Ticks are arachnids and are closely related to spiders. Ticks are a type of ectoparasite that feeds on the blood of people, pets, and wild animals using their specialized mouthparts. Before feeding, ticks have flat, oval-shaped bodies; as they feed the tick’s body expands in a balloon-like manner. The coloring and exact size of a tick is species-dependent. The dog tick is a common tick species found living throughout our region. Before consuming a blood meal, dog ticks are reddish-brown in color, while they turn a grayish-blue color after feeding.
Ticks are introduced onto properties by wild animals like deer, raccoons, mice, and skunks. After feeding, they fall off their hosts and hide out in dark, moist areas, waiting for new hosts that they can crawl onto and begin feeding on; one of their most popular hiding spots is where wooded areas meet lawns. Contact with ticks should be avoided, as they have the potential to spread a wide variety of diseases to people and pets. Depending on the species, ticks spread diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and ehrlichiosis.
Reduce potential hiding spots for ticks on your property by keeping your lawn cut short, trimming overgrown shrubs and bushes, and placing a barrier of crushed stone between your lawn and wooded areas. It is also a good idea to remove woodpiles and other debris piles from your yard. Remove bird feeders and other feeders from your property that can attract wild animals. When spending time outside, especially in wooded areas, make sure to wear tick repellent. It's also important to place pets on a year-round tick control program under the guidance of your veterinarian. To learn more about ticks and our South Florida pest control services, reach out today!
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