Tick Identification & Prevention

What are ticks?

Ticks are outdoor pests. These parasitic organisms are arachnids and related to spiders and mites. Adult ticks are wingless, have eight legs, a singular oval-shaped body region, and a specialized, mouth-like structure used to feed on the blood of animals and people. Before consuming a blood meal, their bodies are relatively flat; after feeding, their bodies swell.

a deer tick crawling on human skin outside of a hoe in charlotte north carolina

Listed below are the most common species of ticks living in North Carolina and South Carolina:

American dog tick
These are a large species of ticks, and are a brownish color with whitish-gray or yellow marbled markings. Their favorite host is the domestic dog, although they also feed on a wide variety of other mammals – including people.

Brown dog tick
After feeding, these ticks turn a grayish-blue color. Brown dog ticks rarely feed on humans, but will if no other host is available; as their name suggests, dogs are their favorite hosts.

Blacklegged tick
These ticks are a brownish-orange color with distinctive darker colored legs. They are also referred to as deer ticks, because of their preferred host, but they also feed on a wide variety of other animals and people.

Lone star tick
Adults are reddish-brown and turn a more slate gray color after feeding. Female lone-star ticks have one identifying white spot on their backs, while males have many smaller white spots. These ticks prefer to feed on larger mammals like people, deer, and dogs.

Gulf Coast tick
Adults are dark, bluish-gray to dull white. Females have silvery-white markings near their heads, in addition to three interrupted lateral stripes. They live in coastal areas along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast.

Are ticks dangerous?

Yes, ticks are dangerous, and many believe they are second only to mosquitoes in regard to being a public health concern. Like mosquitoes, ticks feed on a variety of hosts, which gives them the ability to pick-up and spread a variety of dangerous diseases through their saliva. Ticks, depending on their species, spread Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, tularemia, ehrlichiosis, and a form of spotted fever.

Why do I have a tick problem?

Ticks can find their way onto any property, usually on the backs of their wild animal hosts traveling through your yard or foraging for food around your home. Mice, raccoons, deer, and birds are examples of animals that introduce ticks onto properties. After falling off their host, ticks will lay in wait in grassy or wooded areas for a new host to brush past them that they can climb on. In your yard, there is a high chance their new host could be you, your kids, or your pets.

Where will I find ticks?

Ticks spend most of their life on the body of their host. However, when not on the back of a host, ticks live in a variety of environments, usually in damp, shaded areas. People and our pets come into contact with ticks while walking through or spending time in the following locations:

  • Wooded areas

  • Fields

  • Along the coast (Gulf coast ticks)

  • Campgrounds

  • Dog parks

  • Yards

  • Athletic fields

How do I get rid of ticks?

If you are looking for pest control in the Charlotte area, turn to the local and experienced pest professionals at Aruza Pest Control. We offer home and business owners the benefits of comprehensive pest control, superior customer service, and the peace of mind that comes with our guaranteed services. Our eco-friendly solutions solve current pest problems and keep them from returning. For home and business owners who want to protect their property from ticks, contact Aruza Pest Control today!

How can I prevent ticks in the future?

In addition to our home pest control and commercial pest control services, use the following tips to prevent ticks on your property:

  • Place your pets on a year-round tick control program under the guidance of their veterinarian.

  • Remove bird feeders from your property that could attract wild animals.

  • When spending time outside, use an appropriate tick repellant.

  • Keep your lawn cut short.

  • Regularly vacuum areas where your pets spend most of their time.

  • Place tight-fitting lids on trash cans and compost bins to keep foraging wild animals away.

  • Seal off openings around the exterior of your home to prevent wild animals from gaining access.

 

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