they will settle for most domestic, wild, and livestock animals as well as humans. They have oval-shaped bodies that appear flat, unless engorged from a recent meal. These ticks are brown and have white to grayish colored markings on their backs. At normal size they measure 3/16” long, at engorged inflate up to 5/8” long.
Blacklegged Ticks: These ticks are orange in color and their legs appear a few shades darker. They too have flat and oval bodies that measure 1/8” in length. Their preferred host are deer, especially during the winter months, which why they are sometimes referred to as deer ticks. But during the more active months they will host on other animals found in natural habitats as well as dogs and humans.
Lone Star Ticks: One of the more aggressive biters in the tick community, they a reddish brown color, but when engorged shift to a slate gray color and carry a star-shaped marking. They are also oval and flat, measuring up to ¼” and ½” when engorged, males tend to be smaller. On the different stages of their life, they are known to feed off a variety animals; recently hatched and adolescent Lone Star will chose small animals and birds and as they grow they will attach onto larger animals and people.
How Do You Prevent Tick Bites?
To avoid being a victim of these blood lusted criminals, there are some precautions you can take as you enjoy the outdoor fun.
Take advantage of tick repellents that contains picaridin or DEET and/or use clothing sprays that are
1) At the conclusion of each outdoor session and at the end of the day before stepping the shower, check your body ticks.
2) Be sure to have a warm soapy shower after potential exposure.
3) Frequently inspect your pets.
4) Keep your yard well manicured: grass and shrubs trimmed, trees pruned, and clear away any overgrown vegetation in your yard.
5) Avoid walking through uncut fields, brush, and overgrown areas.
6) Keep to the center of hiking trails.
7) Wear light-colored clothing, which make it easier to spot ticks
8) Keep your shirt tucked in and wear long pants tucked into boots or socks.
Tick Pest Inspections, Treatment, Control, Removal & More in Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville & Cedar Park Texas
If you have ticks in your Texas home, business, or yard, contact A-Tex Pest Management and let our experts take care of the rest.