Charlotte's Handy Guide To Tick Prevention
November 12, 2020
Charlotte’s summers can get hot and humid, but maybe it’s more than just the weather making you uncomfortable. Are you worried about ticks?
Ticks are some of the quietest pests you can get, but if there are a lot of them in your yard, they can wreak havoc on the health of your Charlotte, NC household. If you’re finding suspicious bug bites on yourself, your family, or your pets, don’t risk letting the issue resolve itself.
Common Ticks In Charlotte, NC
There are several different species of ticks in North Carolina, and each one looks slightly different and vectors different diseases. Ticks are hard to identify because most only grow between 1-2 mm, but knowing which species you’re dealing with helps inform you about the pest’s behavior and a threat to your home.
On top of their small size, all ticks have flat, teardrop-shaped bodies, eight spiny legs, and small oval-shaped heads. The most common ticks in North Carolina are American dog ticks, which have paler brown bodies, relatively high mobility, and will readily use both humans and pets as hosts.
Other tick species are less common, but still pose big threats to your household. The Lone Star tick is a more aggressive tick species, as it will host on many different animals and actively travel from one place to another. Brown dog ticks are very specific to dogs, and unlike other species, they will sometimes leave their host and hide in cracks and crevices around the house. Finally, deer ticks are perhaps the most dangerous tick species, though they are usually encountered in the woods and rarely make their way to manicured households.
Diseases Associated With Ticks
No two tick species spread the same diseases, but all of them pose grave concerns to the health of your household. The first sign of tick-borne disease is a tick bite. Ticks bite their hosts because they feed on mammal blood. As they feed, they get plumper and more darkish-red.
Ticks tend to stay on their hosts and feed over multiple days, so you may see a tick somewhere on your skin. If you don’t see the tick, you’ll probably see the resulting bite – usually in a warm, moist place on the body, like hair or armpits. These tick bites are small, red, and sometimes asymptomatic, but they can be itchy, painful, burning, blistering, or even cause difficulty breathing, depending on your sensitivity.
Not all tick bites result in diseases, but you might not know you have an infection until you see a bite and see a medical professional. The most common tick-borne disease is Lyme disease, in which the tick bite can grow into a large “bulls-eye” shape and causes fatigue, muscle aches, and potentially arthritis or other chronic illnesses. Depending on the species, tick bites can also cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, anaplasmosis, the Heartland virus, and other dangerous conditions.
Tick Prevention Tips
If you see the signs of a tick bite, seek medical help immediately. The best way to ward off these infections is to prevent ticks from happening at all. Consider the following to keep your pets and family safe:
- Avoid tall grasses and wooded, brushy areas. Ticks will “quest” for a host in these areas and latch onto you in these habitats, then get to feasting right away.
- If you can’t avoid these kinds of areas, spray your clothing with permethrin. This helps ward off ticks from attaching to your skin, though you should only treat your clothes with it – certainly not your pets.
- Clean up brush, leaves, and woodpiles, and cut tall grasses around the yard. If your lawn is habitable for ticks, they’re sure to find their way onto your clothes. This also ensures that common wildlife hosts, such as rodents, stay away from your family, keeping their ticks away as well.
- Check your clothing and pets for ticks when you come indoors and be sure to shower right away. Ticks can commonly be found in hair, under armpits, around the waist, and behind knees.
If you find yourself dealing with tick bites, see ticks around the house or lawn, or are worried you have a tick bite, first see a medical professional, then get rid of the problem pests for good with Charlotte’s own Aruza Pest Control. Reach out today!